IDP

IDP Projections: NFC West

This edition includes IDP projections for Haasan Reddick, DeForest Buckner, Kam Chancellor and many others at the positions of defensive tackle, defensive end, linebacker, cornerback, and safety.

I’m highlighting some of the scheme, personnel and coaching adjustments or other useful information I used when projecting the NFC West. I’ll share actionable information such as buy-low players, fades, targets and anything which could create an advantage for our subscribers during their drafts.

MY PROCESS

My first step was to review some publicly available defensive position depth charts and compare to my own. I like using Ourlads and Rotoworld. Also, it’s important to evaluate coaching and defensive scheme changes. I used a balanced scoring system that awards 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, and 4 points for an interception. I’ve included the pressure rate metric from Football Outsiders as it helps 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 that I review and I’ll note those throughout each projection notebook. I hope these projections help readers to determine their valuations of players as they develop their draft strategies.

The Rams and 49ers are both going through a scheme change which must be analyzed. We have a good idea what we’ll get from a Wade Phillips defense, but Robert Saleh is not as well known.

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
ARZ 3-4 Bruce Arians James Bettcher 27 29.3% 3-4 Bruce Arians James Bettcher 41 32.1%
LAR 4-3 Jeff Fisher Gregg Williams 18 28.3% 3-4 Sean McVay Wade Phillips 49 28.4%
SEA 4-3 Pete Carroll Kris Richard 46 29.3% 4-3 Pete Carroll Kris Richard 42 28.6%
SF 3-4 Chip Kelly Jim O’Neil 53 25.7% 4-3 Kyle Shanahan Robert Saleh 47 22.6%

DEFENSIVE LINE

NAME TM POS AGE SOLO AST SK PD INT FF Tot
DeForest Buckner SF DE 23 40 24 8 0 0 1 106
Michael Bennett SEA DE 31 32 18 9 0 0 2 97
Cliff Avril SEA DE 31 25 19 10 0 0 3 94
Frank Clark SEA DE 24 24 18 10 0 0 1 84
Aaron Donald LAR DE 26 40 8 4 0 0 0 78
Arik Armstead SF DE 23 24 16 6 0 0 0 66
Solomon Thomas SF DT 21 25 8 5 0 0 0 59
Corey Peters ARI DT 29 15 10 8 1 0 0 55
Elvis Dumervil SF DE 33 22 4 5 0 0 1 55
Dominique Easley LAR DE 25 25 7 2 0 0 1 53
Ahtyba Rubin SEA DT 30 23 13 1 0 0 1 51
Josh Mauro ARI DE 26 26 10 0 0 0 0 47
Michael Brockers LAR DT 26 21 10 1 0 0 0 42
Jarron Reed SEA DT 24 14 20 2 0 0 0 42
Rodney Gunter ARI DE 25 22 6 1 0 0 0 41
Earl Mitchell SF DT 29 18 9 0 0 0 0 34

SOME THOUGHTS

Frank Clark broke out last season with 10 sacks at the defensive end position but given that both Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril are still there I have a hard time projecting much statistical growth for him.

Since the other three teams run a 3-4 now, the best defensive line IDP opportunities in this division are in San Francisco. Aaron Donald will lose almost all his value as he was a force at defensive tackle. He should be a serviceable defensive end in larger leagues but as you can see his projection is pedestrian now.

The new Aaron Donald in the NFC West could be Solomon Thomas. He has the potential to be special, and we’ll get to see if that can come about as he’s projected to start right away at defensive tackle. It’s not hard to be bullish about the 49ers defensive line. If Arik Armstead is healthy, they could score respectable IDP numbers and be fun to watch.

After logging more than 1000 snaps at defensive end last season DeForest Buckner recorded a monstrous 73 total tackles while playing end in a 3-4 defense. This season his team shifts him to a potentially higher scoring position as a DE in the 4-3 scheme. Buckner should see increased opportunities to get to the QB, but it will be hard to improve on last year’s tackle numbers.

