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.
Well that was a disappointing season for the Broncos wasn’t it? The distinct lack of a viable quarterback destroyed the season, but defensively they were uninspiring too. The days of that dominant, title-winning defense with the impenetrable secondary feel like a long way away.
Most of the NFL world seemed super surprised by Domata Peko having a good season at the heart of this defense. I didn’t see him suddenly getting good either – but I did see the production coming. He was the clear top option coming into the season (even before he blew up) and I was close in all stat categories.
I had Billy Winn as the second option but sadly he missed the season with a serious knee injury. As a result, Shelby Harris stepped up in a big way and actually led the team in snaps. He was really impressive at times and managed an excellent five sacks and PDs each. I had him down for zero of both!
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Ugh. Another serious injury here with Jared Crick missing the whole season due to a back injury. I had him as the number two option here, which obviously didn’t pan out at all.
Derek Wolfe was also a disappointment when it came to playing time. He got hurt and missed all but two snaps after week 11. I was actually accurate on assists but everything else was short due to the injury.
Adam Gotsis and Zach Kerr do go down as good results though. I was pretty close on both of them and I thought Gotsis was very promising. The big Australian had a good season and showed he can definitely play a significant role on an NFL team.
There’s much better news for me here, as Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis stayed fit the majority of the season. I was really close with Marshall in particular. I had him down for 85 solos (he managed 74), 35 assists (31) and two sacks (three). Over that sort of volume, I’m really happy with that sort of accuracy.
Many people were surprised by how little Davis played this season. Not me. I predicted him 609 snaps so his 522 were only six snaps fewer per game. I had his solo total bang on and although he did manage 15 more assists than I thought I was close enough to call this a win.
Von Miller was another player who I took heat for over my projection. I said he’d manage ‘just’ 11 sacks which people thought was absurdly low. He managed ten in the end. Double-digit sack seasons are really rare. Managing them at all is a good achievement. I was ten solos short for Von Miller but eleven assists over. For me, that’s just a factor of stat crews, so I’m happy with the total accuracy.
I was close with Shaquil Barrett too. He was hurt a decent amount but still managed to beat my volume prediction. In the stats that count, he had just four more solos, five assists fewer and three sacks fewer than I thought.
I made a pretty big error in terms of volume of tackles across the whole position here. I predicted 160 solos tackles across the top five options. Those players combined for just 92 in reality. There’s no balancing with assists because corners simply don’t record many assists so it is what it is – a very low season all round for Broncos corner tackles. I find this very surprising given the unit as a whole were far less impressive than they have been over the last two or three seasons. Lower cornerback quality generally means more tackles, not dramatically fewer. It was reflected all across the team too. The team as a whole was 171 solos short of my projections. I.e. more than ten solo tackles for each and every game. That’s a huge number.
Let’s start with the good news: I was accurate with Darian Stewart. I was just three out on solos, assists and PDs and one under on INTs. I’m really pleased.
However, after T.J. Ward was released, we were all guessing at the other spot. I thought Will Parks would play most, whereas Justin Simmons was clearly preferred. The totals of each player weren’t far out, but the simple fact is I got the wrong guy.
It was an up-and-down team effort here. A couple of bad injuries really hurt me on the line, and the curious case of disappearing Broncos solo tackles was a problem across the whole team. Having said that, I was really good on Brandon Marshall and Todd Davis.
I’m expecting some fairly significant changes in Denver this off-season. The title-winning window seems to have closed with the secondary needing some work and the team desperate for a QB. Kirk Cousins would be a plug-and-play option under center but Aqib Talib’s age is a serious impediment to the secondary regaining its luster. Chris Harris is also on a big contract which will make it tough to maneuver. In fact, Harris, Talib, and Von Miller count $44m against the cap. It’s ironic that the core of that that title-winning defense might be a real impediment to the team being competitive this season.
Thanks for reading.
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