IDP Tackles and Sacks – Linebackers

Michael Moore analyzes IDP sacks and tackles and how they should be evaluated.

| 2 years ago
Luke Kuechly

IDP Tackles and Sacks – Linebackers

Luke KuechlyTackles and sacks are simple statistics, but looking at these numbers relative to other players can be critical in IDP leagues. Where did a player stack up from year to year? It’s much easier to predict if a player will be among the leaders in tackles or sacks rather than try to pinpoint exactly how many he’ll have. But past trends can provide us insight as to whether player tackle or sack totals are likely to be repeated.

For this experiment, I looked at the most popular position in IDP, linebacker, and approximately the top one percent that registered a tackle and a sack. This equates to the top 25 finishers in tackles and top 10 finishers in sacks. Depending on the type of IDP league you’re in, both tackles and sacks can be the most important statistics to measure potential players.

I then took each year’s finishers and tallied how many finished at the top in back-to-back years. This has relevance in both re-draft and dynasty leagues since it a) shows a historical record and, more importantly, b) is the closest thing we have to compare to in future years, thanks to (mostly) similar conditions in terms of age, skill set, coaching, etc.

Year Repeat Top Performers
2014 44.0%
2013 60.0%
2012 40.0%
2011 40.0%
2010 48.0%
Average 46.4%
Std. Deviation 7.41


As you can see, of the top 25 leaders in tackles, an average of 46.4 percent were repeat performers. This means roughly half of those in 2014 will be there next year when it’s time to draft. It may be more surprising to realize that half of the players who finished at the top won’t be there next year, but that is the reality. If you have a 50 percent chance of drafting someone who will repeat as great a performance, you have to weigh that against other positions.

Year Repeat Top Performers
2014 40.0%
2013 20.0%
2012 40.0%
2011 60.0%
2010 60.0%
Average 44.0%
Std. Deviation 14.97


For sacks, the top 10 leaders had an average repeat performance of 44.0 percent, meaning the average is approximately the same (46.4 percent to 44.0 percent) as that of the top tacklers. On the surface, this would indicate the same findings—that roughly half of the top sackers in the game will repeat what they did year over year.

However, when you look at the standard deviation, it paints a vastly different picture. For elite tacklers, the standard deviation is 7.41. In contrast, the top sack performers are roughly double that at 14.97. This indicates the number of top performers in sacks is more erratic than tacklers. Over multiple years, you would likely have similar luck in drafting tackle-heavy and sack-heavy linebackers who repeat their prior season elite performances. However, the edge tackle-heavy linebackers have in their consistency make them the safer choice to repeat and therefore the better choice in your IDP leagues.

Michael Moore is a contributor to the Dynasty section of Pro Football Focus. Check out his dynasty-centric website at or follow him on Twitter @Dynasty_FFC.

Michael Moore has written for PFF Fantasy since 2013, focusing primarily on dynasty content. He’s also hosted the PFF Fantasy Slant Podcast since 2014.

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