The first weekend of the 2017-2018 NFL playoffs was a story of two very different days.
On Saturday, it was all about the little guy. Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry rolled in an upset of the Kansas City Chiefs. And the defending NFC Champions turned Cinderella into a pumpkin when the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Los Angeles Rams.
On Sunday, however, chalk ruled the day. The Jacksonville Jaguars downed the Bills in the ugliest of ugly games, and the New Orleans Saints completed a three-game season sweep of the Carolina Panthers.
Now, it’s on the Divisional Round. The Jags head north for a rematch with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Saints go to Minnesota for another with the Vikings. The Falcons will battle the wounded No. 1 seed on the NFC side in Philadelphia, and the Titans get the unenviable task of taking on the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
And with this second round of the postseason, IDP playoff leagues are one step closer to putting a final bow on another season of fantasy football fun.
In order to help you in the final quest for a championship, I’ll be publishing IDP rankings each week during the 2018 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/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 LII, 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.
- Calais Campbell – DE, JAX (at PIT)
- Brandon Graham – DE, PHI (vs. ATL)
- Cameron Jordan – DE, NOS (at MIN)
- Everson Griffen – DE, MIN (vs. NOS)
- Yannick Ngakoue – DE, JAX (at PIT)
- Trey Flowers – DE, NEP (vs. TEN)
- Danielle Hunter – DE, MIN (vs. NOS)
- Cameron Heyward – DE, PIT (vs. JAX)
- Fletcher Cox – DT, PHI (vs. ATL)
- Jurrell Casey – DE, TEN (at NEP))
- Telvin Smith – OLB, JAX (at PIT)
- Wesley Woodyard – ILB, TEN (at NEP)
- Deion Jones – ILB, ATL (at PHI)
- Eric Kendricks – ILB, MIN (vs. NOS)
- Vince Williams – ILB, PIT (vs. JAX)
- Nigel Bradham – OLB, PHI (vs. ATL)
- Craig Robertson – OLB, NOS (at MIN)
- Myles Jack – OLB, JAX (at PIT)
- DeVondre Campbell – OLB, ATL (at PHI)
- Manti T’eo – ILB, NOS (at MIN)
- Keanu Neal – S, ATL (at PHI)
- Kevin Byard – S, TEN (at NEP)
- Johnathan Cyprien – S, TEN (at PIT)
- Malcolm Jenkins – S, PHI (vs. ATL)
- Vonn Bell – S, NOS (at MIN)
- Harrison Smith – S, MIN (vs. NOS)
- Sean Davis – S, PIT (vs. JAX)
- Rodney McLeod – S, PHI (vs. ATL)
- Barry Church – S, JAX (at PIT)
- Devin McCourty – S, NEP (vs. JAX)