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Fantasy Football: Evaluating 2022's IDP linebackers using a production vs. expected model

Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Alex Singleton (49) celebrates after a defensive stop against Tennessee Titans tight end Austin Hooper (81) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

  • Repeating among the elite: Alex Singleton, Roquan Smith and Foyesade Oluokun (among others) were top performers in 2021 who repeated those performances in 2022.
  • The bottom repeats as well: Demario Davis, Devin White, and Jerome Baker are some key IDPs who continue to under-deliver as tacklers.
  • Adding context to the league’s top tacklers: Zaire Franklin, specifically, stands out as someone who performed as expected despite finishing top three in total tackles this season.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Once the fantasy football season is over, die-hard fantasy players spend a reasonable amount of time without much to do. For those fantasy managers looking to improve their game, one of the best early offseason activities is to evaluate the past season’s performances to get a better understanding of which players performed well, let us down and are primed for either regression or a leap forward in the season ahead.

This model will look at every IDP at each position, closing with the linebackers, to compare that production to the average production of their peers. The model takes into account where they lined up on the field, what kind of defense they played in, what offensive situation they faced, their role in each individual play, and how many snaps they played to determine a better idea of the expected totals they either met, exceeded, or underdelivered on in 2022.

Production vs. Expected for other IDP positions:



Exceeding expectations

Alex Singleton topping the list shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, as it felt like he hit double-digit tackles in every game this season (really seven of them), including two 20-plus-tackle games. He did this while not playing a full-time role for a chunk of the season.

All five players who finished at the top of this metric in 2022 were among the top 10 in 2021 as well, which could represent some stability for the league's best tacklers year over year. Along with Singleton, Nick Bolton, Foyesade Oluokun, Roquan Smith and T.J. Edwards have really separated themselves from the pack over these past two seasons.


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