IDP Rankings Breakdown - Linebackers

IDP Rankings Breakdown - Linebackers

By Mike Woellert (IDP Expert), last updated Sep 12, 2016

Mike Woellert's picture

Mike is an IDP veteran, writing about and ranking IDP for over six season. He finished 6th in overall IDP rankings and 1st overall LB rankings in 2014 at FantasyPros. When he's not poring over IDP depth charts, he can be found agonizing over his Cleveland sports teams.

Follow Mike on Twitter: @Mike_Woellert.

Now that IDP rankings are posted, the goal of these articles is to put a little bit of context to the rankings and provide a little bit more than just number value to the defenders.

We can take these rankings and give them a tier or grouping, so that you can be on the right side of an IDP run or know you’re drafting a similar defender without having to feel you’ve lost out on value.

I have always thought of the linebacker as the anchor of your IDP squad, as they are typically the guys that aren’t leaving the field since they are the quarterbacks of their unit, calling plays and audibles. However, with the emergence of sub-packages, platoons and injuries, it can be hard to navigate and determine who has the highest floor or ceiling.

In terms of metrics, I look at tackle rate, points per snap and, of course, tackles when breaking down my linebackers. While not perfect, they give me a good indication of what to expect production wise.

Know your scoring system. How points are weighted will determine a linebacker’s value. Are sacks weighted more heavily (big play scoring) over tackles? If that’s the case, you might want to target a pass rushing OLB, like Justin Houston, a little earlier than a two-down ILB. I value tackles because they can be more accurately projected. Target 4-3 MLB, 4-3 WLB, 3-4 ILB. The 3-4 OLBs are typically pass rushers, dependent on sacks rather than tackles.

Even with the depth at the LB position, I still like to grab two linebackers that I know will be 3-down players before addressing the other positions. As much as I like David/Kuechly, you don’t have to reach on their early ADP, so using these tiers will help you target value as the draft goes on.

These rankings/tiers are based off a balanced scoring system, so keep your own league’s scoring system in mind (I can’t stress that enough). So with that said, I offer my rankings in a tier-format for explanation.


Tier 1


These two linebackers have been the most consistent in terms of tackle production, fantasy points per snap and tackle rate since entering the league. They stand out from the rest, and it’s hard to believe they are only entering their 4th year. They are the safest options and best bets for 150+ tackles and produce tackle rates of 14% or better consistently.


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Filed Under: Preseason, 2015

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