Fantasy Football

2012 IDP Rankings — Top 50 Overall

James Laurinaitis, LB, STL - 2012 IDP Rankings

Fanatics. That’s what I like to refer to Fantasy Football owners that choose to play in leagues that use Individual Defensive Players (IDP). They are fanatics. So these 2012 IDP Rankings are really for them.

But regular Fantasy Football owners can glean some things from these rankings too. It’s easy to see that running backs in the NFC West are going to have a tough time, once again, going up against the Niners linebackers twice a year. And DE Mario Williams, the top free agent this past offseason not named Peyton Manning, should remain a pass-rushing force in the AFC East.

I used to play in an auction dynasty IDP league from 2002-10 called the Absolute Gridiron Association. It was awesome, plain and simple. But with player salaries and four-year contracts and franchise tags, it just became too much of a bear for me. Oh, and I suck at IDP leagues.

Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, NYG - 2012 IDP Rankings

Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had 16.5 sacks last season, in just his second year in the pros. Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan


2012 IDP Rankings from @OlingerIDPGuru

Since I know my limitations, I’ve asked Eric Olinger of to provide us with his top 50 rankings. Initially, he was reluctant because scoring systems vary greatly from league to league. Many leagues give points for passes defended, and some reward sacks two or three times more than another league. Some leagues start one defensive lineman, two linebackers and two defensive backs, whereas some leagues (like the AGA), start three DL, four LBs and four DBs.

One thing I did learn in my years as an IDP-er, is that cornerbacks are a little tricky.  Good ones are often not thrown to, so their chances at interceptions, tackles and passes defended are usually pretty low. This works the other way, also. A rookie defensive back will get picked on by  an opposing QB, and he’ll get plenty of tackles and passes defended.

Also, linebackers that play on teams with bad offenses are also usually good Fantasy picks.  This is because their offense is unable to stay on the field for very long, giving the linebacker more playmaking opportunities and tackles. (See D’Qwell Jackson.) And that also works the other way, with linebackers being on bad defenses racking up lots of Fantasy points because they can’t get off the field. (See James Laurinaitis.)

I hope you enjoy these rankings and you check out Olinger’s rankings for each position over at


RANKINGS: Top 60 | QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DST | Top 50 IDP


2012 IDP Rankings: Top 50 Overall


Rank Individual Def. Players Pos. Team Age
1 Jason Pierre-PaulDENYG23
2 Jared AllenDEMIN30
3 Patrick WillisLBSF27
4 Desmond BishopLBGB27
5 Navorro BowmanLBSF24
6 James LaurinaitisLBSTL25
7 D’Qwell JacksonLBCLE28
8 Mario WilliamsDEBUF27
9 Colin McCarthyLBTEN24
10 Daryl WashingtonLBARI25
11 Derrick JohnsonLBKC29
12 Sean LeeLBDAL25
13 Curtis LoftonLBNO26
14 Brian CushingLBHOU25
15 Jon BeasonLBCAR27
16 Jabaal SheardDECLE23
17 Cliff AvrilDEDET26
18 Charles JohnsonDECAR26
19 Trent ColeDEPHI29
20 London FletcherLBWAS37
21 Karlos DansbyLBMIA30
22 Kam ChancellorSSEA24
23 Eric BerrySKC23
24 Morgan BurnettSGB23
25 Tyvon BranchSOAK25
26 Terrell SuggsDEBAL29
27 Julius PeppersDECHI32
28 Jason BabinDEPHI32
29 Justin TuckDENYG29
30 Cameron WakeDEMIA30
31 J.J. WattDEHOU23
32 Donald ButlerLBSD23
33 Chad GreenwayLBMIN29
34 Paul PoslusznyLBJAX27
35 Pat AngererLBIND25
36 Stephen TullochLBDET27
37 Lawrence TimmonsLBPIT26
38 Jerod MayoLBNE26
39 Sean WeatherspoonLBATL24
40 Perry RileyLBWAS24
41 Luke KuechlyLBCAR21
42 DeMeco RyansLBPHI27
43 J.J. WattDEHOU23
44 Calais CampbellDEARI25
45 Elvis DumervilDEDEN28
46 Chris LongDESTL27
47 Justin SmithDESF32
48 Robert QuinnDESTL22
49 Osi UmenyioraDENYG30
50 Bernard PollardSBAL27


Follow @OlingerIDPGuru and @DavidGonos on Twitter!

James Laurinaitis, LB, STL - 2012 IDP Rankings

Rams LB James Laurinaitis is on the field an awful lot — which is a good thing for his IDP Fantasy owners. Photo Credit:


David Gonos spent 5 years as a Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on,, FanDuel, and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.



  1. Randy

    August 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    In a league w/ a 20-round draft where only 1 LB, 1 DL, and 1 DB start, how early would you recommend going for an IDP, and how many roster positions would you dedicate them (e.g. starters and backups)? Thanks!

    • Gonos

      August 5, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Hmmm, well, with just one def player at each position, I’d say you should wait until Round 6 or 7 before taking any defensive players. As far as roster positions dedicated to them — I’d hold onto one DB, two DL and two LBs. I’d still only draft one TE, K and DST, but I’d get two QBs, five RBs and five WRs.

  2. J-Murf

    August 25, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Donald Butler……top 10 LB this year? Moving into 3 down work this season….expecting big things. Thoughts?

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