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.
I have a real soft spot for the Chiefs after they came to play in Wembley a couple of years ago. I loved the fans, I like watching Andy Reid’s offense and they’ve got some IDPs I really love. So I was pretty disappointed to see their season fizzle out in the end after a hugely promising season.
There was really only one player at the position and it was Bennie Logan. Increasingly we see 3-4 teams not use a nose tackle much because they spend so much time in a 4-man front as their nickel/dime base where the ends play inside. Logan dominated playing time here as expected and finished just three solos above the benchmark and one sack below it. He did manage an extra eight assists which was a surprise.
One of the players I really love on this team is Chris Jones. At his best, he’s a hyperactive wrecking ball – and he played that way early on. Unfortunately, he faded down the stretch and the season as a whole was a little bit of case of what could have been. Having said that, he managed seven sacks and seven batted passes. Those are excellent numbers for the role he plays. Unfortunatel, he was a little under on both solo and assisted tackles. I have high hopes for him putting it all together in 2018.
Allen Bailey also played his best football early on. When he managed a sack, five solos, and an assist in week one, the IDP world was filled with excitement. Alas, he only had 16 more solos, 16 more assists and one more sack for the rest of the season. Those totals were close to the season figures in the projections but the way they were scored was very odd.
Uh-oh. Major error ahead. Many of us were bullish on Derrick Johnson in the off-season and it translated into an expectation of 86 solos. His final total for the season was just 48. For those keeping score at home, that’s an enormous under-delivery of 38. That wasn’t caused by a lack of volume. It was simply age catching up with him and late in the season even Andy Reid agreed. Johnson averaged 65 snaps per game before the Chiefs bye game in week ten and just 44 after. It seems the writing is on the wall for a player who’s had a great career.
The other player to be a real factor was Reggie Ragland. The Chiefs acquired him just before the season and used him sparingly early on. After the bye week, he played a decent amount. Like many, I was too optimistic with his solo tackle numbers as he managed just 31. He also failed to record a single sack, PD or INT. He’s had a very disappointing career so far.
Justin Houston is another favorite player and he was number one in my preseason OLB rankings. I thought he’d underdelivered, but looking at his numbers now, they were pretty good. In my system he was expected to hit 41 solos (he managed 46), ten assists (13), 11 sacks (ten) and 4 PDs (five). He failed to record the interception I hoped for but I’d say that was an excellent result.
Behind him, Dee Ford and Tamba Hali were enormously disappointing. Both had injury issues and are hard to trust going forward. Frank Zombo wasn’t even in my numbers, which cost me all sorts of jokes about his cool name. I’ll be going deeper in 2018.
Marcus Peters was another player who disappointed this season – specifically in terms of defended passes. He’s had a pretty strange career so far for that stat. As a rookie, he made 34 coverage plays because he was really heavily targeted. People thought he was great because of the numbers but really he was getting picked on. In his second year he improved dramatically as a player and still put up 26 coverage plays. In 2017 he played better still but was avoided by QBs and posted “just” 16 coverage plays (nine PDs).
Managing over 20 PDs in each of his first two seasons was astonishing but it created a false market where he was overvalued. His final totals of 42 solos (I said 41), four assists (six) and five INTs (three) were good and close to the predictions but he’s a tale of caution for anyone investing on CBs for the long term.
After Peters, it’s worth noting that my totals for Terrance Mitchell (solos bang on, assists one out) and Kenneth Acker (solos one out, assists one out) were very good too.
Sorry to reopen old wounds, but we need to talk about Eric Berry. He was injured after playing just 70 snaps in 2017 and therefore woefully underdelivered against expectations. He’s shown he can bounce back against adversity before so here’s hoping he can be a force again in 2018.
Ron Parker was the number two player in my system and ended up very close. I said 54 solos (he managed 58), 11 assists (nine), eight PDs (four) and two interceptions (bang on).
Daniel Sorensen played a lot more than expected. We’ll never know if that was always the plan or simply a result of the Berry injury but regardless he obviously destroyed the projections. Reasons ultimately don’t matter – only accuracy.
Because of the way the Chiefs’ season ended, a lot of the players felt like a bit of a let-down at the time. But looking back, I’m pretty pleasantly surprised here. Derrick Johnson was a big error, but there were a lot of good results too including Chris Jones, Justin Houston, Bennie Logan, Terrance Mitchell and Ron Parker.
It’ll be fascinating to see the Chiefs evolve in the off-season. Derrick Johnson feels like the obvious spot to need an upgrade but the second corner is a clear need. We’ll see how the Chiefs try and fix both spots soon enough.
Thanks for reading.