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IDP advice: 3-down linebackers around the league entering Week 8

Jan 12, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Ben Niemann (56) reacts after the Indianapolis Colts missed a field goal during the second quarter in an AFC Divisional playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-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.

Kansas City ChiefsBen Niemann still had a big role on Sunday despite the return of Anthony Hitchens. Darron Lee only played three defensive snaps down from 45 against the Texans in Week 6.

Denver BroncosJosey Jewell did return to the field but saw a very limited number of snaps, so Alexander Johnson’s role continued into Week 7.

Indianapolis ColtsAnthony Walker was dealing with a shoulder injury and played a little over half of the defensive snaps. Darius Leonard returned to the field after an injury that occurred before the bye week and played almost every single defensive snap.

Jacksonville JaguarsQuincy Williams was back in action after missing Week 6 and played about 66% of snaps. Najee Goode who saw more playing time in place of Williams was only on the field for three snaps.

Cincinnati BengalsCarl Lawson did not play due to a hamstring injury and that opening was filled mostly by Germaine Pratt and committee.

Miami DolphinsVince Biegel’s snap count decreased 10% and played exclusively in subpackages, while the 22 snaps Trent Harris saw were entirely in base packages.

Buffalo BillsMatt Milano did not play so Maurice Alexander was able to step in and play about 66% of snaps.

New York GiantsDavid Mayo saw a decrease in playing time from about 70% to 45% of snaps while Lorenzo Carter saw an increase from 60% to about 80% of snaps.

Baltimore RavensPernell McPhee was placed on IR after suffering an injury in the game against the Seahawks. This left room for Jaylon Ferguson to see a 10% increase in snaps while L.J. Fort saw a big boost from 44% to 77%.

New Orleans SaintsA.J. Klein and Demario Davis saw the field much less this week mainly because the Saints had Carl Granderson and Craig Robertson on the field during garbage time. Kiko Alonso was also on the field more this week going from 29% to 59% of snaps.

Dallas CowboysLeighton Vander Esch was injured during the game after playing 22 snaps. Joe Thomas and committee were able to take over his role to finish out the game.

Philadelphia EaglesNigel Bradham sat out this week due to an injury in Week 6 so Kamu Grugier-Hill was able to take over his workload and play 84% of snaps. Zach Brown had a large role in previous weeks but was released by the Eagles, so T.J. Edwards took over a good portion of his duties by playing 30% of snaps exclusively in base packages.

New York JetsC.J. Mosley returned to the field after dealing with an injury for a few weeks, he played 83% of snaps. Neville Hewitt sat out Week 7 with an injury so Blake Cashman who had been filling Mosley’s role was able to stay on the field and play 90% of snaps.

Check below for the breakdown for each team.

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