And then there were 12—coincidentally the same number of teams that are in most IDP leagues.
Exactly 12 teams in the NFL still give half a crap as 2018 dawns—the teams that are in the postseason.
For some teams, it’s a new experience. The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t played in the NFL’s second season in a decade. The Los Angeles Rams haven’t been to the playoffs since 2004.
And the Bills? The Bills are partying like it’s 1999, baby.
Other teams are the usual suspects. Both teams from last year’s Super Bowl are in the postseason again, although we won’t see the New England Patriots until the Divisional Round.
Saturday that dirty dozen of teams will begin the march to Minneapolis and Super Bowl LII.
And with them so will begin the march to one more chance at fantasy glory this season – playoff leagues.
In order to help you in the final quest for a 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.
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 Wild Card Round.
- Calais Campbell – DE, JAX (vs. BUF)
- Mario Addison – DE, CAR (at NOS)
- Cameron Jordan – DE, NOS (vs. CAR)
- Aaron Donald – DE, LAR (vs. ATL)
- Yannick Ngakoue – DE, JAX (vs. BUF)
- Jurrell Casey – DE, TEN (at JAX)
- Julius Peppers – DE, CAR (at NOS)
- Malik Jackson – DT, JAX (vs. BUF)
- Jerry Hughes – DE, BUF (at JAX)
- Kawann Short – DT, CAR (at NOS)
- Luke Kuechly – ILB, CAR (at NOS)
- Wesley Woodyard – ILB, TEN (at KCC)
- Deion Jones – ILB, ATL (at LAR)
- Preston Brown – ILB, BUF (at JAX)
- Telvin Smith – OLB, JAX (vs. BUF)
- Alec Ogletree – ILB, LAR (vs. ATL)
- Mark Barron – ILB, LAR (vs. ATL)
- Craig Robertson – ILB, NOS (vs. CAR)
- De’Vondre Campbell – OLB, ATL (at LAR)
- Avery Williamson – ILB, TEN (at JAX)
- Keanu Neal – S, ATL (at LAR)
- Jordan Poyer – S, BUF (at JAX)
- Kevin Byard – S, TEN (at KCC)
- Micah Hyde – S, BUF (at JAX)
- Kurt Coleman – S, CAR (at NOS)
- Vonn Bell – S, NOS (vs. CAR)
- Daniel Sorensen – S, KCC (vs. TEN)
- Barry Church – S, JAX (vs. BUF)
- John Johnson – S, LAR (vs. ATL)
- James Bradberry – CB, CAR (at NOS)