In this article, I recommend three players at the DL and DB positions and four players at the LB position who I believe will be overvalued heading into the 2016 fantasy season.
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I will periodically update these throughout the off-season to reflect changes in free agency, defensive schemes, playing time, draft selections, etc. However, keep in mind that the information listed here is just a small sample of a much larger set of rankings and descriptions that are accessible through purchasing my 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Guide.
Solo Tackle = 1 point
Assist = 0.5 point
Sack = 3 points
Interception = 4 points
Forced Fumble = 2 points
Fumble Recovery = 2 points
Pass Deflection = 1 point
Defensive TD = 6 points
DT Kawaan Short (CAR) - After two years of decent play, Short exploded onto the IDP scene in his third year with 11 sacks from his interior lineman position. Now that teams are aware of his skill, I expect more double teams to come his way which will likely bring his numbers down. He should still be good for decent tackle numbers and seven to nine sacks, but isn't likely to live up to his current average draft position as the eight defensive lineman taken in fantasy drafts.
DE Jacquies Smith (TB) - Smith was a popular breakout candidate in 2015 and registered a respectable 6.5 sacks in just under 550 snaps. However, his tackle numbers kept his overall fantasy production relatively low. And with even more competition for playing time up front this year, he's unlikely to see a year over year increase in snaps. He may be worth an occasional matchup start as a DL3 in sack-heavy scoring formats, but otherwise likely won't bring a ton of value to the table.
DE Chris Baker (WAS) - Baker was far and away Washington's best defensive lineman in 2016. With 54 total tackles, 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries he finished as a top 30 DL in most scoring systems. This production was a welcome surprise for many as Baker originally went undrafted out of Hampton and hadn't produced more than one sack in a season prior to last year. The team is quite thin along the interior of their defensive line, so Baker will likely be forced to play more snaps at nose tackle which won't be good for his fantasy production. This said, there's a good chance he turns back into a pumpkin, so he's best viewed as a high floor/low ceiling DL4-.
MLB Paul Posluszny (JAX) - Posluszny has been a tackling machine throughout his time in the NFL, topping 100 solo tackles four times in his career. The emergence of Telvin Smith and arrival of rookie Myles Jack definitely muddies his value moving forward, however. Although I expect him to remain an every down linebacker for a good portion of the year, I think we will see more week-to-week variance out of the veteran with Telvin Smith assuming the top fantasy role in Jacksonville. His instincts for getting to the ballcarrier may help keep Posluszny planted in the LB2 tier but that's his ceiling for 2016.
SLB Stephone Anthony (NO) - Anthony is likely to be one of the more overvalued linebackers in 2016. He had a strong rookie campaign and has the talent to be a solid LB2 in fantasy. However, the Saints decided to move him to the strongside this season and he hasn't been playing in subpackages during the preseason. Those are two obstacles that really dampen his overall value. Let someone else take the risk here.
ILB Brian Cushing (HOU) - Cushing's star has fallen dramatically over the last couple seasons as injuries have really taken a toll on his body. For a player that relied heavily on his athleticism, that's a big problem. If Bernardrick McKinney captures a full time role, Cushing's ranking could plummet even further. He's not a player I would go out of my way to grab.
SLB Myles Jack (JAX) - Jack was one of the most accomplished linebackers coming into the 2016 draft and may have been a top five selection if not for a degenerative knee condition that may eventually require micro fracture surgery. Although he projects as an elite fantasy linebacker, we're not likely to see his true potential until 2017 as Jacksonville already has two established, every down linebackers in Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith. He'll begin 2016 as a base-only strong side linebacker which severely kills his 2016 value. Although he could push himself into Paul Posluszny's role later in the year with a strong early season showing, he's not worth the risk in redraft leagues. He should be drafted as a LB4/LB5 in that format.
SS Jonathan Cyprien (JAX) - I have my concerns with Jonathan Cyprien - he's never been much of a big play producer and although his tackle numbers were still strong a year ago, I believe he will see much less tackle opportunity with an improved Jacksonville front seven that adds Malik Jackson and Myles Jack to the mix. Additionally, there have been rumblings that the Jags want to move Cyprien to linebacker or demote him to a part-time role. I'd be cautious in drafting him this year.
SS Michael Griffin (MIN) - Griffin has become somewhat of a household name within the IDP community over the last decade. During that time, he's averaged 85 total tackles and close to three interceptions per season, eclipsing over 100 total tackles three times. He's a player that relies on volume of opportunity to generate fantasy points however, so the transition to a Minnesota defense that tends to get off the field quickly may hinder his production in 2016. That said, he's best looked at as a DB3/DB3- this year versus his historical average of a DB2.
CB Marcus Peters (KC) - Peters played extremely well in his rookie season garnering a league high 8 interceptions and winning Defensive Rookie of the Year. With Sean Smith leaving in free agency, he will move into the #1 corner slot for Kansas City. As teams begin avoiding Peters, there's an expectation that his turnover total will drop. He's enough of a ball-hawk to have a ceiling of 5 or so interceptions but it's not reasonable to expect similar production to a year ago.
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Last Updated: August 25, 2016 Related Posts: