Lavonte David
Lavonte David
29-Year-Old LinebackerLB
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 Fantasy Outlook
As much as teammate Kwon Alexander is the superior IDP option, David remains the most feared linebacker in Tampa by real-life standards. His days of averaging 140-plus tackles per year appear gone for now due to a change in positional tasks, but David was still on a 125-tackle pace if not for a shoulder injury limiting him to 13 games last year, and no one makes plays like David does. He's an outstanding blitzer (18 career sacks), and he's a turnover machine with 10 interceptions and 17 forced fumbles in six years. There is big upside here despite his relatively quiet last two years. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a five-year, $50.25 million contract with the Buccaneers in August of 2015.
Finishes season on stellar note
LBTampa Bay Buccaneers
January 1, 2019
David totaled nine tackles (seven solo) in the Buccaneers' 34-32 loss to the Falcons on Sunday.
David was in the familiar position of pacing the team in tackles on the afternoon. It was a fitting cap on another strong season for the veteran linebacker, who finished with his best tackle tally since the 2015 campaign despite missing two games, and who also logged 3.5 sacks after being shut out in that category for the first time in his career last season. The 28-year-old remains under contract through 2020, and although he failed to log an interception for the second straight season in 2018, he still demonstrated his penchant for impact plays with a pair of fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, 11 tackles for loss and two defensed passes.
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Tampa Bay BuccaneersBuccaneers 2018 LB Snap Distribution See more data like this
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Measurables Review
How do Lavonte David's measurables compare to other linebackers?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
6' 1"
233 lbs
40-Yard Dash
4.65 sec
Shuttle Time
4.22 sec
Cone Drill
7.28 sec
Vertical Jump
36.5 in
Broad Jump
119 in
Bench Press
19 reps
Hand Length
8.75 in
Arm Length
31.75 in
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Lavonte David
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
David had one of the most puzzling seasons in recent memory last year, as the former tackle machine finished with just 87 stops after averaging more than 140 tackles per season in the four prior years. David was effective in real life --- the Buccaneers defense thrived, and he was a menace behind the line of scrimmage, posting five sacks and four forced fumbles. His usage in Tampa Bay's scheme clearly changed, and it's possible that low-upside usage continues, but David's prolonged history of extremely high tackle volume makes last year appear the more likely aberration.
Few players in the league carry the quality guarantee that David does, as he's produced at an elite level with remarkable consistency in his four NFL seasons. His lowest tackle total in that span was 139 as a rookie, peaking with 147 in 2015. Het active both as a pass rusher and in coverage, totaling 13 sacks and nine interceptions in 62 games. With 32 career passes defended, David could see his interception rate increase if the Tampa pass rush improves. The additions of DEs Robert Ayers (free agency) and Noah Spence (second-round pick) give hope on that front.
If there is a linebacker rival to Luke Kuechly, David might be the most formidable contender. He averaged 10.5 tackles per game last year, posting 147 stops despite missing two games due to a concussion and a hamstring injury. David is rangy, instinctive and aggressive, dominating against the run with top-grade abilities as a blitzer and in coverage. However, his weakside role last year in Lovie Smith's 4-3 defense contributed to a big drop in both sacks and interceptions, as he was used in fewer passing situations and played a career-low 919 snaps. Considering the Bucs were 21st in sacks last season and had seven fewer interceptions than in 2013, it wouldn't surprise if David was again used as a weapon on passing downs instead of almost exclusively as a run stopper.
David has been remarkably productive in his first two seasons, following up a 139-tackle rookie season with an enormous 2013, increasing his tackle total to 145 while adding seven sacks and five interceptions. When it comes to dominating in tackles, sacks and interceptions, David might be the best linebacker in the league. Although he seems likely to hover in the 135 to 145-tackle range and is therefore unlikely to challenge players like Vontaze Burfict and Luke Kuechly in that regard, David is one of the top-tier options when it comes to making plays in coverage and as a pass rusher. New coach Lovie Smith is among the brightest defensive coaches in the game, and it would be rather surprising if he didn't recognize David's sack and interception potential and scheme in ways to capitalize accordingly. After all, it was under Smith's watch that Brian Urlacher enjoyed some of his most successful seasons in the NFL. Urlacher posted at least five sacks in three of his first four years under Smith before injuries began to take their toll.
Like Luke Kuechly and Bobby Wagner, David emerged as one of the league's elite linebackers as a rookie last year, finishing with 139 tackles (112 solo), two sacks and an interception, and he's locked in for a three-down role again in 2013. It's likely no coincidence Tampa Bay fielded the league's top run defense when David arrived from Nebraska, as the rangy linebacker was a menace at and behind the line of scrimmage. David deserves a boost in the rankings if your league accounts for tackles for loss ("stuffs") as he finished last year with 16.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. David had 24.5 tackles for loss in his 27 games at Nebraska, so this trend won't slow anytime soon. Fellow linebackers Mason Foster and Jonathan Casillas are not threats to eat into David's snap or tackle counts either.
He barely looks like 225 pounds when he’s on the field, but David’s standout athleticism, refined technique and rare instincts have him locked into the Tampa Bay starting defense, and if his college career is any indication, good IDP production awaits. He finished his two seasons at Nebraska with 285 tackles (150 solo) in 27 games, as well as 11.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss. He’s obviously unproven as a rookie, but David is a sensible later-round investment and could be among the league tackle leaders early in his career.
More Fantasy News
Makes impact in Week 16 loss
LBTampa Bay Buccaneers
December 24, 2018
David tallied five tackles (three solo), including two for loss, in the Buccaneers' 27-20 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday.
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Tallies two sacks Sunday
LBTampa Bay Buccaneers
December 17, 2018
David recorded 12 tackles (10 solo), including two sacks, and a fumble recovery in Sunday's loss to Baltimore.
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Leads team in tackles
LBTampa Bay Buccaneers
December 9, 2018
David recorded 10 tackles (nine solo) in Sunday's 28-14 loss to the Saints.
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Excels in return
LBTampa Bay Buccaneers
December 3, 2018
David collected 12 tackles (10 solo), a sack and a pass defensed in the Buccaneers' 24-17 win over the Panthers on Sunday.
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Suiting up in Week 13
LBTampa Bay Buccaneers
December 2, 2018
David (knee) is active for Sunday's Week 13 tilt against the Panthers.
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