Top 24 Dynasty Linebackers (#13-24)
Which linebackers should you be targeting in your dynasty drafts? Let's dive into the back half of the top 24.
You love linebackers, we love linebackers—everyone loves linebackers. They are the french fries of the IDP world in that we all want them, even if our preferences on the type of fry vary (shout-out curly fries). As we head into draft season, who are the top dynasty linebackers you want on your radar? Let’s break it down, starting with #24 and going through #13. We’ll cover 12-1 in a second installment next week.
Listen to us or watch us talk about these LBs on the podcast.
24. Matt Milano (Buffalo Bills)
If Lavonte David is discount Bobby Wagner, then Matt Milano is… also discount Lavonte David. Milano came through with another serviceable season for managers, finishing as a top 24 LB once again. And even with that finish, he will continue to be undervalued, especially more so as he gets closer to age 30. Milano is a great LB3 that can give you fringe LB1/2 games without having to pay through the nose.
23. Patrick Queen (Baltimore Ravens)
The dream with Queen is that he morphs into something similar to his former Clemson Tiger teammate: Devin White, a player who puts up points no matter how bad the PFF grades look. For this to happen, Queen will need to blitz a lot more, which is something he has shown he can do well. This is the last year we hold out hope for him though. If he struggles, it’s time to cut bait and move on.
22. Pete Werner (New Orleans Saints)
Werner was used in a limited fashion his rookie season but he graded well when given the chance. Now, PFF grades do not equal fantasy points (unless you’re playing All-22, which we recommend). But if a player is grading well, it means he’s playing well, which means he should see more opportunity. With 33-year-old Demario Davis being the only thing blocking him, we could see more opportunity on the near horizon.
21. Nakobe Dean (Philadelphia Eagles)
Dean was a 1st round talent who dropped to the 3rd due to injury concerns (which the Eagles refuted on draft night). Whether there’s smoke to the injury fire or not, Dean was still the 9th LB off the board, so it’s fair to wonder if it was just questions over the Georgia product’s health that contributed to his slide. The future is bright for Dean, regardless, and if he’s fully healthy, he could contribute right away in 2022.
20. Troy Anderson (Atlanta Falcons)
A former dual-threat QB and freakish athlete at Montana State, Anderson raised a few eyebrows when Atlanta drafted him as the 3rd LB off the board. Their LB room looks crowded on paper but don’t be scared. Rashaan Evans is on a 1-year, as is Nick Kwiatkoski. Mykal Walker is a former 4th rounder and Deion Jones is out for the offseason. Outside of Jones, Anderson has the most invested in him for the long term, and this LB room could change drastically between now and opening day.
19. Cole Holcomb (Washington Commanders)
Do you like points? Do you care if the player scoring them doesn’t make flashy highlight plays? Are you also a fan of your linebackers having a mud flap for a hairstyle? If the answer to those three questions is yes, then Cole Holcomb is the man for your dynasty teams! He had 11 of 18 games over double-digit points, with the ability to score in the high 20s at times. Where Milano is an LB3 who can give fringe LB1 games, Holcomb is a Fringe LB2-3 in price, who can give you LB1 seasons.
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18. Shaq Thompson (Carolina Panthers)
Speaking of an LB1 season, Thompson would have given you exactly that, had he not missed 3 games in the middle of it. His 14.1 PPG was top 12 among LBs and was the exact same as Holcomb, who finished as LB9 on the season. Now 28, Thompson falls into the category of older but productive veterans who you still want to be adding to your roster when your leaguemates are chasing the new hotness every season.
17. Blake Martinez (New York Giants)
And speaking of older but productive veterans, nothing craters an asking price like an early season-ending injury to an over-25 player. Martinez is also currently 28 and is recovering from a torn ACL. Martinez is a good speculative buy for the right price. There’s a reason people are anxious: he could still struggle, so don’t overpay. But if he’s healthy come the start of the season, Martinez is a baller who’s always produced and should definitely give you a strong return on investment.
16. Quay Walker (Green Bay Packers)
The Packers gave the middle finger to Aaron Rodgers once again by taking Walker as the first LB off the board with the 22nd pick. At 6’4” and 242 lbs with a 95th percentile speed score, Walker is an athletic freak. So, you can see why Green Bay did it. Walker’s usage will be interesting as they already have De’Vondre Campbell and use a lot of 1 LB sets, but as they showed with Rashan Gary and the Smith Bros: he might not play instantly, but that shouldn’t keep him off your dynasty roster.
15. Isaiah Simmons (Arizona Cardinals)
Simmons is a 23-year-old linebacker who’s pretty much locked into 1,000 snaps a year at this point. Don’t overcomplicate it: in a world of rotational linebackers getting 800-ish snaps, guys like Simmons are who we want on our rosters. The thing stopping Simmons from being ranked near Jordyn Brooks or Logan Wilson—similar aged guys with similar opportunity—is that his production has been slightly underwhelming. However, there is room for growth and that’s why he’s still a top 15 guy.
14. Eric Kendricks (Minnesota Vikings)
Someone who never fails to produce with opportunity is Kendricks, and the only reason he’s not in the top 8 or higher is the fact he’s now on the wrong side of 30. There are some younger LBs that people will be taking ahead of Kendricks, and that’s understandable in dynasty, but we expect at least another two years of solid production from Kendricks, whose current deal runs out in 2024. So don’t be surprised if “old man” Kendricks outscored some of the flashier names in 2022.
13. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Cleveland Browns)
It was only a glimmer and it was only for a second, but we saw it. The potential is there for JOK, no doubt about it. We wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a Jordyn Brooks-esque second season if he’s given the full workload. He also needs to get the tackles up, as that mark was low in 2021. We know Adam prefers #ZVNSZN, but JOK needs to be in the conversation as the 2nd best dynasty LB from the 2022 class.
Listen to us or watch us talk about these LBs on the podcast.
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