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 hated watching the Bucs defense in 2017. The pass rush was probably the limpest in the NFL, and that of course meant every other part of the defense was that much less effective too. There are still good players (both linebackers and Gerald McCoy) but far too many who really should be in limited roles. I love the team (even the uniforms) so I’d love them to improve but they need major defensive surgery in my opinion.
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
As above, McCoy was amongst the few good players in 2017 on this team and to be fair he had one of his better seasons. Maybe his starring role on Hard Knocks boosted his confidence. Whatever the reason was, he managed to outperform expectations, and his six sacks (I said three) in particular was impressive on a team like this. McCoy also managed to beat benchmark in solos by six. He was bang on for assists.
Behind McCoy, Chris Baker was a big disappointment in NFL terms but cam in really close here. He was just three solos over and one assist under, although he managed just one sack against a target of three.
I predicted 11 sacks for the top four DEs here. As a group, they managed just five. It was rough going.
Noah Spence was disappointment-in-chief. All summer, there were reports of him putting on weight and looking great. I thought he was far too lightweight to be an effective every-down end, and he was non-productive before getting injured for the season. I find it hard to see a road to success for him after just two seasons. Given he only managed 247 snaps, he finished way below all measures.
William Gholston couldn’t blame volume (he managed 447 snaps) but wasn’t great either. He did beat target for solos (by three) and assists (by five) but failed to record a single sack.
Robert Ayers actually managed two sacks and a fair few more tackles than expected. But when an end with two sacks is the good news story, there are big issues.
Let’s have a good news story, shall we? Given DE was so rough. Lavonte David had a big bounce-back season after a bad 2016 and managed 76 solos against a target of just 54. His fans argue that 2016 was just an aberration but I think it’s more to do with the ends missing a bunch of tackles as well as Kwon Alexander being hurt for a decent chunk of the season. Before we cover Kwon it’s also worth noting that Lavonte managed eight fewer assists than predicted, three fewer sacks, three fewer PDs and zero interceptions.
As mentioned above, Kwon Alexander was hurt and played just 723 snaps. That doesn’t sound too low but it’s 299 fewer than in 2016. His efficiency was similar year-on-year but the volume cost him 48 total tackles (as a comparison that 48 is more tackles than Brandon Graham, Gerald McCoy or Ndamukong Suh managed in 2017).
Kendell Beckwith stepped in for Kwon when injured and put up some big numbers. Some people even called for the team to jettison David so Beckwith can start. I think this is lunacy. Beckwith recorded a tackle on 8.59% of his snaps. David, as a comparison, managed 12.36% and Kwon managed 13.42%. Beckwith’s paltry number was just behind Barkevious Mingo and Brennan Scarlett. Reggie Nelson managed 8.67% and he’s a 34-year-old free safety.
Even with that high volume, Beckwith recorded just 13 assists – six fewer than the benchmark. Don’t believe the hype. He was not a good player.
For some reason, people still think Vernon Hargreaves is a good IDP asset. It’s true he was no better than his rookie season (i.e. terrible) in 2017 but he was also moved to the slot and had a drop in playing time before his season-ending injury. I can’t emphasize enough that with corners you should always get out when the value is high. Due to his low volume (just 501 snaps compared to an expected 1,020) he finished significantly below tackles and PD targets.
Brent Grimes was the Bucs’ best corner in 2017 and he came in quite well. He was just five solos short of prediction, four assists, and a single PD. He managed two more interceptions than expected.
Behind him, Robert McClain and Ryan Smith played much more than expected with Hargreaves out (and the team generally in disarray) but neither was a reliable IDP. They shouldn’t currently be rostered outside of 30+ team leagues.
This is a tale of what could have been. Predictions were out significantly for all four players I’m afraid. The two I liked were marginal. The two I didn’t like were impressive. There’s no getting around that.
However, if you look at the actual numbers then it’s a case of a bad stab at hierarchy rather than bad maths. I expected T.J. Ward to reach 66 solos, 15 assists, and seven PDs. He didn’t. But Chris Conte managed 61 solos, 16 assists, and eight PDs. I expected Keith Tandy to reach 51 solos, 19 assists, and four PDs. He failed. But Justin Evans managed 49 solos, 16 assists, and six PDs. The numbers were good. My understanding of who would be on the field was bad.
Incidentally, Justin Evans played very deep for the Bucs. Plenty of people loved him and he had a good season in NFL terms for a rookie. But he’s not a good IDP bet in the same way that Marcus Williams isn’t.
This was not a brilliant team for me I’m afraid due to a combination of bad play, injury and poor starter estimation.
I never like to be inaccurate but the whole season seems to be one that everyone is happy to sweep under the carpet and move on from. In the interests of group happiness, I’ll gladly do the same.
Thanks for reading.
- The IDP Dynasty Impact of the 2023 Defensive Coaching Changes - March 11, 2023
- Seven IDP Fantasy Football Stats You Need to Know from Week 13 - December 9, 2022
- Seven IDP Fantasy Football Stats You Need to Know from Week 12 - December 2, 2022