Welcome to the IDP free agency gauge, where we’ll use an assortment of available information to gauge a player’s potential fantasy football outlook. And signed or unsigned, we’ll accumulate what we’ve learned in the process to gauge how to proceed from an IDP point of view with each player. So sit back and enjoy as the NFL ramps up their free agency period, and we break down those scenarios along the way.
Corey Littleton IDP finishes over the last two seasons: 2018 LB4, 2019 LB6— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) March 17, 2020
IDP Free Agency Scenario Gauged
It’s not the ideal spot to land with the Raiders, versus what Littleton just left. And for that reason, we’ll go stable on the scenario. Here’s the thing, as the Rams middle linebacker, Littleton saw the field as the only true full-time linebacker with the Rams. And by that, I mean that the Rams scheme didn’t insert a full-time weakside linebacker next to him over the last couple of seasons. That’s about to change if Raider’s head coach sticks to the traditional way of doing things.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Littleton’s landing spot, but the Raiders also signed former Bear Nick Kwiatkoski, who on paper mirrors a lot of what Littleton has. And because of this, and head coach Gruden’s unorthodox way of doing things at times, who will be the day one MLB and WLB starters? Sure, we would think Littleton has more experience in the middle and running the defense. But which linebacker will be better for the weakside position, where coverage skills are slightly more important. I’m going to stop right here and quote PFF from their free agency bios on them both.
And We Quote
Littleton’s 2019 Overall Grade: 78.9 – Quote – “Littleton has quietly become one of the best coverage linebackers in the league, capable of running the seam with tight ends and closing quickly on running backs underneath. He has 18 pass breakups and six interceptions over the last two seasons, and he’s posted a 90.6 coverage grade that ranks third-best in the league. However, while potential suitors are going to love Littleton’s ability to affect the passing game, he has had his struggles against the run. His 50.8 run-defense grade ranks just 103rd out of 126 qualifiers over the last two years, so that could hurt his value for teams looking for an all-around three-down linebacker.”
Kwiatkoski 2019 Overall Grade: 72.6 – Quote – ” Kwiatkoski is one of the more underrated free agents in this class. All throughout his four-year career with the Bears, he’s been a rotational player who only saw starting action in the event of an injury and outside of his rookie year, has looked like a starting-caliber off-ball linebacker in the NFL when on the field. In 2017, Kwiatkoski logged 382 snaps and posted one of the 10 highest grades at his position, shining in every facet of play. He played only 112 snaps in 2018, but in 2019 was relied upon heavily due to injuries and posted one of the 15 highest grades at his position on his 512 snaps. Kwiatkoski is good in coverage and a great blitzer and going to be highly sought after when the market opens.”
The Bottom Line
If you ask me, both of these guys are going to see the same amount of playing time. And the odds are in favor that Kwiatkoski will be better served as the run-stopping linebacker and Littleton out in coverage. But, either way, here is my personal bottom line. In any combination on the field together, I don’t see either player ever seeing the top of the top tier production going forward. I think they’ll complement each other and both will be low to solid LB1 options at the end of 2020. And it could be argued, that considering Littleton’s best-case scenario he had with the Rams, we could have marked him slightly descending on the free agency gauge.
IDP Free Agency
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