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Trenton Simpson Might Have Starting Gig Locked Up

By Matt Schauf | Updated on Wed, 19 Jun 2024, 2:34 PM EDT

Second-year LB Trenton Simpson looks like he's ready to take over the starting job vacated by Patrick Queen's free-agent departure.

What They're Saying

Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic writes: "There’s been zero talk in recent weeks of a starting weak-side linebacker competition. That’s because Simpson has looked the part. He’s stronger and more confident in what he’s seeing, and he’s playing fast."

Teammate Roquan Smith in April: "The way he’s been busting his tail all offseason ... wanting to be the best. I know his mindset, so I’m excited. He has all the potential in the world. It’s just going to be about putting that on the field week in and week out and just trusting his ability. If he does that, I think he’ll be the best second-year linebacker in the league.”

2024 Fantasy Football Impact

Baltimore drafted Simpson in Round 3 last year, with Queen heading into the final year of his contract (and expected to leave after that). 

That followed a solidly productive three-year run at Clemson. He then tested well at the Combine, including a 98th-percentile speed score for the position.

Taking over Queen's role presents clear upside. Queen ranked among the top 23 LBs in fantasy points per game in three of his four Baltimore seasons. His playing time sat at 80.3% and 75.9% his first two years, though, before eclipsing 90% the past two.

More playing time would obviously help Simpson. But he's likely to go late enough in IDP drafts that you shouldn't need to worry about the risk of lower snap shares.

Dynasty Impact

Now's the time to grab Simpson in dynasty, before he gets a chance to convert his top-shelf athleticism for the position into worthwhile fantasy production.

Don't worry about the impact of Roquan Smith's presence. He arrived halfway through 2022. That season and 2023 marked Queen's top 2 for fantasy production.

Rankings Movement

Expect Simpson to rise in our LB rankings this summer as his role gains more clarity. He'll be an attractive target as a LB4 or even later LB3.

Matt Schauf Author Image
Matt Schauf, Editor
Matt has earned two Fantasy Pros accuracy awards for IDP rankings and won thousands of dollars as a player across best ball, dynasty, and high-stakes fantasy formats. He has been creating fantasy football content for more than 20 years, with work featured by Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon, Sirius XM, and others. He's been with Draft Sharks since 2011.
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