2020 IDP Rankings - Defensive Linemen (Redraft)

Listed below is a sample of my 2020 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 2020 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 Cameron Jordan or Cameron Heyward 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 = 1.5 points
Assist = 0.75 points
Tackles for Loss = 2 points
Sack = 4 points
Interception = 5 points
Forced Fumble = 4 points
Fumble Recovery = 4 points
Pass Deflection = 1.5 point
Defensive TD = 6 points
Safeties = 2 points

Tier 1

1Danielle Hunter DE - MIN (7), +0 vs. ECR 
Hunter has posted back-to-back seasons of 14 or more sacks and 65+ total tackles. Even with the departure of bookend Everson Griffen, Hunter should still be the top lineman off the board in fantasy drafts. When Griffen missed time last year, Hunter was largely unaffected and his production remained steady.

Tier 2

2Joey Bosa DE - LAC (10), +0 vs. ECR 
After an injury-shortened 2018 campaign, Bosa bounced back in 2019 and put up very similar numbers to his breakout sophomore season. He's just 24-years old and has the pass-rushing threat of Melvin Ingram opposite him to keep opposing offenses honest. Fantasy owners can expect 11-13 sacks with elite tackle production for his position.

3Myles Garrett DE - CLE (9), +0 vs. ECR 
Before his season-ending suspension in Week 11 for swinging a helmet at Steelers QB Mason Rudolph, Garrett was on his way to a career season. Through 10 games, he amassed 10 sacks and was number one in the league in sacks per snap. I believe he will be extra motivated to come out and pick up where he left off last season and he should be drafted with confidence as he has a shot at unseating Danielle Hunter as the #1 fantasy DL.

4Aaron Donald DT - LAR (9), +1 vs. ECR 
Donald's numbers came back down to Earth last year after a historic 2018 effort in which he registered a whopping 20.5 sacks. The fairly dramatic drop in tackle production is somewhat concerning, but the talent here is just too strong to keep Donald out of the Top 5 defensive linemen.

5Nick Bosa DE - SF (11), +3 vs. ECR 
Bosa lived up to his name/hype and produced a 32/15/9 stat line in his inaugural season on his way to winning DROY. Bosa's ability to make a quick impact is even more impressive when you take into account that the defensive end position carries with it one of the steepest learning curves. There's no reason to think we won't continue to see his numbers expand this coming season - he plays on a great defense that should afford him ample pass-rushing opportunities.

6Cameron Jordan DE - NO (6), +0 vs. ECR 
Jordan has established himself as one of the most consistent and dependable DL1s in fantasy over the last several seasons. Since 2012, he's averaged a stat line of 35/15/10.5 and hasn't fallen below 7 sacks in any one season. He turns 31 this July but is coming off a career-high 15.5 sack season and with the Saints offense expected to be near the top of the league again, Jordan will continue to see plenty of obvious pass-rushing opportunity.

7J.J. Watt DE - HOU (8), -3 vs. ECR 
Target
Injuries have forced Watt to miss the vast majority of games in three of his last four seasons. Additionally, he's now 31-years old and is now without a couple big threats on the defensive line. This is causing many to fade Watt in drafts and, although there's justification for that, there's also room for optimism. Prior to his season-ending injury last year, Watt led all players in QB Hit percentage (and by a fairly wide margin). So although he had a respectable four sacks through eight games, he could have had several more. It's unfair to assume we will ever see Watt produce like he did in his prime, but double-digit sack counts are still well within reach for this crafty veteran.

Tier 3

8Josh Allen DE - JAC (7), +16 vs. ECR 
Target
Allen did what few rookie pass-rushers typically do - post double-digit sacks to go along with fairly good tackle production. That was done in a part-time role and now with Calais Campbell in Baltimore, Allen has a good chance at growing those numbers in an expanded role as a starter.

9Cameron Heyward DE - PIT (8), +1 vs. ECR 
Heyward has been one of the league's more dependable 3-4 defensive ends over the last several seasons, but he took his play to the next level last year on the way to his first top-5 fantasy positional finish. Having this type of production surge in your ninth season raises some concerns about regression but his floor is high enough that he's still worth a look as a high-end DL2+ or low-end DL1.

10Carlos Dunlap DE - CIN (9), +1 vs. ECR 
Dunlap has been remarkably consistent throughout his career - registering 7.5 sacks or more in nine of his 10 seasons played. There were serious concerns that his age was getting the best of him last year as he only had one sack in his first ten games, but then he went on a tear racking up eight sacks and above average tackle numbers over his last seven games. He's one of the older players in his ranking range but the emergence of Sam Hubbard as a reliable pass-rushing bookend should keep Dunlap's production a float for at least one more season.


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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 1, 2020
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