2014 Fantasy Football: Top 5 Linebackers

Top 5 Linebackers for 2014 Fantasy Football Season

luke kuechly carolina panthers
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IDP (Individual Defensive Player) leagues continue to gain popularity with fantasy football players who are seeking a more well-rounded fantasy football experience. IDP leagues involve selecting players per position rather than the whole team defense. Linebacker is the most productive position and there are plenty to choose from. However, there are five LBs that stand out as the best and you will want one (or two) of them on your team in 2014.

5. Patrick Willis - San Francisco 49ers

patrick willis san francisco 49ers
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5. Patrick Willis - San Francisco 49ers

patrick willis san francisco 49ers
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Before 2011, he was the undeniable No. 1 fantasy linebacker. However, due to the emergence of teammate NaVorro Bowman, Willis was no longer considered to be the best LB in the NFL, nor on his own team. With that being said, the 2014 outlook for Willis is a bit more favorable due to Bowman tearing the ACL and MCL in his knee last season. Bowman will miss about half of the 2014 season and this will help Willis become a top-five LB once again.

4. Paul Posluszny - Jacksonville Jaguars

paul posluszny jacksonville jaguars
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4. Paul Posluszny - Jacksonville Jaguars

paul posluszny jacksonville jaguars
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Posluszny was already considered to be one of the NFL's top linebackers and he experienced his best season to date in 2013. He was second in the league with 161 tackles in addition to recording three sacks, eight pass deflections, two interceptions, and one forced fumble. Jacksonville's LB corps provides little competition to his tackle numbers and, barring injury, there is no reason for Posluszny not to enjoy another top-five season in 2014.

3. Vontaze Burfict - Cincinnati Bengals

vontaze burfict cincinnati bengals
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3. Vontaze Burfict - Cincinnati Bengals

vontaze burfict cincinnati bengals
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

He was considered to be an early first-round draft pick when he played for Arizona State. However, due to issues on and off the field, Burfict saw his draft stock plummet so far that he wasn't drafted in 2012. This was the wake-up call he needed.

Now, after a league-leading 171 tackles along with three sacks and seven pass deflections in 2013, Burfict is poised to continue proving his doubters wrong in 2014.

2. Lavonte David - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

lavonte david tampa bay buccaneers
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2. Lavonte David - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

lavonte david tampa bay buccaneers
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The former Nebraska Cornhusker entered the NFL with a splash in his 2012 rookie season and backed it up in 2013 with 145 tackles, seven sacks, 10 pass deflections, and five interceptions. He could improve on those numbers in 2014 due to the lack of competition from other Tampa Bay LBs and the arrival of Leslie Frazier with his Tampa-2 principles. David is extremely close to taking over the No. 1 fantasy LB spot and it might happen in 2014.

1. Luke Kuechly - Carolina Panthers

luke kuechly carolina panthers
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

1. Luke Kuechly - Carolina Panthers

luke kuechly carolina panthers
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, his 156 tackles along with seven pass deflections and four interceptions led the NFL to crown Kuechly as the Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged nearly 12 tackles per game during the second half of last season and will only get better as he gains more experience. It was very close between him and Lavonte David for the No. 1 spot, but Kuechly receives the edge since he will be entering the 2014 season as the reigning DPOY.

Roje Smith is a Fantasy Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @RoKnowsDFS, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google