Three-Down Linebackers for 2021 IDP Leagues

Dec 07, 2021
Three-Down Linebackers for 2021 IDP Leagues

Keeping tabs on the three-down linebackers is key in IDP. Much like RBs, you want the linebackers who are playing at least 80% of the snaps or more. COVID is still a thing in 2021, in addition to injuries and poor play. Knowing who's on the field will provide a leg up on your league mates. You'll know who are the LBs to own and whose performances won't stand up because of inconsistent playing time. Be sure to scroll down for team-by-team notes on weekly changes and insights.

This will be updated throughout the rest of the season as information is presented. Here is how the snaps are playing out among the linebackers and who were calling the plays.

*-I do point out if a non-LB is calling the plays in my notes

Three-Down and Full-Time Linebackers 2021
Team Player 2021 Snaps 2021 Snap Rate Green Dot
ARI Isiah Simmons 727 94%
ARI Jordan Hicks 740 96% x
ATL Deion Jones 742 99%
ATL Foyesade Oluokun 813 98% x
BAL Patrick Queen 546 72%
BUF Tremaine Edmunds 559 75% x
BUF Matt Milano 602 81%
CAR Shaq Thompson 479 62% x
CAR Jermaine Carter 636 81%
CHI Roquan Smith 739 96% x
CIN Logan Wilson** 646 89% x
CLE Anthony Walker 530 66%
DAL Micah Parsons 685 83%
DEN Baron Browning 310 33% x
DEN Kenny Young 471 77%
DET Alex Anzalone 805 99% x
GB De'Vondre Campbell 750 98% x
HOU Christian Kirksey 577 70% x
HOU Zach Cunningham 494 70%
HOU Kamu Grugier-Hill 635 80%
IND Darius Leonard 740 97% x
IND Bobby Okereke 809 98%
JAX Damien Wilson 607 79% x
JAX Myles Jack 670 83%
LAC Drue Tranquill 405 44%
LAC Kyzir White 649 82%
LAR Ernest Jones 306 70%
LV Cory Littleton 632 80%
LV Denzel Perryman 707 84% x
MIA Jerome Baker 721 82% x
MIN Eric Kendricks** 762 91%
MIN Anthony Barr** 412 49% x
NO Demario Davis 785 98% x
NYG Tae Crowder 770 91% x
NYJ CJ Mosley 726 87% x
PHI TJ Edwards 499 51% x
PIT Devin Bush 604 73%
PIT TJ Watt 511 59%
PIT Joe Schobert 717 87% x
SF Fred Warner** 657 97% x
SF Azeez Al-Shaair 638 85%
SEA Bobby Wagner 903 100% x
SEA Jordyn Brooks 744 81%
TB Devin White 754 100% x
TB Lavonte David 650 79%
TEN Jayon Brown 337 38% x
TEN David Long** 543 75%
WAS Cole Holcomb 741 98% x

Arizona Cardinals

Jordan Hicks and Isaiah Simmons were the full-time linebackers and were on the field for all but a handful of snaps. Hicks wore the dot and turned in a big game against the Bears - pitching in two sacks to go along with his 13 tackles. Simmons managed just four tackles with Hicks controlling the tackle share this week. Simmons is still an every-week starter with his snap volume.

Green Dot Week 13: Jordan Hicks

Atlanta Falcons

Deion Jones and Foyesade Oluokun were the full-time LBs for Atlanta. Jones was on the field for all but one snap while Oluokun played all 70 snaps. Both were productive for their IDP owners and combined for 24 tackles. Foye was responsible for 15 while Jones pitched in nine and added two defended passes. Just leave them in your lineups - don't overthink starting them or not.

Green Dot Week 13: Foyesade Oluokun

Baltimore Ravens

Patrick Queen had his highest usage of the season since Week 4. Queen was in on 92% of the snaps against the Steelers and turned in six tackles - five solos. Josh Bynes saw just 68% of the snaps. In terms of the snaps, if Queen gets the snaps over the next few weeks, I'd feel comfortable with him as my LB2. Queen is also making big plays, and almost had an INT but it was overturned due to a pass interference call.

Green Dot Week 13: Chuck Clark (DB)

Buffalo Bills

Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano were the three-down LBs for Buffalo in Week 13. Surprisingly, Milano and Edmunds combined for just 12 tackles while the Patriots ran the ball 38 times with their RBs. Edmunds's IDP production has been shaky and inconsistent all season and may not hit the 100-tackle mark for the first time in his career. He's had just one game of 10+ tackles all season. In redraft leagues, you're going to have to continue to start him just because of his usage in the defense and just hope he has a ceiling game during the final stretch.

