Eric Mack
Wednesday July 31st, 2013

Houston's J.J. Watt is an IDP machine, but is so good that his price tag may actually be too high.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Fantasy football 2013 draft prep central: Rankings, position primers and much more

Let's just get this out of the way: I hate IDP leagues. There. I feel better.

Plenty of readers disagree, however. As always, SI is here to help. Here's the biggest challenge with IDP play: There are so many good players. Should an owner go for the best players, or the players in the situations best equipped to produce fantasy stats? Inconsistency on a weekly and yearly basis makes IDP a constant struggle.

There's a clear leader at each position group: J.J. Watt at defensive line, Luke Kuechly at linebacker and Charles Tillman at defensive back. Beyond that, it's a lot of chaos. I'll try to help you deal with it.

Position primers: Quarterbacks | Receivers | Running backs | Tight Ends | Kickers | D/ST | IDP

IDP notables

Reach: J.J. Watt, Houston Texans. In his two seasons, Watt has become the most dominant defender in football. He's also been the highest-scoring IDP at the low-scoring defensive line position. He is the Jimmy Graham of IDP formats: far and away the best player at a position that generally doesn't make a huge impact. The problem with have him is the inclination to pick him as many as five rounds too early. IDPs, even Watt, are a dime a dozen. Watt was the 50th overall pick in the magazine mock draft below, but IDPs should start getting picked when defensive/special teams units do: after the top 90.

Steal: Chandler Jones, New England Patriots. Jones came out of the gate as a rookie with six sacks and three forced fumbles in the first half of the season before injuries derailed him. Jones is going to be healthier, stronger and more consistent in his second year. Heck, maybe he is this year's Watt-like second-year breakthrough IDP. He's available late, but he'll perform like a star. Yours truly should have considered him over Elvis Dumervil as a flex IDP with the last pick of the mock draft below. Jones even went undrafted. Now, that's a bargain.

Injury risk: Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants. In 2011 we were all down with JPP; In 2012, JPP was down for us. The freakishly talented defensive end slumped from 16½ sacks to 6½ and tallied almost 25 less solo tackles. Now he is coming off June back surgery that puts the start of his regular season in jeopardy. JPP didn't acclimate to being a full-timer ahead of Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora last season. Now, Umenyiora is in Atlanta, and the Giants aren't going to be able to play three pass rushers of that ilk at one time anymore. JPP is going to draw a lot of attention from opposing pass protection schemes. It could be a frustrating start to the season for his owners. Instead of burning a premium pick on him in IDP drafts, you might be better off trading for him below value after the first week or two of the season.

Top rookie: Jarvis Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers. There are a number of immensely talented defensive rookies to tout this year, including LB Dion Jordan (MIA), DE Ezekiel (Ziggy) Ansah (DET), DE Barkevious Mingo (CLE), CB Dee Milliner (NYJ), CB D.J. Hayden (OAK), DT Sheldon Richardson (NYJ), DT Star Lotulelei (Utah) and S Kenny Vaccaro (NO), who were all drafted in Round 1 this April before Jones went off the board to the Steelers at 17th overall. S Eric Reid (SF), CB Desmond Trufant (ATL), DT Sharrif Floyd (MIN), DE Bjoern Werner (IND), CB Xavier Rhodes (MIN), DE Datone Jones (GB), DT Sylvester Williams (DEN), LB Alec Ogletree (STL) and S Matt Elam (BAL) were all also drafted in the first round. That doesn't even include LB Manti Te'o (SD). This draft was about the defenders. Have we mentioned the IDP options are deep and varied? For the top rookie pick, we are going to go with the guy who could be the first rookie defensive starter for the proud Steelers defense since 2001. Jones is a right outside linebacker who can be used to add a serious pass rush to the Steelers' defense. The best part of his fit in Pittsburgh is that he has played that same position in the 3-4 at Georgia. Jones can be an instant IDP monster in a defense that is aging and still far better than anyone gives them credit for.

