Three-Down Linebackers You Need to Plug in Your IDP Roster

Nov 21, 2022
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.

2022 Three-Down/Full-Time Linebackers
Team Player Games Played 2022 2022 Defensive Snaps 2022 Defensive Snap Rate Green Dot 2022 Tackle Rate%
ARI Zaven Collins 11 696 97.3% x 10.3%
ARI Isaiah Simmons 11 516 72.3% 10.1%
ATL Mykal Walker 10 639 84.2% 13.1%
ATL Rashaan Evans 11 741 97.6% x 13.6%
BAL Roquan Smith 10 601 92.6% 15.8%
BAL Patrick Queen 10 612 94.3% 11.4%
BUF Tremaine Edmunds* 8 447 61.0% 15.0%
BUF Matt Milano 10 634 86.5% 9.8%
CAR Frankie Luvu 10 555 72.1% 11.9%
CAR Shaq Thompson 11 704 91.4% x 11.8%
CHI Nicholas Morrow 11 677 99.9% x 10.3%
CHI Jack Sanborn 11 171 25.3% 16.4%
CIN Logan Wilson 9 565 87.7% x 10.1%
CLE Sione Takitaki 10 400 63.6% 14.0%
DAL Leighton Vander Esch 11 624 84.7% 11.2%
DEN Josey Jewell 6 362 53.2% x 17.7%
DET Alex Anzalone 1 730 95.0% x 11.5%
GB De'Vondre Campbell* 8 428 64.0% 15.0%
GB Quay Walker 11 536 78.1% x 14.9%
HOU Christian Kirksey 10 658 95.6% x 10.8%
HOU Christian Harris 5 288 42.2% 9.4%
IND Zaire Franklin 11 710 99.6% x 15.2%
IND Bobby Okereke 11 622 87.0% 15.1%
JAX Foyesade Oluokun 10 669 100.0% x 14.2%
JAX Devin Lloyd 10 628 93.9% 11.5%
KC Nick Bolton 10 632 95.8% x 14.7%
LAC Drue Tranquill 10 591 92.2% x 14.9%
LAR Bobby Wagner 10 613 99.8% x 13.7%
LV Jayon Brown 6 320 48.2% 10.6%
MIA Jerome Baker 10 598 90.7% x 9.0%
MIN Eric Kendricks 11 730 98.3% x 11.8%
MIN Jordan Hicks 11 665 89.5% 13.8%
NO Demario Davis 11 723 100.0% x 9.4%
NO Kaden Elliss 11 306 42.3% 12.1%
NYG Jaylon Smith 8 372 52.3% 12.4%
NYJ CJ Mosley 10 668 99.0% x 14.7%
PHI TJ Edwards 10 636 96.0% x 15.3%
PIT Myles Jack* 9 550 79.0% x 14.5%
SF Fred Warner 10 615 97.2% x 12.5%
SF Dre Greenlaw 9 502 79.3% 14.5%
SEA Jordyn Brooks 10 693 99.4% x 15.0%
TB Devin White 10 644 100.0% x 12.1%
TB Lavonte David 10 644 100.0% 10.4%
TEN David Long 10 650 94.9% x 12.0%
WAS Cole Holcomb* 7 446 65.4% 15.2%
WAS Jamin Davis 11 539 79.0% x 10.8%


Arizona Cardinals

A week after Isaiah Simmons saw a three-down role, he ended up playing 69% of the snaps. Simmons finished with three tackles in a subpar performance. Zaven Collins was on the field for all but one snap and wore the dot in Week 11. The game got away from Arizona's defense and they found themselves down 31-10 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Simmon's usage might have been game flow dependent, but don't have a clear answer.

Green Dot Week 11: Zaven Collins

Atlanta Falcons

Rashaan Evans was the lone three-down LB for the Falcons this week, as it looked like there was more of a rotation with Mykal Walker and Troy Andersen - though Walker out-snapped him 2:1. Evans was in on 100% of the snaps (69) and wore the dot once again this week. Although Walker played in 74% of the snaps, he still recorded eight tackles - just three solos. I’d keep an eye on this usage trend, especially over the next few weeks with fantasy playoffs looming. It’s not great timing.

Green Dot Week 11: Rashaan Evans

Baltimore Ravens

It appears the Ravens might be shifting their defensive philosophy when it comes to their LB deployment. They’ve typically been a single-LB/dime defense, but the addition of Roquan Smith looks to have changed that. Patrick Queen and Smith were both on the field for 100% of the snaps. Queen was a tackle machine this week, producing a 21% tackle rate. Smith salvaged his day with a sack, as he’ll have some pass-rush snaps from the inside. Smith is also dropping into coverage and allowing Queen to roam. If you’re a Roquan Smith or Patrick Queen owner, you love to see the usage. If Queen was dropped post-Roquan trade, I’d pick him up. Chuck Clark continues to call the plays at the safety position.

