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  • Every Down Linebackers Predictions for 2022 IDP Leagues

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    As NFL Teams Continue to Decrease the Number of Linebacker Snaps, it is as Important as Ever to Identify the Every Down Linebackers.


    Listed below are our 2022 projections for each team’s every down linebackers.

    Note: Snap % columns will be updated after the completion of Week 1.

    For Week 6 linebacker information, check out Every Down Linebackers.

    Team Every-Down (90-100%) Snap % 75-90% Snap %
    ARI Isaiah Simmons   Zaven Collins  
    ATL Mykal Walker   Rashaan Evans  
    BAL None  

    Patrick Queen

     
    BUF

    Tremaine Edmunds

    Matt Milano

         
    CAR Shaq Thompson      
    CHI

    Roquan Smith

    Nicholas Morrow

         
    CIN Logan Wilson      
    CLE Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah      
    DAL Micah Parsons      
    DEN Josey Jewell      
    DET Alex Anzalone      
    GB De’Vondre Campbell  

    Quay Walker

     
    HOU

    Christian Kirksey

      Kamu Grugier-Hill  
    IND

    Shaquille Leonard

    Bobby Okereke

         
    JAC

    Foyesade Oluokun

      Devin Lloyd  
    KC None  

    Nick Bolton

    Willie Gay

     
    LAC Drue Tranquill  

     

     
    LAR Bobby Wagner  

     

     
    LV Denzel Perryman  

    Divine Deablo

     
    MIA Jerome Baker      
    MIN

    Eric Kendricks

    Jordan Hicks

     

     

     
    NE None  

    Ja’Whaun Bentley

     
    NO Demario Davis   Pete Werner  
    NYG Tae Crowder      
    NYJ

    C.J. Mosley

    Quincy Williams

         
    PHI None  

    T.J. Edwards

     
    PIT None  

    Myles Jack

     
    SF

    Fred Warner

    Dre Greenlaw

         
    SEA

    Jordyn Brooks

    Cody Barton

         
    TB

    Devin White

    Lavonte David

     

     

     
    TEN

    David Long

      Zach Cunningham  
    WAS Cole Holcomb   Jamin Davis  

    Green: “Green Dot” Defensive Play Caller

    Bold: Change from Prior Week

    Note: Edge Rushers like Matt Judon and Tyus Bowser are not included in this chart.

    Check out the IDP Draft Kit for your IDP cheat sheets and IDP fantasy football rankings.


    Team-by-Team Every Down Linebacker Notes

    Arizona Cardinals

    Isaiah Simmons will be very active as both a linebacker and safety in a newly created “star backer” position. “Star backer” will be a linebacker/safety hybrid and will allow Simmons to line up a little deeper at times since he has struggled closer to the line. The additional time lined up at safety might cut into his IDP scoring.

    Jalen Thompson (DB) will call the defensive plays for the Cardinals this year. Last year, Jordan Hicks was wearing the “green dot”, and many assumed Zaven Collins would take over that role this season, but Collins hasn’t been able to seize control of the defense. Collins and Nick Vigil will serve as inside linebackers when Simmons lines up a little deeper.

    Update 8/30: Isaiah Simmons has informed the media that he will have the green dot to start the season.

    Atlanta Falcons

    Since the Falcons could not find a trade partner for Deion Jones, and they would not save much money by cutting him, I believe he will remain with the Falcons for 2022. After Jones returns from the PUP list (shoulder), he should open the season in his normal role.

    Rashaan Evans, Mykal Walker, and Troy Andersen are all waiting for their opportunity for additional playing time if Jones is unable to play.

    Update 8/30: Deion Jones played in the final preseason game and made it through the initial roster cuts. So he will should remain with the team, but a starting role in Week 1 is not guaranteed.

    Update: 9/1: Deion Jones has been placed on the IR and will miss the start of the season. I predict that Mykal Walker will have the green dot but Rashaan Evans will be heavily involved.

    Baltimore Ravens

    Patrick Queen is the closest thing to a three-down linebacker in Baltimore, but his snap count can fluctuate from week to week. Queen’s struggles in coverage have been noticeable and he will need to improve in year three. Josh Bynes was brought back for another year and will factor into the linebacker rotation as the starting middle linebacker.

    Buffalo Bills

    Tremaine Edmunds and Matt Milano have the every-down linebacker positions locked up, but it is important to note that Edmunds struggled in coverage last season and is in the final year of his contract. While Matt Milano‘s fantasy output has been discouraging, his real impact on the field for the Bills has been much more noteworthy. Rookie Terrel Bernard will have to wait a year to receive considerable defensive snaps.

