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Fantasy Football: Darkhorse IDP candidates to finish as the top scorers in 2023

2MA081H Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen (41) raises his hands to the stands during an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

Each year, there are players that come out of nowhere to deliver huge fantasy seasons, especially in IDP leagues given the relative instability of NFL defenses. With that in mind, let’s focus on some of the darkhorse options that have the best shot to be the next IDPs to surprise fantasy managers in 2023.

These darkhorse options are all going outside of the top 10 at their position according to ADP collected by The IDP Show from IDP-only drafts that have been taking place regularly throughout this entire offseason.

IDP scoring (PFF-preferred):
Position Solo TKLs Assists Sacks TFLs QB Hits PBUs
DE/DI 2.5 1.25 4 1 2 2
LB 1.5 0.75 4 1 1 2
CB/S 2 1 4 1 1 2

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Edge defender

Before locking in our choice for the dark horse EDGE1 for 2023, it’s going to be important to look back at the past couple of seasons to see the anatomy of what made up each of the past EDGE1 finishers in IDP.

Season ED1 Points per game Sacks Tackles QB hits
2022 Maxx Crosby 18.8 12.5 88 35
2021 T.J. Watt 23.1 22.5 64 39
  • Both Watt and Crosby hit double-digit sacks and over 35 QB hits, putting them among the league's most productive pass-rushers. Watt, specifically, had an exceptional 2021 season in converting sacks, which goes a very long way for fantasy points.
  • Tackle production was also especially important with both players ranking inside the top 10 at their position in total tackles, with Crosby leading the position in 2022.
Season ED1 Pass-rush grade Pressure rate Win rate
2022 Maxx Crosby 83.5 13.2% 15.6%
2021 T.J. Watt 90.6 15.8% 15.8%
  • To become the most productive pass rushers in the league, the underlying pass-rush metrics have to be exceptional for the position as well.
  • Both players finished inside the top 10 in PFF pass-rush grade in their EDGE1 seasons.
  • Both were well above average in terms of pressure rate and win rate in each season as well (min. 250 pass-rush snaps).

2023 Darkhorse EDGE1: Josh Allen, Jacksonville Jaguars


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