Draft Strategy: Individual defensive players

It sounds like a Southern rap click, but it's actually a fantasy football format for the fantasy dork in all of us. For the true fantasy nerd, the one who needs even more players to manage, more mind-numbing numbers to tide him over, we present IDP: individual defensive players.

IDP adds a new dimension to your roster. Instead of relying solely on a single team's defensive matchup, you start a variety of individual defenders, broken down by position. On the fantasy nerd scale, IDP is getting pretty close to "Dungeons & Dragons" territory. Don't be ashamed, though. Be proud that managing your offense isn't enough. IDP quantifies more football, accounts for more statistics, considers the whole other side of the ball. Isn't that what fantasy is about? Quantifying the numbers of a sport on a competitive stage? IDP allots points for statistics that go beyond the commonly rewarded defense/special teams (D/ST) modifiers (sacks, points and turnovers). We're talking tackles, both solo and assisted, even deflections. That's right, kids, we count deflections. Sheldon Brown tips a sloppily thrown ball in late December, and a league championship hangs in the balance.

No longer is it merely the elite team defenses, the Bears and Ravens, that strike fear into your fantasy opponent. You can proudly own some Raiders, Packers and Bengals and not only contend but excel in this realm. The impact on scoring can be much more significant than that of a team defense. Shrewd IDP managers can make up for an anemic offense if they identify what to look for in their defenders. You can carry your team through some disgusting offensive patches (like for all of those who wound up starting Bruce Gradkowski last season), relying on productive IDP players to make up the difference.