2012 IDP Draft Rankings - Linebackers (Redraft)

I will continually update these rankings throughout the off-season to reflect changes in free agency, defensive schemes, defensive playing time, rookie draft selections, etc.

Drafting Philosophy:
Linebackers are undoubtedly the staples of a fantasy defense. However, I believe many owners often times misjudge value at this position. There are a plethora of LB1 potential linebackers (Cushing, Butler, Timmons, etc.) that can be had many rounds after the Tier 1 and even Tier 2 linebackers are off the board. With this said, the best strategy this season is to wait until the top 5-10 linebackers have been taken and then come in and start plucking up the aforementioned LB1 upside linebackers that are sitting in the 15-20 range.

In addition, IDP studs always emerge at the linebacker position during the early part of the season (e.g. Colin McCarthy, Sean Lee, Pat Angerer, Daryl Washington, James Anderson, etc.). With this being said, it makes more sense to go with high upside, boom/bust linebackers in the later rounds as opposed to playing it safe with high floor, low ceiling players. If the risky play doesn't work out, you can always turn to the waiver wire to possibly scoop up an early season linebacker stud.


Scoring System:
Solo Tackle = 2 points
Assist = 1 point
Sack = 7 points
Interception = 7 points
Forced Fumble = 5 points
Fumble Recovery = 5 points

Key:
DSC = Possible Defensive Scheme Change
S = Sleeper/Undervalued Player
B = Bust/Overvalued Player
R = Injury Risk


Tier 1

D'Qwell Jackson 1. MLB D'Qwell Jackson (CLE) – Jackson just signed a long-term deal with the Browns this off-season. He's the center of Cleveland's defense and is the best pure tackle producer in the league when healthy.



Patrick Willis 2. RILB Patrick Willis (SF) - Willis has been the #1 LB taken off the board in most leagues over the last couple of years, but his value has dropped slightly with the emergence of up and coming stud Navarro Bowman. He's still a clear cut LB1 however and a good bet for 95-105 solos per year.



Tier 2

James Laurinaitis 3. MLB James Laurinaitis (STL) – Laurinaitis had the best fantasy season of his young career in 2011 with 142 total tackles. He's averaged 103 solo tackles and a couple sacks a year over his first three seasons and has shown no signs of slowing down. He lays outside the top 3 due to the historical lack of assisted tackles issued by the Rams scorekeeper over the last several straight seasons.

Derrick Johnson 4. RILB Derrick Johnson (KC) – Johnson was a fantasy darling of many owners upon entering the league in 2005. However, he quickly fall out of fashion with the Kansas City coaching staff and found himself on the bench while mediocre fill-ins such as Demorrio Williams received a bulk of the snaps. That all changed in 2010 when Johnson launched himself back into the starting lineup and became the leader of the KC defense. He was even better in 2011 and deserves to be a top 5-10 pick in most fantasy formats come this season.

Colin McCarthy 5. MLB Colin McCarthy (TEN) – McCarthy turned out to be one of the best mid-season waiver wire IDP pickups of 2011. In just 8 starts, he racked up 50 solo tackles, 13 assists, 2 FFs, 2 FRs, and 1 sack. If you extrapolate those numbers over the course of an entire season, McCarthy is a low-end LB1. I expect his numbers to improve further this season as he will only get better with more experience.  S


Daryl Washington 6. RILB Daryl Washington (ARI) – Washington really came into his own last season especially towards the end of the year. Look for his numbers to continue to trend upwards as Ray Horton builds his defense around this talented ILB out of TCU. Look for 100+ solos next season.

Navarro Bowman 7. LILB Navarro Bowman (SF) – Bowman's 2011 numbers were a surprise even to those who follow the defensive side very of football quite closely. He was regarded as an above average run-stopping LB coming out of Penn State, but playing next to arguably the best fantasy LB in the game seemed that it would put a severe damper on his production. Well that thinking turned out to be dead wrong as Bowman actually outpaced Willis' production last year. With this said, be careful not to overvalue Bowman based on his 2011 numbers. A healthy Patrick Willis will likely carve into Bowman's production a bit. He's still well worth a top 10 pick, however.