Green Dot Week 13: Tremaine Edmunds

Carolina Panthers

Shaq Thompson was on the field for 100% of the snaps and called the plays for the defense. Thompson bounced back in a big way from his poor outing last week. Shaq finished with 13 tackles (10 solos), but it came in a losing effort. Thompson is prone to those poor outings but is a weekly starter. Jermaine Carter was on the field opposite Thompson for 76% of the snaps - recording five tackles. He's really no more than a bye-week/injury filler as opposed to a weekly starter.

Green Dot Week 13: Bye Week

Chicago Bears

Roquan Smith suited up this week after suffering an injury on Thanksgiving. He was never downgraded to doubtful, and always seemed to be in play looking at the injury reports. Smith finished with eight tackles while wearing the dot and calling the plays - as usual. With Smith active, Alec Ogletree went back to his normal usage. Actually, it was a bit lower than normal, as the Bears needed a bit more speed on the field with Kyler Murray. Ogletree saw just 43% of the snaps. Ogletree will be difficult to trust over the next few weeks if you're making a playoff run.

Green Dot Week 13: Roquan Smith

Cincinnati Bengals

Logan Wilson exited with a shoulder injury after just 18 snaps. He got injured on punt return duties because Markus Bailey got hurt. I think Wilson owners should be relieved it was a shoulder injury after being carted off - which is still weird why he needed the cart for a shoulder injury, so I'll be keeping an eye on his status this week. Germaine Pratt played in 92% of the snaps and wore the dot after Wilson exited. If Wilson is out for an extended period of time, Pratt will be the waiver wire add this week. Joe Bachie appeared in 61% of the snaps, as he was thrust into more playing time with Wilson's injury.

Green Dot Week 13: Germaine Pratt wore the dot upon Logan Wilson's shoulder injury.

Cleveland Browns

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was in on 84% of the snaps and was all over the field for Cleveland's defense. He played fast and showed no signs of his ankle injury. JOK finished with 12 tackles and added a half-sack while playing in 84% of the snaps. Anthony Walker also appeared in 84% of the snaps and finished with 12 tackles of his own - but noticed a few more misses from Walker. JOK's usage is definitely on the rise.

Green Dot Week 13: Bye Week

Dallas Cowboys

Micah Parsons moved back to off-ball LB with the return of Demarcus Lawrence. He still wreaked havoc on 12 pass-rush snaps - producing five total pressures, including a sack. He's a menace all over the field for the opposition. The move back to off-ball LB had a negative domino effect for Keanu Neal. He saw just 33% of the snaps after seeing full-time usage while Parsons was playing edge. Leighton Vander Esch saw just under 60% of the snaps. With Parsons playing LB, it'll be hard to trust Neal as he could be game flow dependent going forward. LVE looks to have a bit of a role in 2-LB sets, but again, his snaps will make his production inconsistent.

Green Dot Week 13: Jayron Kearse (DB)

Denver Broncos

Baron Browning was on the field for 100% of the snaps in Week 13 and wore the dot. Kansas City ran just 57 plays, but Browning still managed eight tackles - including seven solos. Kenny Young saw 79% of the snaps and recorded nine tackles. Young's usage has been inconsistent all season - including his time with the Rams. if Young can manage an 80% snap rate, I'd feel comfortable with him as an LB3/4.

Green Dot Week 13: Baron Browning

Detroit Lions

Alex Anzalone appeared in 100% of the snaps in Detroit's first win against Minnesota. Anzalone appeared in all 76 snaps but managed just five tackles, however, he did add two defended passes. With Jalen Reeves-Maybin inactive, Derrick Barnes got the "start" but was on the field for just 46% of the snaps. I don't trust Barnes and is merely a dynasty hold at this point. In redraft, he's droppable.

Green Dot Week 13: Alex Anzalone

Green Bay Packers

The Packers' defense is playing good football and it does look like the offense is scheming away from De'Vondre Campbell and are aware of where he is on the field. Campbell's tackle production has been stagnant since his 14-tackle game in Week 7. He'll easily hit the 100-mark and is still a weekly starter considering he's playing in 100% of the snaps and is the defensive signal caller. Krys Barnes made impact tackles even though he was on the field for 61% of the snaps. If you're looking for an LB-streamer, Barnes fits the mold. He should be looked at more as an LB4/5.

Green Dot Week 13: Bye Week

Houston Texans

Chrisitan Kirksey made his return this week from IR and took over the dot and full-time role. Kirksey was in on 86% of the snaps and the starters weren't needed for the final part of the game due to the nature of the blowout. Kirksey recorded seven tackles and picked up a fumble recovery. Kamu Grugier-Hill had the monster IDP game of the week - 19 tackles and a sack. With Kirksey back, Zach Cunningham was a healthy inactive and can be dropped in redraft leagues once again. The only reason to hold Cunningham is in deeper leagues with deep benches and holding as an injury replacement for Kirksey or KGH.

