2012 IDP Rankings: Top 15 Linebackers

We started our IDP look last week when we looked at the Top 15 Defensive Lineman (click here to view).  Let’s keep things going as today we look at the best Linebackers for the upcoming season:

  1. D’Qwell Jackson – Cleveland Browns
  2. Desmond Bishop – Green Bay Packers
  3. Patrick Willis – San Francisco 49ers
  4. James Laurinaitis – St. Louis Rams
  5. Derrick Johnson – Kansas City Chiefs
  6. Daryl Washington – Arizona Cardinals
  7. Navorro Bowman – San Francisco 49ers
  8. Colin McCarthy – Tennessee Titans
  9. London Fletcher – Washington Redskins
  10. Ray Lewis – Baltimore Ravens
  11. Paul Posluszny – Jacksonville Jaguars
  12. Sean Lee – Dallas Cowboys
  13. Sean Weatherspoon – Atlanta Falcons
  14. Stephen Tulloch – Detroit Lions
  15. Pat Angerer – Indianapolis Colts

Thoughts:

  • Patrick Willis “only” had 97 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception and 4 forced fumbles in 2011.  Part of that is due to injuries, as he played in just 13 games.  However, let’s not forget that he is the same player who didn’t post fewer than 128 tackles over the first four years of his career.  A healthy Willis playing in the best defense in the league makes him well worth targeting as one of the top linebackers.
  • Sometimes it takes time for a player to fully develop, doesn’t it?  Desmond Bishop gave us a taste of what was possible in 2010, but he exploded last season     with 115 tackles, 5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in just 13 games.  If healthy all year, he could ultimately be the top linebacker in football.  I wouldn’t have an issue with someone taking him over D’Qwell Jackson.
  •  What would’ve been possible for Sean Lee had he not gotten injured?  Sure he did play in 15 games, but you can see that his best time came prior to the broken wrist (31 tackles and 2 interceptions in three September games).  You have to consider him one of the better options entering the year and a sleeper on draft day.  If your leaguemates are simply looking at the overall numbers, they aren’t going to be impressed.

Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings:

2012 Fantasy Rankings: Top 5 Rookie Wide Receivers
2012 Fantasy Rankings: Top 5 Rookie Running Backs

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