How to set up Fantasy Football IDP Scoring

by The “Don” Piccolo


It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to talk about IDP.


I’m going to show you how to look for or set up a balanced / heavy IDP scoring league (whichever you prefer).


Full disclaimer: You’re going to see some numbers and think to yourself: “no way that can be right.” Trust “The Don” on this one, it will change your fantasy experience. If you’re looking for a good time and a new experience, IDP is the way to go.


Let’s talk about IDP Scoring and how it can be balanced to compete with offensive scoring. I’m going to lay the IDP Scoring out for you then explain the reason for the score. The lowest number used is for a balanced IDP while the higher number is for those of you who add extra bonuses to the offense or just want defense to blow up. These settings are calculated as if they are stacking the points as seen on Sleeper – Fantasy Leagues with Friends and other formats like Reality Sports Online | The REAL Fantasy Football, where they give you all five defensive positions to use to score each individual position.


Remember, 5 position IDP leagues will need some adjusting. In order to balance 5 position leagues, for example, you can have DT Premium to help boost the position. On Sleeper, which I love by the way, they have DL, LB, and DB. That means I’m not looking to have many DT play that position, but that’s a conversation for a different day. 


Below are the scoring settings I recommend for your IDP League, along with an explanation of why the setting is as it is.


  • IDP TD (6)
  • Sack (6) 
  • Hit on QB (1-3)
  • Tackle for Loss (2-4)
  • Blocked Punt, PAT or FG (3-6)
  • Interception (6-8)
  • INT Return Yards (+0.1 per yard (10 yards = 1 point)
  • Fumble Recovery (3-4)
  • Fumble Return Yards( +0.1 per yard (10 yards = 1 point)
  • Forced Fumble ( 3-4) 
  • Safety ( 3-8)
  • Assisted Tackle (1) 
  • Solo Tackle (2)
  • Pass Defended ( 3-4)


IDP TD is obvious: touchdowns are worth 6 points. Pretty straightforward.


Sacks are game changers during the game, just as a TD is a game changer. Granted, TD’s don’t happen nearly as often, but that doesn’t change what a sack means in a game. In addition when you look at the numbers there aren’t as many sacks as you would think when you average each player out over the course of 16 games. In some cases players get all their sacks in just a handful of games and lay goose eggs on other weeks. If you do your homework, it will pay off on bye weeks and tough matchups. 

Hit on QB is a great statistic to have because QB hits take their toll on Quarterbacks. You can save yourself when you have to start 3 DL by searching for the guys who get there, just not quite there for the sack. Nonetheless QB Hit helps the DL have more relevance and provides balance.


Blocked Punt, PAT or FG is pretty straight forward. 3 is the balance, but they happen in rare form so giving them an extra pop for the added fun in the league is just fine.


Interception is a game changing play. For that reason you have to give an INT the respect it deserves. They are rare so if one happens and the stack is correct you can have INT to the house can be as high as 26pts with these settings (100 yd Return). 


I’m going to combine the explanation for both INT and FR yards because they are one in the same. Every 10 yards earned is a point, just like the offense. You can’t ask for better balance in this category in my opinion. Offense gets points for their yards so why not the defense? However, you can choose to leave them out as well if you still want your offense to have an edge in IDP. 


The same applies to FF and FR: they need to be rewarded. Are you seeing the pattern here? IDP scoring should include all facets of defensive play because they impact the game too! A FORCED FUMBLE is not an easy thing to do in the NFL and recovering the Fumble is a whole other thing. Those piles can get nasty with men fighting for the ball every second and that deserves to be recognized.


Safety is going to be short and sweet, use your discretion because they are so far and few in the end that it doesn’t make as much of a difference as other categories.


Pass Deflections are becoming more frequent thanks to the high octane passing game of the NFL. Let’s not underestimate the PD, it is very much as important as any FF or FR and can change the course of a game in the most crucial moment. Imagine this: it’s third down on MNF and you need just two points to win the game. The QB drops back, passes it to what looks like an open receiver…. But you get the pass deflection and win! That’s a rush. If you want this type of feeling in your league, make sure to make PD worth it.


Assisted and SOLO Tackles are the foundation of IDP scoring. What I mean is that these are the most common outcomes so you have to be sure it is balanced. For example: Budda led the league in solo tackles with 106 for a total 212 pts in just solo tackles. Add in  the 42 assisted tackles and that gives him 254 points before the other categories are factored in. Sleeper has an option to separate an assisted tackle from a SOLO tackle. You don’t want both set at 2 because then you are registering 4 pts a tackle. Added with the other settings, this can make for an IDP heavy league… SO BE CAREFUL!! 


Side Note: Baker had 0 INT, and only 6 PD. So for a Safety of his caliber that is the floor safe to say. 


Lastly, please make sure to take your IDP scoring settings as seriously as the offense if you want the league to flourish. Pro Tip: run your numbers on league leaders as well as the top 25 to find a true Tier for your IDP. This will keep you from reaching, and set the tone for each round.


Have you been in an IDP league? What are your preferred settings? Let me know on Twitter @PiccoloPodcast!


One thought on “How to set up Fantasy Football IDP Scoring

  1. Thanks a lot (even if i’m late).
    Just a question in regard with stacking on Sleepers : a sack can be really high (TFL + QB hit + Solo/Assisted tackle + sack). Is it a good understanding ?

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