“Alluhring Strategy” Secondary Opinion: Week 16 — Defensive Backs to Activate and Season Wrap
Week 16!!! For most leagues, this is for “all the marbles.” Congratulations to those that are still playing with aspirations for a Championship. Thanks to all that have read this column throughout the year and I hope that you have found it to be a helpful resource. It has been an honor to have a platform to talk fantasy football each week here at Major League Fantasy Sports and to be part of this community.
It’s been another crazy season of NFL football, but that’s what keeps us watching every week. At the beginning of the season, I made my predictions on who would be the top scoring Cornerbacks and Safeties for the season. I thought it might be fun to see how they did as well as throw a few other good plays this week. As always, I will use the Major League Fantasy Sports IDP scoring model which is driven by impact plays on defense as well as the Real Deal Dynasty Sports scoring model which uses a weighted impact play and tackle scale per position.
Tramon Williams, CB (GB)
Predicted stats — 75 tackles, 5 interceptions, 18 passes defensed
Actual stats (thru 14 games) — 63 tackles, 3 interceptions, 12 passes defensed
Williams had respectable numbers this year, but hardly the pro-bowl caliber season I was predicting. My thought process was that he would have plenty of opportunity to make plays as opponents were attempting to mount a comeback in the second half of games after Green Bay takes a commanding lead with their potent offense. Tramon averages 9.44 fantasy points per game (fppg) in MLFF and 9.68 fppg in Real Deal. Seeing as my goal was for my recommendations to give you double digits every game, Williams just missed the target. However, he should be in your lineup this week as he goes up against Mike Evans or VJax and a Tampa Bay offense that averages 2.2 giveaways per game. He should get plenty of targets and Josh McCown, who is somewhat of a gunslinger, may lead to plenty of mistakes in a blowout.
Alterraun Verner, CB (TB)
Predicted stats — 70 tackles, 5 Ints, 20 PDs
Actual stats (thru 14 games) — 66 tackles, 2 Ints, 9 PDs
Verner did miss two games this season due to injury, but still should hit the tackle mark. He will come up way short on the impact plays. Despite this, he averaged 12.88 fppg in MLFF and 12 fppg in Real Deal. This was good for 3rd and 2nd respectably for all CBs that played at least 12 games this season. I’m thinking his opportunities were not as plentiful as I thought they might be due to the fact that most opponents were running out the clock in the second halves of games against Tampa. Regardless, if you got 12+ points every week from a CB, you were likely in really good shape. He should be a solid play this week for your Championship game as he will look to defend Aaron Rodgers and company who will be looking for blood after the embarrassing loss last week in Buffalo.
Harrison Smith, S (MIN)
Predicted Stats — 100 tackles, 5 ints, 10 PDs
Actual Stats (thru 14 games) — 84 tackles, 4 ints, 8 PDs
Smith should come close to hitting all three numbers if he plays the last two games this season. Add his three sacks and forced fumble, he does indeed take top spot for safeties (as I predicted) with 13.71 fppg in MLFF and 3rd in Real Deal with 14.5 fppg. He stayed healthy and regained the top spot. He has a terrific blend of text-book tackling and impact ball-hawking skills. I don’t need to tell you to play Harrison this week, as you are likely in the finals with the help of his consistent play. He has enjoyed 10 double-digit performances this season (MLFF) and there is no reason to expect anything different this week.
Johnathan Cyprien, SS (JAX)
Predicted Stats — 110 tackles, 3 Ints, 10 PDs
Actual stats (thru 14 games) — 99 tackles, 0 Ints, 2 PDs
Ouch! On the plus side, he will likely hit my tackle prediction, despite missing a game earlier in the season. Unfortunately, he evidently forgot that impact plays are still part of the job description. This was a big disappointment for fantasy owners as he only averaged 7.65 fppg in MLFF. He did far better in the tackle heavy, Real Deal format averaging 13.56 fppg. On the bright side, if there is a week that he could make some impact plays, its likely going to be this week against “Clipboard Jesus” Whitehurst. The eye test reveals the Titans are the worst team in the league. Regardless of what the actual standings say, the Jags could roll this week and put “CJ” in a position to throw the ball around, which he will…poorly. I would recommend him for your lineup this week as he should be in for a nice week around 12-15 points depending on scoring system.
