2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: IDP Defensive Linemen <br> By Steve Strange
By Steve Strange. Steve Strange, a graduate of Penn State's Center for Sports Journalism in 2006, is currently writing Fantasy is Reality, a book geared around the commissioner aspect of fantasy sports. Steve has been playing fantasy sports of all sorts and sizes since 1997. Feel free to e-mail Steve questions and comments at [email protected].
These 2010 Fantasy Football IDP Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out the other 2010 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2010 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material.
Jared Allen, DL, Vikings. Bye: 4.
The mullet is gone, but the non-stop motor remains. Allen scores in all categories, and plays on the league's best defensive line. He's the undisputed No. 1 defensive lineman.
Mario Williams, DL, Texans. Bye: 7.
The pass-happy nature of the Texans offense and weak secondary play on defense helps Williams from a fantasy standpoint. Teams pass on the Texans, and Williams has recorded 35 sacks over the last three seasons.
Trent Cole, DL, Eagles. Bye: 8.
Cole isn't a household name, but he's had more than 70 tackles two of the last three seasons. Philadelphia loves to blitz and Cole has 34 sacks over the last three seasons. The 27-year-old isn't flashy, but he is consistent.
Julius Peppers, DL, Bears. Bye: 8.
You know about the contract and the sacks, but Peppers also has some hidden fantasy value. He's racked up 18 forced fumbles and 28 passes defended over the last five seasons.
Terrell Suggs, DL, Ravens. Bye: 8.
Don't let a bad 2009 scare you away. Suggs is a talented 27-year-old linebacker with defensive line eligibility on a good defense. He should return to 8-sack, 70-tackle form.
Justin Tuck, DL, Giants. Bye: 8.
Shoulder problems limited Tuck to six sacks last year, but the 27-year-old had 22 sacks in 2007-2008. The line is the strength of the Giants defense which means offenses should pass. This will allow Tuck to get back to double-digit sacks.
Will Smith, DL, Saints. Bye: 10.
Does the real Will Smith get three sacks (like in 2008), or 13 sacks (like last year)? The addition of Alex Brown should help Smith stay productive.
Osi Umenyiora, DL, Giants. Bye: 8.
Umenyiora hasn't been the same since 2008 ACL surgery, but it wasn't long ago that the 28-year old was putting up 13-sack seasons. A playable hip and the nature of the Giants defense makes the upside of the talented Umenyiora worth the gamble.
Dwight Freeney, DL, Colts. Bye: 7.
Back-to-back seasons of double-digit sacks makes Freeney attractive. Just remember that he hasn't exceeded 30 tackles since 2005.
Robert Mathis, DL, Colts. Bye: 7.
Mathis averages five forced fumbles and nine sacks per season, but he has durability concerns. Mathis has only played one full season since 2005.
Aaron Kampman, DL, Jaguars. Bye: 9.
Kampman has been on the decline since 2007, and he's trying to shake off a torn ACL. But he does get a fresh start in Jacksonville's 4-3, so there is some hope.
John Abraham, DL, Falcons. Bye: 8.
A foot injury limited the 32-year-old Abraham to 5.5 sacks last season. But Abraham had 16.5 sacks in 2008. It's time to find out if he has any gas left in the tank.
Kyle Vanden Bosch, DL, Lions. Bye: 7.
Vanden Bosch's numbers have been way down the last two seasons. Maybe reuniting with Jim Schwartz can save the 31-year-old's fantasy value, but don't over-gamble on it.
Darnell Dockett, DL, 6. Bye: 7.
Dockett won't rack up sacks, but he's good for 50 tackles a season. Dockett hasn't missed a game in six NFL seasons.
Ndamukong Suh, DL, Lions. Bye: 7.
Suh was an absolute beast for Nebraska. Everything about his skill set screams NFL success.
Ray Edwards, DL, Vikings. Bye: 4.
Fresh off signing a 1-year contract, and playing next to Jared Allen and the Williams Wall, there's a boatload of upside surrounding Edwards. The 25-year-old had 8.5 sacks last year, and should continue to improve.
Alex Brown, DL, Saints. Bye: 10.
Brown was extremely consistent for the Bears, recording between 41 to 48 tackles and 4.5 to 7 sacks each of the last five seasons.
Shaun Ellis, DL, Jets. Bye: 7.
The 33-year-old Ellis peaked in 2003, but has remained solid since. He'll put up Darnell Dockett-type numbers with a little less upside.
Chris Long, DL, Rams. Bye: 9.
Long has the talent and pedigree, and made positive strides in the second half of last season. Now is the time to buy him dirt cheap.
Justin Smith, DL, 49ers. Bye: 9.
Smith averaged more than 77 tackles a season from 2006 through 2008, but dipped to 55 tackles last year. Smith's 30, so there's a chance he could return to form.
I don't dislike the Peppers pick for the Dolphins, but if you think he is a safety and not a LB then it won't happen. Jones and Peppers don't make a great coverage combo. The Dolphins are more likely to roll the dice on Nate Allen for the year, who seems a better compliment to Jones than Peppers, who seems a clone. I don't know so much about the guy, but the Dolphins are more likely to go guard or LB than S and most likely to go CB. Well, they will almost assuredly trade down, but that isa different point.