How Do You Start An IDP League in 2021 and Beyond?

After reading about what an IDP league is, you are probably wondering “How do you start an IDP League?” After checking around to see if any of your friends are even interested in playing IDP Fantasy Football, you found that there was interest and now need to find out how to set up an IDP League that closes the deal. 

How Do You Start An IDP League in 2021 and Beyond?
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 10: Aaron Donald #99 of the Los Angeles Rams celebrates a turnover on downs during the fourth quarter in the game against the New England Patriots at SoFi Stadium on December 10, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) How Do You Start An IDP League in 2021 and Beyond?

How to start an IDP League? Part 1…How many teams do you want?

The first thing you need to do is figure out how many teams you want in your league. I always like bigger leagues like 14 and 16 teams, but others love the 10 team format. You know how many friends you have interested, and you know that they have friends, but be realistic and set up the number of teams first. 10 and 12 team leagues have more players to pick from, while 14 and 16 team leagues create a challenge of what strategy you are going to use to build your roster.

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How to start an IDP League? Part 2…How many roster spots and how many starters by position?

Next on your docket, you need to decide on roster size and starter compilation. I like to have mandatory starters for each position. The defensive positions include defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, cornerback, and safety. I’ve seen other leagues just go defensive line, linebacker, and defensive back.

You want to allow the roster size to accommodate the starter rules along with 1-2 backups per position, in addition to deciding how many starts will be had at each position. My leagues have 1 Defensive Tackle, 2 Defensive Ends, 2 or 3 Linebackers, 2 Cornerbacks, 2 Safeties, and either 1 or 2 Flex Players to make 11 starters. You can also do something like 1 or 2 Defensive Linemen, 2 Linebackers, 2 Defensive Backs, and 2 or 3 Flex Positions. Do not go below 7 starters total, or you will find your IDPs don’t carry enough value to make a difference in a league. You want them to matter!

How Do You Start An IDP League in 2021 and Beyond?
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 11: Inside linebacker Patrick Queen #48 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate linebacker Malik Harrison #40 after returning a fumble for a fourth quarter touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) How Do You Start An IDP League in 2021 and Beyond?

How do you start an IDP League? Part 3…Set up your tiered scoring.

It is now time to figure out scoring. I use a tiered system based on position. Defensive Tackles and Cornerbacks get more points per tackle than Linebackers do. Linebackers get more points for a Pass Defense than Cornerbacks do. You want to come up with a scoring system that is easy for your owners to understand, yet complex enough for each individual position to have enough value that they matter. A good starting point is to have Defensive Tackles get 3 or 4 points per tackle. Maybe Linebackers get 2 or 2 ½ points. Also of note, be aware that you give points for a tackle, a tackle for a loss, and a sack. If there is a sack, they get all 3 scoring categories added together. Let’s say you want to give Linebackers 2.5 points per tackle, 4 points per tackle for a loss, and 7 points per sack. Just remember that is not how you will enter the scoring rules on your website. Instead, you would set up the scoring rules on the site as tackles=2.5 points, tackle for a loss=1.5, and sacks=3 points. They are added together, as a sack is also a tackle and a tackle for a loss. Also decide if you want to give more scoring categories like Assists, Pass Defensed, Quarterback Hit, Safeties, Blocked Kick, etc.

There are so many different ways to make IDPs important in a league just by tweaking their scoring. On most websites that support IDP scoring, after inputting your rules, check how they would have scored in the past year. If you like it, leave it alone. If you don’t, which I imagine on your first try you won’t, adjust your scoring and check again.

How Do You Start An IDP League in 2021 and Beyond?
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 13: Defensive end Chase Young #99 of the Washington Football Team runs in a fumble recovery to score a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter of the game at State Farm Stadium on December 13, 2020 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) How Do You Start An IDP League in 2021 and Beyond?

How do you start an IDP League? Part 4…Use your resources.

Last, but not least, there are a lot of resources out there for IDP Leagues. There are podcasts and websites galore. Find the ones that resonate with you and take full advantage of their knowledge. 

Have fun with your IDP League setup. Don’t let others tell you what you should think. Stay true to yourself. May your day be blessed and the fantasy gods look down upon you with kindness!

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