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  • Buy or Sell: Indianapolis Colts Linebackers

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    Good linebackers are the key to having a strong IDP roster. Sometimes, there are two quality LBs on the same team. You need to take advantage of this situation and add another quality starter to your lineup. Here’s how…


    Buy

    Bobby Okereke, LB

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    Indianapolis Colts LB Bobby Okereke was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft. This 6’1″ tall, 235-pound mammoth will turn just 26 years old in July. He will be starting his fourth year as a key Colts defender.

    Okereke is a true three-down linebacker and racks up the numbers for your IDP roster. He has increased his tackles by double digits all three years in the league so far. Okereke’s rookie year looked solid with 65 tackles (48 solos), 2 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 2 pass defenses, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 fumble recovery. He started eight of the 16 games as a rookie.

    His stats increased in his second year in all categories. Okereke delivered 72 tackles (57 solos), 4 tackles for a loss, 6 pass defenses, 1 interception, and 2 fumble recoveries. Again, he started just eight of the 16 games.

    Okereke Became the Full-time Starter in 2021.

    In 2021, LB Anthony Walker left the Colts and signed with the Cleveland Browns as an unrestricted free agent. This move gave Okereke a full-time job and he started all 17 games. He did not disappoint with  132 tackles (89 solos), 3 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 4 pass defenses, and 2 interceptions.

    Okereke’s tackle numbers in 2021 were good enough to make the top ten of all NFL linebackers. The Colts basically played just two LBs on most downs, even though they are listed as a “3-4” defense under old defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who has taken the promotion to Head Coach of the Chicago Bears.

    The Colts hired Gus Bradley as their new defensive coordinator. He has coached a “4-3” defensive lineup most of his career. It will be interesting to see who the third LB will be, but Okereke will again be a top ten candidate for tackles in 2022.

    Buy him now as the cost is just a second or high third in rookie drafts. The value is there for multiple years because of Darius Leonard getting all the hype.

    Sell

    Darius Leonard, LB

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    Speaking of Darius Leonard… he was a second-round pick in 2018 by the Indianapolis Colts and has been a star ever since. The story first started with the question of why would the Colts take an FCS linebacker in the top 40? This has to be one of the 2018 draft’s worse picks. Leonard then proceeded to prove each and every one of those skeptics wrong.

    As a rookie, Leonard exploded onto the scene with 163 tackles (111 solos), 12 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, 8 pass defenses, 2 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries. This, of course, had him as the number one scorer out of all defensive players in all fantasy football IDP leagues. In fact, Leonard outscored second place by 13%.

    Unfortunately, Leonard has not come close to matching those solo tackle numbers again. In 2019, he would miss three games and drop to the number seven overall IDP scoring LB. Leonard still produced 121 tackles (71 solos), 7 tackles for a loss, 5 sacks, 7 pass defenses, 5 interceptions with 1 TD, and 2 forced fumbles.

    In 2020, he missed just two games and was again the number seven overall IDP scoring LB with 132 tackles (86 solo), 7 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 7 pass defenses, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries.

    Leonard’s Worst Tackles per Game in his Career to Date.

    Leonard only missed one game in 2021, yet his tackle numbers per game were the lowest in his career. He went from a high in his rookie year of 10.87 tackles per game to 7.63 tackles per game last year.

    Again, Leonard was the number seven overall IDP scoring LB last year. He produced 122 tackles (75 solos), 4  tackles for a loss, 0 sacks, 8 pass defenses, 4 interceptions, 8 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries.

    I am not saying you don’t want Leonard on your IDP roster, I am saying that you can get a boatload for him right now. He still has his rookie year numbers in all IDP fantasy football owners. You can get another starting LB and a high rookie pick right now for him.

    You could get C.J. Mosley, Cole Holcomb, Fred Warner, or even Okereke plus a high rookie pick. You can sell now and reap the rewards all the way to the championship.


    Thank you for checking out the latest article in the Buy/Sell/Keep series! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @OldMan_FF and @IDPGuys (we have offense, too), and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

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