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Fantasy Football Guide Using The IDP Spot Correctly

One of the keys to winning in a league with an IDP setting is choosing your defensive positions correctly. Brandon Andrews provides guidance on accomplishing this feat.
Courtesy of Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

IDP Lineup Settings

Many fantasy football leagues employ the IDP positions. There may be some team owners in your league that ignore it. Let me show you how you can turn an afterthought into one of the strongest areas of your lineup. The Individual Defensive Player position allows you to select one player from the defense and not the entire unit. If your league doesn’t have this option, you absolutely should add it. As the right linebacker, safety, or defensive lineman can at times outproduce your opponent’s flex position.

Importance Of The Right Choice

However, should you not put much thought into it, the score from the player you select is useless. For example, most CBs and safeties asked to play off the ball don’t generate enough points. Especially the CB position. Each NFL defense is different, some teams ask their corners to regularly get involved in stopping the run, while others ask that they focus on coverage. Also, some CBs want nothing to do with mixing it up in stopping the run.

It’s not necessary to know the inner workings of each defense. But, you do want to know a little bit about the player before you add them to your team. I choose to check their stats from the past few seasons. Low tackle numbers equate to low point production. You also cannot count on a CB getting an interception each week, if they are that good the opposing offense will avoid them. That will equate to a goose egg. If you wind up in a close matchup, that zero could result in a loss.

A close loss or multiple losses could cause you to miss the playoffs. There are no moral victories in fantasy football. You either win enough matchups to get in the playoffs or plan for the next rookie draft.

Blake Martinez – Courtesy of NY Giants


The LB position is the most important fantasy position in most IDP leagues. Why? Because you want to choose a player with a high floor each week without thinking about it. You need to know what you’ll usually get from them. Now, an outside LB in a 3-4 defense is usually not going to have the point production of an inside LB. The ILBs are tasked with stopping the run, making them the more valuable weekly starters at the LB spot.

The same goes for the middle LBs in a 4-3 defense. They are also going to be the higher point producers. You can go by the point projections the different fantasy apps/sites provide. Though it’s best to again check the past stats for the player that you are interested in drafting/signing/trading for. A future projection won’t mean much if that player isn’t even a projected starter or only plays on certain downs. A three-down LB will always be on the field and much more valuable.

Myles Garrett During Timeout
Myles Garrett – Courtesy of

Defensive Linemen

Depending on the type of defense a lineman plays in will dictate your choices for the DL position. For example, no 3-4 nose tackle should be rostered in an IDP league. Their responsibility is to occupy blockers to free up the ends or the inside linebackers. The defensive ends though may be able to generate some startable options for you. Depending on the scheme they are in, they usually have a consistent floor and ceiling.

In a 4-3 defense, the linemen are tasked with rushing the quarterback and playing the run on the way there. I usually prefer to roster and lineup linemen from a 4-3 defense. They have a generally higher ceiling than their 3-4 counterparts and a safer floor as well.

Marcus Williams – Courtesy of

Defensive Back

When it comes to the defensive back spot, it’s best to avoid CBs again. I stick to free or strong safeties when I am setting my starting line-up. There can be some down weeks or less consistency with a free safety. This can depend on the offense they are going up against. If the other team has a deep threat like Tyreek Hill, the free safety may be asked to play deep coverage that game. The defensive coordinator will do this to limit explosive plays.

The strong safety is typically asked to play closer to the line of scrimmage. This gives the defense an eight-man front or an eight-man look to the offense and helps stop the running game. The strong safety will usually have a higher tackle production than the free safety due to this. Should you choose the right safety to add to your lineup, you can field quite an imposing defense.

Flex Spot

The flex position, much like its offensive counterpart, allows you to choose from the three positions above. I typically use another LB in my league’s flex spot simply because I have had some big defensive efforts from doing it. Unless you find yourself lucky, and you have say, Myles Garrett and Aaron Donald. But if you’re in a deep league it’s highly unlikely you’ll be that lucky.


With just a little bit of research and planning, your defense can get really strong and quickly. The IDP setting requires more strategy and is a whole lot more fun, right? Also, it may carry your team to a win when your skill players have a tough week. Those times when your wide receiver gets suspended right before kickoff! (Cough Cough Michael Thomas)

It’s also an opportunity to field an extremely dominant team if you get your skill positions right. You also will need to carry defenders on your bench. You do not want to have your starters and no one to pivot to in case of an injury. Sometimes I like to mix things up with my fantasy team’s defense.

For more articles like this join up with us at the #NerdHerd. You can find all of the contributors on Twitter through the main Dynasty Nerds account. Feel free to link up with me on my Twitter account @DoomzoneFF.

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