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Building a dynasty/Defense wins championships (1 Viewer)


I want to begin by saying that I am not an IDP expert. Although I have been playing in leagues that use IDPs for quite some time now. As a football fan and unorginized player in pickup games I have always favored defense over offense. One of my favorite quotes (forget where I 1st heard this) is that offense is a disease and it only thrives if the defense allows it to. The defense will dictate to the offense what it is allowed to do. And any good defense shouldn't let an offense do crap except maybe keep the ball long enough to punt. That is if the offense is carefull enough with the ball to not have it taken away from them. Of course this was before the No Fun League made rule after rule that favors the offense. Teams used to go through Qb changes a lot more than they do now because defenses would often break them. Still remember with anguish my home town Vikings in the playoffs against Joe Cool and how estatic I was when we finaly knocked him out of the game.. only to have Steve Young replace him and make a huge scramble that lead to the go ahead score when I thought we had the 9ers beat by knocking out Montana.

But anyways not what this thead is about. Just giving a little background on my perspective.

What I would like to discuss in this thread is how do people build a IDP dynasty squad from scratch? Where do we place value on different positions and why? Where does that fit into our approach to offensive players on our rosters and what kind of balance do we look for? This is going to be a work in progress and I will add more thoughts to it as they come to me. Often times spurred from what others may bring to this thread once it gets going.

The 1st thing you always have to look at is what are your scoring rules?

I play in leagues that are not that IDP heavy. They have fairly good balance but offense on average will score 60% compared to defense 40%. I think most people here are familiar with Zealots Field rules and scoring and those are the rules I play by. I know some of you here are much more hardcore IDP enthusiasts, but for me this scoring system has been very thouroughly thought out and offers a very balanced mixture of value for all player positions across the board. While a very strong IDP squad in this format cannot dominate on its own, it can cover a lot of weaknesses.

One of the 1st things that people will notice when comparing FF players on offense to players on defense is that there are a lot more IDPs scoring on a weekly basis than there are on offense. Every snap there are 11 IDP players that can make a play compared to only 6 players on offense. Thats close to a 2 to 1 ratio and because of this plays made by IDPs are fewer than what the skill players have for opportunities. That is without even considering down and distance substitutions made on both sides of the ball which spreads these opportunities even more.

So what your looking for in a IDP player is a player who will be on the field during all down and distance situations. A player who has a prominant role in the defensive scheme to make plays and a player who has the talent to execute when they get those opportunities.

This doesen't mean neccessarily that the best IDP players are the best defensive players on thier team. Sometimes that is not the case at all. But the players you want do need to at least be good enough to keep thier jobs and role in the defense. And idealy be players that will not spend time on the bench costing them opportunities to make plays.

Defensive Linemen

Defensive linemen tend to make the fewest plays out of the 3 major IDP positions. Because they are the players directly engaging with the offensive line and are constantly having to defeat blockers to make plays at all. DEs tend to be the better playmakers than DTs who are more often double teamed. A defensive lineman who consistently makes tackles on a weekly basis and over multiple years of thier career is a special player indeed. Very few Defensive linemen can do this especialy over a span of several years. Those few players who can should be coveted because they are rare talents especialy when you consider most defensive schemes have roles for thier Dlinemen to tie up blockers and disrupt blocking schmes while covering thier responsibility at the point of attack so that another player (ushualy a Lber) is free of interference to make the play. Most of your significant scoring for Dlinemen is going to come from sacking the Qb and in most cases this favors the DEs who are ushualy a teams best pass rushers.

Unless your leagues scoring is very high for sacks Dlinemen tend to be the least valuable of the IDP positions for all the reasons I described above. If you are fortunite enough to get a Dlineman who makes a lot of tackles/sacks they are very valuable because of the VBD #s they provide over the rest who will generaly all be fairly closely packed together.

I think it is always important to keep your eye on free agent Dlinemen because they can be very streaky. And players you have on your roster are often not performing better than some of the free agents available. Be carefull not to cut your players to quickly because as I allready said thier performance can be very streaky. Often times if you believe in your Dlinemans talent you just need to ride out thier cold spells and wait for the plays to come for them. But at the same time don't get too attached to your players if you see a free agent available that is outperforming them. Defensive linemen really take a beating and even the best will have cold spells in thier production that could last a month or more. Sometimes your better off just going with the fresh player who has some fire in thier belly. Look for reasons why your Dlineman might not be performing right now. For example a DE who normaly has a good bookend DE opposite them in a 4-3 defense.. if somthing happens to the bookend DE that might cause offenses to shift thier blocking more to nuetralise your DE and that might be why he is struggling to make plays. Sometimes it is the DT who normaly plays next to him. Or maybe your guy has a minor injury keeping him from playing full strength. Or it might have to do with the teams he has been playing against. If the DE is good they might not be running as often to his side or the offense may be chipping him with a Rb and/or a TE. Keep in mind too that your player might be playing well as normal but might be flushing the Qb or Rbs away from him to other defenders who then make the play.

So what kind of priority/value do people place on Dlinemen?

Normaly for me they are my least valued players. However for Dynasty having one or 2 elite Dlinemen can give you a serious edge against the rest of your compitition. A few years ago when doing an initial draft for dynasty the 1st IDP player I chose was Julius Peppers. He was one or 2 years into the league at that time and had proven himself to be an elite DE but still very young. A franchise DE like Peppers is a very rare thing in the NFL. There are just not very many that have that much talent. Teams in the draft every year spend high 1st round picks hoping to get a player like that but they rarely ever turn out to be as good as hoped for. They might be decent and will still play a lot for that team and be ok but very few actualy can produce consistent pressure and make plays like a Peppers/Strahan/Jason Taylor/Bruce Smith/Reggie White. That is how rare they are that I have to dig into decades of the past they come around so seldomly. So if you get one I would do what you can to hang on to him as an uber elite DE can solidify that position for you for a very long time.

Draft position is not always where these players come from either. Aaron Kampman was a 2nd day pick by the Packers in 2002. He did nothing significant for his 1st 2 years in the league. This is an observation I have made about young DEs is they generaly go have a learning curve of 3 years before they become adjusted to talent at the NFL level. Part of this has to do with strength conditioning and bulking up to be able to play at this level where almost all offensive linemen are 300+ pounds of mean. And pass rushers in college do not typicly have to deal with that and can be successful playing at a lower weight. Another general observation I have made is that good pass rushing DEs tend to be in the 260-275lb range. It is rare to have one who is above 280 and a consistent pass rusher. Those players are few and far between. So generaly you may do well to target players in the 260-275lb range as pass rushing prospects.

Back to Kampman. His 15.5 sacks this year may be fluke. But he has posted better than average tackles for 3 years straight now so that alone is good reason to keep him and keep playing him for the consistent numbers he brings each week. I would generaly rather have a Dlineman who is consistently making tackles while occasionaly getting a sack here and there than a pass rusher who does little in terms of contributing tackles because of that players inconsistency.