Other Top Secondary Season Performances
Adam Jones, CB (CIN)
Actual Stats (thru 14 games) — 58 tackles, 2 Ints, 10 PDs,
This stat line is coming from a “washed up” player that is not even a starter. He has been truly effective as a return man in both the kick and punt returns and has turned over the field position on more than one occasion. I have seen him on the waiver wire still in shallow leagues. Get him in your starting lineup this week as he has been averaging 12.87 fppg in MLFF and 14.57 in Real Deal. The later is over 2.5 fppg better than the number two guy on the list who has played in at least 12 games. He had a string in Real Deal of 20 or more points in four of five games from Oct 6th to Nov 12th. His versitility could make a difference for you this week and he could easily break one all the way for a touchdown. He no longer seems to be a headache to coach, and he should be ready for an impact game for your finals.
Vontae Davis, CB (IND)
Actual Stats (thru 14 games) — 35 Tackles, 4 Ints, 20 PDs
This is good for 12.53 fppg in MLFF, but only 8.81 fppg in Real Deal. Why such the disparity? Davis is killing it on impact players with already twenty passes defensed on the season and a healthy four picks. He doesn’t seem to focused on stopping the receivers after the catch, but he is a Quarterback nightmare in coverage. This week he will be blanketing Dez Bryant which should provide him with plenty of opportunity to make impact plays. My guess is he fairs better than friggin’ Bradley Fletcher did last week. If Fletcher could have defended a single, solitary pass against Bryant, I would be in the MLFF4 finals this week. Anyway, I digress…Vontae is a great play this week in an exciting matchup that will be worth the price of admission. Start him with confidence and enjoy a big game in leagues that are driven by impact plays.
Charles Woodson, S (OAK)
Actual Stats (thru 14 games) — 100 tackles, 3 INTs, 7 PDs
The old man is still getting it done. He may be 38 years old, but he has 100 tackles and counting this season. Throw in his three picks and seven pass defensed and you get 11.39 fppg for MLFF and a 14.66 in Real Deal. This is a great value as you were probably able to pick him up of the waiver wire earlier this season. He has a great matchup this week as the Raiders welcome Kyle Orton and the Buffalo Bills to Oakland. I see no reason to expect anything less than the 7+ tackles that he has averaged this year. Any impact plays could put him and your fantasy team over the top.
Reshad Johnson, S (ARI)
Actual Stats (thru 14 games) — 81 tackles, 4 INTs (2 for TDs), 8 PDs
Johnson has had a nice season as the anchor to the banged up Cardinals defense. He has struggled the last two games, but in all has nine double-digit scoring games (Real Deal) and has the ability to hit the home run. He returned two of his four picks this year for a touchdown. For the season, Reshad has averaged 13.8 fppg in Real Deal and 12.26 in MLFF. Arizona welcomes their rival, Seahawks, Sunday night with the winner taking the division title. With the extra motivation, Johnson should be a great play this week as he will be swarming to wherever the play develops. Russell Wilson doesn’t throw many picks, but Johnson can rack up the tackles and represent you well in the Championship.
Rookie of the Year
EJ Gaines, CB (STL)
Actual Stats (thru 14 games) — 68 tackles, 2 INTs, 14 PDs
Forget the fact that he is a rookie, Gaines has the eighth best fppg (11.79) in MLFF for all CBs with 12 or more games played. He has a respectable 10.86 fppg in Real Deal. He should wind up between 70-80 tackles and already has 14 passes defensed. He took advantage of the playing time due to the injuries and has now fully entrenched himself in the starting lineup. You don’t see many rookies starting on IDP fantasy rosters this late in the season, but EJ is an exception and he is a solid play regardless of the IDP scoring system. He looks to at least match his season average of 10+ points.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S (GB)
Actual Stats (thru 14 games) — 90 tackles, 1 INT, 6 PDs
Solid numbers for a rookie and clearly the best performance by a rookie safety. He is averaging a terrific 12.8 fppg in the tackle heavy Real Deal scoring. His impact plays were nothing special and it kept his MLFF average down to 8.99. As mentioned earlier, Green Bay has a great matchup against Tampa this week and Dix should get enough tackles to remain productive regardless of format. That being said, if you have a more impact oriented safety, you may want to consider him over Clinton-Dix. I wouldn’t have an issue starting him either way and could see 10+ tackles this week.
Good Luck this week and thanks for a great season.
Bryan Luhrs Real Deal Dynasty Sports, Creator & Executive Commissioner MajorLeagueFantasySports.com, Fantasy Baseball and Football Writer http://www.realdealdynasty.com @realdealdynasty ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Click the Blue link below to listen live)
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