The Hive – IDP Surprises and Disappointments pt 3: Linebackers
Welcome back to the final installment on the 2007 seasons IDP surprises and disappointments! Hope everyone has enjoyed the last 2, on defensive linemen and defensive backs respectively. Now we move on to the RB’s of the IDP world, linebackers. The right LB’s can carry your team, and those of who who made out with some of the names on the surprise list are likely ahead of the game right now. Thankfully a lot of the top names at the position are actually producing, guys like Ryans, Tatupu, Briggs, etc. Other high IDP picks have absolutely tanked. So without further ado, let’s take a look at who has sizzled and who has fizzled this year, as well as their outlook for the rest of 2007.
Rankings are taken from an IDP league with 1 point per assist/pass defended, 2 points per solo, 3 points per forced fumble, 4 points per sack/int/fumble recovered, and 5 points per safety or blocked kick.
1 – Barrett Ruud, Tampa Bay – (#1 LB) – While I was high on Ruud going into the season, never in my wildest dreams did I see my sleeper pick dominating the way he has. Ruud is on fire, and hasn’t had any real clunkers along the way.
Will he keep it up? Yes. Ride him until the wheels fall off.
2 – Julian Peterson, Seattle – (#3 LB) – The oft-injured Peterson has found a home in
Will he keep it up? With his injury history I would be looking to sell high here.
3 – Michael Boley, Atlanta – (#4 LB) – Boley is looking like he could be the poor man’s Keith Bulluck, as there are not many LB’s who can put up numbers like Boley is (and like Bulluck has in the past) from the strong side LB position. Boley is a tackling machine who is on the field a lot for the struggling Falcons.
Will he keep it up? It looks good at this point, though his lack of big plays could mean he is a lot lower in the rankings of your league if it isn’t tackle heavy scoring. Boley is likely going to be a solid source of 6-8 tackles a week, and that could even improve once big Rod Coleman gets healthy and starts freeing up the LB’s.
4 – Thomas Howard,
Will he keep it up? I don’t think Howard finishes the season as a top 10 LB, but I highly doubt he falls out of the top 20. A risky sell high candidate, as he may just continue his torrid pace.
5 – Donnie Edwards,
Will he keep it up? Of course. I passed on him in every league possible, he will most certainly put up 20 points a game all year long. Did I mention I hate Herm Edwards? Just checking.
Honorable mention – Rocky McIntosh, Washington – (#15 LB) – My boy from The U finally took his rightful place in the Skins starting lineup this season, and the results speak for themselves. Rocky is the only other LB in the top 15 besides Howard who has already had his bye week, so this ranking is all the more impressive in my opinion.
Will he keep it up? Not just yes, but hell yes.
1 – Keith Bulluck, Tennessee – (#51 LB) – While he might not be ranked as low as some of the next LB’s, none of the rest of my disappointments were ranked as a top 3 IDP by pretty much everyone on earth. Bulluck has stated that with the talent on the Titans D nowadays he doesn’t feel like he has to make every play on the field. Great for him, horrible for his IDP owners.
Will he pick it up? At this point I lean towards no. As much as it pains me to say that, considering I used a top 3 pick in an IDP only dynasty league for the guy, it just doesn’t look good.
2 – Andra Davis, Cleveland – (#81 LB) – Ugh. Not just a fall off, this is a plummet.
Will he pick it up? No way, he lost his job and is on the slow road to Lemar Marshall-ville…
3 – Daryl Smith, Jacksonville – (#67 LB) – Another big middle finger to a franchise/coaching staff, as the Jags told us all that Mike Peterson was going back to WILL, the position he played in Indy, and that Daryl Smith was the MLB of the future. Way off, Smith is back on the weak side putting up weak numbers, and Peterson is on his way back to elite IDP status.
Will he pick it up? Not unless Peterson gets hurt again.
4 – Cato June,
Will he pick it up? No. In fact he and Brooks may both start losing snaps here and there to rookie Quincy Black. If your league has big bonuses for INT’s that is about the only way I would have June on the average 3-4 IDP type roster.
5 – Bart Scott, Baltimore – (#55 LB) – My boy Hot Sauce has been muy mild. No bueno. The entire Ravens defense has stunk (more so in IDP than in real life) and Scott is no exception.
Will he pick it up? I think so. He and Terrell Suggs are just too good to keep tanking. Ray Ray might be on his last legs, but I think Scott has a bright future.
honorable mention – Keith Brooking/James Farrior (#44 LB and #45 LB, both with 66 points for the season in this format.) – Both of these guys are usually excessively reliable, which makes the numbers all the more shocking. Brooking is suffering from not having enough of a defensive line presence needed to free him up to make plays, while Farrior is suffering from the Steelers just being good and teams having to throw on them to come from behind.
Will they pick it up? I think both of them will pick it up. Rod Coleman getting to 100% would be huge for Brooking, and I think as we move towards winter and teams start trying to grind it out instead of airing it out a traditional run stuffer like Farrior will become more relevant than he has been.
Well that’s about it for me this time. Hope you all enjoyed this 3 part series, and I will see you next week for The Hive’s game-by-game IDP analysis!