So I don't consider Kampman to be an elite player like Peppers is, but he is a solid blue chip player worth hanging on to. Time will tell if he will now be putting up double digit sacks again moving forward. I kind of doubt it but its possible. But he is still a great player to have because of the tackles.

Jared Allen is another player kind of similar to Kampman who was a 2nd day pick but posted great tackle numbers in his second year. If Tamba Hali continues to improve then these 2 will be able to feed off each other and Allen's sack numbers may rise into the double digits again.

Mike Rucker in his prime was somewhat similar to what Kampman has been the past 3 years. He is old and fading now. But I don't think it is coincidence that Peppers numbers fell off after Rucker got hurt this year either.

I wish I had time to focus in on every defense in the league and every player. But honestly I don't. I have to pick my battles here. Players fly under my radar all the time. I can only see so much.

Aaron Shobel, Leonard Little,Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis I consider to be more of a pass rushers than Kampman or Allen, but they have posted pretty good tackle numbers at times. I think part of this stems from how bad the Bills offense was in the case of Shobel. This is somthing you always have to keep in mind also. A IDP playing for a team that is typicly losing time of possesion gets more opportunities to make plays for you because the defense is on the field longer. As far as Leonard Little goes he got TOP ops because of how quickly the Rams offense would score. A DE who plays with a team that scores well will be in more pass rushing situations than a low scoring team as the opposing offense will have to pass more to keep up. When you look at Shobels numbers what you see is that his numbers have been improving but his tackles are down this year because I think they used him in a rotation more to keep him fresh. With Little what you see is his tackle numbers improved as the rest of the defense struggled. Leading to longer possesions. The same situation for Freeney and Mathis as thier defense has struggled to get off the field. But Freeney has played much better prior to this year when the defense is most often playing with a lead.

Some DTs particularly under tackles in a cover 2 scheme can get a lot of sacks and decent tackle numbers. Players like Warren Sapp in his prime, Rod Coleman, Kevin Williams and Shawn Rodgers recently have put up solid numbers. Trevor Pryce did well in his early years as a UT with Denver but did not do as well when moved to DE. That is until he went to the Ravens this year. Same thing happened with John Randle he was very good as a UT for several years but not as good as a DE.

I think the DTs get beat up even more than the DEs do and this wear on them makes thier windows of productive seasons shorter than the good DEs who take less of a beating. I would like to hear peoples takes on this who play in leagues that require DT starts though and what they look for. And do you agree with my observation about them not lasting as long at a high level as DEs do?

Whenever a new coach takes over a defense you have to expect some sort of change in scheme and how that may affect a IDP for better or for worse. Things to look for are if the coach is saying things about Dline gap assignments and focusing on playing the run or if they are talking about shooting gaps and being agressive. Don't read anything into coaches talking about thier defenses needing to be more agressive though. They all say that.

What other things do you look for when a coaching change happens? What about defensive scheme and the IDPs role in it? For example when a player is moved to another position in the defense or when the defense changes like the Ravens moving to a 46. What were the results of the change on IDPs in the past that could be clues to what to expect from similar situations in the future?

DL summary-

1. Look for DEs who post good tackle numbers. They may not be as high of scorers as the ones getting a lot of sacks but the sacks may come. Consistency is hard to find at this position.

2. Be paitient with young DEs. It often takes them a couple years to bulk up and gain 3 down role in the defense. Mark Anderson is a great rookie prospect whos tackle numbers may improve as he gains size and bigger role in the defense.

3. Dlinemen tend to be lowest scoring IDPs except for a select few. Once you have one don't give them up in trade because they are hard to find.

4. Dlinemen are streaky. Don't be afraid to cut a guy you have for waiver wire replacement but be aware that the guy you allready have may be just a game away from putting up numbers like some of the free agents. Try to weed out the flukey players that got lucky TD off fumble recovery but latch on to those who force fumbles getting passes defensed and decent tackle numbers. That shows the player is performing and big plays may be on the way.

5. I ushualy try to use a later pick in rookie drafts to pick a Dlineman every year. Sometimes you can catch lightning in a bottle. Don't be too attached to your rookie though if someone on the wire if performing better.

6. I have rarely found Dlinemen in 3-4 defenses to be good plays. Generaly look for DEs in aggressive 4-3 schemes. Has anyone seen good performance from a 3-4 Dlineman? What do you look for in them?


During a initial draft Lbers are normaly the 1st IDPs taken. Becuase they are ushualy the highest scoring IDPs overall. You can view your Lbers as being similar to the Rbs of the defense. You need to get high tackle numbers consistently from these players in order to have a good defense.

I ushualy will sluff the Lber position somewhat waiting for my opponents to decide when they will draft the 1st IDPs. When they do I may continue to take offensive players still for awhile and target lesser Lbers in good situations later to make up for it. Overall I think I have been fairly successful doing this but it does make me more suceptable to injury or my players being beat out later by younger talent.

Generaly when looking for Lbers you want the MLBs who make the most tackles. Some MLBs are not very fast and not good in coverage though and will be subbed out on 3rd downs. You want the MLBs who play in nickle defenses more than these 2 down MLBs.

MLBs on teams with strong DTs are more free to make plays so pay attention to the players in the middle up front. If the team has weak DTs the MLB is more likely to be blocked by the center or guard releasing from the line of scrimmage. This becomes more/less of a problem if the MLB is below/above 250lbs. A fast MLB without proper protection from the DTs is going to be blocked more effectivly than a larger stronger MLB who can take on blockers more effectivly. MLBs in cover 2 defenses are not always as good as a MLB in a normal 4-3 alignment because they will have deep coverage responsibilities similar to a safety at times and also because the DTs are trying to penetrate the Oline and pressure the Qb instead of holding up blockers and protecting thier gap. This leads to blockers getting on the MLB more often as the DT passes them by.

Weak side Lbers from cover 2 defenses ushualy make a lot of plays because the scheme is designed to leave them more free of gap assignments and coverage responsibilities. Often times WLB can score competitivly with MLBs in this scheme as long as they are talented enough. Derrick Brooks, Lance Briggs.

ILB in 3-4 defenses are a bit tougher to figure out. According to Jene the LILB in most 3-4 schemes functions similarly to the MLB in a 4-3 as the RILB often has to shift out to the weak side of the formation to fill the void made by the ROLB when they are blitzing (happens often). In other 3-4 schemes (such as the Cowboys)the RILB or "Jack" Lber has a more prominent role against the run. When I watch the Cowboys I see Ware blitzing a lot however so I am not sure exactly how this frees the RILB from coverage responsibilities in the flat/middle? When Lawrence Taylor and Peppers were with the Giants Taylor would often blitz as well so would need Jene to fill in more information about how this might work. Right now I don't know. The Patriots have been converting defensive linemen to play the ILB roles with success making them very capable zone blitzers and perhaps having less coverage responsibilities than a traditional ILB in a 3-4 might have.

