CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Luke Kuechly #59 of the Carolina Panthers breaks up a pass to Eric Ebron #85 of the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 14, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Understanding IDP: Linebackers

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 14: Luke Kuechly #59 of the Carolina Panthers breaks up a pass to Eric Ebron #85 of the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on September 14, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Before reading this article you may wish to review the introduction to the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) format article.

Linebackers (LBs) when managed correctly can be a consistent well of points on a weekly basis. By position and current defensive schemes in the NFL currently, the primary and even secondary LBs will often record the most tackles on each team. The stars of the IDP format are found in the LB position.

While the difference of if a team plays 3-4 or 4-3 defense can impact the number of tackles that LBs will have a chance to record, the skills of the player and their role within their team’s scheme has a deeper impact. How often is a LB dropping into coverage? How often is a LB used as an additional rusher? Is a LB used almost every down or in specific packages? All of these impact a chance at getting tackles. Depending on the individual player’s skill set, this may also impact things like their chance at passes defended, interceptions, or sacks.

When drafting, depending on your league’s settings, expect LBs to be the first IDP players drafted, as well as the highest scoring out of all available defensive players.

If he stays healthy for the full season look for Luke Kuechly to be the first IDP drafted, and to finish as the top scorer overall. C.J. Mosley is in a position to also jump from a top 10-15 player into an elite option. A blast from the past player to note is Manti Te’o, no longer getting catfish

ed, he took his game up a notch last year, not a top tier player, but worth looking at for a LB3 or bench spot. While Leonard Floyd should be a very playable rookie, look for Darron Lee on the Jets to be the rookie with the most points in the LB world this season.

Be on the look out for Defensive Linemen and Defensive Backs articles coming out later this week.

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