Home > Dynasty 101 > IDP Scoring Systems Pt. 1

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
Pass Defended 1pt INT 2pt
Forced Fumble 1pt Fumble Recovery 2pt
Safety 2pt TD 6pt

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.

Ideal Scoring

Here is the first set of statistical points that you should implement for your league.

Tackle 1.5pt Asst Tackle .75pt
TFL 3pt Sack 5pt
PD 3pt

Check back next week for part 2 where I discuss Turnovers and scoring plays

Calvin Danger

Calvin Danger

An avid Detroitfan living in South Florida, I am going into my 7th season as an IDP Dynasty manager. I can't get enough of the defensive side of the ball and am excited to share my research and thoughts on how to become champion of your league.
Calvin Danger

Latest posts by Calvin Danger (see all)

6 Comments, RSS

  • Nick Falana

    says on:
    June 15, 2015 at 3:25 am

    I’d love to see a fantasy league where defense balances offensive scoring but the fact is there just isn’t enough differentiation on the defensive side of the ball. It’s the nature of the game. IMHO, you have to start with 6 pts per sack. I great game for Jason Pierre Paul is 2-3 sacks. I great game for Dez Bryant is the same.

    • Calvin Danger

      says on:
      June 16, 2015 at 10:32 am

      I agree. Keep in mind though that most FF websites count a sack as a sack and TFL. Therefore, in this case the sack is actually worth 7 points.

  • Sticky

    says on:
    June 17, 2015 at 8:09 am

    I would add in actual scoring data to this or the next post. Show how players not named Watt fared with the different scoring compared to offensive scoring. Nice post!

    • Calvin Danger

      says on:
      June 17, 2015 at 9:47 am

      The plan is to showcase the top 5 at each position in comparison to what they would have scored in standard formats as well as in relation to their offensive counterpart.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *