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In fantasy football, there are some new trends that I enjoy writing about: dynasty leagues, and individual defensive player leagues.  This weekly column will combine two of those by discussing two young IDPs.  I will give my scouting thoughts lamuron how they played a particular week.  Today I will be discussing two young linebackers Christian Kirksey and Emmanuel Lamur.

LB-Christian Kirksey, CLE– The rookie linebacker is very athletic which you can see as he quickly flies to the ball on most passing plays.  The Browns use him very differently than they do fellow backer Craig Robertson, whom he usually replaces.  Kirksey sometimes plays bracket coverage on wide receivers with a safety or simply splits out wide against slot receivers or tight ends.  He occasionally rushes the passer from the outside and got good pressure that resulted in Andy Dalton stepping up right into a defensive lineman’s grasp for a sack.

Cleveland uses him as more of a hybrid strong safety than they do as a linebacker.  He identifies the play quickly, but struggles to shed blockers on the way to the ball carrier.  This makes him more of a liability against the run and may keep him off the field in a three down role.  Kirksey matches up well against running backs and is quite effective breaking up passes meant for them.  He struggles a little more against more athletic tight ends and receivers, but can at least slow them down enough for help to arrive.  I’m not sure if Kirksey will ever be an every down player. But as long as he keeps playing passing downs and special teams, the young backer should be kept in leagues with three or four linebacker weekly starters.

LB-Emmanuel Lamur, CIN- This third year player spent his first two seasons injured and has come back to be the healthiest Bengals linebacker this season.  Lamur usually plays as the strong side shadowing the tight end.  The backer has good vision and quickness that he uses to get into position to make the play. He drops back into coverage quickly and despite not always being the first to the ball, he is always there to clean up any tackling opportunity.  Lamur is always chasing ball carriers down the field, never giving up on the play.  The backer is not the most physical player as he tends to get sealed off by offensive tackles on several running plays.  He is a strong wrap up tackler though.

Lamur is most effective playing in the middle whether it is rushing the passer or playing the run. He creates pressure with a slight swim move and a dip to get around the pass protection.  It seemed like he felt the pressure against the Browns as he got forced to take some bad angles to try to strip the ball to change to momentum of the game.  The third year linebacker is a solid LB3 who could grow into a LB2 once their entire defense starts playing better.

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