One Green Bay Defensive Back isn’t Elite
I noticed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix currently has an ADP a few notches higher than Morgan Burnett, so I decided to project each for 2016. Recency bias is a key factor in any fantasy format and in season long leagues it must be dealt with. I analyzed Burnett and Clinton-Dix’s statistical dynamics in Green Bay and believe this information could help to save fantasy players from drafting the wrong guy relative to their current ADP.
RECENCY BIAS TRAP
Injury discounts are typically plentiful on the offensive side of the ball and I believe they’re potentially more lucrative in IDP. The reason is that offense-only analysis is thoroughly run through the fantasy blender starting when the first MFL10 opens. I believe that assists in highlighting any bias errors we are making and eventually gets reflected in ADP. We don’t have that level of analysis in IDP so there’s less ability in the offseason to tease out the biases that create value in the market. At his current ADP Burnett appears to offer a mild injury discount due to this recency bias.
Morgan Burnett looks a lot like 2015 Reshad Jones in terms of simple signs being there for a move to elite status among safeties (back to elite status in Burnett’s case). It’s actually a little juicier for us looking at Burnett in that he has Ha Ha Clinton-Dix somewhat overshadowing and shielding his ADP from moving up too high. Across the fantasy universe its a safe bet that Clinton-Dix will be drafted higher than Burnett this fantasy season. Clinton-Dix is currently the third safety off the board in My Fantasy League drafts, while Burnett has an ADP outside the top 10.1 FantasyPros experts rank Clinton-Dix as their sixth overall safety while ranking Burnett eighth. In a competitive large field redraft league I participate in where every safety in the league is drafted, Clinton-Dix went off the board before Burnett.
A DEEPER LOOK AT CLINTON-DIX’S PRODUCTION DOWN THE STRETCH
Clinton-Dix’s primary scoring bump came due to the tackle opportunity created early in the season when Burnett was injured. However, Burnett appeared to return to his old reliable DB1 self down the stretch and what happened to Clinton-Dix during those weeks is worth noting.2
Burnett is a safety that will do more than just put up good season-long points; he had three S1 weeks in the fantasy season. That’s as many as Landon Collins had all season. Burnett led all safeties with nine S1 weeks in 2014 with the closest to him having only six.3 Burnett is a top buy in best ball formats right now for this reason.
As you can see I give 10 more solos to Burnett as that projection is consistent with his history and the end of last season. Burnett projects as the fourth highest scoring defensive back. Clinton-Dix’s projection has him much closer to a larger number of defensive backs thus making him more replaceable.
COULD I BE WRONG?
Maybe, but I think the Clinton-Dix side of this argument is much weaker. The best case for Clinton-Dix is obviously the small sample at the beginning of last year as well as having the potential to improve those tackle numbers next season as he acclimates to the NFL. My assertion that Burnett has the best ability to perform as an elite DB rather than Clinton-Dix is heavily founded in his past track record as well as the evidence we can witness in weeks 15-19 last year. The two playoff games really helped to demonstrate the difference in solo tackle volume so that we have a better sample to view.
This information caused me to bump Burnett above Clinton-Dix in my projections and I’ve adjusted Clinton-Dix downward to where a free safety might traditionally be located in fantasy scoring which is in the DB2 area. Keep in mind it doesn’t take much to move from the end of DB1 to DB2 as its only a matter of less than 20 total points. Burnett is only ranked or carrying an ADP a few spots behind Clinton-Dix in terms of DB rankings but those four picks could mean the difference of a few more rounds in actual draft picks.
I may be the only one projecting Clinton-Dix closer to guys like Barry Church and Mike Adams but all the evidence points to him needing a Burnett injury to produce DB1 numbers. I would avoid drafting Clinton-Dix anywhere near his current ADP.