Here’s the latest in our series on 2016 IDP tiers and this time we’re finishing off with Defensive Ends. You’ll notice to Cornerback tiers, that’s really because CB production is so random it’s impossible to predict. If you look at the last 3 years of CB fantasy scores, you’ll see what I mean. There’s a different top 10 every year. If you missed it, here are the links to our Defensive Tackle tiers, Linebacker tiers and our Safety tiers. And of course don’t forget to check out our IDP top 100 rankings. So, with no further adieu, let’s jump in and talk about dynasty rankings for DEs. Here we consider not only production but age, so that whether you’re looking for trades or doing an IDP startup you can consider long term solutions as well as short-term fixes.
Tier 1 – Elite
JJ Watt, HOU – He just does it all and does it exceptionally well. Despite recent talk of retirement, will be here long enough to make him an IDP cornerstone.
Robert Quinn, LAR – Recovering from a back injury so some risk here, but when healthy is as disruptive as they come. #1 DE in 2013 and top 10 in 2014 prior to injury. Still only 26.
Tier 2 – Solid Starters
Ezekial Ansah, DET – Finally coming into his own, finished in top 5 last year for the first time and only 27.
Muhammed Wilkerson, NYJ – 26 year old producing from the non-traditional 3-4 end position says a lot. Finished only behind Watt last year in standard scoring IDP
Carlos Dunlap, CIN – Seems like he’s been around a while but still only 27. Finished in top 5 for the first time last year.
Olivier Vernon, NYG – Big paycheck, turned 25 and ready to cause havoc in New York with JPP on the other side of him. Perfect timing for his career breakout.
Jason Pierre-Paul, NYG – Risky for sure, though you can’t deny pre-injury he was in tier 1, he falls to here only because we don’t know how he’ll do two seasons post blowing his hand up.
Cameron Jordon, NOS – Steady perfomer over the last few years and only 26. May not get much better but will not get worse.
Vinny Curry, PHI – Hasn’t broken out yet so a bit of a risk, but big contract and starter on a 4-3 defense with Jim Schwartz at the helm? The signs are all there for a breakout.
Everson Griffin, MIN – Another solid performer that consistently finished in the top 12. At 28 is not going to get much better but will be a solid starter for another 4-5 years.
Tier 3 – Quality Veterans and Upside Youth
Calais Campbell, ARI – another quality 3-4 end. He’s getting up there in age and will pass the torch to Nkemdiche soon.
Mario Williams, MIA – Old, yes. Determination, possible. Talent, unquestionable.
Robert Ayers, TB – Doing well since moving to Tampa.
Charles Johnson, Kony Ealy, CAR – both enigmas wrapped in questions but both set up for production this season.
Donte Fowler, JAX – Unproven and coming off of injury but very talented and will develop sooner rather than later.
Demarcus Lawrence, DAL – Young but questionable too.
Joey Bosa, SD – 3-4 end is not good but he has athleticism to overcome it.
Noah Spence, TB – This is a great fit, if he keeps his nose clean he has high upside.
Robert Nkemdiche, ARI – See Calais Campell.
Charles Tapper, DAL – underutilized in college and the most athletic DE in this class. High sleeper potential.
DeForest Buckner, SF – Again, 3-4 end is not great but Buckner has size/speed combo to be lethal.
For DE’s the rest of the pack really is quite a crap-shoot and don’t typically separate themselves by very many points per game, so we’ll stop here.