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Daily Fantasy Football IDP Overview

Becoming increasingly more popular in fantasy football leagues, IDP formats are a big contrast from the typical single D/ST setup of most leagues. Fantasy users will have to do much more research each week if they want to get into IDP and succeed, however. IDP fantasy players and defensive players in general do not get as much attention, meaning some lesser known guys could be quietly racking up the points each week. Additionally, the IDP format is an unproven format among the very successful daily fantasy players, which could lead to a fair playing field for amateurs. This could lead to substantial opportunity for outsized winnings and opportunity for all types of daily fantasy players.

However, this less recognition means fantasy players really have to dive into statistics to find good players. It is also an interesting difference between D/ST or offensive players as you may actually end up rooting against your player or his defense, as a shutdown corner that doesn’t allow many pass attempts will have a limited fantasy score.

In addition to the factors mentioned above, the daily IDP fantasy football format at RedraftHero could work as a hedge to your existing traditional formats. For example, one user could hedge a number of matchups they have with their cash game lineups in traditional formats with a smaller number of daily IDP fantasy football contests under the Kelly Criterion. More of a season long player? Play season long IDP fantasy football and redraft your team each week. Not up to that commitment? Play in a 4 week league or even an 8 week league. Choose your timeframe.

Daily IDP Fantasy Football Strategy

The most important thing to look at for beginners trying to get into IDP is how the scoring is setup. This will take some getting used to as it is fairly different from the standard D/ST in most leagues and from picking offensive players. Some leagues will award points differently for tackles, sacks, and turnovers, which will change which positions you should target more. In most leagues tackles are the most important stat for getting points, meaning linebackers will get the most opportunities to rack up points. Some IDP formats also give points for return TDs, so targeting a DB with a return TD possibility makes them much more valuable. IDPs typically have much less reliance on the team around them than other positions or D/ST, so good defensive player on a bad team will still have as many opportunities or more to make plays and get tackles. Interceptions, turnovers and defensive TDs are much rarer and vary greatly from week to week, so picking players that will get tackles will provide the most consistency. You should look however at teams that cause more turnovers, as defensive players will get chances at a loose fumble or deflected interceptions. Just like offensive players, you are going to want to target defensive players that are going to be on the field a lot. Part of this is picking guys on teams that have poor offenses which will cause the defense to be on the field longer, and the other part is picking guys who play most of the snaps and aren’t a part of rotations. Finally, you are going to want to play matchups week in and week out. For example you don’t want to pick a run stuffer on a team that is pass heavy, or where the defensive team will have a big lead as they will simply pass the ball late in the game. Vice Versa, you don’t want to pick a pass rusher against a run heavy team or a team that will likely be winning late in the game as they will run the ball and the clock out. Knowing how points are scored and looking at matchups are 2 huge ways to give yourself a huge advantage each week.

Daily IDP Fantasy Football Positional Strategy:

Defensive End: When you think of defensive ends and putting up points, most people probably think getting sacks is the most important thing. This is a fairly accurate  notion as the top 4 defensive ends in sacks (Watt, Pierre Paul, Mario Williams, Everson Griffin), all ranked in the top 7 in fantasy points per week last year. However, just like any position in Fantasy football it is going to come down to matchups. For example, picking a pass rusher against the Jaguars is a great idea as they gave up 71 sacks last year, and are more than likely going to be losing the game which will force them to put the ball in the air. On the other hand, picking a guy that solely relies on pass rushing against Peyton Manning and the Broncos isn’t a good idea because his quick release resulted in him being sacked only 17 times last year. This can go for any defensive ends, but you are going to want to target them against teams with weak Offensive tackles as that is who they will be getting matched up against. Then you have guys like Carlos Dunlap who can certainly get sacks (8 last year which was 11th best among DE’s), but really makes his value in getting tackles (40 solo tackles, 26 assisted tackles). Guys like that you are going to want to pick against run heavy teams as that is where they are going to get all those tackles. This can go for any position, but especially defensive line and linebackers as they have about a 1% chance of tackling a WR on a pass play. Again, sacks are huge for defensive linemen as that’s where most of them make their bread and butter, but ones who can sprinkle in a bunch of tackles are the ones that you really want to target.

