The 2019 NFL season is fast approaching and IDP Dude breaks down his top 10 linebackers to own in IDP
10. Blake Martinez, Green Bay Packers
The Boar finished as the third best linebacker in tackle heavy IDP leagues over the last two seasons. After topping more than 140 combined tackles in 2017 and 2018 and drastically improving his coverage skills, there’s no reason to believe he’ll fall outside of the top ten in 2019.
Blake Martinez was awesome in coverage in Year 3. pic.twitter.com/l7FH9G0Eem
— PFF (@PFF) March 25, 2019
9. Kwon Alexander, San Francisco 49ers
Coming off a down year which ended with Alexander on the IR, I expect the tackling machine to rebound in 2019. Signing a massive deal with the 49ers makes it clear Alexander is there to command the ship on D. The combination of Alexander and Fred Warner should make a formidable duo behind the line for the opposition in 2019.
Kwon Alexander has been a tackling machine in his time in the NFL.
— PFF (@PFF) February 9, 2019
8. Lavonte David, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Speaking of formidable duos, David and rookie Devin White should put on a show in 2019. Despite missing a few games over the last two seasons, David has still managed to post 100+ tackles in each of those seasons. David recently underwent a procedure to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee but should be good for week one. Keep an eye on him and his progress as we get closer to week one.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@BuccaneersFML) August 5, 2019
7. Leighton Vander Esch, Dallas Cowboys
Perhaps Darius Leonard stole the rookie spotlight but let’s not dismiss the clinic LVE put on as a rookie in 2018. I don’t expect veteran Sean Lee to be a threat and I wouldn’t be surprised to see LVE finish ahead of Leonard in total tackles this season. Get you some.
Leighton Vander Esch finished the 2018 regular season as the highest-graded linebacker as both he and Darius Leonard are in action today! pic.twitter.com/90nOfb3JYQ
— PFF (@PFF) January 5, 2019
6. Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers
There is no convincing needed when it comes to Kuechly. One of the best and most dominant linebackers in the league and that shouldn’t change in 2019. It will be interesting to see if Shaq Thompson can take a step forward this year with Thomas Davis gone. Luke can’t be a one make wrecking ball forever.
Luke Kuechly led all linebackers with a 92.3 run-defense grade pic.twitter.com/lsKE8TYnLw
— PFF (@PFF) February 21, 2019
5. Tremaine Edmunds, Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills have always been a sweet spot for linebacker production so when you plug in a ridiculously athletic and really good player watch out. Edmunds just turned 21, he couldn’t even legally enjoy an adult beverage with his teammates last season. This kid could have one heck of a career. He’s a must own and must buy in dynasty.
"He displays all the right habits and his preparation is off the charts. There's no limit on what he can do."
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) January 8, 2019
4. Roquan Smith, Chicago Bears
Another must own in dynasty, Smith has flashed Brian Urlacher like skills on the field. In his first NFL regular season game, his first NFL snap, Smith came off the bench and sacked Packers quarterback DeShone Kizer. It doesn’t get more poetic than that. Sky’s the limit for this kid and should be among one of the best IDP producers in 2019.
First play. First SACK!
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) September 10, 2018
3. Darius Leonard, Indianapolis Colts
The MANIAC. Fresh off his 2018 campaign where he led the NFL and set the Colts franchise record for tackles in a season, Leonard was unstoppable. The Defensive Rookie of the Year and first team all-pro has his eyes set on staying healthy for 2019 and a repeat to pace the league in tackles. Leonard’s stock is so high right now I’ve actually suggested selling him if you can pull in a haul. If you already have him and can’t get a king’s ransom for him, just hold tight and enjoy the ride.
With a league-high 163 tackles, Darius Leonard wraps up the 2018 Defensive Rookie of The Year award! pic.twitter.com/GJYF57qlPk
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 2, 2019
2. Bobby Wagner, Seattle Seahawks
Now the highest paid linebacker in the NFL, Wagner is entering his eighth year in the league and shows no sign of slowing down. I expect nothing short of dominance as he looks to hit the 1100 combined career tackles mark in 2019. Wagner has never posted less than 114 tackles in a season and that included his 2014 campaign where he only played 11 games.
Yeah. Bobby Wagner is pretty awesome. pic.twitter.com/wn1nIdlsf5
— PFF (@PFF) February 25, 2019
1. Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Not only is Debo my number one linebacker, he’s my overall number one in IDP. It was devastating to lose him for most of the 2018 season but he still showed us why he’s a good bet to finish amongst the top in 2019. Despite playing less than 80% of the snaps in three of the last five regular season games, Jones was on pace to finish with 142 combined tackles. That would have put him at third best on the season, only 2 behind Blake Martinez and 21 behind Darius Leonard. In basic tackle heavy formats, Jones finished second in fantasy points per game. With the injury behind him and a new contract extension I’ll put my money on Debo to take the cake in 2019.
The importance of Deion Jones to the Falcons' defense can't be overstated!
— PFF (@PFF) May 18, 2019