Continuing my IDP Sleeper list as we head into the 2014-2015 NFL Fantasy Football Season, I’m going to look at 5 Linebackers who are being overlooked and should be on your radar because they’ll put up numbers. Although the LB depth is huge for IDP, you always want that edge over your opponents, that next Paul Posluszny or Luke Kuechly, maybe even the next London Fletcher. Don’t worry, I got you covered and as big play scoring leagues are rising, certain LB’s have increasing value. With that being said lets take a look at my 5 Linebackers who you need to put on your radar.
- KEVIN MINTER, Arizona Cardinals: Minter has popped up because Dansby has departed but ever since the Daryl Washington news arose that he’s going to miss the season; Minter’s value has never been so high then it is now. He has little to no competition on tackle opportunities, he’s not flashy or fast but he’s a thumper and he’s going to hit. Not having any snaps last year, nobody really knows who this guy is but it won’t surprise me if he enters LB1 status early on as the loss of Dansby and Washington leaves about 280 tackles vacated, not saying Minter will get you 280 tackles but that’s the opportunity. You’re going to have to swerve your way thru traffic and cut corners to get Minter, so plan accordingly.
- SIO MOORE, Oakland Raiders: the Raiders have quietly added pieces to the defense that’ll help everyone. With the addition of Khalil Mack, Sio will move to WLB and make an impact. He was impressive when he got his chance on the field, solid edge rusher and potential to rack up 6-10 tackles per game. With the presence of Tuck, Woodley, Mack and Roach the red carpet is laid out for Moore to get to the QB or attack the flats. Sio is on the verge of having some serious IDP value in standard and big play leagues, grab him now, as his name is already a hot commodity.
- KJ WRIGHT, Seattle Seahawks: Seems like everyone is writing him off because of the rise of Malcolm Smith and his MVP ways during the Super Bowl. Wright held his own before his injury and should reclaim his WLB spot entering the season. What we forget is that he had 80 tackles prior to his injury and was just getting into his groove, there’s a chance he moves to SLB but Seattle now has depth at the LB position and regardless Wright will see the field. You can get him at such a good value right now and he’ll be a great LB3 for your squad.
- VINCENT REY, Cincinnati Bengals: He will be in competition with Maualuga for the MLB starting spot and in my opinion Rey is just that much better, especially in coverage. When Rey got his spot starts, he erupted for 15 tackles 3 sacks 3 pass deflections and 1 int (this was just one game) and followed that up with 12 tackles the next week. It’s no secret when he gets snaps he produces and if Bengals where smart, they’d find a way to get Rey on the field more often than not. Coming in cheap at LB4 value but once he gets that starting nod he’s going to rise to a LB3.
- PERRY RILEY, Washington Redskins: Now, you must be wondering why is Perry Riley’s name mentioned? I could’ve gone with a couple other LB’s here but I wanted to get my word out on Perry. He’s tremendously undervalued right now and is likely around the 30th LB taken in drafts, that’s way too low. He’s moving into Fletcher’s position and has no competition for tackles as Kerrigan/Orakpo are the edge rushers and Robinson is still developing, Sharpton doesn’t provide much competition. Riley will be asked to carry this defense and be the leader entering his 3rd season of being a full-time starter. Riley has averaged just about 122 total tackles the last 2 seasons and that number should rise to about 135/140 mark this season. Riley is going to finish in the top 20 and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the top 15, I’m looking for a career year from Perry and you should too.