Punch Drunk Wonderland

Offseason IDP Rankings: The Linebackers (April 16, 2014)

This article is outdated. Please see the updated 2014 IDP Rankings.

Seattle Seahawks vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Bobby WagnerWe 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

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-2013-01

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.

Panthers Buccaneers Football

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

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.

Paul Posluszny

Paul Posluszny (JAC, LB) – ADPV: 1.076

Posluszny was the #5 fantasy scorer in this format in 2013. He’s a solid tackler and his position on a bad team means he spends a lot of time on the field. Posluszny has remained one of the most consistent IDP options out there when it comes to tackles season in and season out. In his seven NFL seasons he has only fallen below 100 total tackles once, and he has been among the leaders in the league in tackles consistently for several years. While he’s nearing an age where his production could take a turn, I expect him to have another solid season in 2014.

Kiko Alonso

Kiko Alonso (BUF, LB) – ADPV: 1.075

Alonso burst onto the IDP scene as a rookie in 2013. He was the #6 overall fantasy IDP in this scoring system and he was a strong play for the majority of the season. He’s young and versatile and stands to have another good year in 2014. Look for his production to only go up in his second year.

Sean Lee

Sean Lee (DAL, LB) – ADP Value: 2.045

Lee was a tackle machine while he was healthy in 2013. In 11 games he piled up 99 total tackles to go with 4 interceptions. He missed the end of the season with torn ligaments in his neck, and 2013 marked his fourth season in which he failed to play all 16 games. There are certainly some red flags when it comes to health, but there’s no denying that he’s a solid IDP force when he’s in the game.

Daryl Washington

Daryl Washington (ARI, LB) – ADP Value: 1.321

Washington was an all around IDP monster in 2012, but his 2013 performance was limited by an early season suspension of four games. He still has huge potential as a versatile and disruptive pass rusher and run defender. He’s been in offseason legal trouble which could result in another suspension, so that situation is worth watching. Until more comes of it, I have him sitting at LB8.

James Laurinaitis

James Laurinaitis (STL, LB) – ADP Value: 1.828

Laurinaitis started off slow in 2013, but he bounced back with a very solid second half of the season. He was the #13 fantasy scorer among linebackers in 2012 and finished the season ranked 21st in 2013. Despite his slow start, he came up big later in the season as he finished with 116 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions. I’m expecting Laurinaitis to get off to a better start in 2014, and he should be an elite IDP option.

Derrick Johnson

Derrick Johnson (KC, LB) – ADP Value: 1.803

Johnson has been a solid linebacker and consistent IDP for several years running. In 2013 he was the #16 linebacker in terms of fantasy points and #12 in 2012. He’s had 100+ tackles for four seasons in a row, and last season he also had a career high 4.5 sacks. Similar to Posluszny, Johnson is getting into the age where decline should start rearing it’s head, but at this point there’s no reason to think he won’t continue solid production in the 2014 season.

Rank Player/Team/Pos 2013 Points 2012 Points
1 David, Lavonte TBB LB 328.50 252.00
2 Burfict, Vontaze CIN LB 292.54 184.50
3 Kuechly, Luke CAR LB 268.50 270.50
4 Wagner, Bobby SEA LB 208.50 236.50
5 Posluszny, Paul JAC LB 287.50 246.00
6 Alonso, Kiko BUF LB 274.50 N/A
7 Lee, Sean DAL LB 226.50 93.00
8 Washington, Daryl ARI LB 166.50 277.00
9 Laurinaitis, James STL LB 183.00 232.50
10 Johnson, Derrick KCC LB 220.50 232.50
11 Dansby, Karlos CLE LB 303.00 227.50
12 Levy, DeAndre DET LB 247.50 136.50
13 Ogletree, Alec STL LB 243.50 N/A
14 Trevathan, Danny DEN LB 240.00 N/A
15 Kendricks, Mychal PHI LB 222.50 136.00
16 Freeman, Jerrell IND LB 253.50 232.00
17 Willis, Patrick SFO LB 187.00 212.00
18 Smith, Daryl BAL LB 257.50 9.50
19 Mayo, Jerod NEP LB 84.50 245.50
20 Bowman, Navorro SFO LB 296.00 233.50
21 Davis, Thomas CAR LB 239.50 163.00
22 Timmons, Lawrence PIT LB 225.00 232.50
23 Greenway, Chad MIN LB 223.50 242.50
24 Miller, Von DEN LB 107.50 272.50
25 Ryans, DeMeco PHI LB 238.00 199.00
26 Riley, Perry WAS LB 198.50 202.00
27 Cushing, Brian HOU LB 104.00 56.00
28 Worilds, Jason PIT LB 136.50 65.00
29 Jackson, D’Qwell IND LB 211.50 220.00
30 Worrilow, Paul ATL LB 184.50 N/A

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…

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