• Green Dot: Who will be calling defensive plays in 2022?

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    Predicting Top IDP Linebackers through the Green Dot Assignment and Analyzing Changes and Camp Competitions


    Green Dot for Beginners

    For those new to Individual Defensive Players (IDP) in fantasy football, the green dot refers to the lime green sticker on the back of the helmet that is equipped with a headset.  This special helmet allows coaches to communicate with one defensive player per play. 

    After receiving the play call from the sidelines, the green dot player needs to quickly relay the play call to the rest of the team and ensure everyone is in the proper defensive positions.  NFL teams prefer to give the green dot to someone who is not only a great communicator but also intelligent.


    Relevance of Green Dot to IDP Leagues

    NFL teams typically give the green dot to a player that is going to be on the field for most defensive plays, since it is difficult logistically to use multiple green dot players in a series of plays.  Fantasy statistics suggest a strong correlation between defensive snap count and fantasy points, so owning a player on the field 100% of the game is very advantageous. 

    Every-down linebacker status may be more important than wearing the green dot, but there is very limited (if any) data about fantasy points per green dot snap.  As an IDP fantasy football owner, you can gain a distinct advantage in your league if you stay current on any green dot linebacker changes throughout the season.  IDP Guys is your go-to source for all in-season IDP fantasy information.


    2021 and 2022 Green Dot Assignment by Team

    Team 2021 Green Dot (Primary) 2022 Green Dot Projection
    49ers Fred Warner Fred Warner
    Bears Roquan Smith Roquan Smith
    Bengals Logan Wilson Logan Wilson
    Bills Tremaine Edmunds Tremaine Edmunds
    Broncos Multiple Players Josey Jewell
    Browns Anthony Walker Anthony Walker
    Buccaneers Devin White Devin White
    Cardinals Jordan Hicks Zaven Collins
    Chargers Derwin James (DB) Derwin James (DB)
    Chiefs Anthony Hitchens Nick Bolton
    Colts Darius Leonard Darius Leonard
    Commanders Cole Holcomb Cole Holcomb
    Cowboys Jayron Kearse (DB) Jayron Kearse (DB)
    Dolphins Jerome Baker Jerome Baker
    Eagles T.J. Edwards T.J. Edwards
    Falcons Foyesade Oluokun Deion Jones
    Giants Blake Martinez Blake Martinez
    Jaguars Myles Jack / Damien Wilson Foyesade Oluokun
    Jets C.J. Mosley C.J. Mosley
    Lions Alex Anzalone Alex Anzalone
    Packers De'Vondre Campbell De'Vondre Campbell
    Panthers Shaq Thompson Shaq Thompson
    Patriots Devin McCourty (DB) Devin McCourty (DB)
    Raiders Denzel Perryman Denzel Perryman
    Rams Jordan Fuller (DB) Bobby Wagner
    Ravens Chuck Clark (DB) Clark / Hamilton (DB)
    Saints Demario Davis Demario Davis
    Seahawks Bobby Wagner Jordyn Brooks
    Steelers Joe Schobert Myles Jack
    Texans Christian Kirksey Christian Kirksey
    Titans David Long David Long
    Vikings Anthony Barr Eric Kendricks


    Notable Changes for 2022

    Nick Bolton, LB, Kansas City Chiefs

    Word out of OTAs is that Nick Bolton has been practicing with the green dot, and I expect he will assume the elusive Kansas City three-down role.

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    Jordyn Brooks, LB, Seattle Seahawks

    In Seattle, it may take some getting used to seeing someone other than Bobby Wagner calling the plays, but all indications from Pete Carroll are that Jordyn Brooks will be given the green dot for 2022.

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    Team Competition for the Green Dot

    There are several teams where the green dot is still being decided.  Three teams we will want to keep a close eye on during training camp are the Cardinals, Steelers, and Eagles.

    Arizona Cardinals

    Zaven Collins was a first-round draft pick in 2021, and there was speculation he would immediately be given the green dot, but he wasn’t quite ready for that role.  The team is hopeful he will take the next step in year 2.  If Collins is still not ready for the green dot role it may go to Nick Vigil or even Budda Baker.  If Nick Vigil ends up with the dot, I would expect Zaven Collins to have a heavily reduced snap count.

    Pittsburgh Steelers

    In Pittsburgh, both Myles Jack and Devin Bush have been using the green dot during OTAs, although it doesn’t seem like either player is best suited to handle calling the plays.  Minkah Fitzpatrick may be the best option for the green dot, but the Steelers' coaching staff doesn’t like the idea of giving the dot to a safety.  As a result, it will most likely will come down to Jack vs. Bush.

    Philadelphia Eagles

    In Philadelphia, fantasy owners are very eager to get Nakobe Dean on the field, but I think T.J. Edwards starts the season with the dot.  I think it’s only a matter of time before Dean gets the green dot and as a result, he is someone I am targeting for dynasty purposes.

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    Green Dot Trends

    Historically, the green dot has been given to an inside linebacker, but with teams increasing the frequency of nickel (five defensive backs) and dime defense (six defensive backs), inside linebackers may be pulled off the field quite often in these sub-packages, particularly on third down.  Five teams gave the green dot to a safety in 2021, which was an increase from 2020. 

    It is yet to be seen if this trend will continue, but it wouldn’t be surprising if dime defense continues its ascent as offenses push the running game aside for the more popular pass-heavy attack.  If linebacker snaps continue decreasing, three-down linebackers will become scarcer, and having a few green dot linebackers on your roster will become like gold.


    Green Dot Re-Draft Targets

    A few players I am targeting in re-draft leagues, based on current ADP, are David Long (TEN), Demario Davis (NOS), Jerome Baker (MIA), and Christian Kirksey (HOU).  

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    Thank you for reading!   Follow me on Twitter at @MasterIDP. Please subscribe to IDPGuys.org for all your fantasy football needs and check out our customizable IDP scoring tool. 

    "'Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.'" - Vince Lombardi

    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)

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