Monday - Jan 21, 2019

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The Seadog Report

Greetings Sharkfans! Well it’s that time of year again, time for the ol’ Seadog to go out on a limb and put out some IDP rankings for you. This week it will be LBs. Before I get into this, let me preface myself by saying that this list is made with the intention of encompassing many various scoring systems, but in general, tackle numbers weigh more for these rankings. Here’s my top LBs for this year.

 

2006 LB RANKINGS

 

  1. Ray Lewis – Going right out to the edge of the cliff with this one. He’s got the wide bodies in front of him that he wanted and he should be recovered from his injuries. I’m betting that he reverts back to the Ray Ray of old this year.
  2. Keith Bullock – This guy has produced incredibly consistent IDP production the past several years. That trend will continue.
  3. Jonathan Vilma – The Jets are going to move to the 3-4 this year, but I don’t think Vilma’s point production will drop that much. What he loses in tackles, I think he’ll make up with sacks, interceptions, and fumbles.
  4. Zack Thomas – Thomas is perennially an underrated top-5 fantasy LB. Injuries are starting to creep up on him, but he should still be a top IDP performer.
  5. Mike Peterson – You can’t go wrong with picking Peterson for your LB. He’s the best Jacksonville has to offer.
  6. Donnie Edwards – While constantly in the top-3 the past few years, I think he slips some this year. Definitely, worthy of any pick in the top-10.
  7. London Fletcher – Fletcher was absolutely huge last year as a LB in IDP. I don’t like the fact that there have been some changes with the big guys in Buffalo’s defensive line. Fletcher is a little on the small side and I think that will drop his production a little this year.
  8. Antonio Pierce – I like to refer to him as “the Quiet Man”. He’s primed for a great year this season. I like him a lot.
  9. Brian Urlacher – Personally, I’m not a big Urlacher fan, but I predicted a good year for him last year and he should repeat this year. Watch out for some off field personal issues he’s working through as that may affect him a little this year.
  10. Andra Davis – This guy deserves to be in the top-10. Keep an eye on Chaun Thompson this preseason as he may cut into Davis’ numbers a little bit.
  11. Shelton Quarles – He’s taken over from Derrick Brooks as the top IDP LB in Tampa; He’s a solid pick.
  12. Keith Brooking / Demorrio Williams – This is a tough call. Brooking has always been solid and right now Williams isn’t even listed as a starter. But Demorrio was huge last year. I guess the pick should be Brooking, but don’t dropWilliams too much. Keep an eye on this situation this preseason.
  13. Odell Thurman – This is just a great solid value pick in this spot. He was somewhere close to a top-20 LB in IDP last year, and he should only be better this year. *(After writing this article, it has come out that Thurman will be suspended the first 4 games of the season for violating the NFL’s drug policy. My guess would be that Landon Johnson will replace him as starter in the middle. Tread carefully where you pick Thurman this year.) 
  14. Derrick Brooks – Brooks has slipped a little in his IDP ranking the past couple of years, but he’s still a solid top-15 pick.
  15. Gary Brackett – I hesitated putting Brackett at top-15, but he really performed well last year. He had some offseason surgery and if that is a problem this preseason, then I’d drop him down a bit.
  16. Will Witherspoon – Witherspoon could be a real boon or bust this year. I’m betting that he has a great year, but I’m also being a bit conservative with my ranking based on the fact that the Rams are hard to predict on defense right now with so many new faces.
  17. Nick Barnett – I’ll probably get chastised for dropping Barnett this low, but I think with all the new faces at LB for Green Bay, his numbers will drop this year.
  18. Lemar Marshall – I may have Marshall a little low, but I like a lot of the guys ahead of him. He’ll be a good pick at this spot.
  19. Adalius Thomas* – Depending on your league, Thomas is either listed as a DL or a LB. Either way, he put up fantastic numbers last year. I think Ray Ray will drop his numbers down a little bit, but he could easily be a top-20 guy.
  20. Tedy Bruschi – Last year was Bruschi’s comeback year, but this year will be the real comeback for him. I’m expecting him to be the Bruschi of old from a couple of years ago.
