Tuesday - Mar 2, 2021

Home / IDP / IDP PLAYOFF RANKINGS: Wild Card Round


The NFL’s second season is almost here. For the 12 teams about to embark on the journey to Atlanta and Super Bowl LIII, the arrival of the playoffs are just swell.

For the 20 teams that didn’t make the postseason though, it kinda sucks. Just ask Pittsburgh.

What the h-e-double French Fries is going on in Pittsburgh?

It can be a depressing time in fantasy football, too. Season-long leagues are done for the year. Soon football will go away for months and we’ll all be subjected to that miserable nonsense they call baseball.

Come on! Somebody! HIT SOMEONE!


The thing is, you can still stave off the offseason blues for a while — by participating in a fantasy playoff Individual Defensive Player (IDP) league.

Like, oh, say maybe the Fantasy Sharks IDP Playoff Extravaganza of Goodness.

In order to help you in the final quest for a fantasy championship, 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 LIII, 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.


  1. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston (vs. Indianapolis)
  2. Joey Bosa, DE, Los Angeles Chargers (at Baltimore)
  3. Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas (vs. Seattle)
  4. Frank Clark, DE, Seattle (at Dallas)
  5. Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia (at Chicago)
  6. Melvin Ingram, DE, Los Angeles Chargers (at Baltimore)
  7. Akiem Hicks, DE, Chicago (vs. Philadelphia)
  8. Denico Autry, DT, Indianapolis (at Houston)
  9. Michael Bennett, DE, Philadelphia (at Chicago)
  10. Fletcher Cox, DT, Philadelphia (at Chicago)


  1. Darius Leonard, OLB, Indianapolis (at Houston)
  2. Bobby Wagner, ILB, Seattle (at Dallas)
  3. Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Dallas (vs. Seattle)
  4. Roquan Smith, ILB, Chicago (vs. Philadelphia)
  5. C.J. Mosley, ILB, Baltimore (vs. L.A. Chargers)
  6. Jaylon Smith, OLB, Dallas (vs. Seattle)
  7. Khalil Mack, OLB, Chicago (vs. Philadelphia)
  8. Zach Cunningham, ILB, Houston (vs, Indianapolis)
  9. Jatavis Brown, ILB, Los Angeles Chargers (at Baltimore)
  10. Danny Trevathan, ILB, Chicago (vs. Philadelphia)


  1. Derwin James, S, Los Angeles Chargers (at Baltimore)
  2. Bradley McDougald, S, Seattle (at Dallas)
  3. Adrian Phillips, S, Los Angeles Chargers (at Baltimore)
  4. Tyrann Mathieu, S, Houston (vs. Indianapolis)
  5. Clayton Geathers, S, Indianapolis (at Houston)
  6. Tony Jefferson, S, Baltimore (vs. L.A. Chargers)
  7. Kareem Jackson, CB, Houston (vs. Indianapolis)
  8. Adrian Amos, S, Chicago (vs. Philadelphia)
  9. Malcolm Jenkins, S, Philadelphia (at Chicago)
  10. Eric Weddle, S, Baltimore (vs. L.A. Chargers)

About Gary Davenport

A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications. These publications include the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is a both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is an nine-time FSWA Award finalist and three-time winner who has been a finalist for that organization's Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award each of the last four years. He won the honor in 2017 and 2019. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. Gary was one of the co-founders of, and Head Writer at, Fantasy Football Oasis before joining Fantasy Sharks as an IDP Senior Staff Writer in 2011. He knows football. Or so he's heard.