Three-Down Linebackers You Need to Plug in Your IDP Roster
The linebacker position remains the anchor position in most IDP leagues. It's important to know which guys are staying on the field and who's coming off in certain packages. If your linebacker isn't on the field, they're not scoring points. I'm trying to key in on the LBs who are playing at least 75%-80% of the snaps and have a key role in the defense. You'll know whose production won't be sustainable because of inconsistent playing time.
This will be updated throughout the season as information is presented. Here is how the snaps and usage are playing out at the linebacker position. I'll also point out if a non-LB is wearing the dot.
|Team||Player||Games Played 2022||2022 Defensive Snaps||2022 Defensive Snap Rate||Green Dot||2022 Tackle Rate%|
|HOU||Christian Kirksey"}" height="" style="" width="">Christian Kirksey||16||1068||97.2%||x||11.0%|
The Cardinals head into Week 18 with Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons as their full-time linebackers. Collins and Simmons were in on all but three snaps against the Falcons. Collins wore the dot as the play caller. Simmons played more deep safety (27 deep snaps) to compensate for Budda Baker’s absence. If Simmons is going to play deep in Week 18, that could limit his tackle floor.
Green Dot Week 17: Zaven Collins
Rashaan Evans was the three-down LB for Atlanta in Week 17 and wore the dot. Unfortunately for his owners, he had a floor game, managing just four tackles. Troy Andersen had a full-time role, as he was on the field for 86% of the snaps and recorded just five tackles. The defensive backs hogged the tackle share for the Falcons’ defense.
Green Dot Week 17: Rashaan Evans
Roquan Smith was on the field for 100% of the snaps, while Patrick Queen saw all but four snaps (66). The duo of Smith and Queen have been a solid pairing, especially against the run, and have helped change the Ravens’ defense. Smith finished with nine tackles, and Queen added six. The Ravens have been a 2-LB defense since Smith’s arrival. Chuck Clark wore the dot as usual for the Ravens' defense.
Green Dot Week 17: Chuck Clark
Green Dot Week 16: Tremaine Edmunds
Frankie Luvu and Shaq Thompson were both three-down LBs, as they both saw 100% of the snaps for the Panthers in Week 17. Both came through for their owners in Week 17 - recording double-digit tackles. Luvu produced 0.38 fantasy points per snap and a 16.7% tackle rate - on his way to 13 tackles and a sack. Thompson recorded 12 tackles and is now two away from the 130-tackle mark. Thompson wore the dot for Carolina in Week 17.
Green Dot Week 17: Shaq Thompson
Joe Thomas and Nicholas Morrow were Chicago’s three-down LBs in Week 17. Since taking over the three-down role, Thomas has produced a 14.9% tackle rate - resulting in 20 tackles (including 14 solos). Morrow wore the dot and finished with six tackles. Morrow and Thomas will be startable in Week 18. Thomas has more appeal as an LB2 with his tackle upside.
Green Dot Week 17: Nicholas Morrow
Green Dot Week 16: Logan Wilson
The Browns LB group has been decimated by injury, and the rotations have also been downright messy for IDP. Last week Reggie Ragland saw 61% of the snaps, but this week, Ragland played just 24 total snaps. Tony Fields saw 78% of the snaps and got dinged up in the 3rd quarter. Deion Jones saw 65% of the snaps. It’s a rotation to stay away from for Week 18 - even with Fields recording nine tackles.
Green Dot Week 17: John Johnson III
Once again, Dallas didn't deploy a true off-ball LB in a full-time role in Week 17. Damone Clark was the LB who was coming off on most 3rd downs, from what I remember seeing. Clark was on the field for 65% of the snaps, with Anthony Barr getting one extra snap and 66% of the total. Not much tackle production from the LB group, as Clark and Barr, combined for nine of the 60 total tackles. If the Cowboys continue this rotation and LB usage, Clark or Barr will be tough to trust in Week 18.
Green Dot Week 17: Jayron Kearse
Josey Jewell was on the field for 100% of the snaps against KC. It appeared Jewell had his floor game against the Chiefs, but it was still seven tackles. Alex Singleton saw 67% of the snaps and notched seven tackles. There weren’t many tackle opportunities. Even though the Denver defense saw 60 snaps, they recorded 46 total tackles. Denver’s defense has been primarily a single-LB system this season, but Singleton is productive enough to warrant a start in Week 18.
Green Dot Week 17: Josey Jewell
Alex Anzalone played just 73% of the snaps, but the first team saw their snaps scaled back due to the blowout. The Bears managed just 52 offensive snaps. When he was on the field, Anzalone wore the dot. Anzalone was on his way to a big game - recording an 18.4% tackle rate on 38 snaps.
Green Dot Week 17: Alex Anzalone
Green Bay Packers
The Packers dominated the Vikings in Week 17 and ended up using their backups near the end of the game. De’Vondre Campbell wore the dot when he was on the field and saw 79% of the snaps. Quay Walker played in 71% of the snaps and finished with eight tackles. Campbell added eight of his own tackles. The Packers are playing for a postseason bid, so Campbell and Walker should see their normal roles in Week 18.
