Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt tops our fantasy IDP rankings for 2013
NFL training camps open up this week, meaning we are that much closer to the start of the regular season and fantasy football. While kickoff may still be nearly a month away, it's never too early to start preparing for your draft.
While fantasy football is more associated with offensive skill players, quite a few leagues out there also use the ones on the other side of the ball in their lineups. Individual Defensive Players (IDPs) can be just as valuable to your team, especially if you are fortunate enough to draft someone like J.J. Watt.
The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year was a fantasy monster last year, as he outscored the No. 2 defensive lineman (Cameron Wake) by more than 60 points and was the No. 1 IDP in all of fantasy football. Watt will be hard-pressed to repeat some of his numbers from 2012, such as his 16 passes defended, but as long as he stays healthy, he should be more than capable of justifying using a high draft pick on.
Fellow DLs Jason Pierre-Paul, DeMarcus Ware and Wake are next on our rankings, as they, like Watt, have a knack for getting to the quarterback and making the big play.
Typically the best bang for your buck when it comes to IDPs is at linebacker, as this is the position that usually racks up the tackles. Options like Luke Kuechly, San Francisco's All-Pro tandem of Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, and James Laurinaitis, Lavonte David and Von Miller headline this group. Not to be left out are the defensive backs, who are capable of racking up quite a few fantasy points themselves, especially when they are able to convert an interception or a fumble recovery into a touchdown.
Chicago's Chris Tillman put on a clinic in this respect last season, turning three interceptions and two fumble recoveries into three scores while forcing a total of 10 fumbles by himself. The veteran Tillman will be another popular draft pick this year, along with younger options like Morgan Burnett, Mark Barron, Eric Berry, Harrison Smith and Richard Sherman.
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Fantasy Football 2013: Individual Defensive Players (IDP) Rankings
Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:
INDIVIDUAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER (IDP) SCORING
Solo tackle = 1 pt
Tackle assist = 0.5 pts
Sack = 3.5 pts
Interception = 3.5 pts
Forced fumble/recovery = 2 pts
Defensive TD = 8 pts
Safety = 2 pts
Pass Defended = 0.5 pts
Blocked Kick = 4 pts
Additional Fantasy Football Rankings: