Also, the ADP of rookies may be slightly inflated due to the incorporation of rookie-only IDP drafts into MFL's overall draft position numbers.
|#||Player||Avg. Pick||Min. Pick||Max. Pick||# Drafts Selected In|
|1||Willis, Patrick SFO LB||68.57||37||151||79|
|2||Laurinaitis, James STL LB||81.41||44||162||78|
|3||Jackson, D'Qwell CLE LB||81.73||48||233||78|
|4||Bishop, Desmond GBP LB||88.85||15||218||79|
|5||Bowman, Navorro SFO LB||90.78||20||187||79|
|6||Johnson, Derrick KCC LB||97.65||16||242||78|
|7||Ware, Demarcus DAL LB||105.68||39||260||77|
|8||Miller, Von DEN LB||106.05||31||236||78|
|9||Washington, Daryl ARI LB||108.91||71||207||78|
|10||McCarthy, Colin TEN LB||111.53||75||226||78|
|11||Lee, Sean DAL LB||118.05||68||259||76|
|12||Weatherspoon, Sean ATL LB||120.62||79||263||74|
|13||Lofton, Curtis NOS LB||125.99||19||269||76|
|14||Timmons, Lawrence PIT LB||130.11||86||299||75|
|15||Angerer, Pat IND LB||130.38||92||271||72|
|16||Cushing, Brian HOU LB||135.27||70||228||75|
|17||Posluszny, Paul JAC LB||136.16||71||351||76|
|18||Mayo, Jerod NEP LB||141.73||73||318||75|
|19||Tulloch, Stephen DET LB||152.41||83||367||69|
|20||Greenway, Chad MIN LB||152.41||78||373||71|
|21||Fletcher, London WAS LB||160.78||64||421||74|
|22||Smith, Aldon SFO LB||161.2||97||281||66|
|23||Kuechly, Luke CAR LB||162.19||89||482||67|
|24||Beason, Jon CAR LB||162.38||96||383||71|
|25||Anderson, James CAR LB||174.78||70||458||74|
|26||Butler, Donald SDC LB||175.68||107||344||68|
|27||Lewis, Ray BAL LB||180.7||87||526||71|
|28||Matthews, Clay GBP LB||180.84||65||375||73|
|29||Ryans, DeMeco PHI LB||184.32||109||363||68|
|30||Dansby, Karlos MIA LB||188.22||86||331||69|
|31||Sheppard, Kelvin BUF LB||193.73||116||448||62|
|32||McClain, Rolando OAK LB||203.27||90||399||64|
|33||Barnett, Nick BUF LB||206.06||99||460||70|
|34||Riley, Perry WAS LB||209.65||121||454||62|
|35||Urlacher, Brian CHI LB||218.47||126||474||66|
|36||Hawthorne, David NOS LB||226.12||127||455||66|
|37||Hali, Tamba KCC LB||227.56||105||454||61|
|38||David, Lavonte TBB LB||228.96||108||372||45|
|39||Harrison, James PIT LB||232.69||111||548||65|
|40||Harris, David NYJ LB||245.71||155||481||59|
|41||Hightower, Dont'a NEP LB||249.37||117||459||43|
|42||Wagner, Bobby SEA LB||251.48||175||446||46|
|43||Kerrigan, Ryan WAS LB||258.3||184||360||46|
|44||Spikes, Brandon NEP LB||258.69||146||491||58|
|45||Foster, Mason TBB LB||268.31||171||421||49|
|46||Ingram, Melvin SDC LB||269.27||167||397||33|
|47||Woodley, LaMarr PIT LB||270.57||91||517||54|
|48||Briggs, Lance CHI LB||276.54||81||547||50|
|49||Kendricks, Mychal PHI LB||281.42||149||392||31|
|50||Orakpo, Brian WAS LB||282.5||171||598||44|
|51||Mathis, Robert IND LB||296.65||148||480||31|
|52||Smith, Daryl JAC LB||302.56||204||550||36|
|53||Williams, DJ DEN LB||306.54||162||556||37|
|54||Boley, Michael NYG LB||313.18||101||680||40|
|55||Maualuga, Rey CIN LB||315.5||172||522||26|
|56||Wright, K.J. SEA LB||316||215||554||24|
|57||Levy, DeAndre DET LB||316.92||174||544||37|
|58||Henderson, Erin MIN LB||320.35||215||707||37|
|59||Burnett, Kevin MIA LB||322.91||105||664||32|
|60||Barwin, Connor HOU LB||342.52||116||596||21|
|61||Henderson, E.J. MIN LB||352.21||182||660||19|
WLB Kevin Burnett (MIA) - It's amazing that a player who has finished as a top 20 fantasy linebacker in back-to-back seasons is currently being taken as the 59th linebacker off the board. Although I do expect Burnett's production to drop off with his transition to outside linebacker, he's still a three down player who will more than likely post LB3-type numbers. I'd much rather own him than a player like Robert Mathis who is being drafted in the same range.
