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.
As I write this it’s Thursday evening and I’m on the train home from work for a long weekend. I should be full of happiness but I’ve got to write about the 2017 Jets and all that joy has drained away. In the end, they were a better team than we expected but it was still a tough season to watch for neutrals and Jets fans in particular. When the biggest bright spot is your rookie safeties, it’s not a great year.
The whole position here was a story of over-delivery. Steve Mclendon and Mike Pennel both managed to shatter their predicted tackles totals. I can’t think of a good way to prove it but I suspect that’s down to the team being behind a lot and their opposition running the clock down. I’ve been a bit glib about tackles here but Mclendon was actually pretty accurate. I was out by seven solos, just one assist and was bang on for sacks and (amazingly) snaps.
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Leonard Williams was one of the most disappointing defensive players in the league last season. At times he was flat out bad and even his high points were a let down from what he’s shown us previously. In terms of stats, he managed to record a huge 17 solos and six sacks fewer than expected. Those numbers were probably a bit high but even so, it was a bad year for Williams.
Bizarrely Muhammad Wilkerson put up very similar numbers. I say bizarrely because he was basically thrown off the team for his seeming total lack of caring about turning up to meetings or putting in the necessary work. It seems a matter of time until he finds new employment. From our point of view, he was a success story being just three solos, two assists and a sack away from the projected line.
The one inaccurate line for Wilkinson was batted passes. He managed four of them to go along with Kony Ealy’s scarcely believable nine. I have to put my hand up here and admit I just didn’t see those coming. I’m sure no one was basing their IDP strategy around linemen’s batted passes.
There was one hit and one miss here. Darron Lee finished incredibly close to the benchmarks being out just three solos and two assists and exactly hitting expectations for sacks, PDs, and interceptions.
However, Demario Davis surprised everyone in the IDP (and NFL) world with a huge season. He led all LBs with 1,118 snaps and 97 solos tackles. He obviously played better than expected but also managed to stay fully healthy for the whole season. That’s relatively unusual for inside linebackers in today’s NFL and as we know volume is the biggest advantage.
This is what sucked my joy away, isn’t it? The Jets were abysmal on the edge in 2017. They are a bottom-three team in terms of pass rushing in my opinion, and it seems to have been a problem for a long time.
The top option was Jordan Jenkins who finished fairly close to predictions. He managed 11 more total tackles and two fewer sacks but it was pretty close.
Backing him up was a rotation of players with Lorenzo Mauldin out. Josh Martin was fairly close in tackles to my numbers for Mauldin but only managed two sacks. However you cut it, this was a bad group in terms of production and predictions.
In terms of the top two options here (who started all season when available, it was another mixed bag. Morris Claiborne finished very close to predicted numbers and was out by just three solos, four assists and an interception. On the other hand, Buster Skrine surprised with 56 solos (14 over prediction) although he was very close in every other metric.
Finally we’ve made it to the bright spot. The Jets invested their top two picks in Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye and they didn’t disappoint as they also stayed healthy for virtually the whole season playing well over 1,000 snaps each. They also played very well and the position seems to be locked down for the next few seasons.
Both players also produced about as expected. Adams recorded seven solos, four assists and a sack more than I thought he would but also failed to make any interceptions at all. My preseason assessment of him was that his flexibility meant he wouldn’t put up huge tackle numbers. Given he played more snaps than any other safety but finished just 15th in total tackles I’d say that assessment was a good one.
Marcus Maye was bang on for solos, four assists over but recorded five fewer PDs. Given how deep he played, it was pretty impressive for him to record anything like his 78 tackles. I expect that number to drop in 2018. He’s a sell-high opportunity for me right now.
Demario Davis was a big miss here but I believe that almost no one saw the type of huge season he had coming. I’m certainly not going to beat myself up about it given the accuracy for many other players here including Steve Mclendon, Muhammad Wilkerson, Darron Lee, Morris Claibourne and both rookie safeties.
Todd Bowles is clearly a talented coach given the great work he’s done before, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this team looks once they’ve added another haul of talent with their high draft position. Hopefully they can finally find an effective pass rusher to build around.
Thanks for reading.