Green Dot Week 11: Chuck Clark

Buffalo Bills

With Tremaine Edmunds inactive on Thanksgiving, Tyrel Dodson owners were expecting a feast with all of the trimmings. Instead, we got creamed onions. After seeing 100% of the snaps last week, Dodson saw 10 total snaps. Thanks for the creamed onions, Buffalo! I would have been happy with jelly beans and popcorn like the feast they had in Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. AJ Klein was claimed off waivers the previous week, and while he knows the defense and I thought he'd get some snaps, I didn't expect a full-time role right out of the gate, especially after Dodson's role last week. Maybe I should have seen it coming after he graded poorly in Week 11. AJ Klein wore the dot and played in 100% of the snaps against Detroit and recorded nine tackles - those could have been Dodson's tackles. Matt Milano had his usual role in Buffalo's defense and was in on 100% of the snaps. At this point, I'm not sure who to recommend as Edmunds's replacement. Klein looks to be the guy - for now.

Green Dot Week 12: AJ Klein

Carolina Panthers

Shaq Thompson got 100% of the snaps and wore the dot in Carolina’s defense this week. Thompson went to finish with six tackles - just two solos. Thompson had a streak of eight or more tackles snapped at three games. Frankie Luvu was on the field for all but a few snaps and saw 97% of the snaps. Luvu now with consecutive games of 10+ tackles and has sacks in three of his last four. Luvu is giving you nice tackle numbers along with the upside of big plays on the edge.

Green Dot Week 11: Shaq Thompson

Chicago Bears

Nicholas Morrow was on the field for 100% of the snaps and wore the dot in Week 11. Morrow performed with a ‘meh’ game, which has summed up his production all season, honestly. Even with Roquan Smith out of the picture, he just seems a step behind the other LBs. Jack Sanborn is quick off the snap and just needs to square up, as he had a bad miss on Patterson that would’ve been a big tackle for loss. Sanborn is still getting the solos and finished with eight solo stops - nine total. If you still haven’t picked up Sanborn, do so this week. He has settled in as the LB2 in Chicago’s defense.

Green Dot Week 11: Nicholas Morrow

Cincinnati Bengals

Logan Wilson was the lone three-down LB for the Bengals and was on for 100% of the snaps. Germaine Pratt went back to his normal role in the defense and saw 64% of the snaps. Although the Bengals are primarily a 2-LB defense, they spent quite a bit of time in single-LB/dime against the Steelers. Pratt is a depth piece and is an LB4/5 in deeper IDP leagues.

Green Dot Week 11: Logan Wilson

Cleveland Browns

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah returned to the field in Week 11 after missing the last few weeks. JOK saw the majority of the snaps as the spy on Josh Allen. Overall, the Browns limited him to just seven yards rushing. The lack of Deion Jones was surprising, as Tony Fields saw more snaps as the LB3 in Cleveland’s base/3-LB packages. Sione Takitaki and JOK were the full-time LBs in Week 11. I’m not ready to say JOK is a full-time LB going forward, but he should be owned in deeper leagues for depth, as his production upside showed this week. He’s looking like he should be on the field for 75% of the snaps.

Green Dot Week 11: John Johnson III

Dallas Cowboys

Leighton Vander Esch had a full-time role in Week 12 and was in on 88% of the snaps against the Giants. LVE turned in a solid game and had some solid tackles. LVE finished with a 14.2% tackle rate on his way to eight tackles. Anthony Barr was inactive, which opened up more snaps for Damone Clark. Clark added seven of his own tackles and had a forced fumble. Dynasty owners might want to consider him as a stash for the future and in redraft leagues, I'd consider adding him from the wire if Barr continues to miss time.

Green Dot Week 12: Jayron Kearse

Denver Broncos

Josey Jewell was the lone three-down LB for Denver. Jewell was on the field for all 66 snaps and finished with a 16.7% tackle rate - resulting in 11 tackles. Jewell also added a sack to his stat line. Alex Singleton was also all over the field, as he finished with 11 tackles and a 25.6% tackle rate. If you’re a Singleton owner, I might just roll him out every week. Even with his usage, Singleton has double-digit tackle upside on a weekly basis.

