By Calvin Danger
I am of the opinion that defense should be just as valuable as offense in an IDP league much as it is in the NFL. Right now, across the IDP community, defensive players simply do not score enough fantasy points. Having equal scoring on both sides of the ball adds to the dynamic of the IDP league. You can trade defensive players for offensive players straight up, draft defensive players early much like in the NFL, and build your team around the “other” side of the ball as some of the best teams do. (See: Seattle Seahawks)
As it stands, the most common scoring for IDP is as follows:
|Tackle||1pt||Asst. Tackle||.5 pt|
|Tackle for Loss||2pt||Sack||4pt|
|Forced Fumble||1pt||Fumble Recovery||2pt|
And I’m going to tell you why this just doesn’t cut it.
Note: The following recommendations are in relation to Standard Scoring Offenses. For PPR leagues add approximately 25% to all values.
As tackles are the most common and frequent statistical category on Defense in the NFL, every IDP league tracks tackles. All players on defense have a chance to make a tackle on every play making it the most versatile stat as well. Obviously, LB’s typically accumulate the most tackles making them the most valuable position on an IDP roster.
The standard scoring system does not value tackles, the most important statistic, enough. Last year the NFL’s leading tackler was DeAndre Levy of the Detroit Lions. He had 117 solo tackles and 34 assisted tackles. Add this up using the above point system and you get 134 total points. DeMarco Murray scored 184 points from his yardage alone. Add in the fact that Murray had more opportunites for TD’s, Receptions, and Receiving yards and you can see that he was vastly more valuable than Levy.
Interesting and unrelated side note: tackles are not an official statistical category as determined by the NFL. Weird right?
Now you may say that Linebackers also have the opportunity to get sacks, but they still do not add up to make the position as valuable as it should be. For instance, the leading LB for sacks was Kansas City’s Justin Houston with 22. After him was a sharp drop off to 17 for Elvis Dumerville and 14.5 for Connor Barwin. Notice that these 3 players operate as OLB’s in a 3-4 scheme, a position that does not typically accumulate very many tackles.
From the defensive end position, sacks become even more rare. A position that formerly dominated the statistic now battles rush linebackers for the crown every year. If you were to look at the top 10 sack leaders from 2014 you would find out that 6 were rush LB’s. As far as scoring goes, rush LB’s and 4-3 DE’s are very close. J.J. Watt and the aforementioned Houston’s statistics are eerily similar. Watt had 20.5 Sacks and 78 combined tackles with Justin Houston at 22 and 68 respectively.
At the common point total of 4 per sack you can see that Houston scored 88 points – very low -for the highest sack total in the league. Add in his tackle total for the year of 59 solo and 9 assist and most valuable rush LB in the league only scored 151.5 points. When adding J.J. Watt’s sacks and tackles up his point total comes to 150.5. Both these are lower than players like James Jones (ugh) and Chris Ivory (yuck).
Tackles for Loss (TFL)
I know, tackles for loss, big deal. Not something that is extremely common. Not something that you should be concerned with right? Wrong. This play is one of the most underrated in the NFL. More often than not, an offensive drive that allows a TFL results in a punt. Even though it does not get as much prestige as a sack it is almost as important to a defense. For this reason it should be valued as three to four times more valuable than a standard tackle and slightly less than a sack. Doing this will also make one of the least valued position on a defense, DT, relevant when choosing your team.
Pass Defended (PD)
This statistical category becomes important when talking about CB’s, S’s, and DT’s. These positions are typically of lower total tackles making it hard to accumulate points. PD’s are also about as rare as TFL’s. In 2014 there were a total of 2,240 PD’s and 2,417 TFL’s. For this reason they should be valued very similarly.
Here is the first set of statistical points that you should implement for your league.
Check back next week for part 2 where I discuss Turnovers and scoring plays