Fantasy Football: IDP Draft Prep and Insights

Standard League IDP Prep Insight Notes
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 16: Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris flanked by Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson #27 and Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers #23 during the Los Angeles Rams Super Bowl LVI Championship parade on February 16, 2022, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

Continuing to assist the novice and rookie managers new to the NFL’s defensive side of the ball. Or adding more prep information for those novices who didn’t. We’re releasing our IDP league manager prep notes. And as the insider veteran writer. As a new or novice manager, when you hear the league and player observations. Strategies for drafting and understanding the tendencies will come easier.

Hows this work? You already know what could take a few years to figure out. And that’s an advantage you can’t help but apply once you read it. It’ll always be set in the back of your mind. And over those, managers only focus on getting the team drafted or patched up the first time. Or while our second or third-year managers are struggling and don’t realize all this yet.

Underdog Deposit Bonus

These IDP manager notes go hand in hand with our Top 9 Drafting Tips. And covers the general information for standard formats, with 12 teams and definitely under 45 bench spots. And the score settings are irrelevant in this case. Unless a sack-heavy or huge splash league is in place, this changes the flow of players, league flow, and manager tendencies.

NFL Player Pools

Linebacker (LB)

The upper realm of NFL stud players is scarce compared to the entire serviceable field. In 90% of the scoring formats used, this position always occupies at least 50% of the top 64 producing IDPs each year. This position can be very productive, with even an average NFL linebacker playing it.

The upper 12 linebackers are more security blankets than they are necessities, unlike their offensive counterparts’ values, like wide receivers and running backs.

Defensive Back (DB)

This position reflects the linebacker field when it comes to the vast player pool. And takes a back seat in overall position production. This field may actually be deeper and more readily available. But its upper realm player’s values take a back seat to almost all upper realm DLs and LBs.

And its offensive value varies more on if you happen to be trading a top 5 option or not. One for one trade observations. Think backup offensive player for 95% of the field.

Defensive Line (DL)

The upper realm of NFL stud players is scarce compared to other IDP positions. Between true defensive ends and tackles that make up the normal player pool. Only around the top 16 each year are reliable options. And beyond that, things drop off tremendously in terms of consistent production.

Defensive tackles average around 3 to 4 of the top 16 DLs, capping the position as a whole comparably. And other than that top realm of DLs. They have no very little trade value when acquiring offensive players.

Dual Positions

Some sites like the Sleeper App offer dual positions. Our best option. Always try and use the LB/DB position and their ceiling in their designated DB position. Our other best option always uses an LB/DL as a DL play.

This maximizes the ceilings of your positions based on each individual’s dual value. As an added bonus, bye week options at two positions equals carrying less depth. It does slightly increase the player’s value versus the offensive players we mentioned.

Waiver wire

IDP players occupy the biggest majority of all waiver wires. Comparable to offense, when we are looking at T3 and T4 WRs, RBs, and TEs on the wire. Where still looking at a vast majority of IDP options and likely plenty of solid T2 types left. So there are plenty of reserves, depth, and bye-week plays.

And as for offering sleeper and breakouts, compared to the offensive side. Each season brings around a 4 to 1 ratio of IDPs succeeding over offensive players. Be it an opportunity or injuries.


New and novice managers tend to draft IDP too high and overthink when to start drafting. Letting the “names” and stats clutter the field. And they do not consider the dynasty or retrade values to differ. So a real high draft pick never pays back trade dividends unless it’s IDP for IDP.

They avoid older players that aren’t well-known “names,” especially in dynasty leagues when many still have a two or three-year window. And will continue to a lot of IDP weight in the box score.

Managers hold onto failing players too long in redrafts. And need to apply a three-week and gone assessment. Harboring draft or trade values and the hope they turn it around. At the same time, the fantasy football season continues to roll on. And the waiver wire is being plucked clean of so many viable replacements. But yet picked clean of all the hotter options making it even harder to recover.



Site, IDP League prep, drafting Average Draft Positions” can really be unreliable. Because by the time all the die-hards draft in the spring and early summer to work and set it. And then we’re mixing the veteran, the bad, the novice, and the rookie managers. And it’s normally always during the peak of the draft season.


Any rankings offered by a respectable site are better than their ADP counterparts for the upper realm of players. At least there should be a professional behind them. And not unreliable drafting averages set by anonymous managers.

Default Settings

Default IDP settings vary greatly sometimes from site to site. But one thing we know is they work in tandem best when using their projections. Their defaults are the core of their projections and ranking model. And any changes may vary from model to model.

Myth Busters

All DBs are not created equal in the eyes of the league. Not only are there very, very few consistent plays. But even those results vary from season to season. They take a second seat to not just most safeties but even lower-tier players in other positions. And 99.9% of all league’s waiver wires are flooded with them. Watering down the value to nothing.

All LBs are not created equal either. We have our tackle based inside linebackers and our sack related outside linebackers, which are only referred to in the base 3-4 NFL scheme a lot of teams use. Not sure which you’re looking at? Don’t question that major site’s rankings and projections, and forget the rest.

To succeed early on, novice managers should know something about how a defense unit works. This is a bust every day a new fantasy football owner tries IDP that never studied or played the game.

We have to have our IDP league rosters filled with stud plays to compete. The player pool is so deep nowadays, and proved this wrong for years now. The IDP plays only need to be able to support the offense well. And really is who is determining how your season’s tempo goes.

IDP Rankings – Tier 3 Targets

The IDPro Players Podcast

So there we have it, NFL fantasy football fans. A long-time veteran writer’s personal observations I’ve noted over the year as many managers have. And also noting. If nothing I mentioned, or at least 75% of it doesn’t fit in your league IDP prep when you look at your league’s waiver wire and such.

Your league may be in the standard league IDP prep box we set. And likely is more than just a standard format. Or the IDP league just not reached that realm yet.


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