Green Dot Week 13: Zach Cunningham

Indianapolis Colts

Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke were able to get some rest this week, as both played just 45 snaps thanks to Indy shutting out the Texans. The defense as a whole managed just 40 tackles against the anemic Texans' offense. It was just one of those games.

Green Dot Week 13: Darius Leonard

Jacksonville Jaguars

Damien Wilson just isn't a good coverage LB. The Rams took advantage of that. Wilson was on the field for just 63% of the snaps. Myles Jack was the lone full-time LB with 87% of the snaps. Wilson is a decent run-stopper, but that's about it. When Wilson was on the field, he called the plays. I couldn't get a good look at who wore the dot when Wilson was off - I'd assume it was Jack, but couldn't get the view. Jack is the only Jacksonville LB I trust regardless.

Green Dot Week 13: Damien Wilson when on the field.

Kansas City Chiefs

Willie Gay led the KC LBs usage this week with 61% of the snaps. He made a key defended pass on a 2nd and 8 that led to 3rd and 8. So, KC decided to send a blitz and take him off the field. His usage is maddening because he's such a good player and can do everything. Anthony Hitchens was on the field for 53% of the snaps while Nick Bolton saw just 29% of the snaps. Hitchens wore the dot when he was on the field, and when he wasn't, it looked like Bolton was calling the plays. Either way, take a listen to the Big Nickel podcast to see which KC defenders you can trust (fast forward to around the 1 hr, 27 min mark).

Green Dot Week 13: Anthony Hitchens when he was on the field. Nick Bolton when Hitch was off the field.

Las Vegas Raiders

Injuries abound to the Vegas LBs this week. Denzel Perryman saw just 70% of the snaps but dealt with an ankle injury. Cory Littleton was on the field for just 34% of the snaps - thanks to a neck stinger that knocked him out the second half. The big jump in usage was Divine Deablo, who saw 57% of the snaps and recorded 10 tackles. KJ Wright also saw just over 50% of the snaps, Perryman continued to produce - recording 12 tackles. Even with Perryman's dip in snaps, I still trust his production, but the LB2 in Vegas's defense is now completely muddled. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on Deablo - I really liked his profile coming into the draft. Keep an eye on Littleton and Perryman's injuries - this could mean a usage bump for Deablo.

Green Dot Week 13: Denzel Perryman

Los Angeles Chargers

Kyzir White and Drue Tranquill were the full-time LBs for the Chargers this week. White led the group with 93% of the snaps, while Tranquill saw 87% of the snaps. Kenneth Murray is dead and saw just eight snaps. At this point, Murray is barely a dynasty stash. I hope you cut bait on Murray in your redraft leagues a while ago. The only reason to keep him is if you have deep rosters and are holding him as an injury handcuff. White and Tranquill each recorded 10 tackles and Tranquill added a big sack for the defense. Both are solid LB2 over the next few weeks.

Green Dot Week 13: Derwin James (DB)

Los Angeles Rams

Ernest Jones was a full-time LB this week, appearing in all but a handful of snaps (95%). Jones turned in a solid game with nine tackles and a half-sack. He also added a defended pass. Troy Reeder saw just 29 snaps and turned in three assisted tackles. I'm encouraged by the usage shift here between Jones and Reeder. I had a hard time trusting Reeder, just because of his recent grades. I like Jones's upside and I think he can be an LB3/4.

Green Dot Week 13: Jordan Fuller (DB)

Miami Dolphins

Jerome Baker was on the field for all but two snaps as the play caller for the Dolphins. This is consecutive weeks of three tackles. Last week, there were just 45 snaps to make plays, so it's a bit discouraging to see Baker so inefficient these last few weeks. As a three-down player, he's tough to bench, but I'd consider sitting him for better options at this point.

Green Dot Week 13: Jerome Baker

Minnesota Vikings

I missed on Blake Lynch. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks were both inactive and Nick Vigil got 100% of the snaps and wore the dot. I thought Troy Dye was going to be a three-down guy since he was replacing Kendricks but didn't see Lynch as the guy who got the volume. Dye saw 42% of the snaps, while Lynch was the other three-down guy and appeared in 100% of the snaps. Vigil recorded 15 tackles. Lynch pitched in nine of his own and added two sacks. If Barr and Kendricks are going to miss more time, Lynch will be LB to own here, along with Vigil. Keep an eye on Kendricks this week, because if it's just a one-week injury, Lynch won't be worth adding.

