Punch Drunk Wonderland

2013 Fantasy Linebackers – The .20 Point Per Snap Elite

Luke KuechlyLinebackers are most frequently the bread and butter of IDP leagues.  That’s especially the case for tackle heavy (TH) leagues.  3-down linebackers are just the guys in the best position to consistently accumulate those tackle and assisted tackle stats.  And, the trait that we all want is consistency.  Sure, it’s nice to see your middle linebacker have a monster week with 15 tackles but how do you count on that guy if he only gets 4 tackles the following week?  And, what about projection during a game.  A great source of comfort in your fantasy players is knowing that you’ll see a steady progression of stat increase (thus fantasy points) throughout an entire game.  What we’re talking about here is Points Per Snap (PPSnap).  Having an every down linebacker is a great start, but finding an every down linebacker with top tier Points Per Snap is what lets you know you’ve found your LB elite.

In looking at 2012 stats I feel like the line can be drawn at the .20 Point Per Snap marker for Tackle Heavy leagues.  There were monsters like Luke Kuechly that put up an average of .27 Points Per Snap in Tackle Heavy formats (.29 in Big Play) and Bobby Wagner with his .24 Points Per Snap in Tackle Heavy (.27 in BP), but it seems the .20 Point Per Snap line is what separates roughly the top 10 linebackers from the rest (the line is around .22 for Big Play formats).  As a point of reference, the middle of the pack for 3-down linebackers from 2012 is right between .15 and .16 Points Per Snap.

In terms of application, lets take a few players as examples. Lavonte David was ranked 3rd among 3-down linebackers in Points Per Snap for Tackle Heavy leagues with .22 Points Per Snap. He finished the season with 218.0 fantasy points.  Chad Greenway (often called the “IDP Machine”) had a great season in 2012 in many respects.  However, by comparison he had .17 Points Per Snap which led him to a total of 179.0 points.  That difference of .05 Points Per Snap made the difference in David being #2 and Greenway being #16 in total fantasy points among 3-down linebackers. In the table below you’ll see that 3-down linebackers with .20 Points Per Snap or more represent the top 10 fantasy point scorers from 2012 among every down LBs. If you’re looking for consistency, look for 3-down guys with high Points Per Snap potential.

TH = Tackle Heavy; BP = Big Play

Pos Player Team G Pts (TH) PPSnap (TH) Pts (BP) PPSnap (BP)
1 Luke Kuechly CAR 16 234.50 0.27 253.50 0.29
2 Bobby Wagner SEA 16 201.00 0.24 223.00 0.27
3 Lavonte David TB 16 218.00 0.22 243.00 0.24
4 Russell Allen JAX 16 203.50 0.21 215.50 0.22
5 NaVorro Bowman SF 16 197.00 0.21 210.00 0.22
6 Jerod Mayo NE 16 202.50 0.20 226.50 0.23
7 Jerrell Freeman IND 16 193.00 0.20 211.00 0.22
8 Daryl Washington ARZ 16 208.50 0.20 242.50 0.24
9 Derrick O. Johnson KC 16 186.50 0.20 206.50 0.22
10 Paul Posluszny JAX 16 213.50 0.20 234.50 0.22
11 London Fletcher WAS 16 181.50 0.19 207.50 0.21
12 Justin Durant DET 16 153.50 0.19 164.50 0.20
13 James Laurinaitis SL 16 193.50 0.19 204.50 0.20
14 Wesley Woodyard DEN 15 160.50 0.19 192.50 0.23
15 Vontaze Burfict CIN 15 151.00 0.18 161.00 0.19
16 JoLonn Dunbar SL 16 189.00 0.18 221.00 0.22
17 DeMeco Ryans PHI 16 180.00 0.18 201.00 0.20
18 Patrick Willis SF 16 172.00 0.18 189.00 0.20
19 Lawrence Timmons PIT 16 160.50 0.17 190.50 0.20
20 David Harris NYJ 16 174.00 0.17 184.00 0.18
21 Karlos Dansby MIA 16 178.50 0.17 186.50 0.18
22 Larry Foote PIT 16 156.50 0.17 174.50 0.19
23 Chad Greenway MIN 16 179.00 0.17 191.00 0.18
24 Curtis Lofton NO 16 185.00 0.17 199.00 0.19
25 Anthony Spencer DAL 14 140.50 0.17 174.50 0.21
26 Akeem Ayers TEN 16 141.00 0.17 165.00 0.20
27 K.J. Wright SEA 15 142.50 0.17 155.50 0.19
28 Jasper Brinkley MIN 16 131.00 0.16 139.00 0.17
29 Paris Lenon ARZ 16 157.50 0.16 168.50 0.17
30 Kevin Burnett MIA 16 163.00 0.16 171.00 0.17
31 Philip Wheeler OAK 16 158.50 0.16 171.50 0.18
32 Lance Briggs CHI 16 161.50 0.16 181.50 0.19
33 Stephen Tulloch DET 16 161.00 0.16 170.00 0.17
34 Perry Riley WAS 16 148.50 0.15 161.50 0.16
35 Von Miller DEN 16 135.00 0.15 203.00 0.22
36 D’Qwell Jackson CLV 16 156.50 0.15 176.50 0.17
37 Miles Burris OAK 16 127.00 0.15 139.00 0.17
38 Stephen Nicholas ATL 15 126.50 0.15 138.50 0.16
39 Nick Barnett BUF 16 143.50 0.15 159.50 0.17
40 Rey Maualuga CIN 16 141.50 0.14 142.50 0.14
41 Mychal Kendricks PHI 15 117.50 0.13 125.50 0.14
42 Aldon Smith SF 16 119.00 0.12 179.00 0.19
43 Justin Houston KC 16 114.50 0.12 150.50 0.16
44 DeMarcus Ware DAL 16 90.00 0.11 130.00 0.16
45 Tamba Hali KC 15 92.50 0.10 118.50 0.13
46 Ryan Kerrigan WAS 16 94.50 0.09 125.50 0.12
47 Sam Acho ARZ 16 88.00 0.09 110.00 0.11
48 Ahmad Brooks SF 16 86.00 0.09 114.00 0.12
49 Connor Barwin HST 16 67.00 0.07 90.00 0.09
50 Calvin Pace NYJ 16 64.50 0.07 73.50 0.08

 

K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...

One Comment

  1. Don

    July 27, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Great article !

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