2018 IDP Rankings - Defensive Linemen (Redraft)

Listed below is a sample of my 2018 Defensive Linemen Rankings for IDP Redraft Leagues. I will update these sample rankings periodically during the off-season to reflect changes in free agency, defensive schemes, playing time, draft selections, etc. However, keep in mind that the information listed here is just a small sample of a much larger set of rankings and descriptions that are accessible through purchasing my 2018 IDP Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

Drafting Philosophy:
Defensive linemen are by far the most inconsistent week-to-week fantasy point producers. Many linemen will go three or four weeks without registering a sack and then exactly when you drop them, they have a multiple sack game. This can be extremely frustrating for fantasy owners. In addition, there aren't many unknown linemen that emerge during the season and consequently, the waiver wire is usually not packed with worthwhile IDP options.

With this being said, I try to use a couple of my early round defensive draft picks on defensive linemen. Obtaining guys like Calais Campbell or Jason Pierre-Paul allows me to plug them in my roster and not worry about their ups and downs throughout the season since they have proven their consistency and value.


Scoring System:
Solo Tackle = 1 point
Assist = 0.5 point
Sack = 3 points
Interception = 4 points
Forced Fumble = 2 points
Fumble Recovery = 2 points
Pass Deflection = 1 point
Defensive TD = 6 points


Tier 1
1Joey Bosa DE - LAC (8), +0 vs. ECR 
At just 23 years of age, Joey Bosa has already developed into one of the league's premier pass rushers. With Melvin Ingram applying consistent pressure on the other side, Bosa should have no trouble building upon his 70 total tackle/12-sack season from a year ago. It's scary to think that he's only going to get better. It's a virtual toss up between Bosa and Khalil Mack for the top overall DL spot, but I'm giving the slight edge to Bosa right now as he has a bit more untapped upside and Mack is currently holding out.

2Khalil Mack DE - OAK (7), +0 vs. ECR 
Despite bouncing back and forth from LB to DL, Mack has been amazingly consistent throughout his four-year career, averaging 58 solo stops, 18 assists, and 10.5 sacks during that time frame. He will be moving back to DE this year which is great news for fantasy owners. It's fair to assume he will produce at similar levels to year's past.

3Calais Campbell DE - JAC (9), +1 vs. ECR 
After spending nine seasons with the Cardinals, Campbell signed a massive contract with the Jaguars in 2017. And boy did it pay dividends for Jacksonville. Campbell emerged with his best season as a pro with 14.5 sacks and was consistently unstoppable. He will be 32 by the start of the season so it's reasonable to expect a slight drop off in production but given how strong his surrounding cast is, it will be difficult to suppress Campbell's production much. Consider him a solid DL1.

4Cameron Jordan DE - NO (6), +4 vs. ECR 
Heading into the 2017 season, Jordan had already established himself as one of the leagues most dependable and best 3-4 defensive ends. However, he took his game to the next level last season registering a career high in tackles and sacks with 62 and 13, respectively. He's in his prime right now, so he's a great candidate for a repeat, top notch season.

5J.J. Watt DE - HOU (10), -2 vs. ECR 
Target
It wasn't that long ago when J.J. Watt was the unquestioned number one overall IDP in fantasy football. But significant injuries have cost Watt virtually all of the last two seasons. Off-season rumors of retirement have further muddied people's confidence in his fantasy outlook. He's admittedly the riskiest option in this tier, but you have to figure he has something to prove after not being fantasy relevant in over two years. He's someone I would target if he falls in your draft due to the aforementioned concerns/risks.

Tier 2
6Melvin Ingram DE - LAC (8), +1 vs. ECR 
Ingram was a player I pumped hard as a "target" last year given his switch from outside linebacker to defensive end. Playing opposite Joey Bosa and in an advantageous scheme, should keep Ingram's value very strong heading into 2018. The only cause for concern is that Ingram managed just 2.5 sacks over his last nine eight games last year. I'm chalking that up to fatigue in switching to a more physically demanding role. He should be in a better state to finish the season strong this year.

7Demarcus Lawrence DE - DAL (8), +7 vs. ECR 
Lawrence was the league's best pass rusher during the first half of the season. He registered a sack in seven straight games to start the year and had a total of 11 during that time frame. He definitely carries some suspension/injury risk but, the fact that he's playing for a massive contract, keeps him in consideration as a mid-tier DL1.

8Jason Pierre-Paul DE - TB (5), -3 vs. ECR 
JPP seemed to have finally adjusted to playing with a mangled hand last season. The move to Tampa Bay should translate to relatively similar stats that he was producing during his time with New York. He should be near the top five in total tackles at his position with 8-10 sacks.

9Aaron Donald DT - LAR (12), +0 vs. ECR 
Donald has established himself of perhaps the league's most dominating defensive lineman and continues to produce at DL1- levels despite constant double teams. Having Ndamukong Suh playing next to him this year will reduce those double teams and give Donald the freedom to have his best year ever.

10Everson Griffen DE - MIN (10), +0 vs. ECR 



In a year where everyone expected Danielle Hunter to become the leading point scorer on the Vikings defensive line, Griffen had a career year with 13 sacks and had a sack or more in each of the team's first eight games. He did taper off at the end of the year with Hunter emerging more, so I do think that the gap between the two will close but I give Griffen the edge due to his longer track record of success.


Like what you've read so far? Looking to dominate your 2018 Fantasy Football draft(s)? For $6.99 you can get complete access to The IDP Guru's comprehensive and exhaustive 2018 IDP Fantasy Football Draft Guide.

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Questions, comments, or concerns with any of these rankings? If so, please let me know by posting a comment below or emailing me at theidpguru@idpguru.com. You can also hit me up on Twitter


Last Updated: August 5, 2018
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