Luke Kuechly

 

 

If you’ve read my previous articles about Individual Defensive Player leagues (IDP), then you know that I think these leagues are much more fun than standard leagues, where you’re only worrying about offensive players, kickers, and team defenses.  That being said, probably 90% of the leagues out there don’t include IDPs in their leagues, but for those 10% that participate in them, this is the weekly column for you!

 

 

 

This column will basically be a synopsis of what’s happening in the IDP landscape and players you should be targeting.  I know that there are many IDP leagues where you may only have a couple of defensive players and others where you can have as many as 10-15 starting for you.  For that reason, I’ll recommend adds in small (1-2 IDPs), medium (3-4) or deep (5+) leagues.   IDP leagues have different positional requirements as well.  Some leagues will let you draft any IDPs you want, regardless of position, where others may make you draft one DL, one LB, and one DB, or something similar.

In general, the most valuable IDPs are players who rack up a ton of tackles, which means LB are the most valuable, followed by DB, then DL.  A solo tackle is generally worth twice what an assist is.  Players who get a lot of sacks will be valuable as well.  Interceptions are hard to predict so I put less value on players who get a lot of those.   Some leagues use passes defensed (PD) as a stat, as well as TFL (Tackles for Loss).  Those will factor a small amount in my recommendations, which will be broken down by position.

This week I’ll give you my positional rankings for the rest of the year.  These rankings may not line up with the season stats but there are some players who have really come on strong the last couple of weeks and should remain top performers the rest of the season.  There were a few serious injuries to major defensive players (Ray Lewis, Sean Lee, Charles Woodson, Jon Beason, D.J. Smith) in the last two weeks so these rankings have been shaken up somewhat because of it.  You can safely drop all five of the players mentioned above.

DL: (only going to list four here, if your league demands you play a DL then just pick up the one with the most tackles and/or sacks)

  1. J.J. Watt, DL, HOU – 34 tackles, 9.5 sacks (leads the NFL), 2 FR and 10 PD.   The defensive player of the year so far.
  2. Jason Pierre-Paul, DL, NYG – 26 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 4 PD, 1 FF.  3 sacks in the last 2 weeks.
  3. Robert Quinn, DL, STL – 16 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 PD, 1 FF
  4. Jared Allen, DL, MIN – 19 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 PD, 1 FF.  3 sacks in the last two games

LB: (if you’re in a league that is not position-defined, then almost all of your IDPs should be LB)

  1. Daryl Washington, LB, ARZ – 62 tackles (2nd with 54 solos), 6 sacks, 1 PD, 2 FF.  2nd in my book behind Watt in the DPOY race.
  2. NaVorro Bowman, LB, SF – 67 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, 5 PD.
  3. Chad Greenway, LB, MIN – 68 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 PD.
  4. Jerod Mayo, LB, NE – 72 tackles, 1 sack, 1 INT, and 2 PD. The leading tackler in the NFL.
  5. James Laurinaitis, LB, STL – 69 tackles (league leading 57 solos), 0.5 sacks.
  6. Patrick Willis, LB, SF – 58 tackles, 5 PD, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR
  7. Luke Kuechly, LB, CAR – 51 tackles 3 PD, 1 INT, 1 FR (Beason now out of the year, has probably lost his MLB role to Kuechly for good)
  8. D’Qwell Jackson, LB, CLE – 46 tackles, 3 sacks, 4 PD, 2 INT, 1 FR, 1 TD.
  9. Vontaze Burfict, LB, CIN – 48 tackles, 1 sack, 2 PD, 1 FR.  30 tackles the last three weeks.
  10. Clay Matthews, LB, GB – 27 tackles, 9 sacks, 1 FF and 1 PD.  2nd in sacks.
  11. Perry Riley, LB, WAS – 57 tackles, 1 sack, 6 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR
  12. Dannell Ellerbee, LB, BAL – 43 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 PD, 2 FF (will be filling in for Lewis)
  13. Nick Barnett, LB, BUF – 57 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 FF
  14. Sean Weatherspoon, LB, ATL – 46 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 PD, 1 FF, 1 FR
  15. London Fletcher, LB, WAS – 59 tackles, 1 sack, 5 PD, 1 INT.
  16. Akeem Ayers, LB, TEN – 60 tackles, 1 sack, 3 PD
  17. DeMarcus Ware, LB, DAL – 30 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 3 FF, 1 FR
  18. Paul Posluszny, LB, JAX – 51 tackles, 5 PD, 1 INT
  19. A.J. Hawk, LB, GB – 56 tackles, 1 sack (will man the middle now that both Desmond Bishop and D.J. Smith are out for the year)
  20. David Harris, LB, NYJ – 57 tackles, 1 sack, 2 PD, 1 FR
  21. K.J. Wright, LB, SEA – 54 tackles, 2 PD, 1 FF
  22. Jo-Lonn Dunbar, LB, STL – 40 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 PD, 1 INT, 1 FF
  23. Bobby Wagner, LB, SEA – 50 tackles, 1 sack, 4 PD
  24. Russell Allen, LB, JAX – 51 tackles, 2 PD, 1 FR
  25. Curtis Lofton, LB, NO – 59 tackles, 1 sack, 2 PD (Vilma coming back hurts him)
  26. Derrick Johnson, LB, KC – 50 tackles, 1 sack
  27. Lance Briggs, LB, CHI – 37 tackles, 1 sack,6 PD, 2 FF, 2 INT, 2 TD
  28. Karlos Dansby, LB, MIA – 46 tackles, 1 sack, 3 PD
  29. Jerrell Freeman, LB, IND – 55 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PD, 1 INT, 1 TD, 1 FF
  30. Mason Foster, LB, TB – 48 tackles, 1 PD, 1 INT
  31. Lavonte David, LB, TB – 49 tackles. 1 PD
  32. James Anderson, LB, CAR – 49 tackles, 1 PD
  33. Wesley Woodyard, LB, DEN – 48 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 PD, 1 INT
  34. Phillip Wheeler, LB, OAK – 48 tackles, 4 PD, 2 FF, 1 FR
  35. Stephen Nicholas, LB, ATL – 39 tackles, 2 PD, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR
  36. Von Miller, LB, DEN – 26 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 PD, 1 FF
  37. DeMeco Ryans, LB, PHL – 47 tackles, 1 sack, 2 PD, 1 INT
  38. Donald Butler, LB, SD – 35 tackles, 1 sack, 2 PD, 1 INT, 1 TD
  39. Justin Houston, LB, KC – 21 tackles, 6 sacks, 3 PD, 1 INT
  40. Rey Maualuga, LB, CIN – 58 tackles (only 30 solo though), 1 PD
  41. Paris Lenon, LB, ARZ – 41 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 PD, 1 INT,  1 FR
  42. Koa Misi, LB, MIA – 34 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 FF
  43. Ryan Kerrigan, LB, WAS – 20 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 PD, 1 INT, 1 TD

