In dynasty fantasy football, there is no offseason. Owners are always looking to improve their rosters and prepare for the upcoming season. Listed below are a few linebackers who have the potential to see an increased role in 2020. All league sizes and formats are different. Meaning, these players may be available via waiver pickups or acquired via trade.
Nick Kwiatkoski – LB – Chicago Bears
With injuries striking starters, Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith, Kwiatkoski stepped up and filled the void in the middle of the Bears’ defense in 2019. Starting in a career-high eight games, Kwiatkoski had the most productive season of his four-year career, producing 76 total tackles (56 solo), eight tackles for loss, three sacks, and an interception. Showing leadership and coverage capabilities, he played particularly well down the stretch. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, he should draw plenty of interest on the open market. Chicago, could seriously look at bringing him back, with Trevathan also set to be an UFA. Wherever he lands, Kwiatkoski has shown he can be a productive IDP asset and if he’s not available on your waiver wire his price tag should be reasonable.
Ryan Connelly – LB – New York Giants
One of the early pleasant surprises for the New York Giants this year was rookie, fifth round linebacker, Ryan Connelly. Connelly took over the starting spot next to veteran, Alec Ogletree, in Week Two. Unfortunately, he suffered a season ending knee injury (torn ACL) in Week Four. Appearing in four games and making three starts, Connelly collected 20 total tackles (10 solo), two tackles for loss, one sack, and two interceptions. Ogletree, is a serious cut candidate this offseason due to his inconsistent play and expensive contract. Meaning, Connelly could be staring at a serious role in 2020 if his knee recovery goes well. Flashing promise as both a tackler and in coverage, Connelly makes for a great stash if he’s on your wire or a cheap trade target to go after.
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Germaine Pratt – LB – Cincinnati Bengals
It took a bit for the Bengals’ third round rookie to see meaningful snaps, but Pratt ended the year playing over 60% of the defensive snaps, in six of the last eight games. Pratt saw nine starts in 2019 and collected 76 total tackles (50 solo) and four tackles for loss. The rookie showed well against the run, but definitely had his struggles in coverage. A converted safety, he certainly has the skill and ability to improve his coverage game. With the team releasing veteran, Preston Brown, during the season and Nick Vigil, set to hit free agency, the Bengals’ linebacker unit could see a complete overhaul. If Pratt shows he’s ready for it this offseason, he could be in line for a big role in year two. Now is a great time to check on Pratt’s price or grab him off the wire if available.
Foyesade Oluokun – LB – Atlanta Falcons
In his rookie season in 2018, Oluokun was thrust into a big role after Deion Jones suffered a foot injury in Week One and was placed on injured reserve. Showing promise as a rookie, Oluokun ended the year second on the team with 91 total tackles (56 solo). In year two, Oluokun saw his role decline playing only 310 defensive snaps. Limiting Oluokun’s role was Jones playing all 16 games this season and De’Vondre Campbell, having a breakout year. Campbell, is set to become a free agent this offseason. If Campbell doesn’t return to Atlanta, Oluokun could be in line to fill the vacated role at linebacker. Consequently, making him a stash as we wait and see how this situation unfolds.
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