UPDATED: August 24, 2010
The Defensive Lineman position is the shallowest Individual Defensive Player (IDP) spot to draft for. While there is a fair amount of consistency at this position year to year (this year's Top 5 is basically the same as last year's), the position depth is quite limited. That fact alone may be a solid argument for passing over top Linebackers and grabbing a Jared Allen or Justin Tuck with your initial IDP draft picks.
With linemen their weekly production is less consistent than with linebackers. Where tackles are fairly reliable week to week, sacks, which is what lineman are noted for, are significantly rare, and hard to predict. While getting a player with consistent yearly sack totals is a solid goal, I tend to look for those with consistent solo tackles.
One important bit of advice in drafting linemen is to aim for defensive ends over defensive tackles. Tackles tend to get less fantasy production opportunities. The majority of Linemen on this list, especially the top 25 are defensive ends. These are the playmakers.
Two rookies who could make an impact this year; Derrick Morgan for the Tennessee Titans and Brandon Graham for the Philadelphia Eagles. They barely sneaks into my top 50, but it would be wise to keep an eye on both, and perhaps stash them in dynasty leagues.
|1.||Jared Allen||MIN||26.||Shaun Ellis||NYJ|
|2.||Justin Tuck||NYG||27.||Derrick Harvey||JAX|
|3.||Mario Williams||HOU||28.||William Hayes||TEN|
|4.||Julius Peppers||CHI||29.||Haloti Ngata||BAL|
|5.||Trent Cole||PHI||30.||Derrick Morgan||KC|
|6.||Terrell Suggs||BAL||31.||Kelly Gregg||BAL|
|7.||Robert Mathis||IND||32.||Conner Barwin||HOU|
|8.||Will Smith||NOS||33.||Charles Johnson||CAR|
|9.||Aaron Kampman||JAX||34.||Darryl Tapp||PHI|
|10.||Ray Edwards||MIN||35.||Kevin Williams||MIN|
|11.||Mathias Kiwanuka||NYG||36.||Derrick Morgan||TEN|
|12.||Darnell Dockett||ARI||37.||Kroy Beirmann||ATL|
|13.||Justin Smith||SFO||38.||Sedrick Ellis||NOS|
|14.||Chris Long||STL||39.||Jonathan Babineaux||ATL|
|15.||Kyle Vandenbosch||DET||40.||Kyle Williams||BUF|
|16.||Cliff Avril||DET||41.||Matt Shaughnessy||OAK|
|17.||Greg 'Stylez' White||TB||42.||Richard Seymour||OAK|
|18.||Osi Umenyiora||NYG||43.||Gerald McCoy||TB|
|19.||Dwight Freeney||IND||44.||Randy Starks||MIA|
|20.||Alex Brown||NOS||45.||Tyler Brayton||CAR|
|21.||Calais Campbell||ARI||46.||Tony Brown||TEN|
|22.||Antwan Odom||CIN||47.||Albert Haynesworth||WAS|
|23.||Trevor Scott*||OAK||48.||Michael Johnson||CIN|
|24.||Jay Ratliff||DAL||49.||Mark Anderson||CHI|
|25.||Jon Abraham||ATL||50.||Brandon Graham||PHI|
*Scott will likely play OLB position in 2010, so IF he retains his DL eligibility (as he does in Yahoo and ESPN leagues) he is a solid DL pick. If your league lists him only as a LB, then he does not rank in the Top 50.