London Fletcher 8. MLB London Fletcher-Baker (WAS) – LFB is perhaps the most consistent IDP in the history of fantasy football and actually had one of the best years of his career from a pure production standpoint last season at the age of 36. With this said, he did start to show signs of slowing down and I expect his production to be curtailed a bit as Perry Riley continues to emerge as an IDP presence on the strong side.

Ray Lewis 9. WILB Ray Lewis (BAL) – Along with London Fletcher, Lewis has established himself as one of the most consistent year-to-year fantasy linebackers in the game. Extremely well conditioned and motivated, Lewis' tackle numbers continue to remain well above average even at his advanced age of 36. This year may be his last in the NFL, so look for him to go out with a bang.

Sean Weatherspoon 10. WLB Sean Weatherspoon (ATL) – The departure of Curtis Lofton to New Orleans means that Weatherspoon becomes the main focus point of the Falcons defense. Expect his tackle production to rise a bit as Lofa Tatupu is less of a threat to steal tackles than Lofton was in previous seasons.

Karlos Dansby 11. MLB Karlos Dansby (MIA) – After a down year in 2010, Dansby bounced back in 2011 with a solid season reminiscent of his Arizona playing days. Miami will be transitioning to a 4-3 defense this year with Karlos manning the middle and is reportedly a "kid in a candy store" in his new position. Ultimately, this scheme change will help his production a lot. Dhani Jones posted 100+ tackles annually in this system from 2008-2010. I think Dansby makes the leap from the LB3+ status he's held the last couple of years to LB1- status. Great value pick this year. DSC, S

12. RILB Sean Lee (DAL) – Lee was well on his way to one of the better fantasy seasons by a linebacker before breaking his wrist in Week 8 of the regular season. He only missed one game due to that injury but it severely impacted his play the rest of the year. Being fully healthy and having a full year of experience in Rob Ryan's complex scheme should allow Lee's production to continue to trend upwards. His added big play potential secures his spot in the top 10.



Tier 3

Chad Greenway 13. SLB Chad Greenway (MIN) – Greenway set a career high in total tackles last season with 152. This was in large part due to him registering a whopping 64 assists. With this said, this ranking assumes your league rewards for assists and that is where a substantial portion of his points are generated. If not, he's more in the 20-25 range.

Curtis Lofton 14. MLB Curtis Lofton (NO) – Lofton was a top 10 linebacker in Atlanta over the last three seasons. His move to the Big Easy slightly diminish his fantasy value especially with the signing of David Hawthorne. I still expect him to be a three-down backer, however his opportunity will likely decrease as he won't see quite as many overall snaps playing on a time-consuming offensive team such as the Saints. B

Brian Cushing 15. WILB Brian Cushing (HOU) – Cushing had a very solid year and bounced back well from a rough 2010 campaign that was clouded by a steroid suspension which caused him to miss the first 4 games of the season. With DeMeco Ryans recently departed to Philadelphia, Cushing is cemented as the on-the-field leader of the defense at WILB and will continue to thrive in Wade Phillips 3-4, one gap system. Look for similar numbers to last year. S

Donald Butler 16. RILB Donald Butler (SD) – Butler graded out last season as one of the top run-stopping linebackers in the game which is a pretty impressive feat for a 2nd year player. Judging by the Chargers 1st preseason game, Butler will move into an every down role this year. If this is indeed the case, he has 90-95+ solo tackle upside. This is a guy you definitely want to buy low on as he is likely to emerge as one of the top IDP sleepers of the 2012 season. S

Lawrence Timmons 17. RILB Lawrence Timmons (PIT) – After a stellar 2011 campaign in which Timmons was a top 5 LB in the majority of leagues, he came crashing back down to Earth in a bad way. In his defense, several injuries amongst the Steelers linebacking core forced Timmons to play outside his natural position for a few games and he did play much better the last 6 games of the season (47 total tackles, 2 sacks, 1 FF). I don't expect him to reach his 2010 levels again this year, but do expect a marked improvement over last year. You should be able to find good value in drafting Timmons as many owners have soured on him after he burned them last year. He still remains a solid LB3+ choice with LB1 upside. S

