2012 IDP ADP Analysis: Linebackers

Untitled Document Hello and welcome to the first part of a three part series covering IDP average draft positions (ADPs). This article will compare the ADP of Linebackers (provided by My Fantasy League) to my Redraft Rankings for Linebackers.

Keep in mind that some IDP leagues reward more heavily for big plays and therefore pass-rushing linebackers such as DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, Clay Matthews, etc. may have a higher than expected ADP than if they were selected in tackle-heavy or balanced leagues.

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.

I hope this helps my readers get a better grasp on where linebackers should be taken in most leagues and that it will ultimately take you one step closer to your league championship.

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

Undervalued Players
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.

Overvalued Players
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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Last Updated: July 5, 2012
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Anonymous said...

I'd say Ray-Ray was a bit overvalued.
If he puts up top 20 numbers that would be a shock.
I think he will be on a snap count this year.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Lewis put up top 5 numbers in 2009 and top 10 numbers in 2010. On a per game basis (he missed 4 games due to injury) last season, he was putting up top 15 numbers. He remains one of the most consistent fantasy producing linebackers in the league and is still in great physical shape. The Ravens have givin no indication that he will be on a snap count and I fully expect him to play a full complement of snaps. I don't think he's finished outside the top 20 in any full season he played in his 16 year career so I'd be shocked if he DIDN'T finish in the top 20 this season.

Alex said...

I have James Laurinaitis and Tyvon Branch in a keeper league where I can keep 1 Def guy. Which one do I keep? The scoring of James or the consistency of Tyvon?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Although I expect Branch to have a career year this season, there is a ton of unpredictability and turnover at the DB position. James L. has been a top 10 LB since entering the league and I expect that trend to continue this season. I'd keep Laurinaitis.

reallyangrybeavers@gmail.com said...

Provided that Branch plays inside the box like he did 2 seasons ago, he will point higher than James. I like branch and I am speaking from the fantasy perspective because I am a die hard Bolts fan!

reallyangrybeavers@gmail.com said...

But it really depends on your point system.

Tmoney said...

I have read that Kuechly has been taking snaps at MLB, and that the panthers plan on moving Beason to the middle. How does this effect both players projections?

Tmoney said...

I mean move Beason to the weakside.

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Beason's value will drop a bit if he is moved to the weak side. But he should still be able to put up solid LB2 numbers. I think Kuechly will end up moving to the middle sooner rather than later this season. I personally think Beason is still a good value pick; a lot of people are shying away from him due to the ACL injury, but from the tape I've seen, he looks as healthy as humanly possible and I think he still has top 20 potential even on the weak side.

Anonymous said...

What kind of numbers do you think that Kelvin Sheppard is going to put up? I am in an auction league and got him cheap as a sleeper. Do you think he can put up 80 solo tackles or do you think that its of his range? What is his pass rush like? Maybe 3-4 sacks?

Andrew in Minny

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Sheppard's value is largely dependent upon his role or lack thereof in subpackages. If he becomes a three down linebacker, he has 90+ solo tackle upside, IMO. If he only plays on base downs, he will likely fall into that 70-75 solo tackle range. Pass rushing numbers will also rely heavily on the amount of sub package snaps he receives. He's a great buy low candidate if you can get him at a great price. Unfortunately, the word is out on Sheppard in most leagues and you consequently have to pay a LB3+ price for him.

Ziggy said...

Ingram rookie for San Diego??? How likely is he to get 80+ tackles?

Ryan Sitzmann said...

I'd say not very likely. Rookie outside linebackers often times have trouble being productive against the run. Even if he holds up well, I think he's more in line for 70-75 total tackles.

Anonymous said...

What do you think Perry Rileys ceiling is this year? Can he take the reigns from old man Fletcher? Also, how do you see D. Butler doing this season? Ty, Jason

Ryan Sitzmann said...

I see Perry's 2012 ceiling as a LB2+. I think LFB will still be the focal point and a top 15 fantasy linebacker. He may be old as dirt, but he knows how to take the proper angles and get the jump on the ball to rack up a ton of tackles. With that said, Riley showed that he was capable of LB3+ numbers last season and should only improve upon that number with another year under his belt.

If he can snag an every down role, Butler has a very good chance at LB1 numbers. If not, he's a matchup type LB3. I think the former is the most likely scenario though.

Anonymous said...

Joe Mays pick him up in deep 16 team draft as my last starter - each team drafts 6 IDP - does he have any upside and what numbers do you see

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Hey may have some decent upside for the first 6 weeks while D.J. Williams is out. In the Broncos 1st preseason game, he stayed on the field for subpackages. If this trend continues into the regular season, I can see him having matchup-type LB3 value early on.

Anonymous said...

@Ryan Sitzmann How about Kelvin Sheppard-
Perry Riley - Dont'a Hightower instead of Joe Mays - thank you

Ryan Sitzmann said...

Go with Riley. He has the highest floor and good upside.

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