For simplicity's sake, when analyzing these players only projected 2012 production will be taken into account. In other words, only their redraft value is being judged.
St. Louis Rams
Current ADP: 263.61
Min Pick: 171
Max Pick: 433
Tackles: Mikell is the absolute clear winner in this category. He's had four straight seasons of 70+ solo tackles whereas Reed hasn't registered more than 50+ solo tackles since 2006 and has never amassed more than 80 total tackles in a season.
Big Plays: This is really the only reason why you would even consider drafting Ed Reed. He's one of the best big play producers in the history of the NFL with 57 career interceptions and 6 defensive touchdowns. It's foolish to put much stock in such an unpredictable statistic, however. Although Reed's had 9 INT seasons, he's also had 3 INT seasons (e.g. 2011).
Opportunity: The Ravens front seven is substantially better than the Rams and consequently Reed sees far less all-around opportunity than Mikell. Outside of James Laurinaitis, there exists no real tackle threat in front of Mikell which makes him a safe bet for 90+ total tackles and a handful of big plays again this season.
Health: Reed is a couple years old than Mikell (33 vs. 31) and has had a few significant injury issues over the past couple of seasons. Mikell, on the other hand, has been relatively injury-free throughout the course of his 10 year career.
Safeness: Mikell is one of the best high floor fantasy DB options. He offers owners a very nice mix of steady tackle production coupled with a sprinkling of big plays. Conversely, Reed is 33 years old and is one of the more inconsistent, up-and-down fantasy DBs out there.
WINNER: The clear winner in this battle in Mikell (even in big play leagues). Ed Reed continues to be taken as a Top 20 fantasy safety, although he hasn't produced like one in balanced or tackle-heavy leagues for the last several seasons. His inflated ADP can largely be attributed to novice IDP owners overvaluing him based on his big name and spectacular on-the-field plays. Don't be that guy. Reed's a DB4+ at best in most leagues and likely just a DB3 in big play leagues if you are even willing to take that risk. The smart move is to go with a solid, low-risk option like Mikell or take a chance or a big upside IDP like Jaiquawn Jarrett who you can snatch about 65 spots later.
So who do you think wins this battle? Any suggestions for future battles? Send your comments/questions via email, Twitter, or the comments section below.
Last Updated: June 5, 2012 Related Posts: