Unsung Heroes of IDP: Cornerback – Revisited

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Continuing the IDP Guys way of transparency, @FFStompy goes over his Unsung Heroes of IDP series to look at how each player did in the 2018 season


The IDP Guys writers have made a commitment to transparency so you, as the reader, can hold us accountable for the information we espouse. We all want to own our bad takes as well as our good and want you to understand our process so you can trust us moving forward. The “IDP Tipster” (@Hbogart27) has already written two transparency articles (1) (2).

With that in mind, the purpose of this article is to go over my Unsung Heroes of IDP series. Before the 2018 season, I took a look at players who were going under the radar despite solid production. While these were not takes, I felt that you could grab those guys late and have success. Here is how the linebackers, safeties, defensive ends, and defensive tackles. Let’s look at the cornerbacks.

Bradley Roby – Denver Broncos

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From 2014-2017, Roby had primarily been the “starting” nickel cornerback. He made up one of the heads of the “three-headed” cornerback monster in the Broncos secondary along with Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. Despite playing a relatively low snap percentage in the time frame, the most being 74% in 2014, Roby was still productive with 39 or more tackles in all four seasons as well as eight or more passes defended. Talib was traded in the 2018 offseason to the Los Angeles Rams because of his contract and the Broncos’ belief in Roby. Seeing a higher snap share and starting across from a Pro Bowler and All-Pro in Harris, Roby was poised to a significant bump in playmaking opportunities in 2018.

Unfortunately, this did not come to fruition. Roby had an awful season as the Broncos second cornerback. He allowed the second most yards on the season. While this is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to fantasy football, Roby’s increased opportunities did not translate to production either. Playing the second most snaps of any of the Broncos defenders, Roby only accounted for 50 tackles, 12 passes defended, one interception and one forced fumble. While this is not poor production, he did account for double-digit passes defended, after all, it still is not what was expected at the beginning of the season. Because of this, I am going to take the loss.

Adoree’ Jackson – Tennessee Titans

Jackson had a phenomenal year as a rookie. Thrown into the deep end early, Jackson progressively improved over the season. He ended with 73 tackles, 17 passes defended, and three forced fumbles. Improving on his 2017 performance was going to be tough for Jackson. His fellow starter at outside cornerback, Logan Ryan, struggled. This made Jackson the best cornerback on the Titans entering the 2018 offseason. In the 2018 season, Jackson was likely to be avoided. However, the Titans signed Malcolm Butler to start at the other outside cornerback position and move Ryan into the slot, where he had excelled previously. This made Jackson the “weak link” in the Titans secondary and likely to be targeted more in 2018.

Somehow, Jackson did follow up his 2017 performance with another extremely productive season in 2018. Playing in 91.5% of the Titans defensive snaps, Jackson eclipsed the 70 tackle mark again with 73. While his passes defended took a dip with only 10, he did intercept his first two passes of his career to make up for it. Jackson was one of the best fantasy cornerbacks in 2018 and you were not disappointed if you had him.

A.J. Bouye

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In 2017, the Jaguars defense was scary. Particularly, their pass defense. The Jaguars had the best duo of cornerbacks in the league in Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. Bouye had a particularly monstrous season with 56 tackles, 18 passes defended, and six interceptions. Somehow, Bouye was considered the “worse” of the duo, with Ramsey carrying the “shutdown corner” moniker. Bouye also produced two straight seasons of 16 or more passes defended and had double-digits in three of his last four. With most of the defensive starters returning in 2018, the Jaguars and Bouye once again looked to be formidable.

However, the 2018 Jaguars took a step back as a team in 2018. As dominant as they were in 2017, they may have been due for a regression. Obviously, Bouye regressed as well. He also dealt with injuries, missing three games. On the season, Bouye accumulated 54 tackles, only eight passes defended, and only one interception. This was a far cry from his 2017, especially where pass defense was concerned. Bouye was likely taken relatively high in drafts. He definitely did not meet expectations in 2018.

Summary

Two of my unsung cornerbacks before the season disappointed. Going through the linebackers, safeties, defensive ends, defensive tackles, and cornerbacks, 9 of 14 (not including an injury) have turned out to be productive. That is a hit rate of 64%. I consider this a success. I hope you found the Unsung Heroes of IDP series helpful in 2018. Look for it to come back in 2019.

I revisited the Unsung Heroes at linebacker here, safeties here, defensive ends here, and defensive tackles here. For more tips and analysis, follow Sam on twitter here. Get even more depth analysis and tips from the IDP Tipster here. Listen to the guys talk about news, analysis, and strategy on the podcast, and follow the show on twitter @IDPGuysFollow the new podcast @noBSidp, The No BS IDP Content Podcast with @Hbogart27 and @josephhaggan coming in March.

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Started playing fantasy football with my dad 15 years ago. Still have no idea what I am doing. Just trying to pass on any analysis I can to help you win.