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  • NFC Sleeper LBs for 2022

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    Linebackers are the glue to IDP rosters. Who are some NFC redraft sleeper LBs for 2022 and absolute must-haves in dynasty?


    A little while ago, I covered AFC sleeper LBs for 2022. My colleague, Zach Magley, also wrote about his breakout LBs here and here if you’re interested in some additional names. Some of the following are bigger names than the others, but all have big-time upside. The top guy in our IDP Guys combined rankings is down at LB 21. These players are exactly the upside shots I want on my benches.

    Let’s start with the guy tasked to replace a legend.

    Cody Barton, Seattle Seahawks

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    Bobby Wagner left for greener pastures, and, while Jordyn Brooks looks to continue his ascent into stardom, Cody Barton will be his running mate for 2022. This defense can provide multiple elite producers, as Brooks totaled 184 combined tackles and Wagner tallied 170 (in 15 games). Barton is an athletic former third-round pick who has produced when given the chance.

    In 2021, Barton totaled 18 combined tackles in the two games where he saw a majority of snaps. That’d put him on 153 tackle pace in two Seahawk wins. With the scheme change to a 3-4 defense, Brooks and Barton will both see plenty of opportunities to make stops. While replacing a player like Wagner is tough, the Seahawks have seen him step up every chance he gets. Here’s betting he does again.

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    Ernest Jones, Los Angeles Rams

    From the guy replacing Wagner to the one now playing next to him. Ernest Jones and his new running mate are set up to make a lot of tackles. Which lineman is going to bail on double-teaming Aaron Donald too quickly? One who wants to ride the bench. If that’s not enough, now teams have to key on Wagner at the second level, leaving Jones as an afterthought, which will be a mistake.

    Jones showed strong playmaking skills as a rookie, accumulating 61 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 interceptions, despite only seven starts. Now he’s learning from an elite player and should be in a full-time role. While a different defense, we know the LB next to Wagner can also produce strong numbers, and he’s seeing a discount thanks to Wagner joining. Buy the dip.

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    Pete Werner, New Orleans Saints

    Going into his second season, Pete Werner is set to pay off for managers who draft him. Playing behind a strong defensive line as the WILL LB next to DeMario Davis should free him up to make a lot of plays. Werner played 60% of snaps in just four games as a rookie. In those games, he averaged just shy of ten tackles per game.

    Werner didn’t see enough playing time in 2021 due to the presence of Kwon Alexander, who joined the Jets. One area where Werner will look to improve is in his passing down work. He didn’t register a sack or pass defensed. As a sophomore at Ohio State, Werner registered three sacks and nine passes defended. As he locks into a full-time role, expect a bump there. Don’t sleep on Werner.

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    Malcolm Rodriguez, Detroit Lions

    File this one away as the DEEPEST of my sleeper LBs for 2022, but Malcolm Rodriguez just seems to find the football. Sixth-round rookies aren’t usually a winning proposition. The Lions should be in a fair amount of trailing or close games, where opponents look to milk the clock. If he continues to impress coaches, he’ll see plenty of opportunities to rack up tackle totals.

    When your head coach and defensive coordinator look forward to seeing you in pads, you made an impression. As the Lions are set to be featured on Hard Knocks, debuting August 9, look for players to get a bump, especially those chosen to be featured. With Rodriguez beginning to climb an open depth chart, now’s the time to keep an eye on a potential late-round gem.

    Conclusion

    These players are all late-round dart throws in fantasy drafts. When throwing darts, I look for standout traits and strong team fits. Some have easy paths to playing time early, while others will have to earn their way onto the field. Either way, I expect all to have more value as camps keep rolling and buzz comes in from seeing them on the field in full pads.


    Thank you for reading my article! Please remember to follow me for more content via Twitter @FFFBallers  and @IDPGuys as well as check out my IDP Guys author page and the IDP Guys website.

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