Green Dot Week 17: De’Vondre Campbell
Even with the blowout, Christian Kirksey and Christian Harris were both on the field for 100% of the snaps. Both fell below expectations in their tackle output, as Kirksey managed just six tackles (two solos) while Harris had just four. Their volume alone as them both on the LB2/3 radar in Week 18. Houston has been a pretty vanilla defense and runs out two off-ball LBs every snap. Kirksey wore the dot for Houston.
Green Dot Week 17: Christian Kirksey
The blowout didn’t limit Zaire Franklin or Bobby Okereke’s snaps. Franklin saw 100% of the snaps and wore the dot. Okereke was on the field for all but two snaps (61) and had a ceiling game for his owners. Okereke finished with 17 tackles - including 12 solos. Okereke also added a forced fumble. The Colts have been a 2-LB/nickel defense, but with the season over, we’ll have to keep tabs on how the Colts are going to deploy their starters in Week 18. EJ Speed could be on the radar this week.
Green Dot Week 17: Zaire Franklin
With the division on the line next week, the Jaguars rested their starters in the blowout against Houston. Foyesade Oluokun saw 74% of the snaps but still recorded a 17.3% tackle rate - resulting in nine tackles. Devin Lloyd saw 60% of the snaps, and Chad Muma factored a bit more in this week’s rotation, as he was on the field for 28 snaps. Foye and Lloyd should see their typical usage in Week 18 with the AFC South up for grabs. When he was on the field, Foye wore the dot.
Green Dot Week 17: Foyesade Oluokun
Kansas City Chiefs
Nick Bolton was on the field for all but one snap and wore the dot for KC’s defense. Bolton saw 99% of the snaps and recorded 10 tackles. Willie Gay ended up with 63% of the snaps and added seven tackles. KC still runs more single-LB/dime packages, so Gay will be a volatile LB3/4 in Week 18.
Green Dot Week 17: Nick Bolton
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders have been another snake-bitten team at LB. Luke Masterson was the lone three-down LB and appeared in 100% of the snaps. He turned in a decent game for a replacement-level player and undrafted free agent. I didn’t have Harvey Langi leading any team in tackles for a given week on my bingo card. Langi appeared in 67% of the snaps. The Raiders went single-LB/dime-heavy in Week 17, and Masterson should be on your radar and added to your squad for Week 18.
Green Dot Week 17: Duron Harmon
Los Angeles Chargers
Drue Tranquill was the lone full-time LB in the Chargers’ blowout of the Rams. Tranquill finished with nine tackles - resulting in a 20.9% tackle rate. After seeing more than 75% of the snaps in five straight games, Kenneth Murray saw fewer than 70% of the snaps (67%). He managed just three tackles. Murray is probably off the radar in Week 18. The Chargers’ defense recorded 48 total tackles.
Green Dot Week 17: Drue Tranquill
Los Angeles Rams
Bobby Wagner was on the field for 100% of the snaps and wore the dot. Wagner finished with seven tackles (five solos). Wagner will finish with over 130 tackles in his first season with the Rams. Ernest Jones was on the field for 66% of the snaps. Jones finished with nine tackles and has hit the 100-mark while playing just 67% of the snaps. Jones should be considered an LB3/4 in Week 18.
Green Dot Week 17: Bobby Wagner
Jerome Baker saw 82% of the snaps in Week 17 and wore the dot when he was on the field. I did notice in single-LB/dime packages, Baker was off the field for Elandon Roberts. Roberts ended up with 68% of the snaps and finished with nine tackles. Baker has been one of the most inefficient full-time LBs, and I wouldn’t consider starting him in Week 18. Roberts’s usage makes him a volatile Week 18 play.
Green Dot Week 17: Jerome Baker
Eric Kendricks was the lone three-down LB in Week 17 as he saw 89% of the snaps and wore the dot. Jordan Hicks saw 60% of the snaps and recorded just four tackles. Brian Asamoah is still sticking his nose in the rotation, as he was on the field for 41% of the snaps. If this is how the off-ball rotation is going to continue, Kendricks is the only LB I trust heading into Week 18.
Green Dot Week 17: Eric Kendricks
New England Patriots
The hoodie strikes back in Week 17. Ju’Whaun Bentley saw just 77% of the snaps after seeing a full-time role in Weeks 15 and 16. Bentley was still productive and recorded nine tackles. A big game looms against the Bills in Week 18, so I think Bentley will see his normal complement of snaps. He should be an LB3.
