News & Analysis

IDP options with worse PFF grades than fantasy outlooks

By Walton Spurlin
Jun 21, 2018

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CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 01: Emmanuel Ogbah #90 of the Cleveland Browns reacts to recovering a fumble in the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller /Getty Images)

One of the more interesting aspects in IDP fantasy football is examining whether or not a player’s fantasy performance equates to that player actually being a top NFL performer. Accumulating points through tackles throws a bit of a curve ball into the mix, as it does not matter where the tackle occurs. There are also no points deducted for missed tackles or poor coverage that allow touchdown passes into a player’s coverage.

To get an idea of who these players are, I like to use PFF’s grading system, as it takes into account all facets of a player’s performance. That’s an excellent starting point, but real-football skill and fantasy skill are often divergent. Below, let’s take a look at some player’s with above-average fantasy potential but less than ideal overall NFL production.

Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Cleveland Browns

After playing defensive end at Oklahoma State and putting up 22.5 sacks in his final two college seasons, Ogbah spent his rookie season at outside linebacker for the Browns. Ogbah seemed miscast in Cleveland’s 3-4 defensive scheme but still managed to lead the defense in sacks with 5.5 but graded out negatively in both run-stopping as well as pass-rush.

In 2017 the Browns switched to a 4-3 defensive scheme and Ogbah returned to a defensive end position. Ogbah came out of the gate strong with a pair of sacks as well as a forced and recovered fumble in the first four games. In fact, Ogbah was putting up low-end DL2 numbers through the first 10 weeks of 2017 (and was tied for the team lead in sacks with four). A broken foot ended Ogbah’s sophomore season, but before that point he again graded out negatively in pass-rushing. Through his first two seasons Ogbah has been a liability against the run, averaging just three total tackles per game but should see a surge in fantasy value heading into 2018 playing opposite Myles Garrett. Garrett will garner the lion’s share of the attention of opposing offensive lines, allowing Ogbah to get after the quarterback and boost his big-play numbers.

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