Defensive Tackle: Defensive Tackle might be the hardest position to pick because overall they just have a lower impact fantasy wise on a game (Suh was the top DT last year and only averaged 7 fantasy points per game). Keeping that in mind, I think this actually a great position to spend bigger on as like TE, the elite guys are just far superior than their counterparts. They might not score as many points as DE’s (much like TE’s don’t score as much as WR’s), but the difference between the top guys and lesser guys is significant. This is because most DT’s are either run stuffers (get 0 sacks), or are pass rushers (get minimal tackles and are out there on passing downs). For example the top 5 sack guys for DT’s (Dareus, Suh, Donald, Marks, McCoy), 4 of them excluding McCoy were all in the top 15 for total tackles among DT’s. What this shows me is that they play in all situations of the game, and aren’t specialty type players. Also for defensive tackles, you are once again going to want to target teams with poor interior offensive lines (guards and centers). If you are picking specialty players make sure you are picking run stuffers against run heavy teams (Texans), and make sure you are picking pass rushers against pass happy teams (Colts). That might seem simple, but with IDP, a lot of people just go by name recognition vs. the matchup at hand. There are some good value plays to start the year, but as the year goes on, I really believe that this will be a position to spend a decent amount of salary on.

Linebackers: Much like defensive ends, when people think of the top LB’s they think of the premier pass rushers, but unlike defensive end, sacks are not what you should primarily be looking for at linebacker. Instead you should be looking at tackles which are the best stat for fantasy in my opinion, as it is the most consistent stat. Just looking at the top fantasy points per game guys last year, almost all of them were in the top 10-15 in total tackles. Now there are some exceptions like Justin Houston who had 22 sacks last year was the 3rd highest PPG player last year, but other premier pass rushers like Connor Barwin, Clay Matthews, Junior Galette, and Demarcus Ware are all below the elite tacklers. Even the elite pass rushers don’t even average 1 sack per game, while the elite tacklers average between 8-10 tackles per game which adds up quickly. With linebackers you are going to have to look the offensive lines again and see how they compare. If you are picking outside pass rushing linebackers, you are going to want to look at the tackles, tight ends and running backs and with inside or middle linebackers, you are going to target teams with weak interior lines (guards and centers). For tackling LB’s you are again going to want to target them against run heavy teams as that is where they will get their tackles, and with pass rushers, you will want to pick them against pass heavy teams. There is a lot of depth at the LB position so you can probably save some money here which will allow you to spend bigger at a weaker position like DT.

Cornerbacks: Cornerback is another tough position to select because they simply don’t score as many points as the other positions. For CB’s and safeties, sacks are basically replaced with passes defended and forced fumbles are going to be replaced with INT’s. It is also a very misleading position because the best actual players at the position aren’t the best fantasy players. This is because QB’s will often times steer clear of throwing the ball their way which is good for D/ST, but not for IDP play. Take Richard Sherman who is probably the best CB in all of football, but only averaged 4.8 fantasy points per game last year which was 48th best among CB’s. Simply put, there is no way to get any pass deflections or INT’s if the QB is not throwing at you which is why this is such a tricky position. In all honesty, you want to pick guys that are good at the position, but not elite where they won’t throw at you. For example you have CB’s like Prince Amukamara, Jonathon  Joseph and Alterraun Verner who are good CB’s, but I wouldn’t consider them the best actual corners. Guys who can get tackles are nice here once again as they can pick up some easy points whether it is tackling the receiver or the RB (Jason McCourty, Jonathon Joseph’s etc.). Unlike DT, I would not spend huge here because I believe there isn’t a ton of separation from the top guys and the middle guys and would ideally go for some good value plays here based on matchup each week.

Safeties: Safeties have a much bigger fantasy impact on a game than CB’s do because they simply have more freedom to do so. CB’s simply are there to defend the receiver, where safeties can be in the box to help stop the run, they can play over the top in pass support, or they can be sent on blitzes which can lead to pass deflections and sacks. Now teams will often use safeties in a certain way much like LB’s, much like Jonathon Cyprien who had 114 combined tackles but had 0 sacks, 0 INT’s and only 4 pass deflections. Compare that to a Deshaun Gipson who only had 52 combined tackles but had 14 pass deflections and 6 INT’s. Now I prefer tackles as they are more consistent, but getting guys who can defend the pass is good with the right matchup. For example playing Gipson against the Colts who threw 661 times last year is good because they aren’t going steer clear of a safety, and he will have a ton of chances to make plays in the secondary. With tacklers it’s a little different because safeties will get tackles via the run as well as helping tackle the WR on pass plays so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly with the matchups. Safety is a position that I don’t mind spending on as there are guys that get a ton of tackles or get a ton of deflections and INT’s and with the league turning more into a passing league, secondary guys are going to get a boost especially safeties.

Top Resources to Use:

IDPGuru.com: The IDP Guru has significant amounts of IDP information and tools that will help you succeed and WIN. From weekly rankings to points allowed by position, IDPGuru has it all and should be one of the first stops in conducting research for IDP DFS.

**So what are you waiting for? Play daily IDP fantasy football now at RedraftHero.

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