Green Dot Week 17: Devin McCourty
New Orleans Saints
Demario Davis was the lone three-down LB for the Saints in Week 17. Davis saw 100% of the snaps and wore the dot. Pete Werner was active but appeared in 44% of the snaps. Kaden Elliss had the majority of the snaps as the LB2 opposite Davis and saw 67% of the snaps. Elliss added 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble to his five tackles. Werner finished with 0 tackles in his 24 snaps. I think Elliss is the LB2 I trust if I’m in a Week 18 title game.
Green Dot Week 17: Demario Davis
New York Giants
The Giants didn’t deploy a full-time off-ball LB in Week 17, but it could’ve been the nature of the blowout, but that’s typically how the Giants have used their LBs all season. Xavier McKinney returned to the field and had an impact on the defensive backfield. Jaylon Smith saw 62% of the snaps but still produced a 25% tackle rate - resulting in nine tackles. Smith has been productive in his current usage - producing a 19.4% tackle rate over the last four weeks.
Green Dot Week 17: Julian Love
New York Jets
CJ Mosley wore the dot when he was on the field and appeared in 92% of the snaps. Mosley recorded nine tackles - including eight solos. Quincy Williams saw 94% of the snaps, as the Jets went 2-LB heavy. Williams finished with 10 tackles. Even with the Jets eliminated, Robert Saleh seems like the type of coach who’s going to play his starters. I’d still trust Mosley if I had a Week 18 matchup - keep an eye on any news regarding rest, though.
Green Dot Week 17: CJ Mosley
After seeing fewer than 70% of the snaps in three-straight weeks, Kyzir White’s usage in the defense ballooned to 96% in Week 17. White was on the field for all but three snaps and recorded seven tackles. TJ Edwards wore the dot and was on the field for 94% of the snaps. Edwards came through for his owners with 11 tackles (9 solos). He’s one tackle away from 150 and is still an LB1 heading into Week 18 with the top seed on the line.
Green Dot Week 17: TJ Edwards
Robert Spillane was the lone three-down LB for the Steelers in Week 17, as he was on the field for all 52 snaps. Spillane led the defense in tackles with nine - including eight solos. Spillane, once again, wore the dot for the defense. Mark Robinson has usurped the LB2 role and saw a season-high 26 snaps (50%). Robinson looked quicker than Devin Bush and was more reactive to plays. Although he only had two solos, Robinson finished with seven total tackles and was around the ball. Bush and Myles Jack are not on the IDP radar in Week 18, as they combined for 11 total snaps.
Green Dot Week 17: Robert Spillane
San Francisco 49ers
Dre Greenlaw owners are going to want to keep an eye on him if you have a title game in Week 18. Greenlaw suffered a knee sprain that limited him to 43 snaps. He was on his way to a huge game, as he had produced an 18.6% tackle rate up to that point. Fred Warner was on the field for 100% of the snaps and wore the dot. Warner finished with 12 tackles (four solos), and the defense definitely missed Greenlaw’s presence. Greenlaw owners are going to want to dial up Azeez Al-Shaair from the waiver wire if there’s a Week 18.
Green Dot Week 17: Fred Warner
Jordyn Brooks suffered a pretty gruesome knee injury that’s looking like a torn ACL. He got injured in the 2nd quarter. Brooks was on his way to a solid game, as he had four tackles up to that point. Cody Barton took over the playcalling duties and wore the dot. Tanner Muse came in relief and played 20 snaps. If Barton is on your wire for Week 18, I highly recommend grabbing him. If you’re in a deeper league, Muse could be in play as an LB4/5 if he ends up with 70% of the snaps. Muse would be a volatile play, so I’d have him down on my priority list.
Green Dot Week 17: Jordyn Brooks. Cody Barton when Brooks exited.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Devin White and Lavonte David were the three-down LBs in Tampa’s defense. Tampa’s defense has primarily been a 2-LB system with both David and White. White’s tackle production has been on the LB2 level over the last few weeks but he should still be in lineups in Wee 18. David has recorded eight or more tackles in three straight.
Green Dot Week 17: Devin White
In a bit of a surprise, Jack Gibbens got the three-down role in Week 17 and ended up wearing the dot. Gibbens was on for 100% of the snaps and finished with 10 tackles. Monty Rice, who wore the dot last week, was in on 81% of the snaps and led the team in tackles with 13. Gibbens is on the LB3 radar in Week 18, and even with Rice's usage falling, he's still worth using in Week 18. The Titans are in a must-win game against Jacksonville next week.
Green Dot Week 17: Jack Gibbens
Jamin Davis saw 100% of the snaps and wore the dot in Week 18. David Mayo was Davis’s running mate at the LB2 spot. Washington ran more 2-LB/nickel packages, and Mayo saw 91% of the snaps alongside Davis. Davis finished with nine tackles. Mayo added eight tackles of his own and added a sack. I’m a bit hesitant about Mayo, as his usage might have been game script. If you think he’ll see more than 85% of the snaps in Week 18, he’s looking like an LB4/5. With Washington eliminated from the playoffs, we’ll have to see how they use their players.
Green Dot Week 17: Jamin Davis