OLBs in 3-4 schemes are used often as blitzers to generate pass rush. Good pass rushing OLB can get you good points when they make sacks but they tend to be more erratic in thier production and not make as many tackles as a MLB or ILB or even a WLB in a 4-3 scheme. There are some exceptions from the best of the OLBs such as Merriman or Porter.

Generaly strong side Lbers are the weakest of the group to have but not always. It takes a special player to overcome the disadvantage of being in this position however because they ushualy have coverage responsibilities on the TE, Rb or slot Wr and they are also more likely to have to deal with blockers on strong side alignments.

I have listed the different Lber roles in order of preference for me when drafting/trading/looking for free agents. This is a general guideline of expected performance based on defensive scheme however if a player has more talent that can trump the order of role in my preference. For example Karlos Dansby or David Thornton @ SLB.

Having Lbers on teams with poor offense or quick offense leading to TOP disadvantage is good for your Lber production. They will be on the field more giving them more opportunity to make plays. Having a Lber in this situation who is one of the better players on a poor defense helps thier production also. As they are less likely to stop the offense from converting 3rd downs. And therefore have more opportunities to make plays.

Not saying that Lbers from good defenses cannot also be strong IDP plays. But when thier defense forces 3 and out more often it decreases thier opportunities. If they are making big plays like interceptions because of the strength of the defense though, that will of course make up for it.

When scouting Lbers look for players with good instincts rather than just pure physical ability. It matters a lot for this position that has to quickly read if the play is run or pass and anticipate the flow of the play. I have seen so many Lbers who have great measurables but fail to make plays because they are not reading it correctly or quickly enough.

It used to be the sentiment of defensive coordinators that the MLB position was one that took time to learn. Because in most 4-3 defenses the MLB is like the Qb who calls audibles for the defense based on what he sees presnap. The trend for rookie Lbers from my observations was that they would often start out at SLB which had the clearest role and thus easiest to learn. The MLB and WLB have more read responsibilities that DCs did not want to trust to rookies. Well that is now a thing of the past. Free agency in the salary cap era has sped up coaches needs to get more instant results from thier draft picks. And many rookies now start thier careers at the Lber position they are drafted for right away. Therefore rookie Lbers make more of an instant impact now rather than going through a slower development to success.

Because of this in rookie drafts the top Lbers get drafted end of the 1st round-2 round. If enough talented prospects are drafted into favorable situations with opportunities to start they probobly should all be drafted before teams turn to other IDP positions or lesser offensive talents. Because of thier opportunity to make immediate impact for your team. That has not been the case in rookie drafts that I have participated in though. What I have seen is the elite talent (as projected by scouts) Lber Db and Dline prospects are drafted 1st. Ushualy by the end of the 2nd round in a 12 team league. Then the lesser Lbers and other IDPs are taken in following rounds.

When considering the value of IDPs compared to offensive players I think IDPs are typicly undervalued by most people including me. This is somthing I am trying to come to grips with, learn from and correct. When one considers a borderline Lber1 and Many of the Db1s in my scoring system is getting about 8pts/game. That is better than or equal to most Wrs and Rb2s. And the way they are scoring primarily from tackles is a pretty consistent and steady weekly production one can expect from them. Many times this is more stable than how a Wr produces for you. It is not that difficult for an IDP to amass multiple tackles over the course of the game. And then you have the big plays that occasionaly happen and give your steady scoring some spikes such as FF FR PD sacks and interceptions. I think many times the steady production of top level IDPs is more reliable than your offensive players getting good yardage and TDs.

Yet even so the prevolent thinking seems to be that if you have the opportunity to trade IDPs for offensive talent you should do so. IDPs are undervalued because there are so many of them and so they are percieved as being more replaceable. I find myself questioning if this reasoning is sound however when I consider that if I can roster multiple IDPs that perform in the top 15 at Lber and Db I can expect more steady production similar to having many borderline top 12 Wrs performing for me every week. Without as many ups and downs in performance and likely for a smaller investment in resources than it would take to aquire as many high level performing offensive players as long as the perception of offense players being worth more than IDPs prevails.

One thing about IDPs in dynasty in respect to age. Age is always a big issue in dynasty leagues. But when it comes to defensive players, they tend to get better with time. The more experience they have the craftier they become. Of course age always catches up with them at some point and thier physical skills decline to a level that thier bodies cannot do what thier mind is telling them to do anymore. When this happens the change is pretty abrupt. I have seen many IDPs perform at a high level well into thier 30s. So I wouldn't let age 30 scare you off. IDPs are plentiful and free agent replacement or backup could be secured for when your crusty vet does finaly fall off the edge. I don't think it is as important to recycle IDPs based off of thier age as it is for offensive players.

LB summary-

1. Lbers are the most important IDP position to have and therefore the most valuable. T/F?

2. The differing Lber positions are ranked in value:


WLB (cover2)


OLB (3-4)


3. 3 down Lbers are better than 2 down Lbers or specialists. You want the Lbers who play in nickle/dime packages more than the ones who don't.

4. TOP disadvantage is a plus for your IDPs.

5. Lber scoring from tackles (with big play bonuses) can be more reliable than yardage and TDs from offensive players. T/F?

6. Always trade IDPs for offensive players when opportunity presents itself. T/F?

7. IDP production does not decline as much do to age as it does for offensive players. T/F?

Defensive backs

I think of defensive backs as being similar to Wrs in the way the produce numbers for you. They are normaly not as consistent as Lbers but much better than Dlinemen. Defensive backs value should not be underestimated however because they do score close to as much as Lbers do. It is just that thier scoring comes from big plays more than steady tackles so it is harder to predict/expect. A defensive back will have up and down games because of the way the offense chooses to attack the defense. Just like your Wr might have a low scoring day against a good defensive back.. a defensive back might be avoided by the offense for a game when thier better Wr is playing on the other side of the field most of the time or if they have a tendency to run more to one side or another. .

That is at least in the case of cornerbacks. The safeties are different. They are in the middle of the field and have more variety in what thier roles and responsibilities are in the defense from game to game. I will once again list them in the order that I value the different positions keeping in mind that there are some exceptions.

A strong safety is normaly the Db who will score the most. They have more run support responsibilities and therefore make more tackles. Sometimes they will be used as blitzers off the edge or in the middle. Defenses and safeties will try to disguise when they are blitzing most of the time. So that when they do there is a good chance of them getting through unblocked. They also cover TEs Rbs and Wrs. So they have tackle opportunities against these players as well as passes defensed and possible interceptions. A SS is ushualy more of a hitter and most do not have as good of hands as corner backs or FS. Some of them do have good hands though and that combination can make for a elite IDP prospect when they are making plays in so many different ways.

Cornerbacks can be just as good as SS. Some of them make a ton of tackles in the right defensive scheme. Others make a lot of tackles because they are not that good and so Qbs throw to the players they are covering often. And they are making tackles instead of plays on the ball. The cornerbacks who make a lot of tackles will ushualy do so because for one they are very fast for 2 they are playing mostly zone defense and 3rd they like to hit. Not all corners like to hit though and some play more man to man coverage which forces them to follow the reciever rather than be looking to see if the play is a run or not. Cornerbacks rarely get to blitz so they are not as likely as SS to get sacks. But some very aggressive schemes will allow them to. Most of thier big plays will come off of interceptions. They are some of the fastest players on the field so they can score TDs because of this.

Free safeties normaly have the role of the last line of defense. They play center field and are not ushualy in a position to make plays unless the offense is having a lot of success going deep or they manage to make an interception. because of this they are ushualy the lowest scoring of the Dbs and thier scoring is much less consistent because it is more dependent on big plays. There are some exceptions like Ken Hamlin and a few other teams that use thier safeties more interchangably rather than clearly defined roles.

When drafting rookie Dbs many of them can make an instant impact. Rookie defensive backs get tested by offenses a lot until they can prove that there are other weaknesses in the defense less risky than trying to pick on them. They tend to improve on thier instant success from what I have seen as well unless there is a scheme change like we saw with Ed Reed who moved into more of a FS center fielder role in the 46D or a cornerback like Champ who Qbs may try to stay away from.

Defensive backs unlike Dlinemen and Lbers may see the best performance of thier careers in thier early years. As they become veterans thier performance may taper off and never return to as high a level again. Teams will choose to pick on younger less talented players over time thus hurting the overall performance of a veteran defensive back later in thier career. The position is also very dependent on speed except for in primarily exclusive zone schemes. So as a Db ages it may effect them more even losing a fraction of a step in speed. What we have seen recently is teams will move older Cornerbacks to FS. Where thier speed is not as much of an issue. This prolongs the players career but they take a hit in production many times from the role change.

1. Dbs do not score as consistently as Lbers do. T/F?

2. Dbs have down games because they are avoided by the offense. T/F?

3. The differing Db positions are ranked in value:




4. Rookie Cb or poor Cb rule of being picked on. T/F?

5. Dbs are better in the early half of thier careers than in the later half of thier careers. T/F?

It is very important to recognise how a change of IDP performance when role change in scheme occurs, when players change positions/roles in the scheme and what causes this to happen. Moves like this can happen suddenly and may not have anything to do with your IDPs performance but because of an injury or weakness at another position causing the move. For example Andra Davis being moved from LILB to RILB to replace D.Jackson @ RILB or Ed Reed being moved from SS to FS in the 46 or Vilma's switch from 4-3 MLB to ILB in the 3-4. Sometimes these moves are only temporary to cover an injury and will only impact your player until they are moved back to thier former role. Other times the moves are permanent and your IDP will never have the same performance again.

These positional changes can happen when a IDP moves to a new team as a free agent or when a new coach is hired and changes the defense. It's very important to watch these things closely in dynasty as your player who has been performing steadily at a certain level can totaly change when thier role in thier system or the system itself changes. Sometimes the change can have a positive effect as well when your IDP moves into a better role in the defense.

The reason I went in depth about my perspectives of each role of a IDP in the defense is to try to provide background on things you may want to look for when a IDP has a role change.

Vilma for example was a much more productive player as a 4-3 MLB than as a ILB. His strengths as a player are speed and instincts as well as playing with a team at disadvantage in TOP. The move to ILB requires more size and strength to take on blockers than his former role did. This did not fit well with his weaknesses. The offense also played much better and so he also lost the TOP factor in his favor before.

So look at the strengths and weaknesses of players and how thier new roles may fit or not fit them. That can give you clues about what to expect.

Offensive players roles are more clear paths to success than this because it is directly related to thier opportunities to get the ball which is based on thier talent more than the scheme unlike IDP production.

One final thing to say about IDP performance and role change. Your IDP may still be playing the same position/role as before but a change in production can happen because of a new player who steals thier thunder. This is more likely to happen to average IDPs who are producing at a high level because of lack of talent in the supporting IDPs around them. If the defense adds a player who is better than them, even if thier role doesen't change, they may not be getting to the ball as fast as the new player does and those weaknesses in the defense helping you average player to make more plays may not be a weakness anymore.

Conclushions and questions to come in a following post.. I think many of my assumptions/observations may be questionable. I hope that others here can point out these flaws and add on to things I have missed.

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Huh well I started this post as a request for a thread that would discuss player values in dynasty and what peoples thoughts are on building and reloading a IDP team. How people value IDPs compared to offensive players and what thier strategies and observations may be.

I know I am still not done with the original post. I will try to finish that tonight. But I wonder if my rant is just too general? Or why it has not spawned any discussion? Perhaps people are just waiting for me to finish the post or maybe I just do not have a clear enough direction and focus for the discussion I am not sure.

In any case that was what I wanted to do by taking the time to write down all my thoughts about this diverse topic. To generate discussion and because of my curiousity of other peoples perspectives on this. Not to just talk to hear myself speak.

I will try to complete the original post and then add another post following this one with a list of focused questions.

GB Steve Wallace taking over for Bubba Paris and stoning Chris Doleman the next year. :loco:

Helluva post. You put a ton of time into that and it really should be pinned as a primer for all IDP noobies--and vets alike. Good work. :wall:

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Novice2 said:
Great post.I have played with IDP the last two years but only has four a DL,LB,DB Flex.It is a free Dynasty and the Defense players Avg id say 5 points a game each but are very streaky.Sacks are scored higher thus DL make up the top scorers in the league.Do you have any scoring and roster system you would recomend that would have equality between Linemen,Backers and Backs?
I play in leagues where Defensive linemen tend to score less than the other positions because the scoring is more heavily based on tackles.Some others here probobly have a better answer to your question but I have seen scoring systems that have greater weight for sacks which helps the Dline more than the other positions except for 3-4 OLBs and a few other players that blitz a lot.Not sure if there is a better way to balance this out between positions. However normaly when I see scoring systems bending the rules to try to make positions more equal it ends up causing other imbalances between players that I do not think is worth it.Personaly I would rather have a scoring system that is balanced and fair to all players across the board and then look at which players hold more value in that system rather than trying to make the rules fit how players perform.For example I abhor points for receptions because of how it awards players twice for one event. Giving Dline double points for sacks or tackles compared to other positions would be a similar thing from my perspective and I do not like it.
What I would like to discuss in this thread is how do you build a IDP dynasty squad from scratch? Where do we place value on different positions and why?