IDP rankings

Fantasy football IDP rankings for 2013
1J.J. WattHOU81Luke KuechlyCAR41Charles TillmanCHI8
2Cameron WakeMIA62James LaurinaitisSTL112Richard ShermanSEA12
3Jason Pierre-PaulNYG93Jerod MayoNE103Bernard PollardTEN8
4Jared AllenMIN54Patrick WillisSF94Morgan BurnettGB4
5DeMarcus WareDAL115NaVorro BowmanSF95Ed ReedBAL8
6Julius PeppersCHI86Derrick JohnsonKC106Harrison SmithMIN5
7Calais CampbellARI97Paul PoslusznyJAC97Roman HarperNO7
8Geno AtkinsCIN128D'Qwell JacksonCLE108Patrick PetersonARI9
9Mario WilliamsBUF129Lavonte DavidTB59Mark BarronTB5
10Anthony SpencerDAL1110Sean LeeDAL1110Cary WilliamsPHI12
11Elvis DumervilBAL811London FletcherWAS511George WilsonTEN8
12Charles JohnsonCAR412Bobby WagnerSEA1212Eric WeddleSD8
13Greg HardyCAR413Brian CushingHOU813LaRon LandryIND8
14Chris LongSTL1114Clay MatthewsGB414Tim JenningsCHI8
15Cameron JordanNO715Chad GreenwayMIN515DeAngelo HallWAS5
16Michael JohnsonCIN1216Desmond BishopGB416Dashon GoldsonTB5
17Carlos DunlapCIN1217DeMarcus WareDAL1117Eric BerryKC10
18Robert QuinnSTL1118Von MillerDEN918Cortland FinneganSTL11
19Osi UmenyioraATL619Aldon SmithSF919Tyvon BranchOAK7
20Brandon GrahamPHI1220Curtis LoftonNO720Jason McCourtyTEN8
21Cliff AvrilSEA1221Dannell EllerbeMIA621Antoine BetheaIND8
22Derrick MorganTEN822Wesley WoodyardDEN922Tramon WilliamsGB4
23Muhammad WilkersonNYJ1023Jarvis JonesPIT523Kam ChancellorSEA12
24Trent ColePHI1224Donald ButlerSD824Dawan LandryJAC9
25Chandler JonesNE1025Lawrence TimmonsPIT525Janoris JenkinsSTL11
26Ndamukong SuhDET926Perry RileyWAS526Stevie BrownNYG9
27Ahtyba RubinCLE1027David HarrisNYJ1027Devin McCourtyNE10
28Adrian ClaybornTB528Sean WitherspoonATL628Pat ChungPHI12
29Corey LiugetSD829Jerrell FreemanIND829William MooreATL6
30Justin TuckNYG930Anthony SpencerDAL1130Glover QuinDET9
31Michael BennettSEA1231Colin McCarthyTEN831Reggie NelsonCIN12
32Haloti NgataBAL832Dont'a HightowerNE1032Antrel RolleNYG9
33Derek WolfeDEN933Paul KrugerCLE1033Reshad JonesMIA6
34Justin SmithSF934Vontaze BurfictCIN1234Donte WhitnerSF9
35Ziggy AnsahDET935D.J. WilliamsCHI835Dunta RobinsonKC10
36Nick FairleyDET936DeMeco RyansPHI1236Thomas DeCoudATL6
37Vince WilforkNE1037Terrell SuggsBAL837Da'Norris SearcyBUF12
38Marcell DareusBUF1238Lance BriggsCHI838Michael HuffBAL8
39Bruce IrvinSEA1239Russell AllenJAC939Ryan ClarkPIT5
40Brian RobisonMIN540Stephen TullochDET940Jairus ByrdBUF12
41Rob NinkovichNE1041Kevin BurnettOAK741Matt ElamBAL8
42Chris ClemonsSEA1242Rob NinkovichNE1042Charles WoodsonOAK7
43Kamerion WimbleyTEN843A.J. HawkGB443Johnathan JosephHOU8
44Brett KeiselPIT544Larry FootePIT544John CyprienJAC9
45Bjoern WernerIND845Jo-Lonn DunbarSTL1145Champ BaileyDEN9

Check back all preseason for updates

IDP mock draft

The following draft was conducted for Athlon Sports' annual magazine. It is a standard 12-team IDP league (including defensive/special teams units) with the following scoring categories: Solo tackle = 1 point, assisted tackle = ½ point, sack = 3½ points, interception = 3½ points, forced fumble = 2 points, fumble recovery = 2 points, defensive touchdown = 8 points, safety = 2 points, passes defensed = ½ point, blocked kick = 4 points.