Paul Posluszny 18. MLB Paul Posluszny (JAX) – One of the best pure tacklers in the game, Posluszny was expected to put up LB1 type numbers last season upon arriving in his new home of Jacksonville. However, he admitted up producing more like an LB2 in 2011. The decline in tackles can mostly be attributed to poor tackle opportunity (especially during the 1st half of the season). Expect Poz's numbers to return to the 90 solo tackle range assuming he can stay healthy for a full 16 game season.



Tier 4

Jon Beason 19. MLB Jon Beason (CAR) – If not for suffering an ACL injury early last season, Beason would be a top 10 fantasy selection at his position in 2012. The strong play of James Anderson on the strong side and the addition of 1st round draft selection Luke Kuechly on the weak side definitely diminishes Beason's value, but he seems fully recovered from his injury and is an elite enough linebacker to still have top 15 upside.

Stephen Tulloch 20. MLB Stephen Tulloch (DET) – To be perfectly honest, Tulloch peformed better than I thought he would last year from a fantasy perspective. I never questioned his talent, more so his tackle opportunity playing within a very strong tackling front seven. He just signed a big off-season contract and I still feel his 2011 numbers were a bit inflated. With this said, I'd still have no problems grabbing him as a middle to low-end LB2.


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Last Updated: August 26, 2012
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80 comments :

Jeff said...

Do you think Lawrence Timmons bounces back this year?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Jeff
I think he does indeed bounce back, but not to the level of his 2010 campaign. Expect LB2-type numbers.

Sean C. said...

Jerod Mayo has been a 100 solo tackler plus when healthy. Don't sleep on him.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Sean C.
I have Mayo just outside the top 20. I'm skeptical that he still has true LB1 value like he did his first couple seasons in the league. The Patriots are playing more 4-3 with Mayo on the weak side. Additionally, the emergence of Spikes in the middle will only lessen Mayo's tackle opportunity.

Matt said...

Nick Barnett was a low end LB1 in my league last year. Do you see him putting up similar numbers again?

Also, what makes you think Paul Posluszny's tackle opportunities will increase this season?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Matt
I see some regression in Barnett's numbers due to his move to the weak side and the growing presence of Kelvin Sheppard in the middle. I still see solid LB2- numbers.

The Jaguars lack of tackle opportunity was somewhat of an anomaly last season. It was just a result of the team's they played and how the games went. With as bad as their offense is, their defense should have received much more tackle opportunity. Therefore, I think Poz's numbers have no where to go but up.

Anonymous said...

What do u expect out of Lamar woodley? My linebacker core is Willis, McCarthy, Bowman and woodley. I am hoping he will be my sack producer out of that group with average tackle totals. What do u see out of him this year? 10+ sacks?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

I think Woodley will make for a solid every week LB3 in big play leagues and a nice spot, matchup LB3 option in balanced leagues. If he stays healthy, double digit sacks is definitely a possibility over the course of 16 games. I'd put his chances at 65%.

Anonymous said...

What do u think about my core of linebackers then? I am looking to add 2 more linebackers thrugh free agent auctions coming up shortly. A solid guy now and a guy for down the line. I dont know who to go after stronger between Ray Lewis, Jasper Brinkly, Chase Blackburn, Leroy Hill, Sean Spenc and Demario Davis. I am the one that just posted before. Thanks for the help!

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
I'd definitely nab Ray Lewis for this season and then grab D. Davis for long-term upside.

BJMac said...

What kind of numbers can I expect from Brandon Spikes this year? .. if he stays healthy.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@BJMac
For Spikes, the bigger question is if he will be a three or two down linebacker. The linebacker situation in New England is a bit muddied right now, but if I had to make a prediction, I'd say Spikes will likely leave the field in the majority of passing situations. With this said, he projects to a high-end LB4 matchup play. There;s an outside chance, he becomes an every down LB in which case he has top 25-30 potential.

