We are still early in the 2014 NFL offseason. The draft hasn’t even happened yet. That said, there’s no harm in doing very early offseason IDP rankings. Today I’m looking at linebacker rankings for the 2014 season. While rookie linebackers have been going off the board in our Getting Defensive IDP Mock Drafts, I will not be including rookies in the rankings yet since the NFL Draft has yet to occur. Below you will find my rankings and write-ups on the Top 10. The fantasy points listed in the rankings from 2013 and 2012 are based on the PDW IDP Scoring System. The Average Draft Position Value (ADPV) listed for each player is a value based on data collected in the ongoing mock drafts.
Lavonte David (TBB, LB) – ADPV: 1.023
David was the number one overall scorer in 2013 based on this scoring system with 328.5 fantasy points. That put him at the top by a fairly significant margin as he was 25 points above the next IDP (Karlos Dansby with 303.0). In each of his first two seasons he has been in the top 6 fantasy scorers, and has been among the league leaders in tackles. I predict David to have to have another dominant season, and at this point is the top linebacker in my rankings.
Vontaze Burfict (CIN, LB) – ADPV: 1.041
Burfict came into his own and rose to the top of the IDP charts in 2013. He was the #4 fantasy scorer overall. In his first two NFL seasons he has compiled 298 total tackles, and he lead the league in 2013 with 171 tackles. Vontaze is now entering his third NFL season and is very much in his prime. I expect him to continue to be a tackle machine and have a huge 2014 season.
Luke Kuechly (CAR, LB) – ADPV: 1.034
Kuechly was a top selection in 2013 fantasy IDP leagues, but got off to a slow start in terms of fantasy production. He finished the season ranked as the #7 fantasy scorer using this system. He’s posted 156+ tackles in each of his first two NFL seasons, and there’s no reason to think the trend won’t continue. Kuechly remains an elite fantasy linebacker, and he should remain among the top IDP options in 2014.
Bobby Wagner (SEA, LB) – ADPV: 1.085
The Super Bowl champ finished the 2013 season ranked #31 among IDPs in this scoring system. He had a fine season, but owners were likely looking for numbers closer to those from 2012 in which he ranked 11th. That said, after missing out two games to injury he was one of only five players to tally 80+ tackles in the final eight weeks of the season and he’s put up a total of 120 or more total tackles in each of his first two NFL seasons. You can’t complain about those numbers. He’ll continue to be a solid elite IDP prospect and if he stays healthy he should be at or near the top of the ranks in 2014.