Welcome to my 2024 IDP Dynasty Football Top 10 Linebacker Rankings. I will be going through each position breaking down my early top 10. If you missed the others follow the links below.
Playing Dynasty and knowing when players' ages will factor in is more vital than most will ever know. Not only, to identify peaks when making moves, but also to sell the player before the crash or at least be able to identify it. Science has shown us that Football is relatively consistent about this, just the position in the dynasty will vary. Players' ages will peak at different points.
In this article, we will try to capture some of this and discuss how this affects the linebacker position but more importantly, the way we should anticipate production and then rank our 2024 top ten Dynasty LB rankings based on those findings.
A common mistake In IDP dynasty formats is placing the value on younger players. This will blow up in your face more often than not. Sure age is a factor, but to go too young too quickly, without knowing how the parts move when you get maximum value, and when to sell high. Failing to realize the ebbs and flows of how age works and how to value it will create team owners with that vicious cycle of contending, tearing down, and rebuilding. Going through this process repeatedly is exhausting in Dynasty, not to mention the years lost on the sidelines while another team claims the victories.
You see this all the time, owners plunge into complete rebuilds and often struggle to emerge successfully. Or you see them go way too young and never capture the team's high. You hear that one all the time loaded rosters but never produce well. That is why and honestly it's no different here at IDP. Our goal, instead, should be to maintain sustained success and consistently contend each year. So it's important to know the age cliffs before the reload.
In the case of linebackers, history has shown us now that between 25 and 28, they will continue to maintain a high standard of play until around 31 years of age. It's crucial to be aware of when linebackers typically hit their peak performance levels, so maybe don't rely on that season's top rookie or second-year phenom and stay away from season-older veterans unless they are the elite ones. People always make practical assumptions about this in IDP, so hopefully, this article could establish a baseline to complement that.
2024 IDP Dynasty Football Top-10 Linebacker Rankings
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No. 10: Azeez Al-Shaair, Tennesee Titans
It was great seeing Azeez break out for his new team last season, Now at 27-year-old, he had a career year with 163 combined tackles, 84 solos, and 79 assists, this player is an unrestricted free agent but would love to sign back with his former team.
No. 9: T.J. Edwards, Chicago Bears
At age 27, Edwards represents yet another linebacker in his prime right now to overproduce for Dynasty managers. His 2023, is a reflection of just that with 155 tackles (7th in NFL) with career highs in sacks (2.5), stops (61), interceptions (3), and fumble recoveries (two) like so many others on this list except the same role with further outstanding production.
What did Roquan do this season that TJ Edwards (at a fraction of the cost) didn’t? pic.twitter.com/e54PFcIbiJ
— Steel Reserves (@SteelReserveBFL) January 29, 2024
No. 8: Quay Walker, Green Bay Packers
Depending on who you talk to this was (or wasn't) a successful showing for Quay Walker this year. The reason I have him ranked here is rather simple and I shall explain. So here are some neat stats to know:
In 2023, despite all obstacles Walker finished with 118 tackles (59 solos) and he just missed his career mark of 121 stops he set as a rookie, only because he missed three games. If taking into account only the games he played he would have been a top-flight linebacker.
In the first four weeks of last season, a healthy Walker had two-17 tackles during game performances. Now playing a full-time role, something he has been doing eight out of the last nine weeks, it's likely to conclude that this will be a dynasty asset to obtain for seasons to come.
No. 7: Quincy Williams, New York Jets
Williams indeed had a career year and made the All-Pro as a first-team ballot in 2023. By achieving 139 tackles, with a whopping 95 solos, this player cemented himself as a top Dynasty to own. Qunicy Williams will be back with the Jets in 2024, so there is nothing to suggest that this now 27-year-old will not repeat in this friendly system
💪 Most stops of all NFL players
🔒 2nd-best PFF coverage grade among linebackers
— New York Jets (@nyjets) January 24, 2024
No. 6: Bobby Okereke, New York Giants
Oh boy. If only people would stop to see the season Okereke had with the Giants this season and take notice. Wise fantasy managers got to see that the 27-year-old is playing at the high point of his career right now.
