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.
Last but not least, we look at Washington. They are an interesting team because they’re really high in terms of assisted tackles. Similar to the Seahawks, their players who work in the high-traffic action zones on the field tend to get an additional scoop of production across the season. This works in one very specific way here which I’ll get to later.
In real terms, it’s a team I’m a bit worried about. Regardless of whether Bruce Allen agreed Scott McCloughan was and is an excellent player evaluator, with him forced out I expect them to backslide a little bit towards some of the bad times we’ve seen in recent years.
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Zach Brown, LB
I have Brown way up at #5. He left Buffalo after a fantastic season, so normally I’d advocate selling him on name value and the perception he’ll do it again even in new surroundings; especially after he took a while to find a new job. Because so many people who play IDP aren’t obsessed enough to be reading stuff like this you can normally create great value by selling players who have done well but left their situation and replacing them with surprises.
The difference in this case lies in that he’s fallen into a lovely new situation too, so there’s really no value benefit or opportunity to capitalize. I’d advise holding if you own him, but not trying to buy unless you get a discount.
Key stats: 993 snaps, 85 solo tackles, 57 assists, three sacks, six passes defended, one interception.
Bashaud Breeland, CB
Remember I talked about a high assists/tackle opportunity score above? Corners in Washington tend to do fantastically. Over the last four seasons only three teams have been more efficient in assist/snap for corners (Cleveland, Cincinnati and Carolina). That additional production helps to boost Breeland up to my #4 corner. He’s a top piece, at least at this stage of the year.
Key stats: 730 snaps, 51 solo tackles, ten assists, 16 passes defended, two interceptions.
Josh Norman, CB
I have Norman up at #9, so as per the point above about corners in Washington they’ve got a couple of top tier IDP options. I love Norman as a player but he’s no spring chicken and he could well be fairly heavily targeted.
Key stats: 1,001 snaps, 50 solo tackles, ten assists, 15 passes defended, two interceptions.
Su’a Cravens, S
Love him or hate him, this is a lovely position to be in for Cravens. There’ll be plenty of tackle opportunities and he’s proved he can make plays in space. I think he’ll be a very pleasant surprise up at #12 safety.
Key stats: 942 snaps, 66 solo tackles, 22 assists, one sacks, eight passes defended, three interceptions.
Evander “Ziggy” Hood / Phil Taylor, DT
Move along. There’s nothing to see here.
The Washington scheme really downplays the D line and nose tackle is no different. Neither of these players is going to be fantasy-relevant in most normal leagues. For what it’s worth, I have the spot at my #55 tackle.
Key stats: 527 snaps, 16 solo tackles, 12 assists, two sacks, two passes defended.
Jonathan Allen, DE
This one hurts. I love the talent. I love the value they got. I love him as an NFL prospect. But this is a bad spot. He just has a low ceiling stats wise, which restricts him to my #35 end. You shouldn’t have picked him in your rookie draft.
Key stats: 751 snaps, 26 solo tackles, 16 assists, five sacks, three passes defended.
Matt Ioannidis, DE
I think Ioannidis will end up getting the nod as a starter, but as before it’s just a bad spot for IDP production. He’s way down at #59 for me.
Key stats: 544 snaps, 19 solo tackles, 14 assists, two sacks, two passes defended.
Mason Foster, LB
Foster is an unexciting player. He’s got fairly average talent and doesn’t make many big plays. But it’s a decent spot, the team seem to like him and of course it’s a prime spot for extra assists due to the stat crew. I’ve got him at #35.
Key stats: 696 snaps, 66 solo tackles, 40 assists, two sacks, three passes defended, one interception.
I think this is a team where some of the players are annoyingly much better NFL assets than they are IDP ones. That’s never fun and it reflects badly on our little version of the game but it’s fairly well established as something to overcome by now – you just need to plan around it.
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.
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