In fantasy football, there are multiple ways to earn points for your team. Depending on the type of league, the methods of scoring vary. While many leagues use a standard defense scoring system, IDP Leagues score defense in a different fashion.
An IDP (Individual Defensive Player) league is a type of fantasy football league that is unique in its method of defensive scoring. In this league, team owners pick specific defensive players to start each week of the season. The defensive players can earn points for their team for statistics such as sacks, interceptions, tackles, passes defended, and touchdowns.
IDP leagues differ from traditional fantasy football leagues. For a standard league, team owners draft team defenses that perform and earn points as a single unit. The defense earns their team points based on how many points they allow the offense to score along with other plays the defense makes such as interceptions and touchdowns. Therefore, an IDP league gives the owner more flexibility and independence but can also pose more challenges.
Depending on the particular IDP league, the scoring systems may vary. Some leagues award more points based on sacks while others focus on awarding points for regular tackles. Leagues that concentrate on tackles award more points to the players that record the most tackles. These players usually include safeties, middle linebackers, and weak side linebackers in a 4-3 defensive scheme. In a 3-4 defensive scheme, outside linebackers generally don't accumulate as many tackles and are not as favorable for a tackle heavy scoring system.
In a scoring system that focuses on sacks, players that record a higher number of sacks earn more points for their team. Therefore, it is important to draft players that are skilled at getting to the quarterback. To be considered a sack focused scoring league, the ratio of sacks to tackles should be 5 to 1. Therefore, a sack is worth five times the amount of points as a regular solo tackle.
In addition to solo tackles and sacks, defensive players can earn different amounts of points for assisted tackles, tackles for loss, interceptions, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, defensive touchdowns, safeties, and passes defended.
When drafting individual defensive players, it is important to consider how many IDPs a team is required to start. For leagues that only start a few individual defensive players, it is wise to draft the players later in the draft rather than in the earlier rounds. This will help save the initial picks for valuable offensive players.
On the other hand, some IDP leagues require teams to start multiple defensive linemen, linebackers, and defensive backs. Additionally, these leagues may separate defensive linemen into defensive ends and defensive tackles while also separating defensive backs into cornerbacks and safeties. For specific leagues like this, it is smart to draft IDPs earlier in the draft because they play a more important role on the team. Team owners may begin to draft IDPs as soon as the third, fourth, and fifth rounds.
In an IDP league, defensive players earn points for a variety of actions. For a standard IDP scoring system, the point breakdown generally resembles the following:
According to several ESPN analysts, a few of the best fantasy defensive linemen include T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Shaquil Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Danielle Hunter of the Minnesota Vikings. Some of the best linebackers include Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts, Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks, and Jaylon Smith of the Dallas Cowboys. The best defensive backs include Budda Baker of the Arizona Cardinals and Landon Collins of the Washington Football Team.
In terms of defensive linemen, a few predicted sleepers include Dante Fowler Jr. of the Atlanta Falcons, Brian Burns of the Carolina Panthers, and Ifeadi Odenigbo of the Minnesota Vikings. Some predicted linebacker sleepers include Christian Kirksey of the Green Bay Packers, Jerome Baker of the Miami Dolphins, and Logan Wilson of the Cincinnati Bengals. A few predicted defensive back sleepers include Jeremy Chinn of the Carolina Panthers, Grant Delpit of the Cleveland Browns, and Karl Joseph of the Cleveland Browns.
According to Dynasty League Football, the top ranked defensive rookies for 2020 IDP leagues include Chase Young (DE) of the Washington Football Team, Patrick Queen (LB) of the Baltimore Ravens, Isaiah Simmons (LB) of the Arizona Cardinals, Kenneth Murray (LB) of the Los Angeles Chargers, and Willie Gay (LB) of the Kansas City Chiefs. A few of the best projected rookie defensive backs include Jeremy Chinn (S) of the Carolina Panthers and Xavier McKinney (S) of the New York Giants.