Green Dot Week 11: Josey Jewell

Detroit Lions

Alex Anzalone was the lone three-down LB for Detroit and wore the dot against Buffalo. He continues to make some mistakes and have bouts where he doesn't belong on the field, but somehow seems to be in the right place at the right time to get tackles and the occasional INT. Which is exactly what happened in Week 12. Anzalone finished with nine tackles (including seven solos) and had an INT. He continues to produce on a weekly basis and is producing an 11.7% tackle rate and 0.22 fantasy points per snap. Malcolm Rodriguez's snaps continue to hover around 50% and saw 38 total snaps. Derrick Barnes continues to rotate and saw 36% of the snaps. Rodriguez and Barnes continue to rotate on all downs. I prefer Rodrigue as the dynasty stash over Barnes.

Green Dot Week 12: Alex Anzalone

Green Bay Packers

De’Vondre Campbell missed another game with a knee injury but stated nothing is torn, but still being looked at on a week-to-week basis. Quay Walker, once again, got the snaps in his place and was on the field for 86% of the snaps and wore the dot. Walker ended up getting injured in the 4th quarter and missed the final few series. Krys Barnes took over the play-calling responsibilities when Walker exited and wore the dot. Barnes appeared in 66% of the snap and saw the majority of the snaps in the final quarter for Walker. Isaiah McDuffie saw eight total snaps and isn't a factor, with Walker and Barnes seeing the field in GB's 2-LB packages. Keep an eye on Walker's injury, as Barnes looks to be the beneficiary if he misses time.

Green Dot Week 11: Quay Walker. Krys Barnes wore it when Walker exited.

Houston Texans

The Texans ran out their same defense as usual. Christian Kirksey and Christian Harris were both on the field for 100% of the snaps. Kirksey continues to call the plays, and Harris is playing every snap alongside him. If Harris is on your wire, I’d still grab him, even though he recorded just five tackles. He’s a three-down LB in Houston’s primary 2-LB defense.

Green Dot Week 11: Christian Kirksey

Indianapolis Colts

Zaire Franklin and Bobby Okereke were both on the field for 100% of the snaps in Week 11. With Shaquille Leonard out of the picture, Okereke has a three-down role for the remainder of the year. Franklin finished with 12 tackles and a half-sack, while Okereke contributed nine tackles of his own. Franklin and Okereke are weekly starters.

Green Dot Week 11: Zaire Franklin

Jacksonville Jaguars

Bye week.

Green Dot Week 11: Bye Week

Kansas City Chiefs

Nick Bolton was on the field for 100% of the snaps and wore the dot, finishing with 14 tackles. Bolton now has five games of 10+ tackles and nine games of eight or more. Bolton made a game-saving INT off a deflection and continues to show his athleticism. Willie Gay had a full-time role in Week 11 and appeared in 82% of the snaps. Gay has produced a 19.6% tackle rate and two sacks over the last two games. I think Gay is on the IDP radar and should be on most IDP rosters this week.

Green Dot Week 11: Nick Bolton

Las Vegas Raiders

Jayon Brown continues to be the lone three-down LB for the Raiders; however, he didn’t call the plays this week. Brown was on the field for all two snaps (97%) and finished with just four tackles. Denzel Perryman came off the field on sub packages and was on the field for 69% of the snaps. His role is definitely defined as a run-stopper, and he is coming off the field on 3rd downs.

Green Dot Week 11: Duron Harmon

Los Angeles Chargers

Drue Tranquill saw 100% of the snaps and continues to wear the dot for the Chargers’ defense. Tranquill finished with seven tackles - six solos. Kenneth Murray ended up injured, but it might have been his pride that was hurt, as Travis Kelce took his soul. Kelce took the entire Chargers’ defense souls, to be fair, including Derwin James. Murray saw 28 snaps leading up to the injury. Tranquill is the only Charger LB to own.

Green Dot Week 11: Drue Tranquill

Los Angeles Rams

Bobby Wagner was the lone three-down LB for the Rams in Week 11. The Saints mustered just 57 offensive plays, but Wagner still had a productive day, finishing with 11 tackles - resulting in a 19.3% tackle rate. Ernest Jones saw 84% of the snaps. Jones finished with just three tackles and is still off the IDP radar.

Green Dot Week 11: Bobby Wagner

Miami Dolphins

Bye week.

Green Dot Week 11: Bye Week

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings' LBs had a nice bounceback week against the Patriots in Week 12. Eric Kendricks wore the dot and saw 100% of the snaps. Kendricks recorded eight tackles and added a defended pass. Jordan Hicks led the defense in tackles with nine and added a sack while playing all but three snaps. Hicks will come off on some third downs, but he's a full-time LB. The Vikings are primarily a two off-ball LB system.

