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.
There’s a lot of red on this chart isn’t there? It was an underwhelming season for Washington in many ways and really there was just one player that I wanted to have on my rosters.
My central tenet for this team is “don’t own any of their linemen” because they never produce individual stats. It’s harder in general for 3-4 base teams to produce lineman numbers. Some teams manage it (Steelers, Jets, Chiefs) and some teams don’t. Washington are very much in the latter camp.
Evander “Ziggy” Hood managed a creditable 538 snaps which seem high but 3-4 other tackles played more than that. Given most leagues only start around 12 DTs, Hood would be a long way from being relevant even if he was efficient. He is not efficient. In fact, he failed to manage a single sack or PD and his tackles were slightly under prediction. He’s unownable in my eyes.
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Jonathan Allen was routinely taken way too high in rookie drafts last season on name value and draft capital. This is important to understand. He is a good player. He played well. He has good value in the NFL. But he put up very few stats in his truncated season and he’s unlikely to do much more in this scheme. If he stays fit and everything goes swimmingly he might end up recording 30 solos, 25 assists, and five sacks. Those are his ceiling. I can’t recommend selling him enough – even if you take a hit on what you paid for him.
Matt Ioannidis led all linemen in snaps and (as predicted) came in with very pedestrian numbers. His five sacks were good but you would likely have had to start him many weeks for little to no return to find those sacks. That’s not a good approach to IDP.
Here’s the one ray of sunshine on this team. The indomitable Zach Brown who leads the NFL in total tackles over the last two seasons despite no front office seemingly valuing him much.
Many people seemed surprised that Brown was so effective after he slipped through free agency without any big offers before signing a one-year deal. Not me. He finished with 84 solo tackles (one fewer than the 85 predicted here), 43 assists (14 fewer than expected), three sacks (spot on) two passes defended (four fewer) and no interceptions (I expected one).
Behind Brown was a raft of bit-part players. Mason Foster, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight and Zach Vigil all got some playing time. I’ve seen all of them valued too highly recently. It’s possible that one of them manages to seize the second spot, play all season and be efficient enough to be IDP-relevant but it seems a bad bet to me because there are so many options here. I’m using my roster spots on players with a better chance and with more potential.
When will we learn about Ryan Kerrigan? For some reason, he seems enormously underappreciated by almost everyone including me. He’s a top-five NFL player over the last five seasons in terms of total sacks and he’s consistently effective every year. I stupidly only had him down for five sacks here but he managed an eye-popping 13. He was close to all other stats and the sacks error was entirely on me.
Preston Smith was far better. He managed eight sacks against a prediction of nine and was also just a handful out against all other stats.
This whole position was A-OK but not great with a flaw for every player.
Josh Norman came in very close on solos (just four out) but managed six fewer PDs and two fewer INTs than expected. Bashaud Breeland managed a whopping 17 fewer solos but was close in every other stat (including against a very high PD prediction). Kendall Fuller played 200 more snaps than expected and commensurately beat all his targets by a little bit.
This is a good example of how high natural variance is at the cornerback position. It’s just inherently a tough one to predict. I aim for perfection with the hope of vagueness!
This is another example of bad roster evaluation over mathematical error. I thought D.J. Swearinger would be used to play deeper but in reality, he was the only fixed point and ended up having a pretty good season. If I’d had him as the top option (Su’a Cravens would have been if it wasn’t for his bizarre situation) then his numbers would have been close. As it happened, his solos, PDs, and interceptions were all quite far above what I predicted.
Also as you’d expect, Deshazor Everett failed to hit the lofty expectations I piled on him. He had injury issues but the way he was used just meant he was never likely to hit those numbers. I had them the wrong way around.
This was a pretty good team prediction in the end. The actual linemen involved were a bit up-and-down but the takeout is that none of them were IDP relevant. I had Zach Brown correctly tabbed as a top-tier LB and the corners were good. I was too low on Ryan Kerrigan and messed up the safety hierarchy but on the whole, it was a good team for me.
And more importantly, that’s the last one of these! I’ve now reviewed projections for all 32 teams. As I’ve mentioned, 2018 will be bigger and better and you’ll be able to use them to dominate your IDP leagues.
Thanks for reading.