IDP Draftmasters: Advanced Strategy

This year Fake Pigskin are running IDP Draftmaster leagues! Click here for more information on these free to enter leagues designed to encourage new IDP players to take a shot at it without any season long commitment!


After looking at the basics of draftmaster strategy in the last article with Matt Rittle (@FFRittle), now it’s time to see how throwing IDPs into the mixer might change your strategy.


Firstly, let’s look at the scoring system being used on defence, this is the same scoring system I use in all of my IDP league and you could call it ‘big play heavy’ (For a detailed breakdown of this scoring system click here)

Solo Tackle: 1pt

Assisted Tackle: 0.5pt

Tackles for Loss 2pt

Hit a QB: 1pt

Sacked a QB: 5pt

Forced Fumbles: 4pt

Interceptions: 8pt

Passes Defensed: 1pt

Blocked Kicks (FG, Punt, XP): 6pt

Safeties: 10pt

Any IDP TD: 6pt

Without going into it, this scoring system is going to reward your players for making big plays – so where should you contemplate taking JJ Watt? How many LBs should you draft?


The IDP starting line up rules are as follows:

DL x 3

LB x 3

DB x 3

So in total you will be starting 9 IDPs per week. With a total roster limit of 32 and offensive players to consider, this needs to be managed carefully to get the most out of your positions.


An image of sheer beauty, especially if you own Troy Polamalu

An image of sheer beauty, especially if you own Troy Polamalu

Defensive Line:

This is a position you need to target early in your drafts because a handful of DEs are going to get 15+ sacks this year, it’s your job to decide which. Although this is technically a ‘DL position,’ the value is largely at DE, think of it as a ‘WR+TE’ position – how many TEs are you going to draft ahead of WRs?

On a weekly basis, DEs are going to score erratically, but in this format that isn’t an issue. I would get at least 1 stud DE if you can, and then steadily fill the position (minimum of 4 on your roster to cover bye weeks) as the draft goes ahead. The best DTs are Atkins, McCoy and Suh. Aaron Donald might be a late sleeper. You will mainly be selecting DEs though and hoping for the multiple sack weeks to push up your score.

In my opinion, getting a premium TE would be equivalent to getting a premium RB. You can wait, and take the risk, but I wouldn’t want Reggie Bush to be my RB1, just like I don’t want Brian Robison as my DE1. Don’t go crazy, but I’d take a DE in the first couple of rounds if you feel the value is there. JJ Watt and Robert Quinn are good examples, scoring 250 and 261.50 points respectively last year. The next highest was Greg Hardy with 191. These two are like Jamal Charles and LeSean McCoy, or Calvin Johnson. They separate themselves from the pack. There are plenty more to find, but that deduction is down to yourselves. I would own 5-6 DEs on your roster.



Linebacker is a position like no other, in that it has the boom and bust of guys like Von Miller and the safe consistency of guys like Patrick Willis. Now Matt Rittle told us to get value and I think this is the position where it will tell the most. Don’t rush too early on LBs, as there are more than enough in the NFL to provide all 12 teams with 3 or 4 solid guys. However the pass rushers should be more sought after. A group consisting of at least 2 pass rushers and 2 interior tackling tanks would be a good strategy. Look for upside, but don’t chase it too hard at the expense of other positions.

Tillman is a good Corner, but don't grab DBs early in IDP leagues.

Tillman is a good Corner, but don’t grab DBs early in IDP leagues.

The difference between the best and average LBs is small, and there are few tiers to see in terms of total points scored. For example LB10 last year scored 195.50pts, LB50 scored 125.00pts and LB80 scored 89.00pts. Such a steady decline in points is very rare, and indicative of the fact that 32 NFL teams have 3 or 4 starting LBs every game. Comparably, WR10 last year scored 185.40 pts, WR50 scored 90.20pts and WR80 Scored 55.70 (Non-PPR). This sharp drop is a mix of fewer WRs starting each game and play and also a more volatile position with clear tiers. Value is found for LBs who start on all 3 downs and pass rushers, but aside from a handful of pass rushers and disruptive players, LBs can be selected at a lower priority than DEs and most offensive positions. In terms of numbers, 5-6 would be an appropriate number for your final roster.


Defensive Back:

DBs are an enigma in fantasy football, so don’t look to take them early in these leagues. They all have upside so long as they are starting – and all have the potential to make those INTs and Pick 6s to bolster your weekly score. Hunting for INTs is foolish, prioritising ballhawks is not. Generally I would advise taking safeties over CBs, as they are in a position to get picks and will get you a few more tackles, especially strong safeties. Finally, I would only draft 4 of these guys to cover bye weeks. They are indeed the kickers of IDP football.


Roster Examples:

Below are some roster examples by position that you might like to try. Bear in mind you must fulfil the minimum roster requirements and cover bye weeks.

Minimum Requirements Balanced Roster Offence Heavy Roster IDP Heavy Roster
# of QB 2 3 3 2
# of RB 3 5 6 5
# of WR 3 6 7 5
# of TE 2 3 3 2
# of DL 4 5 4 6
# of LB 4 6 5 7
# of DB 4 4 4 5
# of Off. 10 17 19 14
# of IDP 12 15 13 18
Total 22 32 32 32


You can see here that after fulfilling your roster requirements there are 10 spots to play with. You can do this as you see fit and build your roster however you wish. The above are just some examples of how you may approach the draft. Don’t forget to watch bye weeks and injured/suspended players in your draft.

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Find Matt on Twitter @FFMattLane or leave comments in the box below!




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