In this edition, I share my IDP and projections on Damon Harrison, Zach Brown, B.J. Goodson, Su’a Cravens. I’ll highlight the scheme, personnel and coaching adjustments I used when projecting the NFC East.
I’ll share actionable information such as buy-low players, fades, targets and generally anything which could create informational advantages for our subscribers.
My first step was to review some defensive position depth charts and compare them to my own. I like using Ourlads and Rotoworld. It’s also important to review the coaching and defensive scheme changes. I used a balanced scoring system:
- 1.5 points per solo tackle.
- 0.75 for each assist.
- 1 point for passes defended.
- 3 points per sack.
- 3 points for forced fumbles.
- 4 points for an interception.
I’ve included the pressure rate metric from Football Outsiders, as it helps to track defensive pass rush progress and incorporates hurries in addition to sacks. Also included is QB sacks allowed, which was helpful for projecting sacks.. There are many other variables I’ll review; they’ll be noted throughout each projection. I hope these projections help readers to determine their own valuations of players as they develop their draft strategies.
In the chart below, we don’t see any scheme changes and only one coaching change. Fortunately for value seekers, many IDP player values are changing in this division despite the lack of scheme changes. Due to open position battles and free agent movement, there are plenty players to target.
|TM||2016||16 HC||16 DC||2015 QB Sacks Allowed||2015 Pressure Rate||2017||17 HC||17 DC||2016 QB Sacks Allowed||2016 Pressure Rate|
|DAL||4-3||Jason Garrett||Rod Marinelli||33||24.6%||4-3||Jason Garrett||Rod Marinelli||28||23.1%|
|NYG||4-3||Ben McAdoo||Steve Spagnuolo||27||25.9%||4-3||Ben McAdoo||Steve Spagnuolo||22||29.2%|
|PHI||4-3||Doug Pederson||Jim Schwartz||37||24.9%||4-3||Doug Pederson||Jim Schwartz||33||31.6%|
|WAS||3-4||Jay Gruden||Joe Barry||27||22.6%||3-4||Jay Gruden||Greg Manusky||23||28.4%|
This division is loaded with great options at DE, with Oliver Vernon, Jason Pierre-Paul and Brandon Graham. Three highly-drafted rookies in Taco Charlton, Jonathan Allen and Derek Barnett will be interesting to watch this season, but I generally don’t like to take a rookie end in a redraft.
Damon Harrison is one of my favorite players, not just because he’s got the best nickname in football, but I like that he came the small school route and continued to grow into a dominant pro. Last year, he put up the best tackle numbers of his career, and they were so amazing that I wanted to take a deeper look at his career progression. He had a 110 snap increase and roughly maintained his tackle rate1. Considering he’s now the fifth-highest-paid defensive tackle in the league, it’s a good bet Harrison will see the same amount of snaps in 2017.
The Washington linebacker situation is a little muddy right now, with last year’s starters in Will Compton, Mason Foster and Preston Brown still on the roster, and now the team signed Zach Brown during the off-season.
Last year, in Buffalo, Zach Brown had an incredible tackle rate of 15 percent and should do well in Washington in a similar role. In my projections, I decided on Will Compton and Mason Foster splitting production at the other ILB position, but I expect to adjust these numbers a few times between now and September.
Another buying opportunity with some upside is Jaylon Smith, who is set to gain snaps this season after playing zero in 2016 as he recovered from a knee injury suffered during the bowl game in his final season at Notre Dame. Following the recent news that it will be six to nine months before he will have full regeneration of the damaged nerve, I think it’s best to stay away from Smith in redraft. In dynasty, his value is higher than it was last season, but not much. This might be a good time to acquire Smith if the price is right.
TARGET BJ GOODSON, NYG
Last summer I liked B.J. Goodson’s landing spot and NFL Combine resume enough to write that he was a candidate to be the next Kwon Alexander. Now B.J. Goodson is poised to take over as the starting middle linebacker for the Giants after reports during OTAs had him calling the plays and lining the defense up from the MIKE position. Goodson has a chance to be a force in IDP leagues, and an LB2 season is a possibility with starter snaps. Goodson will come cheap, as he can likely be targeted late in drafts.
Due to being the strong safety and only playing 295 snaps last season, Su’a Cravens has the most breakout potential at defensive back here in the NFC East. In a very small sample, he sported a strong 11.2 percentage tackle rate last season. Cravens should be on everyone’s breakout target list for 2017.
Jeff Heath is projected to replace the departed Barry Church and start at strong safety for Dallas this season. But that starting spot is not assured, and there is competition afoot with Kavon Frazier. Due to the past production at this position in Dallas, whomever wins the starting job will be valuable in IDP leagues this season. This competition is worth keeping an eye on this summer.
- percent of total tackles to snaps (back)