Athlon Sports' IDP mock draft
1Adrian PetersonEric MackRBMINSports Illustrated
2LeSean McCoyMatt
3Arian FosterCorby YarbroughRBHOUAthlon Sports
4Doug MartinMike ClayRBTBPro Football Focus
5Jamaal CharlesMark RossRBKCAthlon Sports
6Marshawn LynchSteven LassanRBSEAAthlon Sports
7Ray RiceBrandon FunstonRBBALYahoo! Sports
8Calvin JohnsonNathan RushWRDETAthlon Sports
9Trent RichardsonJohn
10C.J. SpillerBraden GallRBBUFAthlon Sports
11Alfred MorrisJamey
12Matt ForteMitch LightRBCHIAthlon Sports
13A.J. GreenMitch LightWRCINAthlon Sports
14Steven JacksonJamey
15Julio JonesBraden GallWRATLAthlon Sports
16Jimmy GrahamJohn
17Chris JohnsonNathan RushRBTENAthlon Sports
18Maurice Jones-DrewBrandon FunstonRBJACYahoo! Sports
19Dez BryantSteven LassanWRDALAthlon Sports
20Brandon MarshallMark RossWRCHIAthlon Sports
21Rob GronkowskiMike ClayTENEPro Football Focus
22Percy HarvinCorby YarbroughWRSEAAthlon Sports
23Demaryius ThomasMatt
24Aaron RodgersEric MackQBGBSports Illustrated
25Stevan RidleyEric MackRBNESports Illustrated
26Darren McFaddenMatt
27DeMarco MurrayCorby YarbroughRBDALAthlon Sports
28Frank GoreMike ClayRBSFPro Football Focus
29Randall CobbMark RossWRGBAthlon Sports
30Andre JohnsonSteven LassanWRHOUAthlon Sports
31Victor CruzBrandon FunstonWRNYGYahoo! Sports
32Roddy WhiteNathan RushWRATLAthlon Sports
33Larry FitzgeraldJohn
34Jordy NelsonBraden GallWRGBAthlon Sports
35Drew BreesJamey
36David WilsonMitch LightRBNYGAthlon Sports
37Matt RyanMitch LightQBATLAthlon Sports
38Vincent JacksonJamey
39Montee BallBraden GallRBDENAthlon Sports
40Reggie BushJohn
41Colin KaepernickNathan RushQBSFAthlon Sports
42Cam NewtonBrandon FunstonQBCARYahoo! Sports
43Wes WelkerSteven LassanWRDENAthlon Sports
44Darren SprolesMark RossRBNOAthlon Sports
45Hakeem NicksMike ClayWRNYGPro Football Focus
46Aaron HernandezCorby YarbroughTENEAthlon Sports
47Jason WittenMatt
48Marques ColstonEric MackWRNOSports Illustrated
49Eric DeckerEric MackWRDENSports Illustrated
50J.J. WattMatt
51Lamar MillerCorby YarbroughRBMIAAthlon Sports
52Reggie WayneMike ClayWRINDPro Football Focus
53Tom BradyMark RossQBNEAthlon Sports
54Le'Veon BellSteven LassanRBPITAthlon Sports
55Ryan MathewsBrandon FunstonRBSDYahoo! Sports
56Mike WallaceNathan RushWRMIAAthlon Sports
57Dwyane BoweJohn
58Eddie LacyBraden GallRBGBAthlon Sports
59Vick BallardJamey
60Torrey SmithMitch LightWRBALAthlon Sports
61Andre BrownMitch LightRBNYGAthlon Sports
62Pierre GarconJamey
63Andrew LuckBraden GallQBINDAthlon Sports
64Peyton ManningJohn
65DeSean JacksonNathan RushWRPHIAthlon Sports
66Danny AmendolaBrandon FunstonWRNEYahoo! Sports
67Steve SmithSteven LassanWRCARAthlon Sports
68Antonio BrownMark RossWRPITAthlon Sports
69Chris IvoryMike ClayRBNYJPro Football Focus
70James JonesCorby YarbroughWRGBAthlon Sports
71T.Y. HiltonMatt
72Jeremy MaclinEric MackWRPHISports Illustrated
73Stevie JohnsonEric MackWRBUFSports Illustrated
74Tony RomoMatt
75Tavon AustinCorby YarbroughWRSTLAthlon Sports
76Greg JenningsMike ClayWRMINPro Football Focus
77Giovani BernardMark RossRBCINAthlon Sports
78Jason Pierre-PaulSteven LassanDLNYGAthlon Sports
79Cecil ShortsBrandon FunstonWRJACYahoo! Sports
80BenJarvus Green-EllisNathan RushRBCINAthlon Sports
81Tony GonzalezJohn