NIkos said...

What is AJ Hawk's value? Thanks.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@NIkos
Hawk is a mid level LB4 and probably not much more. Bishop is definitely the linebacker to own in that system as all the tackles funnel to him. Hawk's responsibilities are much different and led to him produce mediocre fantasy numbers. He's safe to drop in all but the deepest of leagues.

Nikos said...

@Ryan: It's a 20 team league and we start 3 LB.

Andrew said...

Now that he's a year removed from injury and back in a 4-3, what do you make of Demeco Ryans as a LB2/3 this year?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Andrew
I have DeMeco ranked within the top 30 and consider him a LB3+ with very nice upside.

Anonymous said...

I'm in a Dynasty League w/ IDP..I have Derrick Johnson, Colin McCarthy, Jon Beason, Lawerence Timmons.. We can only keep 8 players [K and DEF have to be included]...Thus far I'm keeping QB Brady, RB's MJD and Chris Johnson, K Bironas, DEF Chicago....Do I keep three LB or two LB and DB Patrick Chung OR RB Ingram..thoughts?

Wiemelt [We-melt] said...

The anonymous writer above is me btw..didn't see the rules before I typed

Wiemelt said...

Well, I didn't read ALL the rules, and am now posting for the third time {apologies}... It's a tackles league...the best QBs give you around 800..the best LB's give you about 650...DJ gave me 600 last year.. the best RB 560 {Foster and Rice} while the second tier around 460 {McCoy, Johnson, MJD]...ok done.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Wiemelt
Taking all you said into consideration, I would keep Johnson, McCarthy, and Timmons. Timmons is the most risky of the group, but could easily put up top 10 numbers. Beason's value will be diminished by his injury and the presence of Kuechly (I still expect him to be a top 20-25 linebacker though).

Wiemelt said...

So I may have done something that you may disagree with (but maybe not)

I was offered a trade today... Here's my KEEPER team (8 players) before the trade:

QB Brady
RB Ch Johnson
RB MJD
WR Wallace
LB McCarthy
LB D Johnson
K Bironas
DEF Chicago

In the offseason, i traded Andre Johnson for a 4th overall pick (I had the 4th overall and my 11th overall pick)

Today I traded MJD (I'm going off the hunch that his "risk" will be reality this year) and Derrick JOhnson (since I'll have to drop a couple or few LB's anyway) for a 1st (10th overall) and 2nd (5th pick) and 4th (5th)....

This leaves me with 3 first round picks and two second round picks to stack my team...

My hope is to draft a RB (maybe future guy in Richardson or Martin) or if the RB's are gone, Kuechly...

My hope in making this trade - help me draft a well balanced team..

I'm banking on Timmons to return to 135...


Your thoughts on the trade? {be honest)

I'm still debating on keep three LB's (beason, mccarthy and timmons) are just two and keeping Chung or Wallace @ WR..



Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Wiemelt
IDPs are easier to find in keeper leagues. I would probably keep Wallace first and foremost. McCarthy and Timmons you should keep for LBs. I think the trade was a good move considering it's a Keeper league. If it was redraft, it would be more questionable.

Anonymous said...

I drafted Joe Mays and I have a feeling you have some hate for him - I could not replace him - was out bid on waivers - can you give me a few players that could put up better numbers than him - that might not be drafted in a deep 16 team league - 6 players per team - I could move a DB in tha spot also - Moe

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
I don't have hate for Mays. He's a short term LB4+/LB3- option as long as D.J. Williams is out. I like Kavell Conner a lot in deeper leagues. I also like Perry Riley, D.J. Smith, and Erin Henderson, but they may not be available. Justin Houston is a likely breakout candidate in big play leagues.

maiorinm said...

How would you rank Kuechly, Kendricks, Henderson, Sheppard, DJ Smith? Thanks

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@maiorinm
Kuechly, D.J. Smith, Erin Henderson, Sheppard, Kendricks

Anonymous said...

