Second part of a two story article, where Jon Somerset (@OrangeMan3142) goes through 2018 NFL teams and tries to predict bad offenses and how they will affect their defenses time on the field.
In part 1 of this article we looked at how the teams in the bottom 10 in points per game offensively in 2017 produced more combined tackles at LB1 and DB1 than the teams in the top 10 offensively and why that was so. The bottom line is bad offense means you spend more time on defense, and more time on defense means your IDP players get more defensive snaps and opportunity to make plays and score IDP points.
In part 2 we’re going to look forward to the 2018 season and try and see if we can nail down some of the teams we think will be terrible on offense and as a result give their defensive players more snaps than most other players. This production by default, just being in the right spot at the right time, is a staple of teams with bad offense.
Let’s just look ahead to 2018 and predict who’s going to be pretty bad on offense:
Buffalo Bills: The Bills will start either rookie Josh Allen, sub-par AJ McCarron, or god awful Nathan Peterman, and especially if LeSean McCoy is not around, they lack talent at their offensive skill positions. For my money I’m taking MLB Tremaine Edumnds, WLB Matt Milano, S Jordan Poyer, S Micah Hyde, CB Tra’Davious White and DE Jerry Hughes. The Bills offense will be all-time shitty this season and those are the IDP players I think will benefit from it.
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals will start either often injured and always underwhelming Sam Bradford or rookie Josh Rosen, and while they have talent at RB and WR with David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald their starting quarterback play will hold them back offensively. For me I’m taking MLB Josh Bynes (or whoever wins the MLB job), WLB Deone Buchanon, SS Budda Baker and DE Chandler Jones.
Baltimore Ravens: While the Ravens finished 9th in points per game in 2017 they finished 27th in yards per game and 16th in first downs. They scored eight touchdowns from either special teams or defense last year and added 34 field goals and 39 extra points. My point is anyone who watched them play last year wouldn’t believe they were 9th in the league in offense based on points per game. They used smoke and mirrors, and unless Lamar Jackson wins the starting job and does his best DeShaun Watson impression, I think their offense returns to mediocrity where it has been for a long long time. I’m drafting MLB CJ Mosley, SS Tony Jefferson, WLB Patrick Onwuasor and FS Eric Weddle.
Chicago Bears: Don’t get me wrong here I love what the Bears did in the offseason acquiring Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson at WR. Add this to their already impressive backfield of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen and they have plenty of talent at the skill positions. However second year QB Mitch Trubisky doesn’t make that leap to a truly good starting QB this year as far as I see it. I’m taking ILB Roquan Smith, ILB Danny Trevethan, DE Akiem Hicks, CB Kyle Fuller and S Eddie Jackson (Jackson as a backup safety or bye week guy).
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have been in the bottom of the league in offensive production a lot recently and I don’t think they did much to change that in the offseason. I am drafting DE Carlos Dunlap, DT Geno Atkins, WLB Vontaze Burfict, CB Darqueze Dennard and MLB Preston Brown (Brown probably won’t be on the board as late as I would take him, which is really really late).
Cleveland Browns: The Browns added Carlos Hyde, Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor and Nick Chubb in the offseason so their offense will improve leaps and bounds over last years campaign. However I still only see them as a middle of the pack offense so there should be plenty of IDP production to be had. I’m taking WLB Christian Kirksey, DE Myles Garrett, S Jabril Peppers. I’m avoiding Joe Schobert until I know how much of his job Mychal Kendricks is going to take. Kirksey is the guy that isn’t effected by the reduced overall defensive snap count or the addition of Kendricks.
Denver Broncos: The Broncos added Case Keenum and Royce Freeman in the offseason but I’m seeing their offense as close to what it was last year, back of the the pack. I’m drafting: ILB Brandon Marhsall, SS Justin Simmons, OLB Von Miller, DE Bradley Chubb
Indianapolis Colts: Unless Andrew Luck comes back, and frankly I won’t believe it until I see it and he’s not just a shell of his past self, this team will be led by Jacoby Brissett or someone equally inept. Marlon Mack doesn’t wow me and TY Hilton can’t carry an entire team offensively. I’m taking MLB Antonio Morrison (or whoever wins the MLB job), WLB Anthony Walker (or whoever wins the WLB job), SS Matthias Farley and DE Jabaal Sheard
Miami Dolphins: With Tannehill returning, the smoking Jay Cutler show is over once more. Ryan Tannehill never wowed me and he won’t this year. Even with the emergence of Kenyan Drake this offense still lacks talent at most of the other skill positions. They will struggle on offense and these guys will take advantage of it. I would draft SS Reshad Jones, WLB Kiko Alonso, MLB Raekwon McMillan, DE Cameron Wake and DE Robert Quinn.
New York Giants: While the Giants did add Saquon Barkley and some offensive line help and will most likely not lose all their starting WRs to season ending injuries like last season I still have some concerns about their 2018 offense. They’ve been in the bottom 10 of the league in offense several times over the last few years. Even with a better 2018 offensive campaign I still see plenty of production for these guys. I would draft SS Landon Collins, ILB Alec Ogletree, DT Damon Harrison, DE Olivier Vernon and FS Darian Thompson as a bye week guy.
New York Jets: The Jets will start either Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater or rookie Sam Darnold at QB this season. None of those options are real heart warming. This defense should see plenty of time on the field in 2018 and these are the guys I’m interested in. I would take ILB Avery Williamson, ILB Daron Lee and SS Jamal Adams. FS Marcus Maye had good enough numbers to be an injury replacement or bye week guy last year and I see much the same coming this season.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers will get their first full season with Jimmy G at the helm and many in the NFL Twitter community are crowning Jerrick McKinnon the next best thing to sliced bread for 2018. They still lack depth and talent at the other offensive skill positions. I’m not convinced McKinnon and Jimmy G make them a great offense I see them more as middle of the pack. I would draft MLB Ruben Foster (also draft whoever backs him up on the depth chart since Foster will likely miss some time due to an NFL investigation into his conduct), SS Jaquiski Tartt and DT DeForest Buckner.
Washington Redskins: For me at least, going from Kirk Cousins to Alex Smith is a downgrade, and even when Cousins was at the helm there weren’t a lot of talented players at the offensive skill positions. Drafting Derrius Guice will almost certainly help the run game but I see the Redskins offense regressing this season. Because of that I’m drafting MLB Zach Brown, FS DJ Swearinger and WLB Ryan Kerrigan.
Those are just the teams I have a feeling will struggle on offense in 2018, you need to pay attention things can change in an instant. The moment Aaron Rodgers went down last season it changed the outcome of Blake Martinez 2017 season immensely. There’s no way he finishes tied for the league lead in combined tackles if Rodgers doesn’t miss 9 games and as a result the Packers offense turning into hot garbage with Brett Hundley at the wheel.
So pay attention to injuries and benchings during the season and take advantage of offenses that are headed towards the bottom of the league. The defensive players on those teams will have many more opportunities to score IDP points than their peers and you can take advantage of that to win your league.