A new year has dawned, and as 2016 dawns, Saturday marks the beginning of the NFL playoffs. 32 teams started the season with their eyes cast toward Santa Clara, California and Super Bowl 50. Now 12 teams remain.
Saturday also marks the beginning of a bit of extra fun for IDP owners. Fantasy playoff leagues offer fantasy enthusiasts a few more weeks of good times before the long, dark offseason begins.
(If you believe in offseasons, of course. There’s incoming rookies to be scouted for dynasty leagues. Free agency to monitor. The 2016 NFL Draft. Then before you know it, it’s June and time to start talking fantasy football all over again. There’s always something going on.)
In order to help you in this 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. I guess Super Bowl L just didn’t have the right ring.), 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 Wild Card round.
- J.J. Watt – DE, HOU (vs. KC)
- Carlos Dunlap – DE, CIN (vs. PIT)
- Everson Griffen – DE, MIN (vs. SEA)
- Geno Atkins – DT, CIN (vs. PIT)
- Cameron Heyward – DE, PIT (at CIN)
- Michael Johnson – DE, CIN (vs. PIT)
- Cliff Avril – DE, SEA (at MIN)
- Michael Bennett – DE, SEA (at MIN)
- Stephon Tuitt – DE, PIT (at CIN)
- Mike Daniels – DE, GB (at WAS)
- Vontaze Burfict – OLB, CIN (vs. PIT)
- Eric Kendricks – MLB, MIN (vs. SEA)
- Lawrence Timmons – ILB. PIT (at CIN)
- Derrick Johnson – ILB, KC (at HOU)
- Bobby Wagner – MLB, SEA (at MIN)
- Tom Compton – ILB, WAS (vs. GB)
- Brian Cushing – ILB, HOU (vs. KC)
- Justin Houston – OLB, KC (at HOU)
- Ryan Shazier – ILB, PIT (at CIN)
- Anthony Barr – OLB, MIN (vs. SEA)
- Morgan Burnett – SS, GB (at WAS)
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – FS, GB (at WAS)
- Harrison Smith – SS, MIN (vs. SEA)
- Eric Berry – SS, KC (at HOU)
- DeAngelo Hall – FS, WAS (vs. GB)
- Ron Parker – FS, KC (at HOU)
- Reggie Nelson – FS, CIN (vs. PIT)
- Will Allen – SS, PIT (at CIN)
- Kam Chancellor – SS, SEA (at MIN)
- Dashon Goldson – SS, WAS (vs. GB)
With the calendar turning to 2016, Fantasy Sharks has you covered. Whether it’s 2016 player rankings and projections, waiver wire targets, rookie analysis for dynasty leagues or strategy tips, IDP Senior Staff Writers Walton Spurlin and Gary Davenport have all the information you need to dominate your IDP league in the New Year.