In the Trenches - Week 4
Each week I’ll be using data from PFF and around the web to give some insight into IDP fantasy football, and how using these metrics can lead to finding undervalued players, potential breakouts and sleepers.
This week I’m looking at the most important position in for IDP gamers, linebackers, the driving force of IDP scoring.
Your linebacking corps is your bread and butter scoring on a weekly basis, and what drives their production is tackles. You’ll often hear fantasy analysts talking about the top players being every-down or three-down players, as well as their ability to put up triple-digit total tackles over the course of a season, but both these measures on their own do not make an elite fantasy player.
The top fantasy linebackers are three-down players, which affords them a higher number of opportunities to record fantasy relevant statistics, and the most frequent of which is tackles. Although the 100-plus total tackles mark is a rudimentary benchmark, it does act as a good way of establishing whether a linebacker can achieve LB1 status. However, a more refined approach is to look at their tackle frequency (TakFreq) because it’s a qualitative metric rather than a cumulative one. It looks at a player’s per-opportunity production, as opposed to the net result of the player’s impact on the game.
Tackle frequency is simply a player’s solo tackles + assisted tackles + sacks / snaps.
That being said, looking at the top fantasy linebackers from the last two years will help to establish some yardsticks for identifying players to target of avoid going forwards.
Ross Miles is a Lead Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy. Follow him on Twitter – @RossMilesNFL
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