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Once You Go IDP...

An introduction into the world of Individual Defensive Players and our coverage of it. By Nick Barnett


Once You go IDP…You Never Go Back

It’s late Sunday, about ten minutes before the afternoon games are ending.  You just watched your star running back, Darren McFadden go down with another foot injury.  In frustration you change the channel to NBC to see Bob Costas talking about the fragility of the young Raider running back.  “Shut-up Bobby” you angrily mumble as you turn off the TV because you have no players going in the Sunday night game.  It has been a rough season; CJ2K has been nothing short of disappointing.   Your third running back, Mark Ingram, who you just spent a high first round draft pick on seems to be stuck in the Sean Payton Hell-Hole and can’t stay healthy.  Fred Jackson, your Flex Darling for 8 weeks, just broke his leg…. Season ending.   Closing Time!  Finish your Whiskey or Beer….. Your season is done right?

Not necessarily.  This was the exact predicament I found myself in early November last year.  Only I made it to the Super Bowl.

As surprising as that may sound, it's true.  The reason my season wasn't over?  Three little letters: I.D.P. or more commonly known as Individual Defensive Players.

Many keeper, Dynasty and even re-draft leagues are moving to this format.  As the fantasy football world continues to grow, so does the sophistication of its owners.  Many leagues are looking for fun, new, innovative ways to make their leagues more challenging and even strategic.  So if you are looking to "boost" your league a little this year, consider dropping the archaic "team defense" and move to adding 3-8 IDP's to your league. 

What format should I use?

Newer Leagues

If you or your league are relatively new to Dynasty football, I would consider the baby steps approach.  This way, you get your owners feet wet, they get a taste for defense and they will be hungry for more.

A simple format for this is to introduce 3-4 new defensive players to you leagues rosters.  You can incorporate them into your leagues Dynasty rookie draft, or you can hold a separate "defensive draft" afterwards if owners are unsure of how to value IDP's and where to draft them among offensive players. The first year you may want to consider just keeping them as flex IDPs (Any defensive position) or you can do what my league did, we drafted one Linebacker, one Defensive Back and one Defensive Lineman and one Flex.

Experienced Leagues

If you play in a more seasoned league with skilled owners, introduce a format that will lead to strategic drafting such as an 8 man defensive roster to complement your 8-9 offensive players.  My league rosters 2LBs, 2DBs, 2DLs and 2 Flex IDPs.  This can really liven up your draft with strategy and even get the smack talk rollin... "I can't wait for Jason Pierre-Paul to lay your pretty boy Brady on his back again!"  Dependent on how your league would like to draft, I would definitely recommend mixing in the defensive players into your Rookie/Free Agent draft.  Many owners will be excited to employ a strategy as you see top LineBackers fly off the board in the first and second rounds.

What Scoring system should we use?

If this is your leagues first crack at using IDP’s I would suggest keeping it simple.  This will allow your league to get a feel for what they like and dislike.  Perhaps you play in a scoring system that rewards bonus points for offensive scoring; your league may find after the first year that you want to add bonus points for excellent games.  But for the first year I suggest using something that will give everyone a starting point to gauge their preferences.

Here is a quick, simple scoring system that can work for your league:

Tackles: 1pt

Assisted Tackles: .5pts

Forced Fumbles: 2pts

Fumble Recovery: 2pts

Interceptions: 3pts

Sacks: 3pts

½ Sacks: 1.5 pts

Blocked Punt, Kick or PAT: 4 pts

Safety: 2pts

Defensive TD: 6pts

Play around with it if you like.  Develop something and execute your Commish duties by having the league vote on a system.  The cool thing is, it’s up to you and your league.

The entire reason I was able to make it to the super bowl that season was because I had a stellar defense.  When my RBs went down, I was able to stay alive and my defense carried me.  My pocketbook thanked me and so did my pride.

So if you’re looking for something new to spice up your league or you want a whole new dimension to root for on Sunday's, consider adding IDPs to your league. It's the future, and once you go IDP... You’ll never go back.

Good luck Dynasty Beasts.