Hi Ryan, I just traded for Kavell Connor in my dynasty league. With Angerer's injury and Connors move to the inside, what do you think his outlook is for the season and beyond? I aquired McCarthy in a trade earlier this offseason and drafted D. Butler last year. Sadly, I have Bishop as well, but am probably going to have to let him go.

Thanks for all your input,
Jason

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
I like Conner quite a bit. He was very underrated from an on-the-field perspective last season and should see a ton of tackle opportunity as an every down linebacker on a crappy offensive team. You can read more about him in my article here: http://www.idpguru.com/2012/06/2012-idp-deep-sleepers.html

Anonymous said...

How do you project Jasper Brinkley this year? I know injuries are a concern, but you'd think he'd put up big numbers as the MLB even if he is surrounded by Greenway and Erin Henderson...

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
The injuries are definitely a concern but even if he was fully healthy, he's still only a two down linebacker surrounded by a couple of above average linebackers who will steal away tackle share. He's an LB5 or LB4 at best in deep, deep leagues.

Wiemelt said...

If Zack Brown wins a LB spot on the Titans...

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Even if he wins the starting job, he will probably still come out in nickel packages which will ultimately limit his value in the short term. He's worth a LB4- look in dynasty leagues. However, he's just a watch list player in redraft leagues.

maiorinm said...

What kind of year do you see from Bobby Wagner?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@maiorinm
With Barrett Ruud gone, Wagner his some very nice value as the starting MLB in Seattle. However, he hasn't been playing in subpackages in preseason as the Seahawks have been using a lot of dime packages with K.J. Wright as the lone linebacker. Unfortunately, I think that trend may continue at least for the first portion of the regular season.

With all this said, I think Wagner is worth an LB3 spot in 12 team leagues, LB4 spot in 10 team leagues as he has LB2+ upside if he plays in the majority of the team's snaps.

jyager said...

JY Hey Ryan how would you rank and in what order would you want these guys? DJ Smith, Kelvin Sheppard, Bobby Wagner???

jyager said...

@jyagerthrow Kavell Connor in there too please

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@jyager
I'd rank them in this order: D.J. Smith, Kavell Conner, Bobby Wagner Kelvin Sheppard.

Sheppard coming in last in the above rankings may come as a surprise to some, but I'm just not willing to start him in most leagues as a two down linebacker. If he snags a three down role, he skyrockets up to Smith and probably beyond. Wagner hasn't been playing in subpackages either but I think that's more of a product of the Seahawks playing a lot of dime packages but he's not playing nevertheless. I liked Conner a lot before Angerer's injury and ever moreso now. He'll have a ton of tackle opportunity in Indy.

Anonymous said...

Just curious why James Anderson isn't on this list. He got me 142 points in my dynasty last year!!#5 most points scored for all LB's in the league. Definitely a top ten in my book as far cas fantasy goes.

Wiemelt said...

In a Dynasty, tackles heavy league...rank in this order who you would rather have on your team....

Sean Lee
Jon Beason
Lawerence Timmons
Paul Pozluzny

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
A common mistake in Fantasy Football (especially IDP) is to draft off of previous year's production. Anderson had a great year, that's not in question. However, he was pushed into an every down role due to the injuries to Jon Beason and Thomas Davis. This year he will return to a two-down role which will severely cut into his tackle opportunities. Add in the fact that the Panthers added tackling machine Luke Kuechly to the linebacking core and that sets up Anderson for even less tackles. Lastly, he plays on the strong side which is typically the most difficult side of the field to rack up tackles from a linebacker perspective since you have to go through an extra blocker.

With all this said, I am moving Anderson up a couple spots due to the recent injury to Beason. He still is best drafted in the LB40-LB50 range, however. LB35 range at most if you really don't buy into the completely healthy return of Beason.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Wiemelt
I'd rank them in this order:

Sean Lee
Paul Posluszny
Lawrence Timmons
Jon Beason

This is a risk-averse ranking. If you are willing to take some risk, I'd probably switch Posluszny and Timmons.

Anonymous said...

What do you think of Lavonte David of the Bucs? I read he is an every down back as he is now practicing in the nickel package.

Anonymous said...

