• How To Transition Your Dynasty League to IDP

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    Are you looking to switch up your fantasy league by adding IDP into the mix? We have some advice for you to make that transition happen!

    So you’ve decided to add IDP to your fantasy football league. Maybe it took years of debate, a league vote, or having to replace some members who refused to play with defensive players, but you are here now. The question at this point is exactly how you transition to this new world. I’m here to talk through the considerations and process for how you’re going to transition to implement IDP.

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    First, you have to decide what IDP in your league looks like. Do you want them to have a smaller impact or are you pushing for equality between your offense and defense? I do not recommend only using one or two IDP starters. That’s not going to make enough of a difference for relevancy. Teams will just stream a linebacker or defensive end each week. The bare minimum to me is three players, one for defensive line, linebacker, and defensive back. If you’re just adding IDPs to your league and nobody really has experience with them, 5-9 IDP starting spots are a good amount to implement.

    If you’re playing on Sleeper, there are three position designations (DL, LB, and DB). You can also add flex spots and that’s where the fun and strategy really comes in. Do you want to start another linebacker and play it safe with a good points floor from tackles or maybe take a risk by starting a defensive end who can come up with nothing or a massive haul of points from sacks? If we are using 5-9 IDP players, there are several iterations to ponder.

    How many IDPs do you want?

    5 IDP- 1 DL, 1 LB, 1 DB, 2 Flex

    6 IDP- 2 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB

    7 IDP- 2 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB, 1 Flex

    8 IDP- 2 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB, 2 Flex

    9 IDP- 3 DL, 3 LB, 3 DB

    Of course, it’s all up to you and your league members to decide the setup. I only advise that you try to keep things balanced between the positions because it allows you to enjoy and appreciate the game from all three levels of the defense.

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    If you really want to establish IDP as valuable assets in your league, there’s the possibility of doing Full IDP. This is when teams start a complete defense of players (11). On Sleeper, that formation usually comes down to starting 3 DL, 3 LB, 3 DB, and 2 Flex. For sites like MFL, there are 5 position designations and my usual IDP lineup starts 1-2 DT, 1-3 DE, 1-4 LB, and 1-3 S. The goal in this case is to allow flexibility for members to put together a team as they wish.

    The bottom line is that full IDP massively increases the importance of the defensive players. For example, T.J. Watt was the highest-scoring defensive end/edge in IDP 123 scoring for the 2023 season. He averaged almost 22 fantasy points per game. The 24th highest scorer at the position was Rams edge Michael Hoecht (averaged about 12 points per game). The more players we start at each position, the larger the disparity between the top players and the players we flex or fill with our last remaining spots. Now those top IDPs can even be included in trades for offensive players!

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    Well, let’s say you’ve adopted IDP and even have an idea about how many you’d like to start, the next important decision is what scoring system you’re going to transition to. There is less of a standard in defensive scoring systems than offense. A lot of leagues customize how many points are awarded to certain positions. And honestly, people in the fantasy football community are coming up with new scoring for IDP all the time. The possibilities are endless. Two scoring systems that are very popular at the moment are Big Play and IDP123. Here are the point values for defensive plays:

    Big 3

    Solo Tackle: 1.25

    Assisted Tackle: 0.75

    Pass Defended: 4

    Forced Fumble: 4

    Fumble Recovery: 3

    Sack: 5

    Interception: 6

    TD: 6

    QB Hit: 2

    Tackle for Loss: 3

    Safety: 5

    Blocked Kick: 5



    Solo Tackle: 2

    Assisted Tackle: 1

    Pass Defended: 3

    Forced Fumble: 3

    Fumble Recovery: 3

    Sack: 6

    Interception: 6

    TD: 6

    QB Hit: 1

    Tackle for Loss: 2

    Safety: 3

    Blocked Kick: 3


    I’ve used both scoring setups and have no hesitation recommending either. I do tend to lean towards IDP123 more due to the higher points for tackles. It’s a personal preference. I just enjoy linebackers scoring a lot and the Roquan Smiths and Fred Warners of the NFL receiving their full due in IDP.

    It can also be easier for newcomers to adapt when certain players generate value and they’re easy to identify. For example, linebackers who wear the green dot and are the main communicators/leaders of the defense see a high percentage of snaps. The more time a player is on the field, the more opportunities to rack up tackles or force turnovers. It’s not that much different than wanting to start a receiver that’s frequently targeted or a running back that takes a ton of rushing attempts.

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    As far as actually putting IDPs on teams, a draft or auction are straightforward options. This should be voted on as a league, so everyone has a say in how to distribute these players. An auction is probably the most fair way because if each team has a set amount of funds to bid on players, the playing field is level. However, a draft can bring more parity to the league. A linear setup with the worst teams from the previous season can really push those bottom teams up. Snake drafts, where the last team in each round then makes the first pick in the next, fall somewhere in the middle of those first two ideas in terms of fairness/parity.

    There you have it. The three steps to implementing IDP in your league: 1) Starting Lineup 2) Scoring System 3) Dispersal Format. Once you’ve nailed down those decisions, the next thing to do is have fun! Football is a two-sided game and you are taking your fantasy football experience to the next level by choosing to play with IDP.

    Thank you for reading my article on how to transition your league into an IDP league! Follow me on Twitter at @BigSteveFF and the @IDPGUYS main account! For the best articles and fun IDP + offensive fantasy football banter, please consider becoming a subscriber

    Steve Scholz

    Born and raised in Chicago. 3rd generation Packers fan. Besides my full blown fantasy football addiction, I’m an avid outdoorsman. Married to the love of my life and puppy dad to our two GSPs, Otto and Gus.

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