Big-name defensive players were on the move during the offseason, with Dante Fowler Jr., Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, DeForest Buckner and Cory Littleton all changing teams via free agency or trade. For Fantasy football leagues that use individual defensive players (IDP), making the right call on where they should land in the 2020 Fantasy football IDP rankings can give you a major edge. Finding players who can pile up tackles, sacks and turnovers is an essential part of any 2020 Fantasy football strategy.
That's why linebackers like Bobby Wagner, Jaylon Smith and Zach Cunningham are near the top of the Fantasy football IDP rankings 2020. There are also plenty of defensive backs and linemen who can generate major production. Before going on the clock in any IDP leagues, you need to see what SportsLine's Scott Engel has to say. His Fantasy football IDP rankings 2020 can help make sure you get maximum value out of your individual defensive player.
Engel is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame and has been a premier analyst and Fantasy personality for nearly 25 years. He is a four-time FSWA Award Winner and nine-time nominee.
In addition to being the Fantasy writer for the official site of the Seattle Seahawks since 2012, Engel has appeared on ESPN.com, NFL.com, Yahoo Sports, the New York Post, USA Today, SI.com, Rotoballer and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio and many other major sports news outlets. Engel also pulled off a three-peat in his highly-competitive New York City Fantasy football league in 2019 that features high-stakes players and top experts.
Now, Engel has released his 2020 Fantasy football rankings for IDP leagues and revealed his top sleepers, breakouts and busts so you'll have an edge.
Top 2020 Fantasy football IDP picks
One player Engel is extremely high on in his Fantasy football IDP rankings 2020: Raiders linebacker Cory Littleton. The former Washington standout spent his first four seasons as a Los Angeles Ram, totaling 205 solo tackles and 110 assisted stops. He also improved each season, recording a career-best 134 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, and two interceptions in 2019.
A sideline-to-sideline force, Littleton agreed to a three-year, $36 million contract with the Raiders during the offseason. He doesn't turn 27 until Nov. 18 and joins Nick Kwiatkoski in remaking the Las Vegas linebacking corps that has struggled in recent years. Littleton has six interceptions in the past three seasons, while all Raiders linebackers combined have five picks in the past six seasons. Littleton's youth and talent, coupled with his consistent playmaking ability, is why Engel ranks him as his No. 8 overall defensive player in his Fantasy football IDP rankings 2020.
And a massive shocker: Aaron Donald, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and five-time All-Pro selection, doesn't even crack the top 25. Donald is unquestionably one of the biggest defensive forces in the league but saw some of his key numbers dip in 2019. He saw his sack total drop from 20.5 to 12.5 and his total tackles fall from 59 to 48.
After having a hand in six turnovers in both 2017 and 2018, that figure dropped to three in 2019. Donald sees regular double teams, and while that is beneficial to the Rams' defensive overall, it isn't particularly helpful for Fantasy players looking for consistent numbers. Engel ranks defensive linemen like Myles Garrett and Danielle Hunter ahead of Donald, so don't reach for him in IDP Fantasy leagues.
Where to find 2020 Fantasy football IDP rankings
Engel is also calling for a surprising linebacker you aren't even thinking about to finish in the top 10 of his 2020 IDP Fantasy football rankings. This pick could be the difference between winning big and going home with nothing. See who it is here.
So which defensive players should you build your team around? And which overlooked linebacker do you need to jump on? Visit SportsLine now to find out which players should be the top targets in 2020 Fantasy football IDP leagues, all from an award-winning Fantasy football expert, and find out.