IDP Breakout Candidates: Darnell Savage

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When the Green Bay Packers selected Darnell Savage with the 21st pick in the 2019 draft, they were hoping they would get a starting caliber safety. Savage did not disappoint, let’s walk through a few reasons why he is one of the 2020 IDP breakout candidates!


Darnell Savage’s 2019 Statistics: 42 Solo, 13 Ast, 1 TFL, 2 Int, 2 FF, and 5 PD

The Packers got exactly what they were looking for when the drafted Savage in the first round. I’m not one to hype up a Green Bay player, but this guy is a must. Savage played for Maryland in college. He had a decently productive rookie season in 2019. He had a total of 55 tackles on the season. Yes, it doesn’t exactly scream huge value. It’s more important to remember he was only a rookie. He contributed in multiple other categories for Green Bay. He was finding ways to create big plays for the Packers defense. In the 14 games in which he appeared, he showed us why in 2020 he has the potential to be a IDP breakout candidate for a defense that is a growing threat in the NFC North.

Savage missed only two games of the 2019 season. He injured his ankle in October, but it was nothing severe. A safety with good size, 5’11 and almost 200lbs. He showcased his ability to make big plays. With his second year on the horizon, Green Bay will expect more from their former first round pick. He showed his speed and that he was able to stick to receivers when required. Fantasy football is an ever changing atmosphere. ADP among players is always fluctuating, especially during the off-season. His Current ADP is 309. That has him being drafted around the 25th or 26th rounds. Savage is currently locked in as a starter for the Packers and that won’t change unless an injury occurs.

The Packer’s defensive coordinator, Mike Pettine, is a fan of Savage. He is on record saying that the sky is the limit for Darnell. With much of their secondary returning this year, it should help Savage be a successful player on the backside of that defense. Savage will be turning 23 at the end of July. He is a young player who I believe will blossom into something special in Green Bay. It has been awhile since the Packers defense has had such a stud safety. Historically, they don’t have a strong track record selecting defensive backs early in the draft. Savage has the potential to be the difference for them and also an IDP breakout candidate for your IDP team. He will probably set the bar for future DB picks that the Packers make.

There aren’t many obstacles in the way of Savage becoming a highly sought after IDP producer. Since he already has the starting the job, the only potential issue is where he lines up on defense. In 2019, Savage played roughly 871 defensive snaps. 332 of those snaps were played in the slot, and another 147 at strong safety. He also had a 90/90 split between the free safety and linebacker positions. Savage is a versatile player. He can line up in multiple positions and be successful. He never turns down a challenge. This is something I love to see in the IDP players I’m looking to draft or sweep off the wire. I would not be surprised to see him surpass 900 defensive snaps in 2020.

Many of his teammates speak highly of him. Adrian Amos is one such player, he believes now that Savage has a full season under his belt, that it will help set the stage for a huge second year. It’s easier for a player to succeed when you know you can rely on the teammates you have around you. Another strong indication that Savage has the potential to be an IDP breakout candidate is the absence of a tackle hog. Blake Martinez is now a member of the New York Giants. Martinez had 155 tackles in Green Bay last season. Martinez was replaced with Christian Kirksey. Kirksey is a talented linebacker, but his injury history worries many fantasy IDP lovers.

If Kirksey can’t stay healthy, the Packers don’t have much depth behind him. That would create an opportunity for Savage to start racking up those tackle points we all love to get. The bread and butter of most IDP leagues. His consensus dynasty ranking is 398. Savage has been shattering expectations most of his football career. He always plays as though he has something to prove. He holds himself to a high standard and that is something you want as a starter in the NFL. A wise man once told me that once people stop critiquing you, that’s when you should begin to worry. He’s a student of the game and that speaks volumes to what he wants to become. Obviously, if you draft him, you want that IDP breakout candidate.


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Just a guy who enjoys his football.. I'm a huge fan of IDP leagues. In all honesty, I probably tend to focus on the defensive side more than I should. My fantasy teams tend to lack that offensive prowess lol. I have two kids but they aren't always with me, so when I'm on my own I put my time into fantasy, among other hobbies. It's a honor to be here with others doing what I enjoy.