Fantasy News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

Top-10 defensive linemen to target in IDP dynasty leagues

Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) celebrates after a play against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Acquiring the best defensive linemen in IDP dynasty leagues requires a lot of draft capital or an expensive crop of players going the other way in return. Either way, finding consistent top-tier production along the defensive line is one of the more difficult tasks in IDP, and hitting on a potential big-time defensive lineman at the right price can allow dynasty managers to build a strong IDP roster for years to come with one or two elite pieces at defensive linemen.

There isn’t a ton of reliable depth at the defensive line position for IDP — even in true position leagues — so relying on advanced metrics can often help identify hidden gems in the IDP world. Not all the players listed below are necessarily low-profile players, but they could be targeted and acquired for a lower cost than their perceived value.

Be sure to check out the top linebackers to target and avoid in IDP dynasty leagues as well.


Click here for more PFF tools:

Draft Guide & Big Board | Mock Draft Simulator
Dynasty Rankings & Projections | Free Agent Rankings | 2022 QB Annual
Player Grades


EDGE MAXX CROSBY, LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

Easily one of the most impressive defensive players in 2021, Crosby had a true breakout year, as he was named a second-team All-Pro while leading the NFL in total pressures (101). If you ask IDP managers about his 2021 season, however, you’ll hear stories of frustration because he didn’t put up the box score numbers necessary to consistently win IDP managers their weeks.

While Crosby managed eight sacks on the year, those sacks came in just four games, causing him to be more “bust” than “boom” last year. This kind of season creates frustrations that will likely carry over to this offseason, and we should take advantage.

Not only did Crosby lead all players in pressures by a large margin in 2021, but he also earned elite grades overall (91.4) and as a pass-rusher (91.8). Along with the best pass-rush win rate in the league (26.8%), Crosby touts all the best stable metrics when predicting future success. Crosby’s general IDP value has yet to catch up to what he was able to accomplish on the field this past season, making now the perfect time to lock up an elite player at his position at an affordable cost.

Maxx Crosby’s 2021 season compared to his peers
PFF grade

(EDGE rank)

Pass-rush grade

(EDGE rank)

Total pressures

(EDGE rank)

Pass-rush win-rate

(EDGE rank)

Total sacks

(EDGE rank)

91.4 (2nd) 91.8 (2nd) 101 (1st) 26.8% (1st) 8 (T-25th)


EDGE RASHAN GARY, GREEN BAY PACKERS

Gary makes the list as another edge defender who has had an under-the-radar breakout this past season, finishing second at his position in pass-rush win rate (26.0%). Stepping into a starting role for the injured Za’Darius Smith in 2021, Gary was able to provide the Packers with a meaningful return on the first-round pick they spent on him.

Gary set new career-highs in total tackles (47), sacks (9.5), pass-rush grade (88.9) and overall grade (89.3) by a significant margin. What’s more impressive is that his grades and win rates suggest that he can produce even more, which should elicit excitement among IDP managers and is a significant reason to target him in dynasty leagues.

Gary’s 81 pressures (second among edge defenders) paved the way for him to generate an 18.4% pressure rate. At 24 years old and in line for another starting role in 2022 and beyond, expect Gary’s tackle and sack totals to increase moving forward.

Rashan Gary’s 2021 season compared to his peers
PFF grade

(EDGE rank)

Pass-rush grade

(EDGE rank)

Total pressures

(EDGE rank)

Pass-rush win-rate

(EDGE rank)

Total sacks

(EDGE rank)

89.3 (5th) 88.9 (8th) 81 (2nd) 26.0% (2nd) 9.5 (T-15th)

DI CHRISTIAN BARMORE, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Barmore is quietly coming off of one of the best rookie pass-rushing campaigns in the PFF era (2006-on) but because he didn’t put up gaudy sack numbers (just 1.5), it has gone unnoticed by many. Barmore’s final season at Alabama saw him lead the SEC at his position in overall grade (89.9), pass-rush grade (91.5), win-rate (18.9%), pressures (39) and sacks (eight).

While repeating his college numbers in the NFL would have been a tall task, Barmore's 2021 achievements turned out to be impressive, nonetheless. He finished top 10 at his position in total pressures (48) and inside the top 15 in pass-rush grade (75.4).

The defensive tackle position is as shallow in IDP, which is why we must target Barmore when the price is this low. Don’t be surprised ifBarmore falls in drafts as well — where he is DT7 in the PFF's dynasty rankings because some won't be as educated about Barmore's potential, making him a smart player to target in drafts of all shapes and sizes.

How Christian Barmore’s rookie season ranks among all DI players since 2006
Pass-rush grade

(Rookie DI rank)

Total pressures

(Rookie DI rank)

Pressure rate

(Rookie DI rank)

Pass-rush win-rate

(Rookie DI rank)

Total sacks

(Rookie DI rank)

75.4 (T-8th) 48 (T-2nd) 12.6% (3rd) 16.6% (2nd) 1.5 (T-84th)
PFF's 2022 NFL Draft Guide provides analysis, strengths/weaknesses, comparisons, grades and more for all of college football's top prospects. Subscribe today for access…

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.
Sponsor

Fantasy Featured Tools

  • Sort projected player stats and fantasy points by position, week, and category.

    Available with

    Edge
  • Available with

    Edge
  • PFF's Fantasy Football Expected Points tool is primarily used for identifying potential over and undervalued players.

    Available with

    Elite
  • Research past fantasy performance with sortable player stats including PFF-exclusives like aDOT and fantasy points per opportunity.

    Available with

    Edge
  • PFF’s Fantasy Strength of Schedule (SoS) metric provides a league-wide, season-long view of opponent matchups for each fantasy position.

    Available with

    Edge
Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr