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IDP advice: 3-down linebackers around the league entering Week 6

Oct 28, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears inside linebacker Roquan Smith (58) reacts after a defensive play against the New York Jets at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-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.

Atlanta FalconsAdrian Clayborn played all 16 snaps in subpackages in Week 4, but the Falcons used way more subpackages against the Texans in Week 5 and Clayborn was still limited to only 15 snaps.

Carolina PanthersJermaine Carter played about 39% of snaps in Week 4 vs. the Texans and his playing time was reduced to only five total snaps in Week 5.

Jacksonville JaguarsQuincy Williams was on the field for every defensive snap in Week 4, but last week his usage was limited to about 73% of snaps.

Indianapolis ColtsE.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.

Buffalo BillsMatt Milano left the Titans game with an injury after playing 42 of their total 57 defensive snaps. Lorenzo Alexander’s usage increased in subpackages.

Cincinnati BengalsJordan Evans went from seeing the field very little to not at all as the Bengals only used subpackages against the Cardinals in Week 5.

Baltimore RavensJosh Bynes signed with the Ravens last week and played about 73% of defensive snaps.

Pittsburgh SteelersVince 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 BearsRoquan 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.

Minnesota VikingsEric Wilson returned to the field after not playing in Week 4 and split a very small workload with Ben Gedeon in Base packages in Week 5.

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.

Philadelphia EaglesZach Brown’s role in subpackages fell slightly from about 63% of subpackage snaps to 37% as Kamu Gruigier-Hill was more involved in Week 5.

Denver BroncosAlexander 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.

Kansas City ChiefsAnthony Hitchens injured his groin after playing 11 snaps and Ben Niemann finished out the game in his place, playing about 86% of snaps.

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.

New England PatriotsDont’a Hightower returned after missing Week 4 and went back into his regular role, which brought John Simon and Ja’Whaun Bentley back into their limited roles.

Oakland RaidersArden Key’s usage dropped from about 53% of snaps to 38%.

Los Angeles ChargersDenzel 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.

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