Looking at the recently published defensive linemen rankings in dynasty fantasy football leagues, there’s a consensus at the top. Houston end JJ Watt should be at the top of any IPD list. He exploded in his second year with a league leading 20.5 sacks and, maybe an even more impressive, 16 passes defended from the line. With Wade Phillips back leading the defense, and Watt entering his age-24 season, there’s no reason to doubt Watt’s potential. Whether it’s dynasty or re-draft leagues, Watt is at the top.
Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Football Giants was JJ Watt before JJ Watt was JJ Watt. In 2011, JPP had a breakout in his second year, just like Watt, with 16.5 sacks and 7 passes defended. But the Giants defense overall regressed mightily to the 2nd worst in the league statistically. On top of that, Pierre-Paul recently completed back surgery which puts his status to start the season in jeopardy. Even if he were to start in Week 1, the G-Men don’t plan on taxing him in training camp and pre-season which might delay his conditioning. At least he’s only entering his age-24 season (like Watt) so there’s time for JPP to bounce back.
St. Louis Ram Robert Quinn, the consensus #3 DL in dynasty, is all about potential. Only entering his age-23 season, Quinn’s coming off a 10.5 sack season while only starting 14 games. He’s also getting a new defensive coordinator in Tim Walton who previously coached the secondary in Detroit under Jim Schwartz, who coached under current St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher. Walton led an average secondary in Detroit that did no better than 16th in opposing passing yards. Hopefully, Walton can get more out of Quinn regardless.