Green Dot Week 13: Nick Vigil

New England Patriots

Ju'Whaun Bentley is getting close to being considered a full-time LB, and as soon as I say that, he won't be. Bentley was in on over 90% of the snaps against Buffalo - as he ended playing in 93% of the snaps. Bentley finished with a 14.8% tackle rate - resulting in eight tackles. Here's a look at Bentley's usage and production over the last four weeks:

Week Snaps Usage Tackles
10 45 76% 7
11 42 78% 7
12 55 87% 10
13 54 93% 8

He's been consistent over the last four weeks and is entering the conversation as an LB3/4 in deeper leagues.

Green Dot Week 13: Devin McCourty (DB)

New Orleans Saints

Demario Davis was the lone three-down LB and wore the dot for the defense as usual. Kwon Alexander is exceeding 80% of the snaps, so he's becoming useful in leagues where you're starting three to four LBs on a weekly basis. Alexander led the defense in tackles with nine and Davis was quiet - recording just four tackles. Davis is still a weekly LB and one of the two Saints' LBs I trust headed down the stretch.

Green Dot Week 13: Demario Davis

New York Giants

Tae Crowder was in 100% of the snaps and wore the dot. He turned in nine tackles - including six solos. Crowder is producing an 11.5% tackle rate and is on pace for 120 for the season. Start him up weekly. Reggie Ragland saw just 49% of the snaps while Benardrick McKinney saw just 35% of the snaps. You can overlook those guys on your waiver wire. Crowder is the only Giants' LB I trust weekly.

Green Dot Week 13: Tae Crowder

New York Jets

CJ Mosley was on the field for 100% and wore the dot for the defense. Mosley turned in a big game, recording 13 tackles - including 11 solos. Quincy Williams was on the field for all but a few snaps and turned in 13 tackles of his own with seven solos. Mosley is locked in as a weekly starter, as is Williams as an LB2. Jarrad Davis is and has been droppable, as he saw just six snaps.

Green Dot Week 13: CJ Mosley

Philadelphia Eagles

TJ Edwards and Alex Singleton were the full-time LBs for the Eagles this week. Edwards called the plays for the defense and recorded 11 tackles. Singleton recorded eight of his own. Edwards was on the field for 97% of the snaps while Singleton saw 93% of the snaps. As long as Davion Taylor is on IR, Singleton is definitely a weekly starter.

Green Dot Week 13: TJ Edwards

Pittsburgh Steelers

Joe Schobert was the lone three-down LB as he was on the field for 100% of the snaps. Schobert paced the LBs in tackles with seven and he added a defended pass. Devin Bush was on the field for 88% of the snaps and only managed two tackles. Bush is borderline droppable in shallow leagues. I don't think I could start him as he has three-straight games of five or fewer tackles.

Green Dot Week 13: Joe Schobert

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are dealing with injuries at the LB position and were without Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw in Week 14. Azeez Al-Shaair saw all but two snaps and wore the dot this week. Al-Shaair dominated the tackle share with 16 tackles, and he added a forced fumble and half-sack. Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles saw an uptick in snaps this week, as he was on the field for 73% of the snaps - recording just four tackles. Keep an eye on both Warner and Greenlaw and their practice participation this week.

Green Dot Week 13: Azeez Al-Shaair

Seattle Seahawks

Bobby Wagner saw 100% of the snaps and Jordyn Brooks was on the field for all but two snaps, appearing in 97% of the snaps. Brooks led the defense in tackles with 11. Wagner added nine tackles of his own and added an INT. Brooks is on pace for around 170 tackles and is producing a 16.6% tackle rate. Wagner is recording a 15.1% tackle rate and is on pace for around 190 tackles.

Green Dot Week 13: Bobby Wagner

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Devin White was on the field for 100% of the snaps and wore the dot for the defense. Lavonte David was on the field for all but two snaps this week. After recording three tackles in Week 12, White bounced back with a 10 tackle performance. White has hit the 100-tackle mark and has increased his tackle rate to 13.2% over the last few weeks. David turned in six tackles for the defense. White is a locked-in LB1 and David is shaping up to be an LB2/3 down the stretch.

Green Dot Week 13: Devin White

Tennessee Titans

David Long and Rashaan Evans were inactive once again in Week 12. Jayon Brown wore the dot and was in on 100% of the snaps against New England. Monty Rice suffered an ankle injury that knocked him out after 19 snaps. Derick Roberson saw increased playing time this week and appeared in 34 snaps (57% of the total) and Dylan Cole played 26 snaps. Cole will be the sneaky waiver wire add if Rice misses time and Long and Evans continue to miss games.

Green Dot Week 13: Bye Week

Washington Football Team

Cole Holcomb was on the field for 100% of the snaps while Jamin Davis saw 90% of the snaps. I wish I could say I trust Davis, but this happened before. He was deployed on the majority of the snaps/packages only to see his usage scaled back the next week. Holcomb finished with 10 tackles and wore the dot for the defense. Davis pitched in six tackles - including one for a loss.

Green Dot Week 13: Cole Holcomb

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