    Carolina Panthers

    Damien Wilson was brought in to be the new Mike linebacker, and he is currently practicing with the team, but has pending criminal charges regarding an assault allegation from an ex-girlfriend. Shaq Thompson will be the defensive leader, and the Panthers could use an upgrade to pair with him. Frankie Luvu, Cory Littleton, and 4th-round draft pick Brandon Smith will all be in the mix for snaps. 

    Update 9/2: Luvu could be a great waiver add if Thompson has any kind of setback from his knee injury. He called the plays in the third preseason game when Thompson rested.

    Chicago Bears

    I expect the Bears will use two every-down linebackers, similar to how the Colts played last year under Matt Eberflus. The Chicago Sun Times is reporting that Nicholas Morrow will be calling the plays from the middle linebacker position, while Smith will play weak-side linebacker once he returns from his current contract dispute. Nicholas Morrow is a great value at his current ADP, and someone you should be picking up late in your drafts. Whether Roquan Smith calls the plays or not, he is IDP Guys #1 Dynasty IDP Linebacker. 

    Update 8/9: Roquan Smith has requested a trade. Matthew Adams should assume extra snaps. Source

    Update 9/2: Smith returned to the team on 8/20 and appears he will be ready for Week 1.

    Cincinnati Bengals

    Logan Wilson will be the sole every-down linebacker, while the Bengals will split the second linebacker snaps between Germaine Pratt, Akeem Davis-Gaither and Markus Bailey.

    Cleveland Browns

    Anthony Walker is working his way back from injury but will have to hold off Jacob Phillips in the quest for playing time next to Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Owusu-Koramoah will take a second-year leap in both playing time and IDP scoring. The current depth chart has Walker/Phillips sharing the starting MIKE linebacker position.

    Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys just signed free-agent Anthony Barr to a contract. His signing gives the team the flexibility to use Micah Parsons at both linebacker and defensive end. With Barr in the fold, it could limit the opportunities for Leighton Vander Esch and Jabril Cox. Parsons is IDP Guys #2 Dynasty Linebacker.

    Denver Broncos

    Josey Jewell should lead the Broncos linebackers in snaps, but the battle for the second spot has been interesting so far. Many people thought Alex Singleton would take the spot next to Jewell, but it appears Jonas Griffith is winning the battle to-date. Griffith really came on strong at the end of this past season, accumulating 45 total tackles in the last five games.

    Update 8/15: Jonas Griffith dislocated his elbow in the preseason and is out 6 weeks. The team signs free agent Joe Schobert to help fill the void.

    Update 9/2: Jonas Griffith has a chance to play Week 1 and Joe Schobert was released.

    Update 9/6: Jonas Griffith returns to practice.

    Update 9/10: Josey Jewell is doubtful for Week 1. Look for Griffith and Alex Singleton to serve as the primary linebackers.

    Detroit Lions

    Alex Anzalone is currently slotted for the main linebacker spot, but his propensity for missed tackles makes him a risky IDP player. If Anzalone does not improve his game quickly, rookie 6th round pick Malcolm Rodriguez will come to take his job. Second-year linebacker Derrick Barnes has potential but will need to improve his low PFF coverage grade if he wants to remain on the field for third downs. Chris Board will also be in the mix for playing time. Hopefully Dan Campbell and his linebackers don’t have to “bite a kneecap off” to help the Lions win a few more games this season.

    Green Bay Packers

    The big question in Green Bay is: How quickly will they give Quay Walker decent playing time? Walker was drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and the expectations are always high for first-round picks. However, Green Bay hasn’t rolled out two inside linebackers at a high clip in the past, so I’m projecting Walker to play about 75% of the time, while De’Vondre Campbell will be at his usual 100%. Campbell can be safely drafted amongst the top ten linebackers.

    Houston Texans

    Last year Christian Kirksey and Kamu Grugier-Hill played the every-down roles for the Texans, but it seems inevitable that Christian Harris and Garret Wallow start cutting into their playing time. I have been targeting Christian Harris in several dynasty rookie drafts and would only consider Kirksey in a re-draft format.

    Update 9/2: Kamu Grugier-Hill is looking like he could be an three-down linebacker next to Kirksey. Grugier-Hill could be a nice depth piece to fill out your IDP Linebackers.

    Indianapolis Colts

    Whether you call him Shaquille or Darius, Leonard is one of the top three dynasty linebackers. There is an injury concern with Leonard currently on the PUP (back/ankle). Leonard has only been in street clothes at practice, and there is no public timeline for his return. Leonard may even miss some regular season games.

    At the start of the offseason, I expected Bobby Okereke to see a slight decrease in playing time. Colts’ new defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, doesn’t run quite as many two-linebacker sets as former DC, Matt Eberflus. However, with the injury to Leonard, Bobby Okereke should receive a full workload and you may even consider picking up Zaire Franklin in leagues with deep rosters.

    Update 8/30/22: Leonard is off the PUP list and won’t the miss first four games; although he could miss a game or two.

