2011 IDP ADP Analysis - Linebackers

Hello and welcome to the first part of a three part series covering IDP average draft positions (ADPs). This specific article will focus on examining the ADPs of linebackers.

My own personal drafting philosophy is heavily predicated on finding as much value as I can with each and every pick. Typically the later in drafts you delve, the more value there is to be found and finding this value is what separates the winners from the losers in fantasy football.

In this article, I will be comparing the ADP of linebackers (provided by My Fantasy League) to my redraft rankings for linebackers.

Keep in mind that some leagues have more of a big-play slant and therefore pass-rushing linebackers such as DeMarcus Ware, James Harrison, Clay Matthews, etc. may have a higher than expected ADP than if they were selected in tackle-heavy or balanced leagues.

The break off point in determining whether a player was "undervalued" or "overvalued" was +/-15 points respectively. When taking a general overview of the results, this specific number seemed to signal the start of the outlying players. Although this number was chosen arbitrarily, it will suffice for our purposes in this article and should allow for some accurate estimates of true value.
For each player that was over this threshold, I wrote a short analysis to sum up why they are either under or overvalued.

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  Overall ADP Positional ADP IDP Guru's Redraft Ranking Difference
Willis, Patrick SFO LB 64.23 1 1 0
Mayo, Jerod NEP LB 72.14 2 3 -1
Timmons, Lawrence PIT LB 84.44 3 4 -1
Beason, Jon CAR LB 95.28 4 2 2
Posluszny, Paul JAC LB 96.98 5 7 -2
Laurinaitis, James STL LB 103.01 6 5 1
Matthews, Clay GBP LB 103.58 7 33 -26
Tulloch, Stephen DET LB 112.86 8 28 -20
Lofton, Curtis ATL LB 122.32 9 11 -2
Harrison, James PIT LB 126.63 10 22 -12
Greenway, Chad MIN LB 126.84 11 20 -9
Lewis, Ray BAL LB 127.76 12 8 4
Williams, DJ DEN LB 131.42 13 9 4
Johnson, Derrick KCC LB 131.81 14 13 1
Ware, Demarcus DAL LB 136.74 15 23 -8
Bishop, Desmond GBP LB 139.11 16 6 10
Urlacher, Brian CHI LB 142.92 17 18 -1
Ryans, DeMeco HOU LB 144.54 18 14 4
Cushing, Brian HOU LB 156.3 19 31 -12
Anderson, James CAR LB 167.23 20 49 -29
Ruud, Barrett TEN LB 167.49 21 12 9
Fletcher, London WAS LB 169.16 22 17 5
Vilma, Jonathan NOS LB 170.58 23 26 -3
McClain, Rolando OAK LB 171.38 24 24 0
Williams, Mario HOU LB 182.76 25 61 -36
Harris, David NYJ LB 191.15 26 29 -3
Washington, Daryl ARI LB 196.9 27 21 6
Dansby, Karlos MIA LB 199.84 28 25 3
Hawthorne, David SEA LB 203.14 29 10 19
Woodley, LaMarr PIT LB 212.15 30 36 -6
Jackson, D'Qwell CLE LB 212.27 31 16 15
Levy, DeAndre DET LB 216.42 32 41 -9
Briggs, Lance CHI LB 218.98 33 27 6
Miller, Von DEN LB 227.78 34 62 -28
Maualuga, Rey CIN LB 229.57 35 19 16
Chaney, Jamar PHI LB 229.58 36 47 -11
Wake, Cameron MIA LB 231.12 37 38 -1
Hawk, A.J. GBP LB 233.68 38 54 -16
Hali, Tamba KCC LB 240.88 39 37 2
Foster, Mason TBB LB 241.33 40 52 -12
Farrior, James PIT LB 289.12 41 45 -4

Undervalued Players
MLB David Hawthorne (+19) - After a monster 2009 campaign, many owners used a high draft pick to grab Hawthorne and from a purely statistical standpoint, he severely let them down. But, it wasn't a result of poor play on his part. Rather, it was about circumstand and opportunity. Hawthorne was moved to the weak side and slotted into a two-down role in most games which drastically affected his tackle opportunity. Now with Lofa Tatupu being released, Hawthorne is back in the every-down MLB role that made him a top 5 linebacker in 2009. You should be targeted Hawthorne in all your drafts.

MLB D'Qwell Jackson (+16) - Jackson seems to have fallen off the radar this year after missing all of last year with a torn pectoral muscle. People forget that he put up 154 total tackles in his last full season. Granted, he is a bit injury prone, but it's worth the risk. The Browns are switching to a 4-3 this year and Jackson seems to be adjusting very well. He was even voted the MVP of training camp. He has the potential for LB1 numbers.

MLB Rey Maualuga (+16) - IDP owners have been waiting for Maualuga to breakout since he was drafted by the Bengals in 2009. However, until this season his value was thwarted as he was stuck at SLB with veteran Dhani Jones in the middle. Well, it looks like Rey is finally ready to take the reigns and middle linebacker. He's been playing there at an every-down capacity in preseason and playing well. LB1 numbers are in sight if he continues his strong play.

***Nick Barnett is ranked #15 in my rankings. However, he is not even listed in the top 30 linebackers in this list. Him represents a great value as well.

Overvalued Players
MLB Stephen Tulloch (-20) - Tulloch is the perfect example of a player who will be drafted several rounds too early based solely upon his performance in the previous year. Yes, Tulloch was an absolute stud in 2010 as evidenced by his 111 solo tackles and 48 assists. However, that was a different team and a different year. The Titans had an absurb amount of tackle opportunity and Tulloch faced little competition for tackles from his fellow linebacker. Tulloch is now in Detroit where he will receive far less tackle opportunity. Not only is there much more competition for tackles amongst the linebacking crew, but more importantly, Tulloch is in serious jeopardy in coming out in subpackages making him a two-down linebacker. You should NOT rely on Tulloch as your LB1 this season; he's more of a LB4 value as of right now.

SLB James Anderson (-29) - Anderson was one of the biggest IDP surprise breakouts of 2010. Due to multiple injuries among Panther linebackers, MLB Jon Beason was forced to slide to the weakside with Dan Connor taking his place in the middle. This allowed Anderson to take on an every-down role and put up very nice numbers. The return of Thomas Davis this year means that Anderson will fall back into a two-down linebacker role thereby greatly diminishing his value. He shouldn't be counted on for anything more than a LB4 matchup play.

SLB Von Miller (-28) - Miller is most likely being overdrafted based off of his big name coming out of college. Pass rushing linebackers tend to be recognized by the general public. Even Von Miller will be an every-down linebacker and has played well in preseason, he's not worthy of being the 34th linebacker taken off the board. He's playing on the strong side which greatly limits his value.

SILB A.J. Hawk (-16) - This isn't as big of a reach as it may appear. Hawk did finish in the top 30 for points scored as his position last year. I'm just not comfortable taking any linebacker in the top 50 that only plays in 60-65% of his teams snaps. Hawk's good year was likely an aberration.

5. LOLB Clay Matthews (-26) - This is a classic case of people drafting off of big name. Only in leagues that reward very heavily for big plays would you select Matthews in the top 10. Even then there are a few other big play linebackers that should be taken off the board before him (e.g. James Harrison, DeMarcus Ware). Matthews is a LB3 in balanced leagues and a LB2+ in big play leagues.

ROLB Mario WIlliams (-36) - People are drafting Williams based off of his performance as a defensive end and not realizing that his value will be greatly diminished now that he is a 3-4 OLB. Stay away from Williams this year (unless your league for some reason still classifies him as a DL).

Last Updated: August 26, 2011

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