  21. Derek Smith / Jeff Ulbrich – Smith always has put up very good numbers for San Francisco. Ulbrich is primed for a great season. They are both penciled in to play the middle in the 49er’s 3-4 this year. One or both should be a good pick right here.
  22. Dan Morgan – When he’s not hurt, he’s awesome. Can he go a year without getting hurt?
  23. Derrick Johnson – I slipped Johnson in here because he’s just got way too much talent to drop lower. He had a pretty decent year as a rookie last year and should be a lot better this year.
  24. Jeremiah Trotter – Trotter is a tackle machine. Not too much extracurricular with him, but he’s awesome with tackles.
  25. Morlon Greenwood – Greenwood came through for me last year and saved my butt in a couple of games. The Texans are rebuilding, so I expect Greenwood to be busy this year.
  26. James Farrior – Another guy that I’m going to get nailed for ranking this low. I just don’t see him producing such great numbers this year to move him up.
  27. Lofa Tatupu / Julian Peterson – Lofa was awesome as a rookie last year. I think he benefits a little more from ball hawking as opposed to massive tackling. I’m not sure how much to factor in Peterson here. These guys are either going to cut into each others numbers, or one of them will be huge. Tough call for me.
  28. Lance Briggs – Urlacher gets the spotlight, but Briggs will get some excellent numbers. Contract squabbles could be a slight distraction.
  29. Kirk Morrison – Morrison should be the main IDP LB in Oakland this year, but I’m not reading the Oakland defense too well right now. If anything, slide him up a bit in the rankings.
  30. Cato June – June is going to produce big plays. Expect him to be fully healthy this year and expect good numbers from him as well.
  31. Anthony Simmons / Colby Bolkwoldt / Albert Fincher – One of these Saint’s LBs will be the big point producer, the question is which one? I’m thinking Simmons will be the guy, but this is another preseason issue to watch.
  32. DJ Williams / Ian Gold – These two are pretty comparable. Not tremendous numbers, but they’ll be solid at this spot.
  33. Karlos Dansby – Somebody has got to step it up for the Cardinals.
  34. Akin Ayodele – Moving to the inside in Dallas should be good for him.
  35. Takeo Spikes / Angelo Crowell – Is Spikes going to be recovered to start the year? If so, take him here and smile all the way to the bank. Look for Crowell to start too, as he may go over to the strongside.
  36. Boss Bailey / Tedy Lehman – Bailey should be the better LB from an IDP standpoint, but he’s always hurt it seems. Lehman is penciled in as starting in the middle. Either should be good value here. *(at this time my sources stand corrected – Bailey is in the middle and Lehman is now over on the strongside. Go Bailey here, and maybe bump him up some)
  37. Chad Greenway* – I really hesitate to put a rookie in, but I’m betting Greenway has the best season from an IDP standpoint from all the other rookies. AJ Hawk is a much better dynasty pick, though.
  38. Chaun Thompson – I’m a big Thompson backer. The guy has great talent. Will this be the year he makes a statement?
  39. Crowder Channing – If Thomas gets hurt again, he will be the man in Miami.
  40. Peter Sirmon – Sirmon is going to play the MLB in Tennessee this year. Should get some pretty decent numbers as a result.
  41. Edgarton Hartwell – Hartwell was a bust last year. I know he got injured, but I want to see something from him before I bump him up.
  42. Daryl Smith – Should be a solid pick at this spot. Daryl is usually good for an occasional sack or two.
  43. Kawika Mitchell – I’m not a big fan of Mitchell, but he should do pretty well .
  44. Marcus Washington – getting a little long in the tooth, but always seems to produce each year. I probably have him ranked a little too low.
  45. Pisa Tinoisamoa – This could be a breakout season for Pisa

 

I’m going to stop there. There’s definitely some more depth out there, and my suggestion would be to go through the depth charts for each team if you need to come up with additional LB depth. This preseason, keep an eye on some of the situations that I mentioned above. Also, keep in mind that there are several guys in the Shawn Merriman category that will produce good numbers – not through tackles, but through sacks and fumbles.

 

Hope this is helpful  (even if you disagree with some of my ranks). Thanks for reading!

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