DB:

  1. Cortland Finnegan, DB, STL – 47 tackles, 1 sack, 7 PD, 3 INT, 1 TD.
  2. Antoine Winfield, DB, MIN – 55 tackles, 1 sack, 6 PD, 2 INT
  3. DeAngelo Hall, DB, WAS – 48 tackles, 1 sack, 6 PD, 2 INT, 1 FR
  4. Jordan Babineaux, DB, TEN – 52 tackles, 4 PD, 1 INT
  5. Roman Harper, DB, NO – 43 tackles, 1 INT, 5 PD
  6. William Moore, DB, ATL – 40 tackles, 1 sack, 5 PD, 2 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR
  7. Madieu Williams, DB, WAS – 49 tackles, 5 PD, 1 INT, 1 TD
  8. Reggie Nelson, DB, CIN – 54 tackles, 2 PD, 1 FF
  9. Tramon Williams, DB, GB – 38 tackles, 10 PD, 2 INT
  10. Bernard Pollard, DB, BAL – 51 tackles, 1 sack, 4 PD, 1 INT
  11. Buster Skirne, DB, CLE – 49 tackles, 7 PD
  12. George Wilson, DB, BUF – 48 tackles, 2 PD
  13. Morgan Burnett, DB, GB – 49 tackles, 2 PD
  14. T.J. Ward, DB, CLE – 41 tackles, 1 sack, 1 PD, 1 FF
  15. LaRon Landry, DB, NYJ – 50 tackles, 3 PD, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 TD
  16. Malcolm Jenkins, DB, NO – 46 tackles, 1 PD
  17. Kam Chancellor, DB, SEA – 49 tackles, 3 PD
  18. Eric Weddle, DB, SD – 33 tackles, 1 sack, 3 PD, 2 INT, 1 FF
  19. Alterraun Verner, DB, TEN – 41 tackles, 3 PD, 1 INT, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 TD
  20. Charles Godfrey, DB, CAR – 39 tackles, 2 PD, 1 INT, 1 TD
  21. Kurt Coleman, DB, PHL – 40 tackles, 4 PD, 2 INT
  22. Mike Adams, DB, DEN – 41 tackles, 8 PD, 1 FF, 2 FR
  23. Tim Jennings, DB, CHI – 31 tackles, 10 PD, 4 INT
  24. Atari Bigby, DB, SD – 41 tackles, 1 PD, 1 FR
  25. Rahim Moore, DB, DEN – 40 tackles, 1 PD

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