The 2009 version of Yahoo! Fantasy Football includes many spectacular enhancements -- free live scoring, FAAB capability, Rivalry Week, choice of fries or fruit cup -- and we encourage you to take advantage of all the new features. But for serious players, the upgrades that will matter most involve the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) game. In addition to customizable scoring, we offer a full menu of defensive positions. It's a slick set-up.
Basically, if Dick LeBeau were a Yahoo! fantasy engineer, he would have designed something a lot like this year's game. And our coed flag team would dominate via the zone-blitz.
FantasyGuru.com's Joe Dolan just delivered an outstanding IDP strategy primer, leaving few scraps for me to collect. His piece is a necessary read. As Joe notes, it's essential that you know your settings and draft accordingly. Despite all the dogma that exists in fantasy, there's really not a widely accepted standard for IDP scoring. High-volume tacklers will ultimately finish as the points leaders in most leagues, yet small tweaks to the value of sacks and turnovers can change things significantly. Thus the first bolded subhead in Joe's article: Know your scoring.
In Yahoo! leagues -- and this is especially important for auto-drafters -- you'll need to pre-rank defensive players. We've built a nice game, but the IDP rankings are left to the gamers themselves. Below you'll find my first attempt at arranging an IDP draft board based on the following settings: 1 point per solo tackle, 0.5 per tackle assist, 2 per sack, 3 per INT, 2 per fumble forced, 2 per fumble recovered, 6 per TD, 2 per safety, 1 per pass defended, 2 per blocked kick.
Let's simply say that I have a strong incentive to draft well in that hypothetical format, so your thoughtful commentary is appreciated. There aren't many defensive players who I'm willing to stash on my bench during a bye week, but the guys at the top of these lists are among them...
Photo via Getty Images