For example do you draft/trade for your starting Lbers before looking at other IDP positions? Or use a different strategy? Do you think Lbers or another position is more valuable?

Where does that fit into our approach to offensive players on our rosters and what kind of balance do we look for?

For example when do you start drafting your 1st IDPs? Would you trade offensive players to improve your IDPs? Would you trade your best IDPs to improve your offense? Why?

What do you look for when comparing Defensive linemen to one another? Compared to other positions on offense/defense?

For example size speed age high tackles or sacks type of defense they play in?

What do you look for when comparing linebackers to one another? Compared to other positions on offense/defense?

For example size speed age high tackles or sacks/PDs/Interceptions type of defense they play in?

What do you look for when comparing defensive backs to one another? Compared to other positions on offense/defense?

For example size speed age high tackles or sacks/PDs/Interceptions type of defense they play in?

What is more important talent or scheme?

Why? How does dynasty effect your decisions compared to redraft?

What I would like to discuss in this thread is how do you build a IDP dynasty squad from scratch? Where do we place value on different positions and why?

I think a big factor, as previously stated, is the scoring rules. Given the influx of defensive players and the rotational shifts utilized by teams, finding those 3 down players is more pivotal than people may think just because it offers more opportunities. Brian Urlacher, Brian Dawkins, Troy Polamalu, Dwight Freeney, etc. have all been "consistent" in large part because of their ability to play 3 downs.

I place value on guys who have shown consistency or a good all-around game. A player with a solid all-around game can be more beneficial to getting opportunities to play 3 downs in comparison to a situational player who's too one dimensional and gets taken out on certain downs. I know that was a general answer and didn't really get to the heart of what you asked but I'll try to expand on the other questions.

For example do you draft/trade for your starting Lbers before looking at other IDP positions? Or use a different strategy? Do you think Lbers or another position is more valuable?

Again, it's all dependent on the scoring system but for the most part, linebackers offer the best ability to do everything. They can tackle, blitz for sacks, and get chances at interceptions so they give a team a better opportunity to get all-around value compared to a CB who only defends the pass or a DE who only rushes the quarterback.

As far as trading/drafting... I prefer drafting. It's better to build a nucleus from the start and progress through the season to trade for missing pieces. It's harder to go for the "weak" positions like CB/FS/DL and then try and trade for linebackers to shore that position up because you're basically acknowledging to the trading partner that you would be willing to give up more to get what you need. Your leverage ability dwindles if the other party is aware you can't lowball them when you need X player badly.

Where does that fit into our approach to offensive players on our rosters and what kind of balance do we look for?

I think if there are more defensive players than offensive players, it'd beneficial to stock up on the studs, even if it means taking a LB before a RB2 or WR3. It's all about the value you can get over your opponents and for me, personally, I try to get a balanced up and down squad with no real weaknesses. I like a team where I don't have to rely on two or three players to carry my squad to a win. As a result of that thinking, I'll often "reach" for an IDP player if I think I can get a similar scoring WR/RB/TE/QB in the next round or two.

For example when do you start drafting your 1st IDPs? Would you trade offensive players to improve your IDPs? Would you trade your best IDPs to improve your offense? Why?

For me, I generally start drafting IDPers when I have my core starters on offense set. So, that's usually 1 QB, 1 RB, and 2 WR. By then, I'll just start going BPA or lean towards going IDP 3 out of the next 4-5 rounds if I believe it will help my squad overall more than going offense.

I would definitely trade an offensive player for a strong IDP player, depending on scoring requirements. If an IDP player is averaging 13 FPPG and my offensive guy is averaging 11 FPPG, I'll make that trade because those 2 extra points could be key in a W in any week.

As for trading my best IDPers, only if I have the depth to pull it off, and like the above situation, the "value" in points is not that different.

What do you look for when comparing Defensive linemen to one another? Compared to other positions on offense/defense?

I usually leave DL last and given roster requirements, ignore them honestly. If I do grab a guy, I look at three things: 1 - Ability to rush the passer. Does he hurry the QB? Get sacks? Get double teamed? 2 - Situation. Does he play three downs and does his D Coordinator blitz often? If the Coordinator blitzes often, does that detract the totals from the DL player? 3 - Tackling ability. Is this guy just a pass rusher or can he also contribute to stop the run? This kind of ties in with the three down situation scenario.

For example size speed age high tackles or sacks type of defense they play in?

For rookies, I look at the first step. If scouting reports say the DL has an explosive first step, that keeps me reading. Next, I look at whether he can stuff the run as well. Can he make tackles? Can he break through his OL defender? Finally, I look at his speed. Does he have the closing speed or does he run a 5.00?

What do you look for when comparing linebackers to one another? Compared to other positions on offense/defense?

I hold LBs as comparable to my WR2/RB2. The three things I look for are: 1 - Three down situational player. Does he play 3 downs? 2 - Sideline to sideline speed. Does he have the speed? Is he a high motor character? 3 - Ability to play coverage. Is he a liability in the passing game? Can he come up with the INT or PD?

For example size speed age high tackles or sacks/PDs/Interceptions type of defense they play in?

For rookies, I love high motor characters because that tells me that they never take a play off or quit. I also look at the ability to play coverage. Did the coaches pull them out on passing downs? I also look at their 40 time and more so, their 3 cone drill. Do they have the ability to change direction quickly? Can they stop and start again if a RB tries to juke them?

What do you look for when comparing defensive backs to one another? Compared to other positions on offense/defense?

For this, I kind of compare them to my WR3/RB3 (maybe RB2 given the scoring). I like my defensive back to be able to play coverage but also not be shy about tackling the ballcarrier either. Also the defensive scheme helps. Does the coach use them to blitz often like a Dawkins/Polamalu? Does the coach have to give the guy "help" in coverage or can he hold his own?

For example size speed age high tackles or sacks/PDs/Interceptions type of defense they play in?

For rookies, I love ballhawks. I'll say that right up front. Give me the "coverage" cornerback who can knock the pass away because that tells me that they are aware of where the ball is and gives themselves chances at making the INT. I also love reading in scouting reports that the guy is willing/loves to make the tackle and play physical in run support. That tells me the guy isn't afraid to mix it up and can help him play three downs at a high level.

Many of the guys I asked about in the IDP rookie thread are decent solos but showed the ability to play the ball in coverage too.

What is more important talent or scheme?

I think a mix of both.

Why? How does dynasty effect your decisions compared to redraft?

In redraft, it's definitely about scheme and the ability for a coach to utilize his guys for three downs. In a dynasty, I think talent often rises to the top but they also need a scheme to play to their strengths. The Eagles give Dawkins a chance to blitz the QB and help a lot in run support whereas he may not get that opportunity if he played for the Miami Dolphins for example.

I have a different philosophy for Dynasty Leagues. I have a 3 YR plan and I go in knowing YR 1 will be a terrible year, but will be rewarded with the #1 pick in the draft.