LINEBACKERS

NAME TM POS AGE SOLO AST SK PD INT FF Tot
Bobby Wagner SEA LB 27 84 62 4 4 0 0 189
Alec Ogletree LAR LB 25 90 28 1 8 0 1 171
Malcolm Smith SF LB 28 85 25 0 3 0 0 149
Mark Barron LAR LB 27 80 21 1 5 0 1 148
KJ Wright SEA LB 27 72 42 0 4 0 1 148
Deone Bucannon ARI LB 24 80 19 1 0 0 0 137
Reuben Foster SF LB 23 75 18 0 2 0 0 128
Chandler Jones ARI LB 26 40 11 12 2 0 3 118
Karlos Dansby ARI LB 35 60 20 1 2 0 0 110
Markus Golden ARI LB 26 36 10 12 1 0 2 107
Robert Quinn LAR LB 27 36 6 12 0 0 3 107
Connor Barwin LAR LB 30 34 5 10 0 0 1 89
Ahmad Brooks SF LB 33 35 15 4 3 0 0 79
Haason Reddick ARI LB 22 28 8 5 3 0 0 66
Kevin Pierre-Louis SEA LB 25 26 14 2 1 0 0 57

SOME THOUGHTS

We witnessed Bobby Wagner’s peak season last year, and it was beautiful. I’m projecting a little regression but not much. He’s my second highest projected LB next to Luke Kuechly.

It’s going to be odd having Navarro Bowman as depth behind Malcolm Smith, but that’s what’s set to happen. As reported during and following OTAs Bowman was at risk of being cut. I’m going to follow the Malcolm Smith money and then first round draft pick Reuben Foster to make my projections, and for now, I’ll delete Navarro Bowman.

I realize Pro Football Focus hates Malcolm Smith, but I like linebackers that have delivered back to back 100 plus tackle seasons and recently signed a big contract. Smith is one I don’t mind taking as my LB2 in redrafts, but I avoid him in dynasty.

Markus Golden delivered some incredible numbers last season in Arizona and should maintain that progress with more snaps coming his way. He was second in the league in QB Hits with 24 and led the league in tackles for loss with 17 so if your league has those categories be sure to plug those numbers in your projections.

FADE HAASAN REDDICK and TARGET DEONE BUCANNON

The Arizona Cardinals are quite a challenge to project because we don’t know if Haasan Reddick or Deone Bucannon will start at ILB opposite of Karlos Dansby in the opener and beyond. To me, the play here is fade Reddick and go with Bucannon for value. Bucannon is going nowhere. He’s a favorite player of the staff and team because of his one of a kind size at the LB position. He’s going to get his job back over a rookie who’s completely new to that position. And he should come with an injury discount.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

NAME TM POS AGE SOLO AST SK PD INT FF Tot
Kam Chancellor SEA S 29 65 42 0 10 2 1 151
Antoine Bethea ARI S 32 85 15 0 3 1 0 146
Eric Reid SF S 25 70 21 0 8 1 1 137
Maurice Alexander LAR S 26 65 12 0 3 0 0 110
Trumaine Johnson LAR CB 27 53 10 0 12 2 0 107
Earl Thomas SEA S 28 45 20 0 10 3 0 105
Tyrann Mathieu ARI S 25 53 5 0 7 2 0 98
Richard Sherman SEA CB 29 35 18 0 14 4 0 96
Rashard Robinson SF CB 22 45 10 0 15 1 0 94
EJ Gaines LAR CB 25 50 7 0 9 1 0 93
Jimmie Ward SF S 26 48 12 0 8 0 0 89
Patrick Peterson ARI CB 27 44 6 0 6 3 89
Lamarcus Joyner LAR S 26 40 14 0 5 1 0 80
Jeremy Lane SEA CB 26 32 18 0 9 1 0 75
Justin Bethel ARI CB 27 38 3 0 7 1 0 70
Deshaun Shead SEA CB 29 25 17 0 5 1 0 59
Dontae Johnson SF CB 25 32 5 0 7 0 0 59
Shaq Griffin SEA CB 23 18 10 0 4 0 0 39

SOME THOUGHTS

Of the safeties in this division, none have the ceiling of Kam Chancellor. He’s not had good health for the last two seasons, and his value has been depressed, but consider his numbers from right before that. At 29 years of age Chancellor is worth targeting. Consider what a healthy Kam Chancellor season looks like.

 Year Tkl Ast Tot Tkl Snaps
2013 80 54 134 1006
2014 80 24 104 833
2015 42 40 82 636
2016 47 34 81 732

Budda Baker is backing up the often injured Tyrann Mathieu and 32-year old Antoine Bethea. Given Arizona’s proclivity to find ways to get third safeties on the field, Baker should have an impact and have opportunities in either safety role at times during his rookie year.

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By Eric Braun | @FFPlanetX | Archive

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