In a previous article, I examined how a metric called Backfield Impact (BI) can help us identify DLs with the repeatable skill of getting into the opposing offense’s backfield.

To read more about BI and BI/S, READ THIS ARTICLE. To read about which DLs in 2017 are good bets to put up big plays, READ THIS ARTICLE.

That same metric can be applied to the linebacker position. There are plenty of edge rushing ‘backers who spend the majority of their snaps trying to disrupt play behind the line of scrimmage. The skill isn’t much different than a defensive end, and in today’s multiple-front defensive schemes, players such as Chandler Jones and Khalil Mack spend time both with their hand on the ground as a DE and standing up as an LB. Either way, their role is the same: get to that QB!

Of course sacks are usually not enough to be fantasy relevant every week. The ideal LB racks up high tackle numbers AND gets to the QB. But tackles are generally easier to predict, so we’re going to try and find some consistency to the big play aspect of a linebacker’s skill set.

Sacks

To get us started, let’s review the sack leaders for LBs in 2016:

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Name

Sacks

Vic Beasley, Jr.

15.5

Von Miller

13.5

Lorenzo Alexander

12.5

Markus Golden

12.5

Nick Perry

11

Chandler Jones

11

Erik Walden

11

Ryan Kerrigan

11

Brian Orakpo

10.5

Dee Ford

10

Trent Murphy

9

Derrick Morgan

9

Melvin Ingram

8

Shane Ray