Last week’s Wild Card Round brought with it some NFL history. For the first time ever, all four road teams were victorious. The Kansas City Chiefs won in dominant fashion. The Seattle Seahawks got lucky. And the Pittsburgh Steelers got…well, we’re still trying to figure out how the Cincinnati Bengals managed to do what they did Saturday night.
This week, though, it’s a fair bet we won’t see a repeat of all those upsets. In the Divisional Round the top two seeds from each conference take the field, and whether it’s the 15-win Carolina Panthers or the reigning Super Bowl champs in New England the big dogs aren’t likely to go quietly.
And so, with four games on the slate again this week, it’s time to dive into another set of IDP playoff rankings.
In order to help you in the final quest for fantasy glory this season, I’ll be publishing IDP rankings each week during the 2016 playoffs here at Fantasy Sharks. These rankings assume a league format where teams start two defensive linemen, two linebackers, two defensive backs and a “flex” spot.
They also assume a “one and done” format where players are concerned. In other words, while the entire pool of individual defensive players is available, each player can only be used once. So, while matchup and talent are still the primary considerations, it’s also important to identify which teams are going to be eliminated in a given week and use those players where possible.
Otherwise, by the time we get to Super Bowl 50 (no Roman numerals this time around), IDP owners won’t have anyone left to slot in starting lineups.
With those caveats in mind, here’s a look at the top 10 defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs for the Divisional Round.
- Chandler Jones – DE, NE (vs. KC)
- Calais Campbell – DE, AZ (vs. GB)
- Rob Ninkovich – DE, NE (vs. KC)
- Cliff Avril – DE, SEA (at CAR)
- Michael Bennett – DE, SEA (at CAR)
- Cameron Heyward – DE, PIT (at DEN)
- Kawann Short – DT, CAR (vs. SEA)
- Stephon Tuitt – DE, PIT (at DEN)
- Kony Ealy – DE, CAR (vs. SEA)
- Allen Bailey – DE, KC (at NE)
- Bobby Wagner – MLB, SEA (at CAR)
- Derrick Johnson – ILB, KC (at NE)
- Lawrence Timmons – ILB, PIT (at DEN)
- Luke Kuechly – MLB, CAR (vs. SEA)
- Jamie Collins – ILB, NE (vs. KC)
- Brandon Marshall – ILB, DEN (vs. PIT)
- Thomas Davis – OLB, CAR (vs. SEA)
- Ryan Shazier – ILB, PIT (at DEN)
- Justin Houston – OLB, KC (at NE)
- Danny Trevathan – ILB, DEN (vs. PIT)
- Morgan Burnett – SS, GB (at AZ)
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – FS, GB (at AZ)
- Eric Berry – SS, KC (at NE)
- Ron Parker – FS, KC (at NE)
- Deone Bucannon – SS, AZ (vs. GB)
- Will Allen – SS, PIT (at DEN)
- Kam Chancellor – SS, SEA (at CAR)
- Earl Thomas – FS, SEA (at CAR)
- Kurt Coleman – FS, CAR (vs. SEA)
- Rashad Johnson – FS, AZ (vs. GB)
With the calendar turning to 2016, Fantasy Sharks has you covered. Whether it’s 2015 player rankings and projections, waiver wire targets, rookie analysis for dynasty leagues or strategy tips, IDP Staff Writer Walton Spurlin and IDP Senior Staff Writer Gary Davenport have all the information you need to dominate your IDP league in the New Year.