IDP Sales Pitch: Why You Should Play IDP in 2021

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Why is IDP the next step for you? Let me give you the full sales pitch.

Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues have been gaining in popularity. While not for everyone, IDP leagues add an entirely new level of strategy — and enjoyment — to fantasy football. If you have never played in an IDP league before, they can seem confusing and maybe a little intimidating.

Many are hesitant to play fantasy this way, so I'm here to tell you all you need to know to get started playing IDP.

My Fantasy Journey

I come from a non-sports family. Neither of my parents or siblings played a sport long-term. Once I started playing basketball during recess in the fourth grade, I was introduced to a whole new world. The kids I played with would talk about and pretend to be their favorite NBA players. I discovered channels like ESPN.

Soon enough, I’d watch any professional game that I could, in any sport. This began the eternal struggle of me trying to watch all the sports I could and my family trying to watch anything else. 

When I got into high school, playing football and basketball kept me involved in sports. Around this time, I found fantasy football. I joined a league, and Eli Manning was one of my first picks — only because I had heard his name mentioned a lot on ESPN. I casually played throughout high school.

My descent into the labyrinth of fantasy football began in 2010. A good friend wanted to start a league together, so we gathered some friends and went for it. I’d always get bummed out at the end of each season because I wanted more. 

After the 2011 season, I discovered dynasty fantasy football. The entire concept of dynasty enveloped me, feeling like I could have more of that General Manager experience. My first startup draft was in the summer of 2012. We included IDP, due to my aforementioned friend and I loving defensive football.

I relied upon the little information/ranks that were out in the world. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn’t. I started spending a lot of time in the Dynasty League Football forums, specifically the IDP one. My sense sharpened and my knowledge of patterns in IDP scoring grew over time. 

My love for IDP, however, came quickly and I’ve never looked back. I know many are hesitant about IDP, but I’d like to lay out five reasons why you should join an IDP league this year.


The IDP Sales Pitch

1. IDP gets you out of your comfort zone

Benedict Cumberbatch summed it up by saying, “Not to be in your comfort zone is great fun.” Offense is so comfortable because it has more appeal/popularity. People prefer to watch a 48-45 shootout than a 13-10 slugfest. So, coverage follows the crowd, and offense has more discussion and analysis. That makes it easier to stay on the offensive side of the ball.

Getting to know defensive players is hard because most people are used to watching where the ball goes. It feels a little unnatural to tear your eyes away from the football, but when you do, you see a lot more of the chess match that these NFL teams play.


2. Playing IDP increases your football knowledge

You gain a deeper knowledge of football when you understand the defensive systems and the players within them. This alone will make you better at your decision-making with your offensive players. Instead of just knowing if a defense is relatively good or bad, you’ll be able to see situations that are exploitable.

You’ll know which LBs are a liability in coverage that may allow you to have more confidence plugging in your third-down back. You’ll know when a player injury may really soften up a tough defense. Overall, you get a more well-rounded view of the game of football.


3. IDP promotes more invested football watching

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Justin Herbert and the offense stalled out on a drive. You pick up your phone and start scrolling, or get up and grab a snack. You don’t have any players on the opposing offense, so you’ll get some stuff done while you wait for the Chargers' offense to take the field again. But then you remember — "I joined an IDP league."

You have Derwin James on your defense and Joey Bosa comes screaming around the edge hitting the QB as he throws it. The football floats. Derwin picks it off. Points, points, points. Playing with IDP, there is rarely a game that you won’t have some sort of investment in, even in those 13-10 slugfests.


4. IDP gives you more players to know and love

Playing fantasy football makes you feel a strong connection to players. We all have stories about "my guys" and the battles we go through with them. Who doesn’t want more friends? When you play IDP, you connect with guys like J.J. Watt, Luke Kuechly, NaVorro Bowman, Aaron Donald, and Jamal Adams. More players = more fun. Guaranteed.


5. More IDP content coming out than ever before

Never have there been more analysts putting out IDP content than ever before. Here at IDP Guys, we’ve dedicated ourselves to ensuring that more IDP content is available for managers to consume. We’ve been where you are — frustrated that there isn’t a standard scoring setting and the values of players are very dependent on the league.

Our custom scoring tool for projections and previous years' stats is extremely useful. It gives you actionable information specific to YOUR league. Our subscription includes a Slack channel where you can discuss specific trades, start/sit questions, and anything else with our team and other IDP players. More podcasts, websites, and Twitter accounts are popping up every day with a focus on IDP.

In Conclusion

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That's it. There's my IDP sales pitch.

You’re going to make “I drafted Eli Manning in the first round” types of mistakes. So what? You’ll quickly acclimate and have an even more well-rounded General Manager experience. And if you don’t? Then at least you know. On the other hand, you could become like me and rarely ever play in a non-IDP league again.

Did I convince you? Did my IDP sales pitch work? Can I help you find an IDP league to join? Start the conversation with me on Twitter @FantasyOutlaw or in our IDP Guys Forum. Make sure to check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel, Facebook groupInstagram, and TikTok for all of your fantasy football needs. If you have specific questions – my DMs are always open! Thank you for reading!

Fantasy Outlaw

IDP Dynasty player since 2011. Devy/C2C since 2018. Family is everything. Californian. Love making pizza. Colts & Clemson. Insanely high on Trevor Lawrence.
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