2013 Fantasy Football IDP Dark Horse: Kiko Alonso

By Dustin Manko
Kiko Alonso
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

In IDP linebackers are usually the safest prospects. Big names like NaVarro Bowman, Patrick Willis and Elvis Dumervil dominate the stat sheets and fantasy columns. One name that seems to go unnoticed is Kiko Alonso.

Kiko Alonso is not some sort of fruity drink that your girlfriend orders at the bar, nor is it a tropical beach somewhere in the Caribbean. Alonso is the best linebacker that most fantasy football owners have never heard of. Owned in only 52 percent of Yahoo! leagues, the secret is about to be out.

Alonso plays the middle linebacker position for the Buffalo Bills. For a team that has one of the best running back tandems in the league in C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, along with rookie E.J. Manuel, Alonso might not be just the best rookie on the team, be the best player on the Bills period.

So far Alonso is second in linebacker scoring to Justin Houston. Alonso’s four interceptions are leading the linebacker group this season. He is tied for third among linebackers with four passes defended. His 51 return yards are fourth among linebackers. He also has a sack, a fumble forced and recovered to go along with 32 combined tackles this season. So far he has turned in totals of 14.3, 19.5, 13.7 and 14.1 fantasy points.

In week five, the Bills host the surprising Cleveland Browns who are allowing the third most fantasy points to linebackers. As well as Brian Hoyer has played so far, he still has three interceptions and five sacks allowed in the last two games. Since Hoyer has taken over the Browns are passing on two thirds of offensive snaps. In the passing game for the Browns, 82 percent of passing plays are short yardage pass attempts, something that sets up perfectly for a linebacker, providing the opportunity for lots of tackles as well as a few tipped balls for interceptions.

Even if the Browns can establish a running attack, Cleveland backs are averaging only 3.8 yards per attempt, meaning that the back may have been able to get past the line of scrimmage, but not past the linebacker level. Again, this bodes well for Alonso and the rest of the Bills linebackers, despite going up against one of the best offensive lines in the league.

The upcoming schedule features games against teams allowing the 11th, seventh, 13th, 18th and ninth most fantasy points to linebackers. There are two games against two of the top 10 most intercepted quarterbacks so far. While I don’t see Alosno keeping up the one interception per game pace, the schedule should help keep him in the mix for a few.

He is still a rookie, and rookies will slump, but right now he is playing at a Pro Bowl pace. Get in on Alosno before the secret gets out.

As always, I welcome your comments. If you think I’m wrong, I’m willing to listen. Just back it up with some facts and solid evidence. Thanks for reading and good luck this season.

Dustin Manko is an author at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DustinManko, ”Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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