2012 IDP Rankings: Top 50 Linebackers
by Robert Kirlin; aka The IDP Guru (7/22/12)

Each season I look forward to getting Robert's IDP lists. And the LB position especially since it is often the highest scoring defensive position in IDP leagues. Linebackers get a lot of the primary stats in most scoring systems, and also share a bit with the sacks and interceptions the DE and CB positions seem to rely more on to provide their fantasy value. Looking over this list, I see the bread and butter stat category of Tackles being very prevalent. I also saw some surprises, and some things I agree with (like Navarro Bowman being the top fantasy LB from the 49ers over Patrick Willis; who is still a great fantasy LB himself). I enjoy pouring over Robert's lists and think you will, too. - Russ Bliss

2012 Top 50 Linebackers for IDP Leagues:

1. D'Qwell Jackson: Cleveland. Last year's stats were off the chart, and he blew everyone away. He has been an injury risk the 2 seasons prior, but it's awesome what he can do when he's healthy.

2. London Fletcher: Washington. The 93 year old Linebacker just keeps on going, totally amazing. (He's 37 for those who don't understand my sarcasm).

3. NaVorro Bowman: San Francisco. Had an awesome 2011, only finishing second in tackles to my #1 Jackson. (Probably surprised to see this 49er's LB here?)

4. James Laurinaitis: St. Louis. He's been steadily getting better and could be a future #1 in the next year or two.

5. Derrick Johnson: Kansas City. Finally starting to show the skills he had in college.

6. Chad Greenway: Minnesota. One of my favorites, hope he's available for my team where I've targeted him at.

7. Colin McCarthy: Tennessee. Look for a breakout year for this guy, many outside of Tennessee haven't heard of him, that'll change after this season, if he's on your board and the top 6 are gone, grab him, you'll look like a genius!

8. Curtis Lofton: New Orleans. The former Falcons MLB is going to be a big upgrade for the Saints.

9. Pat Angerer: Indianapolis. The guy just SOUNDS like a linebacker. If the Colts offense performs like I think it will, this guy is a must have.

10. Nick Barnett: Buffalo. Solid numbers put up each year.

11. Patrick Willis: San Francisco. OMG!!! REALLY??? I could go into a long diatribe as to why he sank so low, but facts are that he's in a 3-4 and people know his reputation and will run at Bowman.

12. Daryl Washington: Arizona

13. Desmond Bishop: Green Bay

14. Luke Kuechly: Carolina. (Rookie is slated for WLB, but if he gets the Mike, he will be a top 5 talent).

15. James Anderson: Carolina. (Two Panthers LB's back to back and neither one is Beason?) I just run the numbers...

16. Stephen Tulloch: Detroit. (Numbers are down from his Titans days, but still solid).

17. Brian Cushing: Houston. (Could be a steal here).

18. Sean Weatherspoon: Atlanta.

19. Kelvin Sheppard: Buffalo

20. David Hawthorne: New Orleans. (Former Seahawks LB will put up steady numbers, but not known for big time stats).

21. Paul Posluszny: Jacksonville.

22. Karlos Dansby: Miami

23. Brian Urlacher: Chicago (Stagnant, not going to put up the huge numbers like years ago, honestly, the Bears defense is growing old fast).

24. Jon Beason: Carolina. (When healthy, he's one of the best. Whether he plays MLB or WLB will depend on how rookie Kuechly adapts. If Kuechly struggles, Beason will be the Mike.)

25. Kevin Burnett: Miami

26. Lance Briggs: Chicago

27. James Harrison: Pittsburgh. (Age and his style of play are catching up with him).

28. Daryl Smith: Jacksonville

29. Sean Lee: Dallas. (Could be a steal, had some injuries last year that slowed him down, if he stays healthy, the sky's the limit).

30. Jerod Mayo: New England. Another player who falls as he struggled with injuries.

31. Deandre Levy: Detroit.

32. Donald Butler: San Diego.

33. Mason Foster: Tampa Bay. (I would have rated him higher, but I think he's going to split time this year).

34. David Harris: NY Jets

35. Ray Lewis: Baltimore. (Please... retire already, you're embarrassing yourself).

36. Demeco Ryans: Philadelphia.

37. Darryl Sharpton: Houston

38. Michael Boley: NY Giants. (If the D-Line wasn't so active, he would put up massive numbers).

39. Takeo Spikes: San Diego (Another ancient wonder).

40. Lawrence Timmons: Pittsburgh. (Disappointed last year due to injuries to Harrison and Woodley, the athletic Timmons was flexible to move outside, but this hurt his numbers more than anything).

41. Demarcus Ware: Dallas. (Only worth taking if your league awards only points for sacks).

42. Leroy Hill: Seattle

43. Rey Maualuga: Cincinnati

44. Thomas Howard: Cincinnati

45. Jasper Brinkley: Minnesota. (Who?)

46. Brandon Spikes: New England

47. Tamba Hali: Kansas City

48. Von Miller: Denver. (DJ Williams is appealing a 6 game suspension, if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell holds true to form, Williams will not have that reduced and Miller will play MLB the first 6 games, afterward, he'll be moved to the strong side and won't be worth as much).

49. Kavell Conner: Indianapolis

50. Lamarr Woodley: Pittsburgh. (Injuries set him back, but like Ware, he's mainly good in a league with big rewards for sacks).

see Robert's 2012 Top 50 Defensive Linemen for IDP Leagues

see Robert's 2012 Top 50 Defensive Backs for IDP Leagues


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