It may seem to be an insurmountable task, turning your fantasy league into an IDP league. Lets look at some of the reasons why you might want to, and what you should consider before doing so.
With the sound of the buzzer, your fantasy football draft starts and a flood of excitement surges through every member of your fantasy football league. All the mock drafts, articles, and podcasts you researched were in preparation for this very day! As you click the mouse to make your first selection, you realize while things are just getting started in your draft you also know how quickly the draft will come to an end.
Running back, wide receiver, running back, tight end, quarterback, the same rotation of players being selected over and over again until you get to the dreaded point in your draft where you only have two selections left. You know which two I’m talking about. The two that signify this magical event known as your “fantasy football draft” is about to end. With the second to last click, you select your kicker.
With your final pick your team D/ST. That’s it. Your draft has ended.
But…. what if it didn’t?
Consider Expanding Your League
What if, instead of ending, it was just beginning? What if there were other positions out there that would require extra preparation to learn about? And what if there were other players that would give you the advantage you needed to dominate your fantasy football league? The good news is there are and there is!
I present what is known as an IDP or Individual Defensive Player league!
In an IDP league, you have several positions on the defensive side of the ball that you can select from to add to your starting roster alongside your offensive players. For starters, you have three main categories of defensive players: Defensive Lineman (DL), Linebackers (LB), and Defensive Backs (DB).
Under the defensive lineman umbrella, you have two player categories: Defensive End (DE) and Defensive Tackle (DT). For those unaware, defensive ends have only one main objective: rushing and sacking the quarterback! Nothing makes a fan feel better than when their team’s pass rushers take the opposing team’s quarterback and DRIVES HIM TO THE GROUND!
Defensive tackles, on the other hand, have a couple of jobs. For starters, one of their jobs is to draw the attention from the other team’s interior offensive linemen allowing the defensive ends to have better one-on-one opportunities against the opposing team’s offensive tackles so that they can mount an effective pass rush. Another role of defensive tackles is to literally take up space in the middle of the line of scrimmage to prevent running backs from rushing up the middle by making plays called stuffs.
In balanced IDP scoring settings, defensive ends typically earn more fantasy points than defensive tackles due to sacks counting for more points than stuffs, but each IDP league is different. If you wanted, you could make stuffs and sacks count for whatever you want. It’s all relative.
This idea of “IDP relativity” is something we’ll come back to later.
Next up, we have linebackers. Their roles can vary from patrolling the middle of the football field playing in pass-coverage, making tackles closer to the line of scrimmage, or even rushing the passer. Without getting into too much football theory, depending on the orientation of the defensive scheme, some linebackers are more beneficial from a fantasy football perspective than others.
For example, in tackle-heavy IDP scoring settings, linebackers that play closer to the line of scrimmage are in a better opportunity to accumulate higher tackle numbers than those that play more in pass coverage. In big-play IDP scoring settings, linebackers that sack the quarterback when rushing or those who make interceptions while playing in pass coverage earn more points for those plays than in other scoring settings.
How are all these scoring settings possible? You guessed it…IDP RELATIVITY! I promise I’ll explain this concept soon.
Finally, we have defensive backs. These players are the last line of defense in every scheme. The two main categories of defensive backs consist of cornerbacks (CB) and safeties (S). The cornerback’s role is to guard the opposing wide receiver, preventing him from making catches at any area of the field. This position is valuable in IDP leagues that reward a high number of points for interceptions and another scoring category known as passes-defensed.
Safeties, the other defensive back category, can technically be broken down into two further categories, free safety and strong safety. Free safeties play more in pass-coverage whereas strong safeties play closer to the line of scrimmage. Thus making them primed for more tackle opportunities. Deciding on which type of safety to target in your fantasy drafts all depends on how your IDP scoring settings are set up. Again… IDP Relativity.
Ok, ok, ok…FINE. I’ll finally explain what that means.
Unlike in non-PPR, 1/2 PPR, or PPR offensive scoring settings which are pretty standardized across multiple platforms, there is no such thing as a standardized IDP scoring rubric. Needless to say, this can cause confusion amongst IDP fantasy managers everywhere. However, ironically, the thing that causes the most confusion amongst IDP managers can also allow for the most creativity!
Instead of being stuck in one traditional way of doing things you can set up scoring settings for IDP leagues without having to worry about upsetting other members in your league for deviating from the norm.
And THAT is IDP Relativity!
Just like when you first started playing fantasy football, you had much to learn about offensive players and which ones to add to your roster. If only you had a resource RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU that could help prepare you to enter the IDP world confidently so that when it’s time for your IDP draft you can select the best players available for your team. If….only.
Needless to say, everyone here at IDPGuys.org is here to help you on your way to fantasy football success!
Hopefully, this primer has gotten you interested in transitioning your league into an IDP league. Feel free to reach out to all of our writers individually on Twitter or on our website’s Twitter handle, @IDPGuys, for all of your IDP fantasy football needs! You can reach me @FantasyFBJorge on Twitter!