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Starting An IDP Dynasty League

About a month ago, I was invited into an expert IDP dynasty fantasy football league. Expert in this instance refers to the caliber of owners involved. Every owner in the league is highly knowledgeable fantasy football writer working for prominent sites all across the web. I don’t mention this to brag since hey, this is only fantasy football but this particular league is 12 teams deep and has a 40-man roster.

I ended up having to inherit the team from a previous owner and while he had solid offensive players, his IDPs were lacking. In this particular scoring system, the former owner had guys known for big plays: interceptions, sacks and defensive return TDs. Unfortunately for me, the league’s scoring system favored tackles, a much more consistent scoring methodology for fantasy purposes.

This difference in scoring systems is the essential question that dictates an IDP’s value. Some players like Patrick Willis and Jon Beason can be counted on to put up 100-plus tackles every year. On the other hand, in a league that rewards big points for sacks, a player like Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware is more valuable since he’s had 80 sacks over his six years in the NFL.

After you decide which scoring system you want (generally referred to as either tackle-heavy or big play heavy), you can begin to whittle down the details of your dynasty league.

In tackle-heavy leagues, it’s best to stick with linebackers. Set up your league to have two or three IDP starters. At best, only a small handful of defensive backs will be relevant in this league but be sure to allow any defensive position to be used. There’s no shame in abusing people who don’t understand how a league’s scoring system works. Let them add low tackle production defensive linemen while you gobble up all the league’s best every-down linebackers.

In big play leagues, you definitely want to include a starter at each position group or if you’re feeling frisky, every defensive position. So you can either have starters at each of the three main position groups (defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs) or you can go all out and include a starter at each position (defensive ends, defensive tackles, linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties).

Keep in mind, if the people in your league are only casual fans, don’t overwhelm them with defensive players. Most football fans know the big names, but if every team needs two or three defensive backs, not everyone will be familiar with all the players involved.

When I create an IDP dynasty league, I typically use the following roster format:

12 teams, PPR, 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 FLEX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF, 2 DP

For more advanced leagues:

12 teams, PPR, 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 FLEX, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF, 2 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB

The bottom line is to create a deep league which fits within your own knowledge of football. No harm in challenging yourself in an attempt to learn about new players, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. Be reasonable.


– In all dynasties, you obviously must keep all your players from year to year. Unless a player is very old, don’t concern yourself too much about age.

– Players inevitably emerge unexpectedly on defense just like they do on offense and most teams won’t draft more than a couple defensive players in your annual draft. The point being, there are tons of defensive players on the waiver wire, including tons of rookies.

– Stick with your best players every week. Don’t over-think.

-Don’t waste roster spots with IDPs on the bench. Have enough IDPs to get through bye weeks and nothing more.

– It’s worth repeating, understand your scoring system. Ideally, plug your scoring system into some customizable IDP rankings and see how the point totals shake out for each position.

About The Author

Matt De Lima is the guy behind the guy behind the guy. Born and raised near Los Angeles, CA during simpler times where the Rams and Raiders both played there. Back when Eddie Murphy was funny and people still listened to Whitney Houston's music. A graduate of Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!), he's played fantasy sports for the last 10 years and began writing down his opinions in 2010. You remember that fantasy football league you were in last season, there was that one team that somehow had Aaron Rodgers, Chris Johnson, and Andre Johnson? Matt was that guy. You should listen to him. Follow his exclusive content @

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