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IDP Top 20 Turnover by Position
Steve Gallo
July 24, 2012
Follow Follow @IDPSteve
 

Football is a sport not just for the young at heart but also the young in general.  Football players easily have the shortest career lengths among the major sports.  The NFL Players Association says that the average NFL career is just 3 ½ seasons.  Sure, there are players that approach and pass a decade in the league but they are far from the norm.  When you have turnover like that then it makes senses that there is turnover in fantasy football rankings.

One of the biggest mistakes that inexperienced fantasy players make is to draft off the previous year’s end of season rankings – all types of changes that can affect a player’s fantasy value for the upcoming season.  On the offensive side of the ball, coaching changes, changes in offensive philosophy, retirement and or injury to a key player can all have a negative effect on an offensive player’s value.  However, with that said a RB is usually going to remain a RB and not move to FB or the OL and the same goes for WRs.  The difference for IDP players is that not only can the above listed issues affect a player’s value, but a position change can too.  While a MLB and SLB are both linebacker positions that doesn’t mean they are going to have nearly the same fantasy value. 

What you will find below are tables for Defensive Linemen, Linebackers & Defensive Backs.  The tables show the turnover of the top 20 from the previous year.  The numbers in the boxes represents where a top 20 player ranked within their position the season after their top 20 performance.  To help illustrate the turnover, boxes are color-coded.  Green shows a player that repeated a top 20 performance; blue shows a ranking between 21 thru 50 and red indicates a player that ended the season ranked 51st or worse.  The yellow DNP boxes indicate a player did not play the year following a top 20 performance, and the yellow PC boxes utilized in the defensive linemen tables indicates a top 20 DL that had his position changed to LB.

First we will take a look at the linebacker position.

Linebackers
Previous Year
Ranking
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
1 2 39 2 1 1 3 43
2 5 6 5 23 2 19 12
3 119 3 91 49 85 58 17
4 12 2 36 102 8 12 7
5 93 5 37 10 31 6 31
6 4 125 29 28 16 54 1
7 19 40 35 14 19 31 16
8 164 53 6 2 34 22 44
9 32 36 79 68 13 17 6
10 83 34 10 12 4 5 19
11 3 25 12 137 46 13 4
12 6 15 46 61 7 28 8
13 7 16 17 35 38 23 33
14 39 8 32 31 10 100 42
15 26 20 30 4 24 27 58
16 23 13 31 DNP 69 148 DNP
17 13 31 58 40 27 120 3
18 31 46 102 5 DNP 2 61
19 1 4 7 54 117 33 219
20 88 DNP 14 69 95 163 36

The following table shows how the top 20 LBs fared by year.

  • 44.3% or 8.86 LBs/year repeat a top 20 performance the next year – the best among all defensive positions.
  • 31.4% of top 5 LBs/year repeated their previous top 5 performance, meaning that 68.6% fail to repeat a top 5 performance.
  • 75.8% of the top 20 LBs/year at least finish in the top 50 the following year.
Linebackers
Rank 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Avg.
Top 20 10 10 8 7 9 8 10 8.86
21-50 5 7 8 6 6 6 6 6.29
51+ 5 2 4 6 4 6 3 4.29
DNP 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0.57

Next up are the guys that play in the trenches on the defensive line.

Defensive Linemen
Previous Year
Ranking
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
1 35 2 1 4 3 10 58
2 18 101 PC 3 9 PC 3
3 67 103 9 102 4 1 220
4 24 12 47 14 1 5 8
5 4 131 150 103 22 DNP 15
6 1 21 27 DNP 91 33 70
7 15 1 PC 2 7 11 30
8 71 8 7 9 28 67 27
9 3 3 18 24 13 2 7
10 86 10 44 122 69 19 2
11 64 13 39 95 58 167 14
12 19 143 15 DNP 47 173 93
13 8 23 5 46 20 44 22
14 17 5 PC 1 37 PC 6
15 PC 43 2 161 12 40 77
16 43 145 76 26 46 72 11
17 51 136 DNP 124 207 91(PC) 4
18 89 6 52 8 164 104 20
19 36 9 110 16 115 60 39
20 94 86 DNP DNP 39 3 55

The following table shows how the top 20 DLs fared by year.

  • 41.5% or 8.29 DLs/year repeat a top 20 performance the next year – just 6.3% less than the LB position. 
  • 31.4% of top 5 DL/year repeated their previous top 5 performance – the exact same percentage as LBs do.
  • 60.8% of the top 20 DL/year at least finish in the top 50 the following year – 19.8% fewer than the LB position.   
Defensive Linemen
Rank 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Avg.
Top 20 8 10 7 8 8 7 10 8.29
21-50 4 3 4 3 6 3 4 3.86
51+ 7 7 4 6 6 7 6 6.14
DNP/PC 1 0 5 3 0 3 0 1.71

Lastly, we’ll take a look at the deepest position in all of fantasy football, defensive backs – you know, guys that for the most part run like the wind and tackle like a matador.

Defensive Backs
Previous Year
Ranking
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
1 240 2 126 82 29 9 60
2 3 18 24 77 4 89 149
3 144 3 45 45 26 15 DNP
4 150 11 10 71 103 12 63
5 203 92 143 257 84 6 148
6 65 8 36 101 38 55 42
7 1 35 6 22 80 10 12
8 32 32 154 9 16 226 16
9 24 10 DNP 36 34 140 11
10 85 40 48 72 87 159 5
11 12 6 18 41 36 DNP DNP
12 8 48 65 213 13 24 6
13 7 51 15 44 69 75 186
14 73 2 DNP 11 11 36 21
15 33 79 131 61 25 3 9
16 DNP 70 82 104 93 49 116
17 52 59 84 166 213 248 39
18 30 98 28 1 5 58 2
19 297 29 79 76 62 18 142
20 96 19 44 6 184 27 345

The following table shows how the top 20 DBs fared by year.

  • 70.7% or 14 DBs/year failed to repeat a top 20 performance the next year – by far the worst percentage of all three defensive positions. 
  • 88.6% of top 5 DBs/year failed to repeat their previous top 5 performance – only 5 DBs in the past seven years have repeated a top 5 performance.
  • 50% of the top 20 DBs/year failed to at least finish in the top 50 the following.
Defensive Backs
Rank 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Avg.
Top 20 5 9 4 4 5 7 7 5.86
21-50 4 5 4 3 6 4 3 4.14
51+ 10 6 10 13 9 8 8 9.14
DNP 1 0 2 0 0 1 2 0.86

With an average turnover rate of 61.7% among all IDP positions combined, it goes to show just how difficult playing IDP can be.  However, what the numbers also show, at least in my opinion, is that DL is the position you should target first in your IDP drafts.  While the DL position has a slightly lower top 20 repeat number than the LB position does, it isn’t nearly as deep, and that is the reason why I feel that targeting the top options at DL on draft day is a prudent move. 

Note:  Huddle IDPScoring system: solo tackle (2 pts), assisted tackle (1 pt), sack (3 pts), forced or recovered fumble (3 pts), interception (3 pts) and pass defended (1 pt).

Follow me on twitter @IDPSteve and if you have any questions, criticisms, or suggestions feel free to email me at gallo@thehuddle.com.


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