2017 IDP Linebacker Early Entry Breakouts

Spence

It’s only March and we haven’t even gotten to the NFL Draft yet but in dynasty fantasy football there is no off-season and we’re continuously looking to revamp our rosters or looking for the next breakout star BEFORE the train loads up.  I mean, there’s no better feeling when you did a pre-emptive strike and already had rostered the breakout IDP when your league mates are scouting the waivers looking for (player) and they already see him on your roster and they go “AHH! F…” yeah I’ve been on both sides before but now it’s time to remain on the “Ha, beat you to it” side.

With a lot of movement in free agency, many releases there’s a handful of guys who is either the next man up or primed for a breakout.  I’ll be taking a look at some early entry breakout candidates for you and let you know who to pick up NOW and who you can tread water on and keep on queue.  If you’ve been following me on Twitter you might’ve seen me mention these guys a bunch of times last season and there’s a good chance you already own em’ – good, good.

Vince Will

VINCE WILLIAMS (PIT)

Williams entered the league in 2013 and has since been a backup piece at ILB for the Steelers.  In the IDP world, a few of us kept him on our radars and even made some spot starts for us (when he got the starting job on games Shazier were injured) – made 11 starts in 2013 and 4 starts in 2016.  Those who’ve been patient will benefit greatly as we enter 2017; mainly because long time veteran; Lawrence Timmons, has left the Steelers in free agency to the Dolphins.  Williams is an early entry for a breakout season up ahead, slated to start next to Shazier and shouldn’t have a problem tackling Timmons role.  

In 2016 he started in week four and played 96% of the snaps while recording 15 tackles and 1 sack agains the Chiefs.  The following week he started for Shazier again and put up 9 tackles and 1 sack in 88% of the defensive snaps.  That’s just a glimpse of what’s to come with Williams new opportunity.  Williams is solid against the run, could drop back into coverage (but would prefer to let Shazier do that) and Williams can rush the QB.  Timmons is leaving behind a monstrous 125 tackles per year average and that’s a whole lot for Williams but I’m a firm believer he will complement Shazier just fine and they’ll co-exist well at ILB.  Vince is primed for a full time role therefore I have him with the upside to mirror Timmons 2013 season (126 tackles 3 sacks) BUT with a little tweaking where he’d lose a few tackles but pick up at least 5 sacks.  Should make Vince a solid LB2 option for you (top 30 at that) and the time to get him is now; before the buzz continues.  Grab him as your LB3 for depth and he’ll hit your starting lineup in no time. 

SEAN SPENCE (TEN)

After spending his first 2 seasons with the Steelers on the IR, he was finally able to see the field in 2014 and played all 16 games while starting nine of them; recording 55 tackles and 1 sack.  He followed that up in 2015 by playing in 15 games and starting in four; recording 34 tackles and then in 2016 he went and signed a one year deal with the Titans.  It was in Tennessee where he could showcase what he’s capable of, he racked up 54 tackles and 3 sacks while playing just about half of the defensive snaps.  Spence is a physical and instinctive LB where you cannot take his size (5’10) for granted because he plays with a lot of grit, he will light you up.  

Enter 2017 and he has now signed a one year deal with the Colts, he brings some much needed starter/veteran experience at ILB with the release of D’Qwell and all that’s there are second year ILB’s (Morrison and Jackson).  He will fit right in as the Colts are finally figuring it out on defense (maybe?) that they need actual talent and Spence is a helluva talent; will continue to flourish as he’ll have Sheard/Simon on the outside and Anderson up front.  I don’t see either Morrison or Jackson beating out Spence for a starting role; as Spence should have 1 of the 2 ILB jobs locked up which would then vault Spence into LB2 territory (Top 25) as his upside.  He’s probably still flying under the radar in drafts and/or is sitting on your waivers – so once your leagues waivers open, pounce! Spence is in for a career year.

BJ GOODSON (NYG)

Goodson enters the breakout list even though he just managed 13 snaps last season as he was playing behind a veteran unit.  Now that Sheppard is gone and NYG didn’t bother bringing him back; points towards that Goodson is ready to take over the MLB duties.  The Giants have brought back Keenan Robinson but he’s more of a complimentary piece and/or rotate in sub packages.  Goodson is more of a downhill thumper, he will destroy the run or anyone running up the middle.  He needs to work on his coverage skills (where Keenan comes in) but as he continues to get comfortable and control of the defense all the while improving on his coverage then becoming an every down LB is not out of the picture in 2017.  

Goodson needs to continue to gain knowledge from Casillas and Robinson, take every ounce of advice from them to continue to develop where I see Goodson becoming somewhere near what David Harris/Lawrence Timmons have become in IDP.  I’ve been mentioning to stash Goodson where you’re able too, his breakout is coming and right now he’ll return LB3 value with some serious upside into the top 30 and possibly top 25 once he gets an every down role.  The time to get him is now though before, the coaching staff praises him and before you know it the hype will be too real and Goodson will have a ridiculous price tag (maybe?) but it’s been a while since NYG had a stout MLB; Goodson can be it.  

Until he earns that every down role, I can see Goodson mirroring Brandon Spikes IDP profile.

 KAMALEI CORREA (BAL)

Been getting a lot of questions about Kamalei as Orr has retired (health first – take care Orr).  So the Ravens have to once again find another ILB to play alongside Mosley; Kamalei comes up with good reasons because Ravens like to promote within and he’s pretty much next man up.  If you look who is up for Orr’s spot besides Kamalei there are Onwuasor, Beyer and Luckett (not exactly eye popping) so I’m also expecting the Ravens to address this issue with the draft.  With that being said that’s where I say tread water with Kamalei, hot name not could be droppable as we hit training camp (pending if they draft. 

Correa does have the draft pedigree (2nd round) and we didn’t see much of anything from him last season because he battled injuries all throughout.  Thing with Kamalei is he’s versatile and that’s what the Ravens like as he could line up inside or outside; they can use his speed and pass rush ability from the inside.  

Orr did leave behind a bunch of tackles (130) but no way do I expect Kamalei to gobble up 90% of that, CJ will bounce back and I’m expecting Correa to bounce around ILB/OLB so his stats will fluctuate.  Best case scenario though; he gets the starting job at ILB and he records 75 tackles 8 sacks – so that’s pretty darn good right? If you already roster Correa then he’s worth the hold to take the wait and see approach, if he’s available on waivers he’s worth adding if you got some trash to throw away but I wouldn’t trade for him at the moment (much prefer the rookies coming in).  So again, tread water with Kamalei he’s very well a boom/bust type IDP. 

 

as always, you can reach me at my twitter if you got questions @IDPwithBEE_8o8

4 Comments

  1. Raymond

    April 5, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Would you drop Neville Hewitt for bj Goodson?

    • Bee Salamat

      April 9, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      without hesitation

  2. Raymond

    April 10, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    How about dropping Edwin Jackson forSean Spence? Do you not see Jackson craving out a significant role?

  3. Raymond

    April 10, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    Carving

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