    Update 9/10: Leonard is out Week 1. Franklin will fill in.

    Jacksonville Jaguars

    The Jaguars have focused on improving their linebacker group in the offseason. Not only did they sign Foyesade Oluokun to a massive three-year, $45 million contact, they also drafted rookies Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma. Lloyd is currently nursing a hamstring injury, but it appears he will be the starter next to Oluokun once he is healthy.

    Update 8/30/22: Devin Lloyd was able to return for preseason Week 3 and should be ready to start the season. I expect his snaps might start off a little lower in Week 1 as he is eased into a full-time role.

    Kansas City Chiefs

    Is this the year the Chiefs finally let a linebacker play full time? Nick Bolton will take over the play calling, so there is an outside chance the team could commit to a three-down linebacker, but I need to see it to believe it. Willie Gay will see his playing time around 75%, with rookie Leo Chenal looking to rotate in as well.

    Los Angeles Chargers

    Kyzir White led the linebacker group last year, but he departed for the Eagles in the offseason. Currently Drue Tranquill is penciled in to take over, but Kyle Van Noy and Troy Reeder have been taking first-team snaps while Tranquill and Murray are on the mend. I am avoiding this linebacker group, especially Kenneth Murray, who has been a disappointment with his play on the field and for IDP purposes.

    Update 9/10: Tranquill is currently listed as Questionable.

    Los Angeles Rams

    It will be strange seeing Bobby Wagner play in a Rams jersey, but I expect he will continue his consistent fantasy production with his new team. Wagner should be a top-five linebacker and the only every-down linebacker for the Rams. Ernest Jones should receive some decent playing time, but his upside is capped by the Rams’ frequent one-linebacker play calls.

    Las Vegas Raiders

    Denzel Perryman, Divine Deablo and Jayon Brown will be the starting linebackers for the Raiders. Perryman will lead the group to start the season, but don’t be surprised if Deablo takes over at some point. Deablo wore the green dot in the preseason opener, but Perryman was inactive with several other starters. Last year, Deablo was transitioning from college safety to linebacker and was slowed in training camp with an injury. If he stays healthy, I expect Deablo to continue his progression into a full-time role. Jayon Brown‘s play with the Titans had started to decline, but a change of scenery with the Raiders may revive his outlook.

    Josh McDaniels is the new coach for the Raiders, and there is some uncertainty about how his linebacker rotations will look. If he takes after Bill Belichick, we may not see a consistent three-down linebacker in Las Vegas. It is also interesting that the Raiders will be shifting to a 3-4 base defense, but their own team’s website lists a depth chart in the 4-3 format.

    Miami Dolphins

    Jerome Baker will continue to be the Dolphins’ top linebacker. Elandon Roberts and rookie Channing Tindall will compete for playing time next to Baker. Tindall is someone I have been targeting in dynasty rookie drafts as my LB6, after Troy Andersen and Christian Harris. It sounds like Tindall is already flashing his speed in training camp and is able to keep up with the wide receivers.

    Minnesota Vikings

    Jordan Hicks has arrived from Arizona, while Anthony Barr departed for Dallas. Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks will form the starting duo, while rookie Brian Asamoah will have to be patient for his opportunity. Eric Kendricks has been the model of consistency in fantasy scoring over the last several years, but I am expecting a slight decrease, as the team transitions to a new 3-4 base defense.

    New England Patriots

    Bill Belichick strikes again with: “Fantasy Football Doesn’t Mean Anything to Me”. I expect the coach will continue this attitude at the linebacker position and continue a heavy rotation. Ja’Whaun Bentley may lead the group, but his snaps might not exceed 75% for several weeks. Raekwon McMillan could be a sneaky pick-up, but I will be avoiding this entire group for IDP purposes.

    Update 9/4: Bentley appears to calling the defensive plays and may end up being closer to 80%.

    New Orleans Saints

    Demario Davis shows no signs of slowing down as he turns 33 years old. He amassed 106 tackles last season and is ready for another every down role this season. Pete Werner will be looking for a more consistent role after impressing at run defense last year. There have been concerns that New Orleans would bring in some competition for Werner, but so far a real threat to his playing time hasn’t materialized.

    Update 9/2: Pete Werner has been slowed by a groin injury. Definitely check his Week 1 status because it could go either way at this point.

    Update 9/10: Werner appears ready for Week 1.

    New York Giants

    Blake Martinez should be the sole every-down linebacker, after returning from a Week 3 torn ACL. Tae Crowder was forced into a significant role last year, but it would be best for the team to avoid a repeat this season. “Wink” Martindale will take over as the defensive coordinator and has decided that safety Xavier McKinney will take over the “green dot” helmet for 2022. Martindale likes to run a blitz-heavy defense, and rookie Micah McFadden should get some opportunities to show what he can do as the season progresses.

