Height: 6-4 Weight: 300 lbs.
Born: January 6, 1987 in Portland, OR
Drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 1st round (2nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Current Team: Detroit Lions
Defensive Scheme: 4-3
2009 Fantasy Positional Finish (My Scoring System): NA
ADP (Junkyard Jake): DL10
My Current Ranking: DL55
2010 Outlook: I was trolling through the top 142 IDPs sorted by ADP provided by Junkyard Jake (very useful) and noticed that Ndamukong Suh is currently the 10th defensive lineman being taken in fantasy drafts. Folks, this is WAY TOO high. I see this happen every year though. A once in a decade talent like Suh is drafted and novice IDP owners automatically reason that he will be a stud for them on their fantasy teams. This logic is both completely wrong and detrimental to your chances for success within your respective league.
Suh may have been one of the greatest college defensive linemen ever. And he definitely has a chance to become one of the most dominating defensive tackles in the NFL. However, as I've said many times before, great talent doesn't equate to great fantasy production on the IDP side of fantasy football. IDP fantasy success is often times more heavily determined by opportunity and role within a specific scheme.
"House of Spears" has a couple of significant disadvantages to overcome to even become a top 25 defensive lineman.
#1: He is an interior defensive lineman - Even worse, he projects as a five-technique interior lineman which means his responsibilities in this role will likely limit his fantasy potential. A 5-technique DT is placed squarely in the middle of the gap between the OT and TE. This type of DT's main role is to occupy the OT (and sometimes another offensive blocker) to allow the linebacker behind him to flow to the ball. Rushing the pusher is a secondary role with these types of linemen and therefore their sack totals are usually quite low.
To be fair, Gunther Cunningham's 4-3 system is fairly aggressive upfront and Suh will probably be playing some 3-technique. However, he's better suited for the 5-technique role and I believe the Lions drafted him with this in mind. He will most likely be occupying two or more linemen on almost every play which will be great for the players surrounding him, but bad for his overall fantasy stats.
#2: Suh is a rookie defensive linemen - According to Keeper League GM's s Fantasy Football Rookie DL Production article, only 8% of defensive lineman drafted in the 1st round of NFL drafts turn out to be starting fantasy defensive linemen (i.e. DL1 or DL2) in that year. In fact, 68% of these DLs will contribute nothing in their rookie seasons. These facts are just too overwhelming to ignore.
With all this taken into account, I currently have Suh ranked at DL55. I think this is an accurate ranking. I think Suh's talented enough to make the most of a fantasy-poor role and can be a serviceable DL4 with possible DL3 upside, at most.
Let some smuck draft Suh as his DL1 or DL2. This just means that you are one spot closer to nabbing a defensive lineman you truly covet and that can substantially help your team win the league championship.
2010 Projected Stats: 31 solo tackles, 18 assists, 4 sacks
Last Updated: July 18 , 2010