Green Dot Week 12: Eric Kendricks

New England Patriots

Ju'Whaun Bentley was a borderline full-time LB in Week 12. Bentley saw 81% of the snaps and finished with seven tackles. No other LB saw more than 45% of the snaps. Jahlani Tavai was on for 45% of the snaps while Raekwon McMillian saw 33% of the snaps.

Green Dot Week 12: Devin McCourty

New Orleans Saints

Demario Davis was on the field for 100% of the snaps and wore the dot for the New Orleans defense. Kaden Elliss got the majority of the snaps alongside Davis and saw 92% of the snaps. Elliss is quick off the snap and really wants to be the first to get to the ball. Elliss finished with 10 tackles and added a half-sack. Davis finished with eight of his own. Elliss and Davis are weekly starters, with Elliss entrenched as the LB2 in the Saints’ defense.

Green Dot Week 11: Demario Davis

New York Giants

I've added Jaylon Smith back to the chart and he's on the IDP radar. He's been a full-time LB in three of the last four games and saw 91% of the snaps in Week 12. Over the last four games, he's recording a 12.2% tackle rate - thanks to his 10 tackle performance against Dallas. Smith is the primary LB in their single-LB/dime packages. Micah McFadden's usage continues to creep up. Over the last three weeks, McFadden hadn't cracked the 56% usage rate. In Week 12, McFadden was in on 64% of the snaps and played 48 snaps.

Green Dot Week 12: Julian Love

New York Jets

CJ Mosley was the lone three-down LB for the Jets in Week 11. Quincy Williams is the LB coming off the field in most of the Jets' sub packages, as he saw just 65% of the snaps. Quincy’s sack salvaged his day since he had just two solos. Mosley wore the dot as usual and finished with nine tackles - including seven solos. Mosley is the only Jets LB to own. Williams is more of a depth piece at this point in deeper leagues. He’ll be hard to trust on a weekly basis for the rest of the season.

Green Dot Week 11: CJ Mosley

Philadelphia Eagles

TJ Edwards was on the field for all but two snaps in Week 11 and wore the dot. Edwards now has consecutive weeks of 10+ tackles and has been a tackle machine. Kyzir White is now on the IDP radar after seeing 86% of the snap and finishing with seven tackles. White’s usage looks to depend on the opponent and game flow, but he’s in this pattern of 88/75/88/75/86 when it comes to his snap percentage. So next week, he’ll see 75% of the snaps.

Green Dot Week 11: TJ Edwards

Pittsburgh Steelers

A week after being used as an emergency LB, Myles Jack returned this week and wore the dot for Pittsburgh’s defense when he was on the field. Pittsburgh didn’t deploy a full-time off-ball LB in Week 11. No off-ball LB played more than 62% of the snaps, and if I could, I’d use the <puke emoji> here. Jack was hyper-efficient with his snaps - producing a 22% tackle rate which led to nine tackles. It looked like the Steelers spent their time in single-LB/dime to counter Cincinnati’s passing game. If I’m a Myles Jack owner, I’ve got a side-eye on the situation, but not panicking just yet.

Green Dot Week 11: Myles Jack

San Francisco 49ers

Fred Warner sat out 10 snaps against the Cardinals with the game in hand. Dre Greenlaw had a full-time role, seeing the majority of the snaps alongside Warner before sitting out some of the 4th quarter with the game well in hand. Warner wore the dot as usual. Greenlaw looks healthy and if he's on your wire, I'd pick him up as he looks to have regained his full-time role.

Green Dot Week 11: Fred Warner

Seattle Seahawks

Bye week.

Green Dot Week 11: Bye Week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bye week.

Green Dot Week 11: Bye Week

Tennessee Titans

David Long avoided the injury report and was active in Week 11. Long played 100% of the snaps and had a productive night with nine tackles - including three TFLs. The Titans went single-LB/dime-heavy this week, as Monty Rice saw just 18 snaps while Dylan Cole received 16. Long is the only Tennessee LB with any IDP value.

Green Dot Week 11: David Long

Washington Commanders

Cole Holcomb missed yet another game, and there's no definitive word on his return. If you're a Holcomb owner, I'm still holding at this point. Jamin Davis was on for 100% of the snaps and wore the dot for the Washington defense. Jon Bostic saw an increase in his usage this week, as Washington went 2-LB more often, as Bostic saw 75% of the snaps. Bostic is barely on the IDP radar in deeper leagues.

Green Dot Week 11: Jamin Davis

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