If you’ve played fantasy football for several years, you may have seen a similar scenario to this play out chronologically:
- Year 1: free or a nominal $20 fee to keep people from dumping.
- Year 2: entry fees go up. A couple teams turnover to new managers.
- Year 3: Keeper players are introduced.
- Year 4: More keepers, higher fees, turnover reduced.
- Years 5+: Individual Defensive Players (IDP)
As your league gets more advanced and each manager is more invested through their time, entry fees and closer friendships, eventually you will have to learn a whole different animal – IDP players.
IDP leagues are really fun as they add another level of excitement and reason to watch games you may otherwise not have (I’m looking at you, Jacksonville). However to the uninitiated, these new stats can be daunting. Assisted tackles? Passes Defended? And in some leagues, return yards???
One major adjustment in IDP leagues is that fantasy performance sometimes works inversely to actual skill. For example, Darrelle Revis is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, but look at his 2011 stat line: 41 solo tackles, 11 assists, 4 INT’s, 1 TD, 21 Passes Defended.
Translated to fantasy numbers using Yahoo’s standard IDP scoring, Revis Island ranks 95th overall, or 45th among defensive backs. He isn’t worth drafting in all but the deepest of leagues. When you’re that good, no one throws your way.
We’ll look more in depth at this in a future article, but IDP is still very much fantasy relevant as linebackers pile up the solo tackles and defensive linemen get sacks to up their fantasy stats. Though IDP stats are much more predictable and have a lower variance than offensive players, doing your research can help you identify draft steals, particularly in custom leagues.
Lately I’ve been using Points per Game calculations to rank players more accurately, assuming they stay healthy. Don’t follow the PPG rankings blindly however, or you may have ended up drafting Bob Sanders too high for the last decade.
In addition, I’ve separated out the three main positions, LB, DB & DL and use a formula to rank players within their position. This positional ranking is particularly useful for identifying value at the defensive lineman spot, as they don’t get the gaudy tackle numbers linebackers do, and to a lesser degree with defensive backs as well.
Send me your feedback as I’m always tweaking these spreadsheets to be more useful and customizable, but at the same time keeping them simple. Happy IDP poolin’!