    Update 9/1/22: Blake Martinez has been released. Tae Crowder is expected to fill the every down role to start the season. Micah McFadden could get meaningful snaps a lot sooner than expected.

    New York Jets

    C.J. Mosley will be counted on to anchor the defense again in 2022 and should be drafted as a late LB1. Mosley gathered a career-high 168 total tackles in 2021, which is even more impressive considering he opted out of the 2020 season.

    Kwon Alexander was recently signed to bring depth to the Jets’ linebacker group and provide run defense support if Quincy Williams is not ready to take the next step in his development. Quincy Williams is still designated as a DB on Sleeper, so there is a sneaky opportunity to use a starting linebacker at the DB position.

    Update 9/2: Quincy Williams lost DB designation on Sleeper, but it still looks like he should have a sizeable role even with Kwon Alexander in the mix.

    Philadelphia Eagles

    With T.J. Edwards, Kyzir White, Nakobe Dean, and Davion Taylor in the mix, the linebacker competition in Philadelphia will be fun to watch. I see T.J. Edwards picking up right where he left off in the second half of last season, and assuming the every-down role. Kyzir White is next in line, but Nakobe Dean will be chomping at the bit to assume White’s playing time, especially since White only signed a one-year deal with the Eagles in the offseason.

    Update 9/2: Davion Taylor has been cut, but quickly signed back to the practice squad.

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Steelers linebacker situation is a bit of a mystery after the departure of Joe Schobert. Myles Jack arrived after six seasons in Jacksonville and should receive the most playing time. However, Jack is not best suited to make the defensive play calls. Devin Bush has been practicing with the green dot helmet but has struggled with his past opportunities for a three-down role.

    Bush’s 27.2 PFF run grade last season was particularly concerning. Meanwhile, Robert Spillane is waiting to rotate in during certain packages. Myles Jack is the only Steelers linebacker I trust for 2022 IDP relevance.

    Update 9/2: Robert Spillane could end up rotating-in quite frequently and steal some of Devin Bush’s snaps.

    San Francisco 49ers

    Last year Azeez Al-Shaair played a major role, but with the return of Dre Greenlaw, I expect Al-Shaair to come off the field in the two-linebacker packages. Fred Warner will assume his normal “green dot” role and should be drafted as a late LB1. Greenlaw is someone worth drafting late to build out depth on your bench. 

    Seattle Seahawks

    After the departure of Bobby Wagner, Jordyn Brooks looks to take over the play calling and will be in the mix for a top-five linebacker finish. I am excited to see what Cody Barton can do with an increased role next to Brooks. In the last two games of the season, Barton racked up 18 total tackles in place of Wagner.

    Tennessee Titans

    David Long is in a prime position after the departure of Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans. Zach Cunningham may cut into Long’s scoring production on running downs, but Long’s ability in coverage will keep him on the field for all three downs. Long is an amazing value at his current ADP of LB61 on Sleeper.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Devin White and Lavonte David will continue their stranglehold on the top two spots for the Bucs. Lavonte David missed a few games last year but is barely slowing down at age 32. Meanwhile, Devin White is continuing his ascent at age 24, although his sack production regressed in 2021. White should be drafted as an LB1, while David can be drafted as an LB2.

    Washington Commanders

    Cole Holcomb led the Commanders in tackles last year, and I am projecting a repeat performance in 2022. Holcomb doesn’t have any real competition for the top spot, while Jamin Davis looks to learn from his rookie struggles and solidify his spot next to Holcomb. David Mayo is currently taking a lot of starter reps over Davis in practice, so I’m not prepared to list Davis as an every-down player quite yet.

    Update 9/2: In the preseason, Jamin Davis played with the first team and appears to have won the starting job next to Holcomb. It is yet to be seen if Washington will use two every down linebackers.


    Thank you for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @MasterIDP. For my look at defensive backs, check out this IDP Guys DB Article. Please subscribe to IDPGuys.org for all your fantasy football needs and check out our customizable IDP scoring tool.

    Leo (@MasterIDP)

    Leo joined IDP Guys as a writer and ranker on June 30, 2022. He is passionate about IDP and helping you win your fantasy leagues. Leo has been competing in IDP since 2013 in the Brooklyn Fantasy Football League (Ohio league established in 1991)

    Discussion

    1. […] you for reading! Follow me on Twitter at @MasterIDP. For my previous work, check out my Every-Down Linebacker Article. Please subscribe to IDPGuys.org for all your fantasy football needs and check out our customizable […]

    2. […] very productive for fantasy purposes. For a complete list of three-down linebackers, check out our Every-Down Linebacker […]

    3. […] you for reading!  Follow me on Twitter at @MasterIDP. To read more of my previous work, check out Every-Down Linebackers. Also, consider subscribing to IDPGuys.org for all your fantasy IDP […]

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