My league has added 3 IDP positions to the draft this year. It's otherwise a standard league. If I wanted the best 3 IDP any position what should be my strategy? Should I just target Linebackers? Who would be your top 25 IDP at any position?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
I like David quite a bit. He is indeed an every down linebacker now and has solid LB3 value, with a LB2+ ceiling depending on the play of Mason Foster. I have him ranked just outside the top 30.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
My strategy would be to go after DLs first and get an elite one (Allen, JPP, etc.). Then go LBs. DB you can typically wait on. I have a top 100 IDP list within my draft guide :)

Juggernaut said...

IDP Guru,

I am in a very deep 14 team PPR league with IDP's. LB's are at a premium and I am trying to decide between these players that are still in the players pool: DJ Smith, Perry Riley, Kevell Conner, Lamont David, & Rey Maleluga. Plesae rank them in order. Thank you!

Juggernaut

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Juggernaut
I'd rank them in the following order:
Smith, Riley, David, Conner, Maualuga

David said...

Lawrence Timmons is available and i'm thinking about picking him up. My LB's are Sean Lee, Daryl Washington, Jon Beason, Paul Posluszny, Curtis Lofton, and Stephen Tulloch. Should i keep what i have or drop someone for Timmons

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@David
I think Timmons upside is better than Beason or Tulloch (I'm not as high on Tulloch as some of my other IDP brethren). There is more risk with Timmons, but if you have the luxury of keeping him on the bench until he explodes, then I'd pick him up.

I'd drop either Beason or Tulloch.

brandop said...

In a deep 16 team dynasty (half sacks=5pts, total tackles=3pts, solos=3pts, asst=1). Current LB are Dansby, BSpikes, Woodyard, and THoward. DJ Smith is available. Who would you drop to get Smith? Thanks!!

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@brandop
I'd drop Howard and pickup Smith.

Andrew said...

What are you thinking I can expect out of DJ Smith this year now that we know bishop isn't coming back this year.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

I have Smith ranked in the 25-30 range. He is a nice high floor LB2 option.

Anonymous said...

I have bowman but hate his week one match but love him after that. Do I just drop him for dj smith, Sean lee,timmons or butler. We only have three bench players I can't keep him on my bench.
My team
De jjp
De Justin tuck
Cb Woodson
Cb Webb
Safety Wilson
Linebackers Johnson
Linebackers McCarthy

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
Considering his year last year, it would be a bit of a bold move to drop Bowman. However, I think he's overrated heading into this year and if I were a betting man, I would bet that Donald Butler has a good chance to outperform him in the tackle department. If you aren't risk averse, I'd make the move. If you are, staying with Bowman is perfectly fine as well.

Anonymous said...

Who do you think I should start in my 3rd LB/DL spot in week 1 (and just generally throughout the season)?

Jared Allen (vs JAC)
Donald Butler (@ OAK)
DJ Smith (vs SF)

The format is very tackle heavy (3 points per solo, 1.5 per assist, 5 per sack, 7 per interception).

With this format Allen and JPP tend to be the only viable DL/DE options in this pool. I'm thinking about using Butler as my LB3 and subbing in Allen for juicier matchups.

Thanks in advance and great work always.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
I completely agree with your rationale. I would definitely use Butler as your LB3. He has LB1 upside this season and could easily top 95-100+ solos.

Anonymous said...

With Derrick Johnson hurt, who do you like out of Kuechly, DJ Smith, Riley , Kelvin Sheppard or lavonte David? Thanks

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
Judging by Romeo's Crennel's most recent comments, Johnson's injury isn't as serious as originally thought (twisted ankle). If you were gonna replace him, I'd go with D.J. Smith.

ApocalypseOne said...

@Ryan Sitzmann
Now that Shepard will be limited in snaps, with Barnett retaining his every down role, do you Still believe Barnett's numbers will regress? I'm a Strong believer that he may actually increase his numbers.

ApocalypseOne said...