82Vernon DavisBraden GallTESFAthlon Sports
83Danario AlexanderJamey
84Lance MooreMitch LightWRNOAthlon Sports
85Kyle RudolphMitch LightTEMINAthlon Sports
86Shane VereenJamey
87Michael FloydBraden GallWRARIAthlon Sports
88Rashard MendenhallJohn
89Antonio GatesNathan RushTESDAthlon Sports
90Miles AustinBrandon FunstonWRDALYahoo! Sports
91Jonathan StewartSteven LassanRBCARAthlon Sports
92Mark IngramMark RossRBNOAthlon Sports
93Robert Griffin IIIMike ClayQBWASPro Football Focus
94Josh GordonCorby YarbroughWRCLEAthlon Sports
95Isaiah PeadMatt
96Daryl RichardsonEric MackRBSTLSports Illustrated
97Zac StacyEric MackRBSTLSports Illustrated
98Kenny BrittMatt
99Matthew StaffordCorby YarbroughQBDETAthlon Sports
100Ben TateMike ClayRBHOUPro Football Focus
101Mikel LeshoureMark RossRBDETAthlon Sports
102Russell WilsonSteven LassanQBSEAAthlon Sports
103Dennis PittaBrandon FunstonTEBALYahoo! Sports
104Bernard PierceNathan RushRBBALAthlon Sports
105Mike WilliamsJohn
106Johnathan FranklinBraden GallRBGBAthlon Sports
107Denarius MooreJamey
108Luke KuechlyMitch LightLBCARAthlon Sports
109DeAngelo WilliamsMitch LightRBCARAthlon Sports
110Bryce BrownJamey
111San FranciscoBraden GallDSTSFAthlon Sports
112Fred JacksonJohn
113Patrick WillisNathan RushLBSFAthlon Sports
114Bobby WagnerBrandon FunstonLBSEAYahoo! Sports
115Jacquizz RodgersSteven LassanRBATLAthlon Sports
116Justin BlackmonMark RossWRJACAthlon Sports
117Kendall WrightMike ClayWRTENPro Football Focus
118Cameron WakeCorby YarbroughDLMIAAthlon Sports
119Sidney RiceMatt
120SeattleEric MackDSTSEASports Illustrated
121NaVorro BowmanEric MackLBSFSports Illustrated
122Pierre ThomasMatt
123Ryan WilliamsCorby YarbroughRBARIAthlon Sports
124James LaurinaitisMike ClayLBSTLPro Football Focus
125Von MillerMark RossLBDENAthlon Sports
126Lavonte DavidSteven LassanLBTBAthlon Sports
127Paul PoslusznyBrandon FunstonLBJACYahoo! Sports
128DeMarcus WareNathan RushDLDALAthlon Sports
129Chad GreenwayJohn
130Jared AllenBraden GallDLMINAthlon Sports
131Charles JohnsonJamey
132Mario WilliamsMitch LightDLBUFAthlon Sports
133Aldon SmithMitch LightLBSFAthlon Sports
134Emmanuel SandersJamey
135Ahmad BradshawBraden GallRBFAAthlon Sports
136Derrick JohnsonJohn
137Danny WoodheadNathan RushRBSDAthlon Sports
138DenverBrandon FunstonDSTDENYahoo! Sports
139Ben RoethlisbergerSteven LassanQBPITAthlon Sports
140Eli ManningMark RossQBNYGAthlon Sports
141Sean LeeMike ClayLBDALPro Football Focus
142DeAndre HopkinsCorby YarbroughWRHOUAthlon Sports
143Vincent BrownMatt
144Alshon JefferyEric MackWRCHISports Illustrated
145Charles TillmanEric MackDBCHISports Illustrated
146D'Qwell JacksonMatt
147Morgan BurnettCorby YarbroughDBGBAthlon Sports
148Kendall HunterMike ClayRBSFPro Football Focus
149Jerod MayoMark RossLBNEAthlon Sports
150Desmond BishopSteven LassanLBGBAthlon Sports
151Aaron DobsonBrandon FunstonWRNEYahoo! Sports
152Michael VickNathan RushQBPHIAthlon Sports
153Chris GivensJohn
154Keenan AllenBraden GallWRSDAthlon Sports
155Greg OlsenJamey
156Andy DaltonMitch LightQBCINAthlon Sports
157Santonio HolmesMitch LightWRNYJAthlon Sports
158Ryan BroylesJamey
159Joe FlaccoBraden GallQBBALAthlon Sports
160Harrison SmithJohn
161Anquan BoldinNathan RushWRSFAthlon Sports
