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Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Defensive Lineman Rankings for 2021

Author:
Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns

After averaging nearly a sack per game and finishing among the top fantasy scorers, Myles Garrett leads the way at the DL position this season

When it comes to fantasy football leagues that include Individual Defensive Players (IDPs), there is one particular category that comes to mind for defensive linemen (DL) — sacks.

So it should come as no surprise that among the top 20 in the NFL in sacks last season, 17 of them could potentially be used as a DL in fantasy football. However, that doesn't mean a good fantasy DL only racks up the QB takedowns.

Take Myles Garrett, for example. He finished near the top in fantasy scoring among defensive linemen due to his across-the-board production. Besides collecting 12 sacks, he also recorded 48 total tackles, forced four fumbles, recovered two, and was credited with two PDs (pass defended). He also did all of this despite missing two games.

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So while sacks are certainly something to be targeting when it comes to drafting a DL, the best strategy is to find those big guys who can do more than just get to the quarterback on a consistent basis. Also, be sure to check your league's positional eligibility before your draft. T.J. Watt is just one player who could carry dual eligibility, in this case, LB and DL. Watt led the league last season with 15 sacks. Watt's fantasy appeal changes quite a bit when he's viewed as only an LB vs. also having DL eligibility.

2021 Positional Rankings: Top 300 I QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Top 50 IDP I DL

2021 Defensive Lineman (DL) Rankings