The NFL offseason has arrived, which — for many fantasy football gamers — means that it’s also the start of dynasty season. This is the time of year where dynasty rosters are in a constant state of flux due to trades, drafts and free agency. It is crucial to sort out the values of key IDPs, which can be done via dynasty rankings or by following along with this series that will focus on the top players to roster for each IDP position in dynasty leagues.
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Linebacker is the most beloved IDP position, but it’s also one of the easiest positions to replace during the season, so each player on this list needs to provide value for multiple seasons — not just one.
One of the most exciting players to come out of the 2021 IDP rookie class, Owusu-Koramoah flashed a ton of potential but wasn’t given a full workload for the entire season. Injuries played a part in his limited role last year, but despite playing more than 50 snaps in just six games, Owusu-Koramoah finished with 76 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and four pass breakups. His do-it-all ability on a true starting linebacker’s workload provides plenty of optimism that he’ll be a much more valuable IDP asset moving forward than what he was as a rookie, making now the time to roster him.
The biggest knock on Owusu-Koramoah, aside from playing time, was his missed tackle rate, which was a particularly high 17.4%. This comes as a result of his aggressive playstyle but could be seen as an acceptable trade-off for IDP leagues, as he’s also able to make big plays as well. He recorded a 3.4-yard average depth of tackle against the run, which led to a top-10 run-stop percentage among linebackers (10.2%).
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah’s PFF grade ranks among rookie linebackers (15 qualifiers)
|Run defense grade
Wilson was an IDP favorite before the 2021 season, as he was in a prime spot for a large workload and poised to provide a decent return on investment. Wilson was able to flash as a rookie despite dealing with injuries and a pecking order that kept him off the field for large chunks of games. He started just two games as a rookie and played less than 350 snaps but still landed a sack, two interceptions and four tackles for loss.
The best time to roster Wilson may have been last offseason, but that doesn’t make him unattainable heading into 2022. He started the 2021 season hot but cooled off just enough through the back half of the year that his value didn’t inflate too much. He missed some time due to injury late in the year as well, which pushed him down the linebacker leaderboards in IDP points for the year. These are common things that fantasy gamers will use for baseline research on players, which savvier fantasy managers can capitalize on.
Wilson is an intriguing long-term asset for IDP because he should anchor the Bengals defense for the foreseeable future. The Bengals don't have to rely on Nick Vigil or Germaine Pratt to lead the way, as Wilson has proven to be a reliable NFL starter who is capable of playing all three downs for Cincinnati's defense.
Walker, who should be able to be acquired for a fairly low price, has a shot to start next season for the Falcons if all goes right for him in the offseason.