In my 16 team dynasty we start:

1 QB

2 RB

3 WR

1 TE

1 PK

3 DL

4 LB

4 DB

So we start 11 IDP's.

My philosophy was to NOT draft any IDP's until there were no value picks on offense left. I am sure this is a very differnt aproach than anyone would have. I wanted to draft any YOUNG talent I could at a value spot and later trade at a higher value. I also planned on trading these players for a needed IDP. Plus I knew in upcoming drafts, a lot of owbers would be targeting a RB or QB....and I would only be concentrating on DEF. I planned on using drafts in YR's 2 & 3 to target DEF and planned on trading for DEF.



IDP's Picked / My Pick

RD 1 - 0 / (1.8 - C Williams - ouch)

RD 2 - 0 / (2.8 - T Brady)

RD 3 - 0 / (3.1 - L Maroney)

RD 4 - 1 (1) / (4.14 - A Johnson)

RD 5 - 3 (4) / (5.1 D Branch)

RD 6 - 2 (6) / (6.16 J Cutler)

RD 7 - 4 (10) / (7.3 V Young)

RD 8 - 4 (14) / (8.2 C Perry - ouch #2)

RD 9 - 9 (23) / (9.3 C Jackson - ???)

RD 10 - 7 (30) / (NO pick)

RD 11 - 8 (38) / 11.8 M Moore 11.15 B Calhoun

RD 12 - 7 (45) / 12.14 K Clemens

RD 13 - 7 (52) / 13.3 T Willimason

RD 14 - 7 (59) / 14.14 M Schuab

RD 15 - 4 (63) / 15.3 A Battle

RD 16 - 9 (72) / 16.14 Z Hilton ---OUCH

RD 17 - 8 (80) / 17.3 T Scheffler

RD 18 - 9 (89) / 18.14 C Wilson

RD 19 - 11 (100) / 19.3 J Feeley

RD 20 - 14 (114) / 20.14 M Nuggent

RD 21 - 8 (122) / 21.3 C Bradford

RD 22 - 7 (129) / 22.14 D Byrd

RD 23 I selected my 1st IDP. It was the 131st IDP overall. So basically all other teams had about 8 or 9 IDP's already.

Most IDP's I picked ended up being cut...the only players worth mentioning from RD 23 on for my team were:

26.14 Mike Bell

27.3 B Gradkowski

29.3 K Wimbley (1 IDP that panned out)

30.14 A Hodge (He might do something)

31.3 K Hamlin (another good IDP...for some reason I cut...terrible)

34.14 O Atogwe (still have him)

I ended up with a lot of young QB's (T Brady, J Cutler, V Young, K Clemens, B Gradkowski, M Schuab) (Caddy, Marobey, Mike Bell).

I then was able to trade these QB's and get IDP's + a TE.

My roster now (after trading my QB surplus) is:

* - Starter


Tom Brady *

Matt Cassel

Kellen Clemens

Matt Schaub


Joseph Addai *

Laurence Maroney *

Chris Perry

+ PICK 1.1 --- Adrian Peterson (Rookie)


Arnaz Battle

Deion Branch *

Torry Holt *

Chad Jackson

Andre Johnson *


Chris Cooley *

Joe Klopfenstein


Jay Feely *

Dave Rayner


Bert Berry

Andre Carter

Robert Geathers

Tamba Hali *

Aaron Smith *

Ty Warren *

Dewayne White


James Anderson

Eric Barton *

Ahmad Brooks

Stephen Cooper

Omar Gaither

EJ Henderson *

Abdul Hodge

Antonio Pierce *

David Thornton *

Kamerion Wimbley


Oshiomogho Atogwe *

Nick Collins

Brian Dawkins *

Chris Hope *

Jarrad Page

Bernard Pollard

Cedric Griffin

Pacman Jones *

To me IDP's are more of a hit or miss. I rather go out and draft best OFFENSIVE Player available....then trade those guys for better IDP's.

Plus...YOU GUYS KNOW YOUR IDP's....and can find steals later on or in free agency.

My theory is that EVERYONE knows the offensive players...BUILD that up. I don't want to compete with 16 owners on finding a QB or RB....I rather spend 1 or 2 yrs building a DEF while other owners are trying to find a young RB or QB. I feel in YRS 2 & 3 other owners feel they have BUILT their DEF....so a lot of TOP rookie IDP's are gonna fall.

Question....how many OFF players are drafted in first 30 picks in YR 2 of dynasty versus DEF?

Again...I just see BETTER value in YR 2 Draft for IDP's. Everyone else will be drafting QB's & RB's....and I will be able to pick TOP IDP's.

That's my CRAZY theory....your thoughts?

Year 1 I was 2 - 10. MY TE rank was 16 out of 16....and my DEF was 16 out of 16. I have traded to form new DEF above and added C Cooley. I am looking forward to YR 2 & 3 to build a STRONGER DEF. I feel Brady is solid at QB plus got the NE backup...and have some nice projects in Clemens + Schuab. I like the UPSEIDE of MY RB's....Addai + Maroney...and maybe A Peterson....my WR's are also VERY NICE...Andre Johnson + Holt + Branch. So I can now just concentrate on IDP's.

Sorry for rambling

I assume you traded Caddy for Addai since there is no one else on your roster that warranted giving up Williams.

Why trade for Holt? Holt is a top talent today. If you have a three year plan, I don't understand trading for a top WR today.

Seems like you're still very thin at RB.

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I still fell HOLT will be good for another 5 yrs. I traded away Caddy since I will be drafting another RB in Adrian Peterson. I feel 3 young RB's will be plenty.

I actually hope that Chad Jackson and Battle can become top 20 guys. I don't mind Battle as my #4.

Well RUN HARD you may or may not be suprised to learn that your philosophy of sluffing IDP talent for offense is a strategy that other owners I know of use as well. I think it is a decent strat also as long as you are successful in 2 things:

1. You actualy have an advantage on offense.

2. You have enough time to be constantly scouring the waiver wire for free agent IDPs.

In regards to your idea about building your IDPs through the following rookie drafts. Your going to need to continue drafting offensive players to reload. In fact your allready doing this in that you plan to take AP. And as well you should. But I do not see you catching up on your compitition through the rookie draft. They are going to draft Qbs Rbs and IDPs based off of when they present value just as they did in the initial draft. So I think your idea about this is flawed. One way you could make up ground through the rookie draft is if you have traded for additional rookie picks.

I think the way you can make up for not drafting IDPs much in your initial draft comes from the waiver wire. 16 teams X 11 IDP starters = 176 players starting every week. I am sure more than 176 IDPs are rostered. That means that your free agent pool for each of the 3 main IDP positions is allready at least 60 players deep. Your looking at players who are Lber 60+ being available. While with some diligence I am sure you can mine a few prospects that will help you I still think you have dug quite a hole for yourself compared to the rest of your compitition. Your chances are really not very good to mine a free agent who will become a top 16 at thier position. Especialy with 15 other owners combing free agents as well..

Some rookie IDPs do make an instant impact so you may be able to aquire a top 16 IDP player that way. But the rest of your leaguemates will be scouting those players too. Teams with successful records picking at the end of the 1st round probobly have pretty balanced rosters. They will be picking rookies based on value more than based on need. I think you will see some of these teams use thier 1st round pick on the best IDP player available when the top offensive talent is gone.

Other rookie IDP talent will take longer to develop. You are going to have to have some paitience with your later IDP rookie picks and wait for them to pan out. And make the best use of all of your rookie picks. Because really the only advantage of your strategy is that you will have high rookie picks in each round because of losing record.

Some advice. Be careful not to trade away your rookie picks to cheaply as you have allready set yourself up for your rookie picks to have higher value than average. Also do not be too quick in trading away the young talent you have drafted. You need to build around some players with staying power to become successful in later years. If you keep trading your talents away you will continualy be drafting high from losing seasons.

I know of some other owners who use the build for the future or rebuild strat in Dynasty leagues. For example study Kegs rebuild thread or EBFs posts on the offensive side of the ball. I agree with EBFs philosophy for building long term you want to secure good Qbs and Wrs because they have more staying power long term than Rbs do. Keep Brady for sure. He will last you a long time I think.

Well RUN HARD you may or may not be suprised to learn that your philosophy of sluffing IDP talent for offense is a strategy that other owners I know of use as well. I think it is a decent strat also as long as you are successful in 2 things:1. You actualy have an advantage on offense.2. You have enough time to be constantly scouring the waiver wire for free agent IDPs.
3. Other teams will trade IDPs for offense. Rarely do I see a team willing to trade offense for an IDP. However, most owners are willing to to trade a legit LB1 or LB2 for picks or O prospects.You obviously wouldn't do this trade often, or it would defeat the purpose of loading up on O in the initial draft, but if you have an eye for offensive prospects, it might behoove you to grab those prospects others haven't seen yet, and when they are known, trade them for a LB who was drafted a lot higher. (i.e., if you were lucky enough to draft Colston, Jennings, or Cotchery late, what kind of IDP package do you think you could get for them now?)
I don't want to compete with 16 owners on finding a QB or RB....
Did you know any of the dudes in your league?This is a good point. In internet leagues, where you don't know the dudes you are playing, its really hard to know who the sharp dudes are who know their stuff. It at least takes a few rounds, and even then you don't have any history to go on. In local leagues, or redrafts, you know which Bears fan is gonna take Urlacher at 3.04 and which Jet fan takes Vilma at 3.06...and which guys follow position runs, etc., etc.I agree with your idea and wish I had followed it myself.In a new league this year I just couldn't help myself....I drafted 6 of the top 10 LBs around picks 100 to 180 and ignored young prospects at other spots...just because I could not ignore the value there. In retrospect, I should have taken the Michael Turners and Mike Bells and been confident enough I'd be able to acquire viable starters later at D.More guys come calling lookin for RB/QB/WR than for DL or LB.
This is a great thread Biabreakable – I added it to the FAQ a couple of weeks back. Been meaning to get back to this thread when I could devote the time it deserved. Before I forget Biabreakable, you may get more answers on some of these very good questions if you post one or two leading questions per week and let the masses chew over them. Many of my thoughts on building an IDP dynasty went into an article that was posted last pre-season. It was subscriber content though, so I don’t feel comfortable posting large excerpts during the same season.

Anyway, Biabreakable and some of the others in this thread share the bold type in my playbook.

1. Get studs, hold studs.

Consistent studs win – offense or defense. Don’t give up on stud IDP talent because of age unless you get equivalent value or better in return.

2. Get talent, hold talent.

It’s okay to waste roster spots on Sean Jones and DJ Williams and Barrett Ruud and Demorrio Williams. See #1. The ceiling on these players is high enough that they’re a better use of roster space than a borderline depth player that you can grab any given week.

3. Know schemes and the opportunity they provide.

No explanation necessary. You all know how much of a geek I am about this.

4. Recognize replacement level when you see it.

See #2. Let somebody else waste roster space and put a replacement level player who had a lucky couple weeks or fluke prior season. These players don’t push your team closer to winning anything.

You must also know your league tendencies and scoring system to accurately determine the value of any given player in your particular situation, but I can trace any number of other subtle roster, draft, and lineup decisions to the four generalities above.

Some responses to posts earlier in the thread that caught my eye:

I have rarely found Dlinemen in 3-4 defenses to be good plays. Generaly look for DEs in aggressive 4-3 schemes. Has anyone seen good performance from a 3-4 Dlineman? What do you look for in them?

There are usually one or two breakthrough 3-4 ends each season (Aaron Smith, Orpheus Roye, Ty Warren). But there’s just too much working against them (responsibility within the scheme) for them to consistently have high fantasy value. It’s just too difficult for a 3-4 end to sustain 50 solo tackle or 7-8 sack production. I made the argument that Ty Warren should be a prime sell high candidate in one of the polling threads. I’d only consider rostering a 3-4 end if he’s shown he can consistently get off blocks and has enough speed to consistently collapse the pocket. Right now, the only player I’d consider rostering from this group is Luis Castillo and he probably derives as much of his worth from the studliness of his surrounding cast than his own elite skill set.

Weak side Lbers from cover 2 defenses ushualy make a lot of plays because the scheme is designed to leave them more free of gap assignments and coverage responsibilities. Often times WLB can score competitivly with MLBs in this scheme as long as they are talented enough. Derrick Brooks, Lance Briggs.

The comment about WLB in the Tampa-2 being in position to make more plays is correct. Just to clarify though, the WLB has a gap responsibility in run defense and has more than the usual coverage responsibilities. The WLBs value in this scheme derives from the importance of pursuit (the scheme tends to spill plays toward the backside) and the fact that a good coverage WLB is often in a better position to make plays on pass receivers because of the way the Tampa-2 coverage works (MLB drops toward the deep middle zone giving the two OLB larger areas of underneath zone coverage responsibility).

In other 3-4 schemes (such as the Cowboys)the RILB or "Jack" Lber has a more prominent role against the run. When I watch the Cowboys I see Ware blitzing a lot however so I am not sure exactly how this frees the RILB from coverage responsibilities in the flat/middle?

This won’t be an issue any longer. Parcells ran a much older version of the 3-4 than any other team in the league. If Wade Phillips is hired, it’s likely that he’ll bring a more balanced version of the scheme, making the LILB the better option again. Anyway, it’s not “freeing the RILB from coverage responsibilities” that generates the value here. It’s how Parcells uses the two positions to stop the run. I’m not technical enough to do the X and O for you, but the result is that the RILB doesn’t have to take on as many bigger blockers as the LILB and gets the benefit of making plays in pursuit.

