Indianapolis' Darius Leonard led the NFL in tackles as a rookie
Let's face it, as appealing as the elite defensive linemen are when it comes to winning a fantasy football league that uses Individual Defensive Players (IDPs) linebacker is the position that can make or break your roster. The reason why is pretty simple – linebackers are generally the top scorers among IDPs because they are in on the majority of plays.
That's certainly the case when it comes to the top fantasy options at linebacker. Take Darius Leonard, the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and first-team All-Pro led the NFL with a whopping 163 tackles, nearly 20 more than the next closest guy, another LB (Blake Martinez). But Leonard did more than stop ball carriers. He also recorded seven sacks, two interceptions, forced four fumbles, recovered two, and was credited with eight pass breakups. The only thing he didn't do last year was score a TD, yet he still finished as the No. 1 scoring IDP overall (Athlon scoring).
The Colts' tackling machine leads the linebacker rankings for 2019 and is part of a youth movement of sorts at the position as fellow second-year pros Leighton Vander Esch, Roquan Smith, and Tremaine Edmunds join him in the top 10 (see below). That doesn't mean you should forget about grizzled veterans like Bobby Wagner, Deion Jones, Like Kuechly or Lavonte David, to name a few. And just because a Khalil Mack or C.J. Mosley isn't in the top 10 that doesn't mean they can't produce like one when all is said and done.
There are certainly no lack of linebackers to choose from, but which one you decide to draft and when could be the difference between having a good season in an IDP league or a championship campaign.
2019 Linebacker (LB) Rankings
|4||Leighton Vander Esch||DAL||8|
|32||Kyle Van Noy||NE||10|