In IDP leagues, for those who compete in them, it can be hard to get pass-rushing linebackers too high relative to the guys who are racking up 130-plus tackles. The pass rushers generally have a bigger impact on the game, but they're recording half as many tackles (at most). But T.J. Watt is an exception.
The Pittsburgh outside linebacker, who tied Michael Strahan's NFL record with 22.5 sacks last year, is the league's best pass rusher these days. His 65 sacks over the last four seasons are 6 more than 2nd-place Aaron Donald and 14.5 more than 3rd-place Myles Garrett. But those guys, of course, are linemen. The gap is even wider when comparing him to other linebackers.
Table below shows total sacks by linebackers over the last four years. Watt has nearly twice as many sacks as any of the next five best linebackers, all clumped together in the 30-37 sack range. (Nearly double in tackles for loss and quarterback hits, too, should any leagues give points for such things.) Difficult to get those players into the top 10 or 15 linebackers in IDP leagues. A lot easier for Watt.
Search tools at pro-football-reference.com were used in compiling this table.
|LINEBACKER SACKS, 2018-2021|
Safest production to chase with linebackers in IDP leagues is tackles. But Watt is an exception, a guy who will get up among the elite options based on sacks, while averaging a modest 60 tackles per year. With the AFC North also offering up three of the most sacked quarterbacks on a per-game basis in recent years (Burrow, Watson and Jackson) that will probably continue.