The Wild Card Round has come and gone. And for the second season in a row, it was wild indeed. Three of the four road teams (the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans) emerged with victories. The No. 3 seeds in both the AFC (the New England Patriots) and the NFC (the New Orleans Saints) were sent packing.
A weekend chock full of upsets didn’t do the player pool in IDP playoff leagues any favors. Cameron Jordan‘s season is over. So is Demario Davis‘. And Jamie Collins‘. And Malcolm Jenkins‘. And Jordan Poyer‘s.
At least we got to see J.J. Watt take the field again. He even had a sack in Houston’s overtime win against the Buffalo Bills.
Still, all that can be done in playoff leagues like the Fantasy Sharks IDP Playoff Challenge is to make the best we can of the pool of talent available—while welcoming in new players when the top two seeds in each conference join the fray in the Divisional Round.
In order to help you in the final quest for a fantasy championship (and a few laughs), I’ll be publishing IDP rankings each week during the NFL 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 or two.
They also assume a “one/two 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 (or twice, in some formats). 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 try to use those players where possible.
Otherwise, by the time we get to Super Bowl LIV, 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.
- Danielle Hunter – DE, MIN (at SFO)
- Frank Clark – DE, KCC (vs. HOU)
- Nick Bosa – DE, SFO (vs. MIN)
- J.J. Watt – DE, HOU (at KCC)
- DeForest Buckner – DT, SFO (vs. MIN)
- Jadeveon Clowney – DE, SEA (at GBP)
- Chris Jones – DT. KCC (vs. HOU)
- Arik Armstead – DE, SFO (vs. MIN)
- Everson Griffen – DE, MIN (at SFO)
- Kenny Clark – DT, GBP (vs. SEA)
- Bobby Wagner – ILB, SEA (at GBP)
- Blake Martinez – ILB, GBP (vs. SEA)
- Zach Cunningham – ILB, HOU (at KCC)
- Fred Warner – ILB, SFO (vs. MIN)
- Rashaan Evans – ILB, TEN (at BAL)
- Eric Kendricks – ILB, MIN (at SFO)
- K.J. Wright – OLB, SEA (at GBP)
- Benardrick McKinney – ILB, HOU (at KCC)
- Za’Darius Smith – OLB, GBP (vs. SEA)
- Wesley Woodyard – ILB, TEN (at BAL)
- Harrison Smith – S, MIN (at SFO)
- Tyrann Mathieu – S, KCC (vs. HOU)
- Bradley McDougald – S, SEA (at GBP)
- Justin Reid – S, HOU (at BAL)
- Adrian Amos – S, GBP (vs. SEA)
- Chuck Clark – S, BAL (vs. TEN)
- Anthony Harris – S, MIN (at SFO)
- Tre Flowers – CB, SEA (at GBP)
- Kenny Vaccaro – S, TEN (at BAL)
- Jaire Alexander – CB, GBP (vs. SEA)