2012 IDP Fantasy Football Week 3: Linebacker (LB) Rankings

Sean E. DouglasSenior Writer IIISeptember 20, 2012

Sep 9, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) runs out of the grasp of Indianapolis Colts linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

With Pat Angerer down with an injury, an unlikely undersized linebacker received an opportunity to start as one of the Colts' inside linebackers in the preseason. Since that time, Jerrell Freeman has performed like an LB1 for fantasy leagues and while we should expect him to move back to an exclusive sub-package role when Angerer returns, he’s worth having in your lineup while starting.

Playing in the Colts' defense, you know Freeman will have opportunities weekly to make plays, and big plays have been a part of his game early on with an interception, forced fumble, sack and touchdown through two weeks.

Don’t expect Freeman to post double-digit solos; he’s not that kind of player. But his six solos and seven assists from last week are encouraging numbers that suggest he can give us respectable LB3 numbers weekly.


What Did We Learn From Week 2?

- Watching the 49ers game on Sunday night, it appears Willis and Bowman were on the field throughout. Not sure why they were rotated out against the Packers and not the Lions, but perhaps it was because it was Week 1 and the coaching staff didn’t want to overwork them, possibly tiring them out by the fourth quarter.

We will have to keep an eye on the situation down the road against teams like the Falcons and Patriots, but in the coming weeks, San Francisco faces the Vikings and Jets, so expect a full workload.

- We should have a clear picture by now that Stephen Nicholas is the big winner with Curtis Lofton gone to New Orleans. Sean Weatherspoon will be a rock-solid LB2 as well, so consider both linebackers starters.


Sean’s Week 3 Watch List

- Stephen Tulloch returns to Tennessee to take on his old team. He was a little banged-up against the 49ers, but we should expect him on the field this week. Despite a poor matchup against the floundering Titans offense, we should target Tulloch as an LB3 player, as I’m sure he will want to return with a good showing.

- Brian Cushing has had some poor matchups to begin the season. Week 1 he was terrific against the Dolphins, but fell off last week in Jacksonville. Too talented to keep out of your lineup, expect Cushing to have an average day, unless he makes some big plays.

- Akeem Ayers and Will Weatherspoon are benefiting from a great IDP situation and Colin McCarthy being out of the lineup (due to a high ankle sprain). Both are worthy of consideration in your lineup, but I like Ayers as the better play right now.

- Will have to take a closer look at what is going on with D’Qwell Jackson, but big plays have made up for lackluster tackle numbers. I believe he had an arm injury coming into the season, so maybe we should tail off our lofty expectations for him if he doesn’t get the tackles going soon.

1 James Laurinaitis @ Bears
2 Daryl Washington Eagles
3 Ray Lewis Patriots
4 Sean Lee Bucs
5 Mason Foster @ Cowboys
6 Jerod Mayo @ Ravens
7 Patrick Willis @ Vikings
8 Chad Greenway 49ers
9 Derrick Johnson @ Saints
10 D’Qwell Jackson Bills
11 Jon Beason Giants
12 London Fletcher Bengals
13 D.J. Smith @ Seahawks
14 NaVorro Bowman @ Vikings
15 Donald Butler Falcons
16 Sean Weatherspoon @ Chargers
17 Curtis Lofton Chiefs
18 Von Miller Texans
19 Wesley Woodyard Texans
20 Stephen Nicholas @ Chargers
21 Karlos Dansby Jets
22 Brian Cushing @ Broncos
23 Jerrell Freeman Jaguars
24 Stephen Tulloch (I) @ Titans
25 Akeem Ayers Lions
26 DeMeco Ryans @ Cardinals
27 Clay Matthews @ Seahawks
28 Paul Posluszny @ Colts
29 Erin Henderson 49ers
30 Perry Riley Bengals
31 Lavonte David @ Cowboys
32 Nick Barnett @ Browns
33 Aldon Smith @ Vikings
34 DeMarcus Ware Bucs

Week 3 IDP Rankings – QB | RB | WR | DL | DB |