Kiko Alonso Dynasty Analysis

On the official Bills website today, they take a look at the race to be the starter at ILB.  As author Chris Brown mentioned, the Bills haven’t had a consistent starter at ILB since Paul Posluszny in 2010.

All indications are Kiko Alonso will start the season there after being drafted 46th overall. New coach Doug Marrone recently said, “he’s shown he has all the ability to play all three downs.” Alonso flashed that ability in his last year at Oregon when he was all over the field recording 87 total tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, four interceptions, seven passes defended, two forced fumbles and a sack.

New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will play a big, if not the biggest, role in who the starting inside linebacker is. Whether it’s Alonso or other candidates  Nigel Bradham, Arthur Moats or Bryan Scott, recent history indicates Pettine’s defenses haven’t had a consistent tackler at the position. In his four years as the New York Jets coordinator, inside linebacker David Harris had 127, 99, 86, 123 from 2009-2012. Harris is still an above average fantasy linebacker but more consistency from Pettine’s linebackers would be preferred.

Assuming Alonso starts the season as the starter, he should put up LB2/3 numbers right away as most inside linebackers do. Said Pettine, “he has come in and he is as close to NFL ready as I’ve seen a rookie linebacker step into this system.” Additionally, the Bills are in full-scale re-build mode under new general manager Doug Whaley, Marrone and raw rookie quarterback E.J. Manual. This should buy Alonso plenty of time to develop his game before the real pressure builds.

Long-term, the only potential hurdle is his few run-ins with the law. Currently, Alonso sits at 30 in our latest overall linebacker rankings. Assuming he can avoid those in the future, I’d have no problem taking Alonso as the second rookie linebacker in a dynasty draft.

Dynasty Linebacker Rankings – Top Tier

After just calculating the amalgamated linebacker rankings, it’s clear there’s a top tier of five. Luke Kuechly of Carolina is the consensus #1 no matter what rankings you’re looking at. The combination of his age (22) and the fact that he’ll be a three-down back on a pretty bad team means he should see plenty of opportunities to be right in the action for many years to come.

The next two spots are interchangeable and include San Francisco’s NaVorro Bowman and St. Louis’ James Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis is another three-down back playing the middle. He seemingly had his hands on everything – four passes defended, two interceptions and 117 solo tackles to go with 25 assists. The guy is a beast and is only ranked lower than Kuechly because of his age (26). The same could be said of Bowman who actually had more total tackles than Laurinaitis (148-142), more sacks (2.0-0.5), more passes defended (6-4). He’s also a year younger (25-26). If you put a gun to my head and told me to pick one, I’d go with Bowman.

The next two include Seattle’s Bobby Wagner, with a similar resume than Laurinaitis and Bowman but is just 23.

Next is the first outside linebacker of the group, Lavonte David. The second year linebacker from Tampa Bay is just 23 and has the potential to rack up sacks with 19 tackles for a loss in his rookie season.

Bottom line is you can’t go wrong if one of these guys is your lead LB for the next five years.