Getting Defensive – Top IDP DLs

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By Jacob Bourgeois; Twitter: @FantasyBantasy

This is the second of three articles on the top tier IDP guys – giving you my top 30 ranks for DL.  The first article on the league’s best IDP linebackers is here.  For DL the name of the game is position scarcity, the value at the top is really hard to replicate with stuff off waivers and week to week performance is hard to predict.  It’s worth it to your team to have one of the names on the top of this list, and there aren’t high end contributors from every draft class.  This year (2021) is looking like a down year, but as seen from the draft positions of the top guys on this list, its possible that a star emerges.  Keep an eye on snap counts and week by week progress then jump on guys early if they’re starting to pop.  Again, don’t pay up for anything but the very top, but also don’t underestimate a Romeo Okwara’s ability to keep you from those goose eggs. 

Not listed here are the top DLs from the draft: Kwity Paye (IND), Payton Turner (NOS), Greg Rousseau (BUF), Jayson Oweh (BAL).

Below listed are my ranks and notes on why, then following is a look at each player’s Age, Draft stock, Position, Year drafted, Fantasy points (sourced from FantasyPros.com).

PlayerAGEDraftedPos.Year202020192018AvgJacob RankNotes
Myles Garrett (CLE) 251DE201711.511.21010.91Adding Clowney should give him a chance at a Danold-like season
Chase Young (WAS) 222DE202010.1Ohio St.Ohio St.10.12They’re young and hungry, Chase is elite talent in a great spot
Nick Bosa (SF) 232DE2019Injured9.7Ohio St.9.73The injury and loss of Buckner last offseason are concerns, but the pedigree and age are elite
Joey Bosa (LAC) 253DE201610.411.310.610.84Been a model citizen in average game production for the last three years
Aaron Donald (LAR) 2913DT201410.310.815.312.15We know Aaron
Danielle Hunter (MIN) 2688DE2015Injured12.712.912.86Some have forgotten how dominant he was in 2018-19 before injury.  Only 26.
DeForest Buckner (IND) 277DT201610.19.811.510.57He’s uber consistent from the tackle spot.
Quinnen Williams (NYJ) 233DT201910.1DevelopingAlabama10.18Many considered him the best talent in the loaded 2019 class. 
Brian Burns (CAR) 2316DE20199.6DevelopingFlorida St.9.69Does it all with a high motor.
Montez Sweat (WAS) 2426DE20199.3DevelopingMiss. St.9.310Gets to play opposite Young on this loaded DL.
Jason Pierre-Paul (TB) 3215OLB201010.49.611.310.411The rare OLB with DL designation getting old, but let the fantasy points talk. 
Stephon Tuitt (PIT) 2746DE20149.49.97.18.812He gets the TJ Watt impact lining up with one on one coverage.
J.J. Watt (ARI) 3211DE20119.6914.110.913Old man, new home with Chandler Jones – I bet he puts up a great season trying to pace TJ.
Yannick Ngakoue (LV) 2669DE20166.810.878.214Talent in a rough spot – traded twice last season, never got it going in Vegas in 2020.
Sam Hubbard (CIN) 2577DE20187.710.66.88.415We thought 2019 was the breakout but regressed with the Bengals in 2020.  New additions Trey and Sample should improve the lines consistency.
Maxx Crosby (LV) 23106DE20197.110.2E. Mich.8.716Big step back after a great rookie season – but he sees all the snaps so should have opps if team improves.
Chris Jones (KC) 2637DT20166.48.8129.117The sack streak is definitely over from 2018, but its hard to fade that updside.
Frank Clark (KC) 2763DE20155.99.810.78.818With Jones, he gets to play vs teams in passing situations the entire second half most games. 
Trey Hendrickson (CIN) 26103DE20178.3DevelopingDeveloping8.319New home and starting role to build on great year in spots with the Saints
DeMarcus Lawrence (DAL) 2934DE20149.17.511.79.420Had a bounce back 2020 at 29 years old, lets see if he has another year of juice.
Cameron Jordan (NO) 3124DE20118.11110.910.021He’s like JPP, I’m going to let the stats tell me when he’s done, not his age.
Kenny Clark (GB) 2527NT20165.27.69.87.522He’s a tackle, but he’s always out there for Green Bay.
Jonathan Allen (WAS) 2617DT20175.98.98.27.723Another WAS DL 
Josh Sweat (PHI) 24130DE20187.6DevelopingDeveloping7.624Had a breakout season in 2020 taking snaps from Barnett and Graham. 
Trey Flowers (DET) 27101DE20158.4898.525Might be too low on Flowers, but need to see 
Romeo Okwara (DET) 25UDFADE20168.93.27.26.426Broke out starting across from Flowers, lets see if they can keep it going with new coaching.
Jeffery Simmons (TEN) 2319DE20196.56.4Miss. St.6.527Highly touted coming out delt with injuries in 2019 and is on an island somewhat in TEN
Josh Allen (JAC) 237DE20194.18.4Kentucky6.328Young starting end on a team finding its form again on defense.
Jadeveon Clowney (CLE) 281DE20145.68.8118.529Absolute waste of 2020, should bounce back playing with Garrett
Cameron Heyward (PIT) 3131DE20117.111.38.28.930PIT DL.  He’s getting up there, but still has a nice complement of rushers around him.