Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt sees big things coming for linebacker Kelvin Sheppard in the middle of the Bills new 4-3 defense in 2012, according to report on the team’s website. In regards to Sheppard, who had 70 tackles for the team in 2011, Wannstedt said “I’ve got all the confidence in the world with Shep being the middle linebacker. To me he’s about what you’re looking for in a 4-3 middle linebacker.”
The Ball Says: The second year pro played middle linebacker while at LSU so he has some experience playing the position, and at 6’2″ and 248 pounds Sheppard has the physical tools to play the position, so his insertion into the starting lineup in Buffalo is intriguing from an IDP perspective.
The $64 question for Sheppard’s fantasy value will be whether or not he works his way into passing subpackages, as his playing time could determine whether the Bills third round pick in 2011 winds up a low-end IDP LB3 or has a shot at cracking the Top 25.
This question may not work itself out into the preseason given all the defensive uncertainty in the Nickel City (sort of ironic, no?), but Sheppard is at the very least a player worth keeping an eye on when OTAs begin and is worth a speculative roster stash in dynasty leagues even before then.