MLB Karlos Dansby (MIA) - If there is one player on this entire list to target in your drafts, it's Dansby. The Dolphins are switching to a 4-3 defense this year with Dansby manning the middle of the field. He's reportedly been like a "kid in a candy store" in his new position and new Defensive Coordinator Kevin Coyle has a history of turning mediocre players like Dhani Jones into solid fantasy contributors. A player with Dansby's talent could easily post 95+ solo tackles in this system and be a top 10 linebacker. Considering he can be taken as your 3rd linebacker in most IDP drafts, he's a great value pick right now.
RILB London Fletcher (WAS) & LILB Ray Lewis (BAL) - Both of these players are older than dirt. But the fact is they continue to produce at an elite level. LFB posted a ridiculous 167 total tackles last season and even if he only manages 75-80% of that production this season, he's still a great value pick at LB #21. Also, as long as he's healthy, Lewis is a virtual lock for 105-115 total tackles and handful of big plays. There's value in long-term consistency at the linebacker position and there aren't many players more consistent than these two veterans. I'd honestly have no qualms about drafting either one of these future HOFers in the top 12.
WLB Lance Briggs (CHI) - Year in and year out, Briggs is undervalued by IDP drafters. He's been extraordinarily consistent during his 9 year career exceeding 80+ solo tackles in 7 of his last 8 seasons. Playing next to one of the NFL's biggest defensive names in Brian Urlacher has caused Briggs to be overlooked on draft day. Don't make that mistake. If you are struggling to fill your LB3 hole, Briggs makes for an excellent pick.
ROLB James Harrison (PIT) - I had my doubts about Harrison last year as his advancing age and injury issues concerned me, but I must admit, he was a complete wrecking ball in the games in which he played. The Steelers don't currently have anyone that is ready to step up and immediately fill Harrison's shoes which means he will get a full complement of snaps this season assuming he stays healthy or doesn't get suspended. Just for reference, on a per game basis, Harrison outscored linebackers such as Brian Cushing and Pat Angerer who are being taken 20-25 spots ahead of him.
ROLB Dont'a Hightower (NE) & Melvin Ingram (SD) - I suspect that the ADP of these two rookies may be a bit inflated in part to rookie-only IDP drafts being factored into MFL's overall draft position numbers. With that said, you should still be wary of drafting these two rookies too soon. Hightower's role is New England's defense is still quite muddied and there's no guarantee he has a starting job come Week 1. Ingram's more likely to secure a starting role but his upside is ultimately limited in balanced and tackle heavy leagues. Both of these linebackers shouldn't be relied upon as anything more than LB4s.
SLB James Anderson (CAR) - Anderson is a prime example of why you shouldn't draft IDPs based on previous season's box score totals. With 98 solo tackles, 46 assists, 1.5 sacks, and 2 INTs, Anderson was a top 5 LB in many scoring systems. However with the return of a healthy Jon Beason and addition of 1st round pick Luke Kuechly, Anderson will once again become a two down linebacker and consequently lose a substantial portion of playing time and tackle opportunities. 70-75 solo tackles is a much more reasonable expectation for his production this season and he should be drafted as a LB3/4, not a LB2.
ROLB DeMarcus Ware (DAL), ROLB Von Miller (DEN), & Clay Matthews (GB) - Sack-producing OLBs tend to get more recognition and fanfare than run-stuffing ILBs which often leads to them being overdrafted come draft day. Although Ware and Miller have LB1 potential in big play leagues, they are better suited for LB2 roles in balanced and LB3- roles in tackle heavy leagues. Clay Matthews may see a spike in production with this move to the weak side this season, but he's still not worth a top 30 selection in my eyes.
MLB Kelvin Sheppard (BUF) - Sheppard has quickly become this season's top "sleeper" pick. As a result, he's actually become overvalued. Don't get me wrong, I think he has top 15-20 potential if he stays on the field in passing situations. However, Defensive Coordinator Dave Wannstedt stated early in the off-season that Nick Barnett will remain the team's only three down linebacker. As a result, Sheppard seems like a risky bet at LB #31 when other solidified three down linebackers such as Karlos Dansby, DeMeco Ryans, and Nick Barnett will likely still be available.
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