Hi everyone and welcome to the fantasy off-season. It was a wild ride in 2017 and I’m still recovering, but there’s no real off-season in the dynasty world. In the summer I made projections for every IDP in the league I thought would be relevant. You can go back and read all of the 2017 IDP Projections here.
I was right in some places. I was wrong in some places. But either way, it’s important to be accountable and honest so I can figure out why and make adjustments in the future. I’ll be going through every team and noting where I was right and where I was wrong. To do that I’ll show what my projections were, how players actually performed, and how big the discrepancies were.
What could have been? This turned out to basically be a lost season for the Packers with Aaron Rodgers getting hurt. Has any other team been so exposed as being totally dependent on their quarterback apart from the Indianapolis Colts in recent seasons?
The season was a bad one overall but also defensively. There were probably more positives than in 2016, but it was still pretty bad and coordinator Dom Capers paid for it with his job. It was interesting that the Packers flirted with Gus Bradley, but in hiring Mike Pettine they managed to inject some energy and excitement without a drastic scheme change.
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There was a big miss for me here straight off the bat. Kenny Clark had a breakout season that I absolutely did not see coming. His 32 solos and 23 assists dwarfed my predictions and were seriously impressive. His five sacks were fantastic too. Note that my prediction for snaps between Clark and Christian Ringo was only out by a handful – but it was skewed a LOT towards Clark. The same applies to other stats too. I simply failed to predict how much Kenny Clark would take hold of this job
At the end, I was pretty happy with how close I got to Mike Daniels. He managed seven more solo tackles than I predicted but I was bang on for assists and sacks. I was similarly close with Dean Lowry – just one solo, three assists and a sack out in this case. I think those two balance out Clark.
Blake Martinez eh? Who knew? Certainly not me. I’d love to hide behind playing time but he only played 115 more snaps than I thought he would. It’s just that he was much, much more efficient than I thought he’d be when on the field. That’s totally on me, especially as his total tackle efficiency was fairly consistent. In 2016, he managed to hit 14.8% on 439 snaps. In 2017, he managed to mostly sustain that with 14.5% from 982 snaps. I take solace from the fact no one else really saw this coming either.
Behind Blake, I was actually fairly close with Jake Ryan. I was just four snaps, two solo tackles, ten assists and three PDs out. But who cares? Blake Martinez was the prize here and I missed him.
Let’s start with sacks, shall we? Nick Perry managed seven against the ten I predicted he’d manage. Clay Matthews managed nine against the five I said. I had a sneaky suspicion Matthews would have a comeback season so I’m annoyed with myself here. Tackles-wise, I was eight under against Perry and five over with Matthews. Assists? Four over with Perry and five under with Matthews. I’m sure you can see the trend. I predicted Perry to be the lead dog. In reality, it was much closer than that. Everything I’ve worked on this season tells me pass-rushers are more about being a partnership than simply working in silos alone and I’ll be adjusting going forwards.
This was a really tough unit to predict because they were pretty crippled by injury. There was very little stability all season long and players popped in and out fairly randomly. Having said that I was far too high on Davon House and Quinten Rollins. Both failed to get close to the playing time I predicted and their stats suffered accordingly.
Ultimately though, the whole position was all over the place. I’m not at all annoyed by it because it was pretty impossible to predict.
Hands up: I didn’t even include Josh Jones in my top four here – which admittedly seems pretty silly now, even if Kentrell Brice opened the season above JJ in the pecking order. In 2018, this will be fixed as I’ll be going deeper across all rosters.
His lack of presence here distorts things as he sucked so many stats away with the amount of time he played in the box. In particular, it harmed Morgan Burnett, who finished a disgusting 24 solo tackles below my prediction. Burnett was used far more in the slot with the emergence of Jones although the two did move around a lot. Burnett is also a free agent this off-season. I was optimistic he’d be retained, but with Capers leaving this now seems much more unlikely.
I was fairly close on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He plays more deep in this defense, so it’s not that surprising Jones didn’t really affect his production much. I was just four solos, seven assists, one PD and one INT away on Clinton-Dix.
Hmm. I want to say I was mostly okay here, but to be honest I did not predict the emergence of Kenny Clark, Blake Martinez or Josh Jones – arguably the Packers three biggest IDP stars. I did have some good results with Mike Daniels, Jake Ryan, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. And I was okay on the two main pass-rushers, but ultimately this goes down as a failure from me to spot some emerging stars.
I’ll be watching intently for signs coming out of the team about how Pettine adjusts things. On first glance, I’d expect some more exotic blitz packages and more orthodox use of personnel and packages on the line. As always it’ll be a ton of fun to watch the Packers.
Thanks for reading.
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