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.
The Bills season was a rollercoaster. They looked like they were tanking at times but managed to secure their first playoff game since the Music City Miracle. I remember watching that play in my bedroom at university. It’s been a long time.
There was a black swan move here when the team traded Marcell Dareus away mid-season. That threw everything a bit out and clearly I was way wrong on the numbers I had him down for. That feels like something that was impossible to predict so I’m okay with it.
Of the players who actually played I was fairly close on Kyle Williams (only out two solos and one sack – albeit 11 assists short) but wrong on the volume. He played 367 more snaps than I thought he would, and therefore far less efficient than I thought he’d be. That was a result of him playing much more as the one-tech than the pure three-tech role he held with Dareus on the team.
The player to pick up the slack was Adolphus Washington, who did play the three-tech spot. It’s his natural position and he made the most of it. In fact he outperformed by prediction by 11 solos, eight assists and a PD. I quite like him going into next season if he can hold down that starting role.
Jerry Hughes played 50 fewer snaps than I thought he would and that translated into eight fewer solos, six fewer assists, four fewer sacks and four fewer PDs. I was admittedly optimistic on the sacks and PDs but I’m very happy with the rest of those numbers.
Shaq Lawson also underperformed in sacks. I thought he’d manage six, but he recorded four. I was only three out on solo tackles and one out on assists so this one goes down as a hit for me.
Eddie Yarbrough and Ryan Davis were both significant factors at times. Yarbrough in particular. They both put up 12 more total tackjles than I thought they would but again I was in the right area. This was a good unit for me aside from them not putting up the sacks I was hoping for as a unit.
Preston Brown goes down as a hit for me here. I had him down for 1,053 snaps (he played 1,098), 76 solos (83) and 44 assists (61). He was less productive in sacks, interceptions and PDs than I thought but only by a couple in each stat. Early on in the off-season this was the role I thought Gerald Hodges was pegged for which is why I was high on him. For me that’s a lesson in how much you need to change expectations through the off-season.
Ramon Humber was another good projection. I was just one solo, three assists, and one sack out. He didn’t manage to record the PDs or INTs I thought he might.
Lorenzo Alexander played quite a bit more than I thought he would (254 snaps) which resulted in 21 extra solos and two extra sacks.
Down at the bottom of the depth chart I simply had Tanner Vallejo and Matt Milano the wrong way around. There was always a strong possibility one of them would get on the field and by the end of the season Milano carved out his own role as a coverage LB. I’m expecting a significant leap forward for him in 2018.
This was a pretty up and down unit. I was fairly close on four out of five players but also had some significant errors.
Let’s start with Tre’Davious White given his extraordinary rookie season. He actually led all corners in playing time with 1,092 snaps and was PFF’s top-rated rookie – at any position. I was close to his solo and assist numbers (he had six and three more than I thought) but he vastly exceeded my expectations in cover plays. I thought he’d put up six PDs and three interceptions. He managed 18 (!) and four respectively.
I was really happy with E.J. Gaines. I was six solos low and nine assists high but only one out on PDs and bang on with INTs.
There was a fundamental error in my projections here because I thought four players would see significant time on the field. In the end Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer both stayed healthy and played over a thousand snaps each.
Having said that I was fairly accurate with Hyde on tackling numbers. I was three solos high and six assists low. At the same time, Hyde was one of the better players in the league in coverage plays and I was way low on PDs and INTs.
With Poyer I was just low all round. He had a fantastic season and I didn’t see it coming. I was short by 27 total tackles, a sack, ten PDs and three interceptions.
I’m pretty happy with my performance here. I think I was accurate on most players at DE, LB, CB and S. I was way wrong on Jordan Poyer. But there was also an interesting lesson here. You’ll notice I was down on sacks as a whole. The team managed 16 fewer sacks than I thought. But the team was up 19 PDs and five INTs too.
The Bills were just bad as a team against the run (sixth most rushing yards against) and pretty good against the pass (second fewest passing yards against). If I’d had a better idea of that before the season, I’d have adjusted numbers. That’s a learning for me to be better at understanding how a defense will perform in different areas.
Thanks for reading.