162Calais CampbellBrandon FunstonDLARIYahoo! Sports
163Owen DanielsSteven LassanTEHOUAthlon Sports
164Geno AtkinsMark RossDLCINAthlon Sports
165Julius PeppersMike ClayDLCHIPro Football Focus
166Jay CutlerCorby YarbroughQBCHIAthlon Sports
167Daryl WashingtonMatt
168Brandon PettigrewEric MackTEDETSports Illustrated
169A.J. JenkinsEric MackWRSFSports Illustrated
170Philip RiversMatt
171ChicagoCorby YarbroughDSTCHIAthlon Sports
172Ryan TannehillMike ClayQBMIAPro Football Focus
173HoustonMark RossDSTHOUAthlon Sports
174CincinnatiSteven LassanDSTCINAthlon Sports
175Ronnie HillmanBrandon FunstonRBDENYahoo! Sports
176Martellus BennettNathan RushTECHIAthlon Sports
177Sam BradfordJohn
178Mark BarronBraden GallDBTBAthlon Sports
179Lawrence TimmonsJamey
180St. LouisMitch LightDSTSTLAthlon Sports
181Tyler EifertMitch LightTECINAthlon Sports
182Jared CookJamey
183Sean WeatherspoonBraden GallLBATLAthlon Sports
184LaMichael JamesJohn
185New EnglandNathan RushDSTNEAthlon Sports
186Eric BerryBrandon FunstonDBKCYahoo! Sports
187Eric WeddleSteven LassanDBSDAthlon Sports
188Jermichael FinleyMark RossTEGBAthlon Sports
189Rueben RandleMike ClayWRNYGPro Football Focus
190Joseph RandleCorby YarbroughRBDALAthlon Sports
191Wesley WoodyardMatt
192Greg HardyEric MackDLCARSports Illustrated
193Shonn GreeneEric MackRBTENSports Illustrated
194Brian HartlineMatt
195Cordarrelle PattersonCorby YarbroughWRMINAthlon Sports
196Tyvon BranchMike ClayDBOAKPro Football Focus
197Dwayne AllenMark RossTEINDAthlon Sports
198Jonathan DwyerSteven LassanRBPITAthlon Sports
199Fred DavisBrandon FunstonTEWASYahoo! Sports
200Patrick PetersonNathan RushDBARIAthlon Sports
201Green BayJohn
202Mohamed SanuBraden GallWRCINAthlon Sports
203Kam ChancellorJamey
204LaRon LandryMitch LightDBINDAthlon Sports
205Richard ShermanMitch LightDBSEAAthlon Sports
207Robert WoodsBraden GallWRBUFAthlon Sports
208Justin SmithJohn
209PittsburghNathan RushDSTPITAthlon Sports
210Golden TateBrandon FunstonWRSEAYahoo! Sports
211Rod StreaterSteven LassanWROAKAthlon Sports
212Cortland FinneganMark RossDBSTLAthlon Sports
213Mike GillisleeMike ClayRBMIAPro Football Focus
214Donald ButlerCorby YarbroughLBSDAthlon Sports
215Johnathan CyprienMatt
216Toby GerhartEric MackRBMINSports Illustrated
217Stephen GostkowskiEric MackKNESports Illustrated
219Matt BryantCorby YarbroughKATLAthlon Sports
220Tampa BayMike ClayDSTTBPro Football Focus
221Blair WalshMark RossKMINAthlon Sports
222Stepfan TaylorSteven LassanRBARIAthlon Sports
223Matt SchaubBrandon FunstonQBHOUYahoo! Sports
224Justin TuckerNathan RushKBALAthlon Sports
225Phil DawsonJohn
226Arthur BrownBraden GallLBBALAthlon Sports
227Matt PraterJamey
228Brandon LaFellMitch LightWRCARAthlon Sports
229Greg ZuerleinMitch LightKSTLAthlon Sports
230London FletcherJamey
231Alex HeneryBraden GallKPHIAthlon Sports
232Michael BushJohn
233Manti Te'oNathan RushLBSDAthlon Sports
234Dan BaileyBrandon FunstonKDALYahoo! Sports
235Sebastian JanikowskiSteven LassanKOAKAthlon Sports
236Malcom FloydMark RossWRSDAthlon Sports
237Kai ForbathMike ClayKWASPro Football Focus
238Brian CushingCorby YarbroughLBHOUAthlon Sports
239Adam VinatieriMatt
240Elvis DumervilEric MackDLBALSports Illustrated

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