Always trade IDPs for offensive players when opportunity presents itself. T/F?

I’m not a fan of absolutes. I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but I’ve traded offense for defense many times. Some will say I overvalue IDP studs or undervalue offensive “potential” but I look at every deal in the context of what my current team direction is and the value of the players involved. If the IDP gives me a better relative advantage (now if I’m winning, later if I’m rebuilding) than the offensive player, I want to be on the IDP side of that deal. I understand it’s much more difficult to find a young QB than a top ten DB in the draft/free agency/waivers but I’m trading Rex Grossman for Kerry Rhodes all day long.

The differing DB positions are ranked in value: SS > CB > FS

Again, I’m a stickler for scheme and against general rules as a byproduct. IMO, more than any other position, you’ve got to consider how a secondary player is used and how well his skill set matches his usage before rostering any given DB. There’s a lot more detail in a few 2006 posts and my weekly column, but generally speaking in standard leagues you should be looking for…

… an in-the-box SS with some coverage skills

… the new tweener, a hybrid FS or SS who is solid in run support and very good in coverage

… a CB who’ll support the run and has the ball skills to make boxscore plays in coverage

All of the above are skill set and scheme dependent.

What do you look for in each position?

With the obvious caveats that scoring system matters and the opportunity a given scheme matters…

4-3 DE: Willing in run support. Plays with leverage, able to disengage from a blocker, solid in pursuit. Knows how to get to the quarterback. Usually a solid edge rusher but has an array of pass rush moves. Helps to have a surrounding cast to prevent frequent double teams. Doesn’t play in rotation.

4-3 DT: Undertackle and/or scheme and skill set that allows penetration on run and pass downs.

3-4 DE: Able to disengage from blockers and play the run. Some ability to rush the passer. Talented surrounding cast.

4-3 LB: Sideline-to-sideline range. Aggressive hitter and sure tackler. Instinctive with above average playing speed. Plays well enough in coverage to be a three down player. Pass rush and big play ability a plus. Usually MLB, but scheme may elevate the value of a WLB or three down SLB.

3-4 LB: See above. Usually LILB, but scheme may elevate the value of the RILB. Consider 3-4 OLB only if elite pass rush skills coupled with enough ability in run support and coverage to assure a reasonable solo tackle line.

CB: Willing in run support. Good ball skills, recovery speed. Value elevated in schemes that require corners to support the run actively. Surrounding cast can elevate the value of a second line or rookie corner (targeted more frequently).

S: Sudden and physical in run support. Tackles well. Able to hold own in coverage. Ball skills to make plays. Pass rush capability a plus.

Good idea Jene about posting single questions here and letting people discuss those specifics for awhile instead of throwing the whole enchilada at them at once. :lmao:

One question that has been squeeking the hamster wheels in my brain lately is older IDP players and how long do they last before thier numbers fall off?

Zach Thomas for example. This MLB has put up monster numbers for such a long time. When will he decline? He is 33 years old allready and will be 34 entering next season, yet he is still putting up monster tackle numbers that compete with the best of the best consistently every year.

I think older players carry more value in dynasty on the defensive side of the ball than on offense for 2 reasons:

1. Defensive players rely more on instinct and experience in reading and reacting to the offense or anticipating what the offense will do. I think this is more important than using ones physical ability to beat your opponent.

2. There are more IDP players available to roster than skill players on offense that get playing time. This makes a old player more easily replacable on defense than a skill player on offense.

There may be more reasons than these 2 but I think both are these are significant enough to give older IDPs more value than you might for offensive players.

Tick brought up a 3rd reason why older IDPs may hold more value longer because teams keep them in position to make plays while younger players who are less proven are more likely to have scheme effect thier ability.

What is the age level for different positions that we should expect a decline?

I think it may be at an earlier age for defensive linemen than for other IDP positions. Dlinemen need to rely on physical ability a bit more than the other positions playing off of the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs when they lose speed have been being moved to safety positions lately which helps them maintain or sometimes even improve on thier numbers. As well as extending thier careers.

It would be great to see a historical study on this and I would love to hear peoples thoughts on when they expect different IDPs to decline.

Many more good points above Biabreakable.

I'm not too concerned with a decline for a stud IDP. I think the peak value line on the stud IDP curve is pretty broad for a healthy player and I'm happy to keep them around until they flame out. First, I'm usually confident I can find a playable replacement. Second, it's not easy to move an "on the brink of decline" player like Zach Thomas or Michael Strahan for big value like you sometimes can a Marshall Faulk or Shaun Alexander.

True long term stud IDPs are "football" players. They have superior instincts and all-around skill sets that help extend their careers by compensating when they lose some of their "measurable" talent.

I do pay close attention to back and lower body injuries that may become chronic. If a guy is getting a little older has a cranky neck, back, or major lower leg injury (eg Achilles, severe knee cartilage injury, more than one groin injury, Lis Franc problem, etc) I'm looking for an insurance policy to roster.

I wish I had time for a full blown study. I really would like to pin this one down with some facts about what age players, particularly elite players at each position see a decline.

Just going off memory and impression here but the fall off seems to be very abrupt to me in my recolections. The player will keep playing at an elite level until 33, 34 ect. then the following year retire instead of the more slow and painful to watch decline we see from offensive players.

Reggie White for example. He was still clubbing Olinemen and crushing the Qb right until the end. Lawrence Taylor, Pepper Johnson, Carl Banks and Mike singletary kept making tons of plays even when they lost some of thier burst of speed.

Ronnie Lott and Bruce Smith switched teams at the end of thier careers to keep playing. The decline was more gradual I think with them but they played a couple years longer than most do I think also. Playing until somthing like age 36 IIRC.

I am just trowing out a guess here but it seems like 33 or 34 is when IDPs hang it up.

Based on peoples perceptions in the polls it seems that people think Strahan is done.

Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, Fletcher, Ray Lewis and Donnie Edwards are all guys reaching that age now. They all had great seasons still. So this is evidence that the elite players keep putting up great numbers even as they get older. They don't gradualy fall off. The Chargers were talking about letting Edwards go last offseason presumably because of his age now. Edwards has been the best Lber in my leagues overall when looking at his numbers over the past 3 years. Not even close to declining yet but maybe next year he falls out of the top 10? The top 20?

One of my favorite all time players Rod Woodson breathed new life into his career moving from cornerback to safety with the Ravens and put up great seasons with the change.

I would love to see a more extensive study on this and I welcome people to add thier thoughts to it as well. Maybe there are some examples of earlier decline I am not remembering. Maybe I am looking at this with glasses of a rosy hue. I am not sure. I know I tend to remember the good things much more than the bad.


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