In 2023, with the Giants, he exceeded expectations, with 92 solos 57 assists, and four forced fumbles while putting up 56 stops with three sacks. For whatever reason, he often gets overlooked as one of the elite names in this position, as he finished 8th of the year in tackles. An example of him being overlooked? The other New York linebacker from the other team who is ranked below continues to get ranked higher, despite Okereke beating him in both solos and combines. It's simply mind-boggling to me how low he gets ranked.
— Big Blue United (@BigBlueUnited) January 29, 2024
No. 5: Fred Warner, San Francisco 49ers
Warner at the prime age of 27 years old had himself a strong year with 132 tackles (82 solos and 50 assists) But the story did not end there. He set career years for forced fumbles (4), pass deflections (11), and four interceptions resulting in 66 yards. Usually, a forgotten about top five linebackers who surprisingly produce for Dynasty managers in several different ways.
Look at Fred Warner here 🚀 pic.twitter.com/adF0x8LiIc
— Ryan G Hensley (@ryanghensley) January 30, 2024
No. 4: Nick Bolton, Kansas City Chiefs
Yeah I know but let's give Nick Bolton and mulligan for this season as a lot has gone on. Dealing with injuries, it is hard to give a fair assessment, History of 2022, has shown us that he did finish 2nd overall in tackles with 180 combined. Turning just 24 in March, the youngest player on our list, there's no reason to not suspect that he could reclaim this type of production again for many seasons to come. Savvy managers might want to take advantage and exploit this as the lowest this player will likely be.
Who's the one player that really makes this #chiefs defense go? Nick Bolton. Spags told me the only other player he's had before that makes the same impact with their play and football IQ ... Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce when he Pierce played for him with the Giants. pic.twitter.com/L3p8FACoIP
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 29, 2024
No. 3: Ernest Jones, Los Angeles Rams
This one should come as no one's surprise. At 24 years old, Jones has now broken this team's franchise record of 145 combined tackles in a season. and cemented himself as an every-down role and leader who wears the green dot.
Additionally, he finished 11th in tackles which is incredible considering he missed games and was hurt. We have yet to see this player peak in terms of player performance and would be interesting to trade for if you could do so,
Easton Gibbs is a fun player at LB.
Reads the QBs eyes and gets the red zone interception! He was a safety in high school and natural in coverage. Could be just what Rams need next to Ernest Jones. pic.twitter.com/1liejgfZnH
— Blaine Grisak 💭 (@bgrisakTST) January 29, 2024
No. 2: Foyesade Oluokun, Jacksonville Jaguars
Our 28-year-old (who turns 29 in August) takes a slight hit on this list. But who cares? Oluokun has now been the No. 1 linebacker for three consecutive seasons on two different teams. His production of 111 solos and 62 assists on 61 stops further illustrates my point and that kind of production won't just stop any time soon.
The fantasy LB #1 for three years running is Jacksonville's Foye Oluokun. Is there downside risk for his tackle total? Yep.
Let's see what the Jaguars do at CB in free agency and the draft. It could be the most important under-the-radar story in IDP this spring. pic.twitter.com/mX1S4lOGtG
— Footballguy TRIdP (@DynastyTripp) January 28, 2024
No. 1: Roquan Smith, Baltimore Ravens
After six competent seasons, it is scary to think that Smith is just 26 years old and is entering those peak years. His 2023 season produced 84 tackles, 74 assists, 47 stops, and a run grade of 71.1
With Patrick Queen potentially leaving in free agency his role will open up even further.
Watch out, NFL! Roquan Smith's on-field performance is a force to be reckoned with. Learning from the best has taken his game to new heights and we can't wait to see what he does next #RoquanSmith #NFL
— NFL Super Bowl 2024 live streams Reddit free (@nflsuperbowlwts) January 26, 2024
Devin Lloyd, Jacksonville Jaguars
It took a while for Lloyd to shed Chad Muma away for whatever reasons, but once that happened we saw him flash in the middle of last season. At age 25, it will be exciting to see him attempt to outperform his 127 tackles on 52 solos set in 2023. As he left quite a few snaps out on the field it is easy to assume an even further breakout.
Patrick Queen, Baltimore Ravens
Take into account that the Ravens continue to play with fire with him. He gets ranked lower because we do not know the landing spot from here, and will gladly rank him higher when we learn more about his situation. Historically, this player has always done well as a team as LB2, but Baltimore always attempted to try to fit him in as LB1. With Trenton Simpson waiting in the wings, this should be an interesting story heading into the off-season.
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