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.
Indianapolis Colts — E.J. Speed played about 44% of snaps against Oakland in Week 4 when the Colts used Base packages a lot more, but he didn’t see the field at all in Week 5. The Colts didn’t use much Base at all against Kansas City, but when they did use it they had Matthew Adams on the field instead.
Pittsburgh Steelers — Vince Williams returned to the field for the first time since dealing with an injury that occurred in Week 2. He played about 65% of snaps, which diminished Mark Barron’s role from about 97% of snaps in Week 4 to about 39% in Week 5.
Chicago Bears — Roquan Smith returned to the field and went right back to his usual role playing almost every single defensive snap. Nick Kwiatkoski who played Smith’s role in Week 4 did not see the field at all.
New York Giants — With Alec Ogletree, Tae Davis, and Ryan Connelly all out with injuries, David Mayo was the guy fill that massive void. He played 97% of defensive snaps in Week 5 after about 69% in Week 4. Edge rusher Lorenzo Carter also did not play due to a neck injury and his role was filled mostly by Rookie Oshane Ximines, who played 94% of snaps, up from 57% in Week 4.
Denver Broncos — Alexander Johnson played his first game as a Bronco and saw the field on 97% of snaps to fill the void left by injured Josey Jewell. Malik Reed played about 89% of snaps up from 30% in Week 4 to step in for injured Bradley Chubb.
Los Angeles Rams — The Rams used Base much more in Week 5 and Bryce Hager was out with a shoulder injury which allowed Rookie Troy Reeder to see much more playing time after only playing 18 snaps in his first game in Week 4. Clay Matthews was injured late in the game, which should allow more snaps for Samson Ebukam in the meantime.
Los Angeles Chargers — Denzel Perryman returned after an injury in Week 4 and played about 54% of snaps. The Chargers also played much more Base defense against the Broncos, so Kyzir White saw a nice increase in snaps.
Check below for the breakdown for each team.