News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

IDP advice: 3-down linebackers around the league entering Week 5

Dec 31, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

No matter the position in fantasy football, playing time is one of the biggest drivers of success. In IDP leagues, a lot of linebackers shuffle on and off the field, but a precious few are full-time, three-down linebackers, and those players have the most opportunities for fantasy success.

Each week in this space, we’ll take a look at the linebacker situations around the league to identify the key playing time considerations and shifting jobs for IDP fantasy players to take advantage of. Check out the chart at the bottom for the full breakdown. First, a few notes on some standout situations.

WashingtonCole Holcomb saw an increase in snaps in subpackages while Montez Sweat was included more in Base packages.

New York GiantsTae Davis and Alec Ogletree did not play in the Washington game and Ryan Connelly will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL. As a result, David Mayo went from just 7 total snaps in Week 3 to almost 70% of snaps in Week 4.

Minnesota VikingsAnthony Barr returned to the field after nursing a groin injury and played every single defensive snap.

Chicago BearsRoquan Smith is out indefinitely due to personal reasons, which created more playing time for Nick Kwiatkoski — he went from 11 total snaps in Week 3 to over 60% of snaps in Week 4. Leonard Floyd also saw a slight boost in snaps.

Dallas CowboysJoe Thomas was used a lot less as he was on the field for about 45% of snaps in Week 3 and only 20% in Week 4.

Oakland RaidersVontaze Burfict was ejected in Week 4 so that left room for Nicholas Morrow and Arden Key to get more snaps.

Indianapolis ColtsMatthew Adams played much less in Week 4 and Rookie E.J. Speed took over the bulk of his role in Base packages.

Los Angeles ChargersMelvin Ingram and Denzel Perryman left the game Sunday with injuries and their duties were handled by giving Uchenna Nwosu an increase in snaps (from 29% to 77%) and giving small doses of snap counts to other LBs on the roster.

Miami DolphinsSam Eguavoen played every single defensive snap in Week 3 and his usage decreased to 73% in Week 4.

Jacksonville JaguarsMyles Jack returned to the field after leaving the game in Week 3 and played every single defensive snap

Denver BroncosBradley Chubb played most of the game but was found to have torn his ACL afterward and will miss the remainder of the season. Josey Jewell had a hamstring issue that kept him out most of the game, so they put Corey Nelson in Base packages and Justin Hollins in subpackages to fill that void.

Buffalo Bills — We saw a lot more Base defense from the Bills in Week 4 and Lorenzo Alexander saw a decent increase in usage.

New England PatriotsDont’a Hightower sat out due to a shoulder injury, so Jamie Collins Sr. and Kyle Van Noy saw a nice boost from about 70% of defensive snaps to 100%. Ja’Whaun Bentley also saw a nice increase from about 26% of snaps to about 54%.

Detroit LionsJahlani Tavai saw the field less going from about 36% of snaps in Week 3 to less than 20% in Week 4.

Tennessee TitansSharif Finch was a healthy scratch in week 4. Titans also used Base package a bit more and Harold Landry III’s usage in that package went down slightly while Reggie Gilbert saw the field more. Gilbert’s usage jumped from about 15% of snaps to almost 60%.

Atlanta Falcons — Much more Base was used this in Week 4 and Adrian Clayborn played on almost all of the snaps outside of Base packages.

Check below for the breakdown for each team.

Read More PFF Analysis

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

Fantasy Featured Tools

  • Sort through our expert fantasy player rankings by analyst and league type.

  • Sort projected player stats and fantasy points by position, week, and category.

  • Research past fantasy performance with sortable player stats including PFF-exclusives like aDOT and fantasy points per opportunity.

  • Run your fantasy season here. Import your league settings to access Season GM, Waiver-Wire, and Player Comparison in your scoring system.

PFF Edge
Unlock Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft
Learn More
$39.99 / yr
$9.99 / mo
PFF Elite
Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS
Learn More
$199.99 / yr
$34.99 / mo