2020 IDP Rankings Breakdown: Linebackers
Our initial IDP rankings have been released for the 2020 season! Rankings for IDPs can be a bit subjective, so that's why we like to break them out into tiers, as well.
This is our first run and they'll change throughout the offseason as we react to news, injuries, training camp battles and roster cuts. These rankings should establish a baseline for early drafters.
Podcast: 2020 IDP Rankings Breakdown
The linebacker position is as deep as it has been in years. There are at least 30 who can anchor your roster. Linebackers are the defensive captains and wear the communication device to call the plays. Snaps and their usage in sub-packages are critical for fantasy, as they can’t produce points if they’re not on the field. The linebackers in today’s game are not only stopping the run, but dropping into coverage and blitzing the QB.
If you miss out on the top-three LBs, there are a plethora to draft in the second and third tier who are capable of producing IDP numbers. So, without further ado, our ranks are broken into tiers with our favorite targets in each tier.
The linebacker position lost one of the elite linebackers in Luke Kuechly. He announced his retirement at the end of the 2019 season, so this year we view Bobby Wagner and Darius Leonard as the top tier for LBs.
In redraft leagues, Wagner is still an elite defender. Wagner notched 159 tackles and a 15.1% tackle rate. In redraft, there’s not a more consistent producer. He has four-straight seasons of 130+ tackles - including 80+ solo tackles - resulting in a 14.7% tackle rate.
In just a few short seasons, Darius Leonard has established himself as one of the elite IDPs. The injury bug bit Leonard, causing him to miss a few games. He still finished with 121 tackles and threw in a pair of fives - INTs and sacks. His ceiling gets elevated because of his big-play upside. Leonard recorded a 14.7% tackle rate and 0.30 points per snap. Wagner and Leonard are going to battle for the top spot this season.
This is the tier to target if you miss out on Wagner or Leonard. The LB position is just so deep and the players in this tier are borderline elite LB1s in most scoring formats. The LBs in this tier can still anchor your defense and are capable of recording 100+ tackles. There are a few LBs in this tier who have produced elite numbers, but may be undervalued due to recent injuries.
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