@Ryan Sitzmann
With solos: 1pt. assists:.5pts. &Sacks, FR, and Safeties: 3pts
Which 4 would you start week 1:
L. Timmons
D. Butler
N. Barnett
J. Mayo
S. Lee

coldwater said...

need help choosing week 1 starters. 10 teams, we start 5 IDPs - 2 DBs, 2 LBs & 1 flex. 1.5 pt/tackles, .5 pt/assist 3 pts/sack, FF,FR,etc.
I have beason, james harrison & DJ smith at LBs/flex & Earl Thomas & Antoine winfield at DB.
do u think i should drop harrison &/or beason? available LBs include: Kuechly, NBarnett, KBurnett, DWare, PRiley, McClain, BRudd, MFoster & the other rookie LBs.
Also should i swap out Earl Thomas for available DBs like Babineaux, LLandry, YBell, KRhodes, PChung.
can u please rank each position for week 1 & for the year. also, any news if JHarrison will play week1?
thanks

Josh said...

I can start 4 of the following LBs. Which ones?

Donald Butler
Lavonte David
Chad Greenway
Derrick Johnson
Rolando McClain
Bobby Wagner
Donta Hightower

Thanks!

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@ApocalypseOne
I still think we will see some regression in his numbers. He's moving to the weak side in the new 4-3 scheme as opposed to playing inside in the 3-4 like last year. Also, Sheppard is good enough to put a dent in his production even in a two down role. The writing was on the wall a bit last year when Barnett's tackle production started to dip during the last 5-6 games of the season when Sheppard really started to come on.

I'd start:

Butler
Lee
Timmons
Barnett

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@coldwater
K. This is a lot. I'd drop Harrison for Barnett. I'd then drop Thomas for Chung. I'd rank them in the following order for the season:

Beason
Smith
Barnett
Chung
Winfield

If I had to guess, I'd say that Harrison will likely start week 1 but may be on a snap count.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Josh
I'd start:

Butler
Johnson
Greenway
David

Anonymous said...

D. J. Smith or J.Mayo and at DL M.Barnett or R.Quinn week 1 ?

Keith said...

Hey

1.5 tackle/pass Def & 5 pts a sack..

Need to start 3 of the below in week 1..

Barwin v MIA
Dunbar @ DET
Foote @ DEN
Harrison @ DEN
A Smith @ GBP
D Smith @ MIN

Also have any of these any value in a Dynasty league..?

Many thanks

Anonymous said...

Ok I am in a leage where you can pick 2 deffensive players to start. I already have a DB, but I need to fill my D slot and I can pick between Deffensive ends and tackles, and linebackers. I already have jarred Allen and James Anderson on my bench, but Pierre-Paul, n bowman, d, Johnson, and D ware. Who should I pick to start for me?
Thank you!

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
D.J. Smith and Quinn.

Please list the opposing team matchups in the future.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Keith
I'd start Barwin, Harrison, and A. Smith.

I think Aldon Smith is the best dynasty value.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
Depends on scoring system. Tackle heavy or balanced go with Derrick Johnson. Sack heavy go with Jared Allen.

Logan Bryant said...

My league is 1 point for solo tackle, .5 for assist and 2 points for sacks.

Anonymous said...

I already have Willis as my #1 lb for week one. Should I start Rolando McClain or Demarcus Ware as my #2?

Andy man said...

I can only start one DE per week. I have Mario Williams and Charles Johnson. Who should it be GURU?

Andy man said...

Sorry that i entered the ware or mcclain question as annonymous. That question is mine.

Andy man said...

Mcclain plays San Diego on monday night. Ware plays @ Giants. Mario Williams plays @ jets while johnson plays @ bucs. I am in a tackle heavy league. 1 pt for tackles, .5 pts for assists, 2 pts for sacks

Anonymous said...

DJ Smith (vs SF) or Jared Allen (vs JAC? It's a tackle heavy format - 3 points for solos, 1.5 for assists, 5 for sacks (each sack also gets an additional 3 points for a solo).

Ryan Sitzmann said...

@Anonymous
Hmm...I'd go with Smith even though Allen has a great matchup. Mainly because of the tackle heavy format.

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