All through the off-season we work to give DLF readers an edge in their dynasty leagues. That’s useless unless we can prove we’re OK at actually making decent predictions. This series looks back through our final pre-season projections and sees how good or bad they were.
The overriding issue with the Cardinals was their pace. Because of the offense this team played a very high defensive snap total. That was not properly accounted for and so generally Cards players over-performed.
Corey Peters came out of projections with very strong numbers and came in very close. He was only a few stats out even though he played over 800 snaps.
Rodney Gunter was good overall but failed to hit his tackle targets which hurt his value. The rest of the linemen were inconsequential. Zach Kerr and Jonathan Bullard ended up playing more but none were viable IDPs.
Jordan Hicks played an astonishing amount this year and so finished as an elite LB. He smashed his tackle targets and in particular, trebled his predicted assists. That goes down as a poor prediction.
Haason Reddick actually finished very close though. He was only a couple out on snaps, solos and assists. This happened because he lost his starting job but that’s part of the process. His job was (partially) taken by Joe Walker. That was a left field thing to happen, so he was far better than expected.
Chandler Jones is interesting. He played a huge amount, but he was very close in solos (five up) and assists (three down). He managed 11 extra pressures (17%) but the real difference was sacks. He was expected to hit 12 and he managed 19. That partially reflects his volume (he rushed the passer more than any other player in the NFL this year) but also his high conversion rate. It’s worth noting that Terrell Suggs hit exactly his sack target even with his mid-season team change.
Rookie CB Byron Murphy had an OK season in IDP terms. He finished 15 solos up due to the volume, but he was in the right ballpark along with the other corners on the team. Please remember that the whole “rookie CBs are really good IDPs” thing is a myth.
The last player to mention is Budda Baker. Contrary to beliefs he is not a box safety. He played around half his snaps at deep safety, a third in the box and a fifth in the slot. He just had an awesome season. His 120 solos were well outside the range of sensible prediction in particular. He was a huge asset but again it was built on volume. He did not perform fantastically due to his usage.