Fantasy Football Definition of "IDP"

IDP stands for "Individual Defensive Player". Some fantasy football leagues choose to include defensive positions in their draft rather than depend on a "team defense". IDP leagues usually include defensive linemen (DL), linebackers (LB) and defensive backs (DB), though the specific number of starters, type of defensive players, and accompanying scoring systems for IDP leagues varies from league to league. Before you jump into an IDP league, check out the roster specifics.

Most fantasy football nuts have an opinion on IDP leagues -- you love them or you hate them. IDP isn't for everyone, and if you're not interested in following your defensive roster closely, you're not going to enjoy it. If you're going to play IDP, do it right. Otherwise it is a nuisance and a burden.

The main reason why IDP is less popular then team defense is that the majority of fantasy football fans are in it for the flashy offense more so than the solid (but boring) defensive play in the NFL.

IDP requires a completely different strategy from a team defense league. Depending on how your IDP league runs things, you could be choosing three "flex" positions (in which case your best bet is to grab three solid linebackers), or a specific allotment of DL, LBs, and maybe a flex spot or two. If you have the luxury of being in an IDP league that demands specific defensive positions, you also have the luxury of putting some "boom or bust" defensive guys on your roster. If you fill your position-specific slots with solid performers, there's nothing wrong with sliding a couple of potential big game guys in there to make things interesting. This is just a scratch on the surface of IDP strategy -- depending on the format your league uses, your strategy could vary wildly.

Here's an example -- Ed Reed of the Ravens is not exactly King of the Tackles, but his ability to grab INTs and make big plays means that a couple of weeks of little or no fantasy point action could turnaround in no time. Ol' Reed shoots you a couple of 20 point games in a season and may be enough to tip you over into the W column.

The main complaint about IDP leagues is that they put too much emphasis on individual defensive performance, and can sink your offensive roster's solid performance when they have an off week. Just like in TD only leagues, people who rail against the IDP format claim that fantasy point totals in IDP leagues often have little to do with your team's true offensive performance. In other words, IDP leagues (and TD only leagues) seem detached from the game of football itself.

If you're looking for a greater challenge than can be found in team defense formats, playing a season in an IDP league can be either a revelation or a headache.

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