IDP Roundtable – IDP versus DST

DP or DST, that is the question. Charles Ashe and Jeff Ratcliffe have a debate on how the defensive side of the ball should be set up in fantasy.

| 2 years ago
Jadeveon Clowney

IDP Roundtable – IDP versus DST


Jadeveon ClowneyI am an IDP snob, so when I started a conversation with Assistant Managing Editor Jeff Ratcliffe about IDP formats versus DST formats, I expected us to both sing the merits of deep IDP leagues. Instead, Ratcliffe offered up nuanced thoughts on the merits of both.

Ashe: Jeff, thanks for participating in this chat. There are a lot of things that I want to ask you, but the obvious way to start off a conversation with our resident IDP maven is to ask why play fantasy football with IDP?

The upcoming season will be my 15th year playing fantasy football, and I have never played with a team defense. The idea of picking an entire unit to play defense for my team seems utterly ridiculous to me, as silly as picking an entire team offense. But there are still millions of people around the world who think that playing IDP fantasy football is the strange way to play. You have played in both IDP and Team DST formats. Which would you recommend?

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Ashe started his writing career at the now-defunct CNNSI in Atlanta.  He moved on to CNN Domestic where he joined his first fantasy football league. He writes about sports and politics when he isn’t checking the waiver wire.



casheatl started his writing career at the now defunct CNN Sports Illustrated in Atlanta. He moved on to CNN Domestic where he joined his first fantasy football league. He writes about sports and politics when he is not checking the waiver wire

  • kbonney

    Since we’re having Commish Corner here today let me chime in…… I agree with Ratcliffe about fun being the overall determining factor. You have to gauge the level of commitment and football expertise of the players in your league before switching to IDP. Casual football and casual fantasy fans usually prefer playing DST because defense is always less exciting than offense. It’s the same reason why the NFL skews the rules towards passing offense, Entertainment.

    I’ve been running a 14Team, .5PPR, IDP league for the last five years.
    Here are our IDP positions: D, D, D, DB, DB, DL, LB
    And summary point system: Solo 1, Assist .5, TFL 2, Sack 3.5, INT 4.5, Pass Defended 1.5

    Overall with my point system I try to keep position value as close as possible. I like to do this so that multiple strategies can be successful on draft day and during the season. You may choose to go heavy on Tackles for consistency or mix in a few sack masters for explosion. Usually in our league people begin drafting the most valuable defensive players in round 5-6. Basically the best defenders have been close to WR2 value. This year we’ve added in points for 40yd plays and 1st downs which has juiced up the offense a bit more. I personally would love to boost defensive scoring so that defenders are equally valuable to offensive players or at least a consideration in the 3rd round, but my league mates would resist such a change b/c they like many are more entertained by offense.

  • kbonney

    IDP:Chess > DST:Checkers

  • aaronbeach

    Base on the three IDP leagues I’ve done, it appears to me that if you are going to do IDP, and make it just as relevant as offensive fantasy football – you need to setup rosters so that the depth at each position is relatively close to the depth at offensive positions. This mean roughly 11 IDPs. The scoring can be adjusted so that teams get roughly half their scoring from defense and half from Offense.

    The reason being that there are many more relevant/starting players on defense – and not matching this depth means that IDP roster management is like being in a 4 or 6 team league, which none of us would like to be in. Take LBs for instance, each sunday there are probably about 100 relevant LBs, in the sense that there are about 30-40 relevant RBs or about 100 relevant WRs.

    In the past I’ve seen the 5-8 defense player IDPs suck because on the defensive side there is very little roster pressure and trades are focused exclusively on blockbuster superstars due to the lack of depth. The only reason people don’t generally complain is that they (we) are almost all novice fantasy players when it comes to IDPs – whereas we know every handcuff RB, few of us follow backup LBs or DL in terms of fantasy potential for every team in the league…

    But if we had 11 IDPs… we would probably have to pay attention… it’s just good honest fantasy… and I think most people that do IDPs don’t really take them seriously…

  • Ben August

    Biggest issue with IDP is that it simply rewards the wrong categories/plays and stats.

    Is a shutdown CB so good, the opposing QB won’t even throw in his direction? ZERO points awarded!

    Just get bulldozed for an 11 yard gain and a first down, plus your player made the tackle?? Points, AND more opportunities for more poor tackles, for MORE points!! Just what we want from defense!!

    Did your LB drop into coverage, and play a perfectly covered route? Zero points!

    Did your MLB concede an average of 3.5 yards per carry, and then “assist” with the tackle? Points! In fact, points all day long as the other team realizes how poor the run defense is, resulting in lots of runs for them, lots of yards allowed by the defense, and tons of fantasy points for your below-average MLB that you drafted! Yay!! Totally makes sense

    IDP…literally broken.