As we rapidly approach the start of the NFL season, we are being inundated with reports out of camp. Leonard Fournette released. Fred Warner with Covid. Derwin James with a knee injury. Yannick Ngakoue traded to the Vikings. My typing skills are trying to keep up.  This is the last of the rankings updates, top 50 defensive backs for 2020 IDP leagues,  with just a week or so before opening day.  

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Defensive back rankings can be highly variable based upon your scoring system and even with that, there is a lot of year to year fluctuations especially at cornerback. If you read my DB drafting strategy article you know that my advice is to wait on drafting them.  Yes there are some elite players, but in general, the production from this position varies from week to week based upon who the player is going up against and what you expect the game flow to be. This is the most streamable position in IDP leagues, especially if the league separates out the safety and cornerback positions.  

The reliability of the linebacker position to get you points and the lack of depth at the defensive line position should lead you to drafting them first before going after defensive backs. The main exception is if you play in a very tackle heavy format where getting one the top safeties could be an advantage. Regardless, safeties remain the backbone of combined rankings as the volatility of corners on a week to week basis is what makes them streaming candidates.

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Defensive backs are like the kickers of IDP leagues.  There really aren’t too many players that need to be picked early in your drafts.  They are also like tight ends after the first 5 or so where streaming on a week to week basis can be the way to go based on the weekly matchup.  Outside of some top end safeties who rack up tackles, guessing who will finish near the top of DB scoring is a crap shoot.  In tackle heavy scoring systems it’s a little easier to go after safeties, but in big play leagues, trying to predict who will garner interceptions, passes defensed, and sacks from this position is tough. A typical drafting strategy for DBs in IDP leagues is to wait and here’s why.

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Whenever you see an overall ranking for IDP leagues, linebackers will dominate the list.  Some will have the top 10-20 players be linebackers and that would be true if you only based the rankings on projected points, but draft strategy has to come into play.  As in your offensive player part of the draft, position scarcity and tiers come into play.  There is a large core of players in each of the three positions that don’t vary much, but the start of each of these cores varies greatly between positions.  

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Folks… We made it. We have NFL Sunday from this weekend until January 25th. I can hardly wait for the kickoff octo-box and the soothing sounds of Scott Hanson’s voice to touch my ear drums. In preparation for this glorious moment, I give to you the second part of our week 1 NFL data evaluation. If you are just starting your week 1 prep, I recommend going back to the first article to review the Thursday night and early slate games.

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IDP is becoming a big part of what we do at Razzball, especially in our new RCL IDP leagues.  Background knowledge of players to draft can set you apart and become a deciding factor in weekly wins and losses.  I’ve already written a general strategy piece about how and when to draft IDP spots.  Also the article emphasized recognizing how your league scores your IDP scoring, that is the most important part of all.  But, we haven’t really expressed what individual players to target.  If your IDP spots aren’t position specific, I’ll give you a few linebacker names that I really like.  If your IDP leagues are position specific, we will dive into a few defensive line and defensive back names as well.

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It’s been over a month since I posted my initial IDP rankings, and the only constant since then has been change. I’ve updated the rankings in those original posts, but some players warrant a closer look for those of you drafting late or trying to figure out Week 1 lineups. I’ll post a full set of Week 1 rankings next week, but for now here is a quick look at some players of interest as kickoff looms a week away:

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