I believe that to properly analyze the 2017 IDPs you need to have an idea of how they’ll ALL perform so you can benchmark and compare them effectively. So I built a model using past performance, efficiency, scheme information and coaching tendencies to predict what will happen in 2017. I’ve applied that to my best estimates for how teams will use players this year which gives a projection and ranking for all IDPs. You can read more about what I did and how here.
As everyone knows and I’ve alluded to many times, the Seahawks’ stat crew are the Masters of Assists. They throw them out like handfuls of sweets, and primarily those assists are given to the inside linebackers and strong safety. More of that later on…
It’s a top-class defense up in Seattle. The scheme has spread out across the league and far smarter people than me have written reams on it, but it’s still tough to score on the Seahawks. As we’ve seen, that doesn’t always mean that their players are viable IDPs.
Bobby Wagner, LB
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Wagner is the only place to start in Seattle. He’s one of those times when IDP scoring and NFL quality match up perfectly. He’s right up there with Luke Kuechly as the best in the league for both categories. The advantage Wagner has is the stat crew. In 2016 Wagner led the league with 82 assists. No-one else had more than 59. It’s a real advantage to an already fantastic player.
I have Wagner at #8 in my linebacker rankings but he’s about as safe as you can get in the IDP world as an every-week starter.
Key stats: 955 snaps, 84 solo tackles, 58 assists, three sacks, five passes defended, one interception.
Michael Bennett, DE
Bennett is ageing and missed time in 2016, but he’s still one of the better pass rushers in the league – especially considering his flexibility and ability to play multiple spots on different downs. I have him as #23 and clear of the rest of the excellent pass rushers in Seattle.
Key stats: 762 snaps, 25 solo tackles, 16 assists, nine sacks, three passes defended.
KJ Wright, LB
He’s Wagner’s partner in crime. Wright also gets the befit of a lot of assists and is my #41 linebacker. I see this as the absolute lower limit and I expect him to beat these numbers and be a good, reliable LB3.
Key stats: 847 snaps, 53 solo tackles, 38 assists, two sacks, five passes defended.
Richard Sherman, CB
I have him at #24 which I find strangely high. He’s not the player he was two or three years ago, but he’s still a top corner and is unlikely to be targeted that much – especially considering the uncertainty opposite him. I’d trade him away in a heartbeat.
Key stats: 994 snaps, 39 solo tackles, 13 assists, 14 passes defended, five interceptions.
Kam tends to be a bit overrated based on name value but I still have him at #13 safety. There just aren’t many safeties with his physical properties who understand the scheme as well as he does. I don’t think he’s a star but he’s a reliable starter.
Key stats: 802 snaps, 62 solo tackles, 36 assists, eight passes defended, two interceptions.
Earl Thomas, S
He’s #18 in my ranks. Hmmm. This is high as well for a dedicated free safety. We all know he’s an utter star and I expect him to come back from the injury at 100% but his usage just puts me off. Certainly he’s overvalued in IDP worlds.
Key stats: 929 snaps, 58 solo tackles, 26 assists, ten passes defended, three interceptions.
Jarran Reed, DT
I have Reed as my #23 tackle. He’s useful in bigger leagues and DT-premium but not going to be a star for you any time soon.
Key stats: 515 snaps, 21 solo tackles, 16 assists, one sack, one pass defended.
Cliff Avril, DE
In the rush to anoint a younger player on this roster as the next star, people are forgetting how good Avril is I think. I have him up at #41 in my end rankings. He’ll be a bit streaky with sack production obviously and not easy to start.
Key stats: 560 snaps, 21 solo tackles, nine assists, seven sacks, four passes defended.
Frank Clark, DE
He’s a despicable human being, but a quality player. I know everyone wants him to be amazing but I don’t see it quite happening in 2017. I think he’ll play well in spurts but still share snaps with three other very good pass rushers. I have him finishing at #49 which I’d say is excellent.
Key stats: 590 snaps, 18 solo tackles, 11 assists, six sacks, two passes defended.
Malik McDowell, DE
It looks like he’ll be classified as a DT on MFL, but I think he backs up Michael Bennett so I’m calling him an end. The rookie is my #68 end, and I’m really only including him here to illustrate that it’ll likely be a slow apprenticeship.
Key stats: 434 snaps, 15 solo tackles, 12 assists, four sacks, one pass defended.
Shaquill Griffen, CB
My machine spits out #46, but I think he’s a dark horse for being a LOT better than that. In fact, he could easily be a top 12 corner for me. He clearly has talent and likely enough to get on the field with Deshaun Shead hurt, but I could also see a season very like Vernon Hargreaves last year where he was just hung out to dry and relentlessly targeted. That would be amazing for IDP purposes.
Key stats: 680 snaps, 40 solo tackles, 16 assists, 11 passes defended, one interception.
There are some real gems here. I want either or both of the linebackers on my team first and foremost, but there are also plenty of other good options. The Seahawks are again very likely to be an excellent source of IDPs in 2017.
Those are my predictions as of right now. Obviously things will change as we get a better idea of who will play and how going towards the season. If you disagree with any assertions here feel free to leave a comment or contact me on Twitter (@TomDegenerate) and I’ll be happy to discuss.
Thanks for reading.