Fantasy Reaction: Aqib Talib Re-Signs With New England

Ross Miles checks in on Aqib Talib's re-signing with the Patriots and what this does for his fantasy value in IDP leagues.

| 4 years ago
Aqib Talib

Fantasy Reaction: Aqib Talib Re-Signs With New England


Aqib Talib

In a slow market for corners, Aqib Talib re-signed with the Patriots for a one-year, $5 million deal. This move sets up Talib for another run at free agency in 2014.

Few cornerbacks in the league offer the big-play ability that Talib does, but as evidenced over the last three seasons, that has not been realized as consistent fantasy success. Talib owners can point back to a handful of games each season where he has returned a pick-six and helped them win that week, but equally as frustrating, Talib has yet to play a full 16-game season in his five-year career to date, with an off-the-field incident and character questions complicating the matter.

After four and a half seasons for Tampa Bay, Talib was traded to New England last year, where he played six games before suffering a hip injury. Inserted into the starting lineup primarily as the LCB (70.2 percent), Talib played 94.3 percent of snaps in games not affected by injury and provides an experienced body opposite 2012 rookie Alfonzo Dennard in the Patriots secondary, a role that will be reprised in 2013 (with Kyle Arrington in the slot).

In the past three seasons Talib has missed 14 games through injuries and suspensions and has been unable to surpass 40 total tackles in a single season. By comparison there were nine cornerbacks last year who achieved tackles totals of at least double that, and two (Cortland Finnegan and Antoine Winfield) who racked up 100-plus. This is one of the key reasons that makes him such a volatile fantasy option.

If you score interceptions for six points and tackles as one point, then Talib needs to record 6.7 more interceptions than the more productive tacklers to match the scoring differential in lost tackles (if ignoring bonus points for any pick-sixes). As Talib has only once in his career reached six interceptions, we can already see a limit on Talib’s ability to push into CB1 territory. If your league combines corners and safeties as defensive backs when fielding a roster, then Talib vanishes from fantasy relevance.

Aqib Talib 2010-12 Fantasy Stats

Yr

Rk

Tm

Gm

Sn

TT

TLoss

Sk

FF

FR

TA

INT

TD

PD

TDA

BK

2010

CB37

TB

11

657

40

1

0

0

0

59

6

1

11

5

0

2011

CB51

TB

13

704

34

2

0

1

0

51

2

2

11

6

0

2012

CB59

NE/TB

10

678

40

1

0

0

1

80

2

1

10

3

1

We have to look as far back as 2009, Talib’s second season in the NFL, to get a gauge on his potential when playing a full NFL season (he only played 15 games that year). Playing 993 snaps and recording 64 total tackles, five interceptions and a fumble recovery, Talib was still only reaching low CB2 scoring by the year’s end.

He has always been a corner to challenge, having allowed 14 touchdowns in the last three years due to his willingness to jump a route, and as a result we have seen his targets increase last year to 80 from an average of 55 the previous two years. His 2009 high point from a fantasy perspective shows he was targeted 81 times that season (allowing four touchdowns) playing 315 extra snaps than last year, so there is scope for a fully fit and motivated Talib to improve on those numbers.

My concerns would be that to value Talib as a viable fantasy starter, in even a CB-required league, you need to project him to have a career-best season and stay healthy. A solid season for him playing all 16 games makes him a boom or bust CB3, who you would want to play against pass-heavy teams with stud outside wide receivers (i.e. Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, etc.). Primarily, he’ll be a viable (but risky) bench alternative. Personally I would look elsewhere for even a bench warmer as Talib’s upside is limited and I’d rather roll the dice on a rookie or overlooked tackle machine (Richard Marshall, William Gay, Greg Toler).



Ross Miles is a lead fantasy writer on PFF Fantasy. He contributes IDP content to the site. He was the 2011 winner of the FantasyPros IDP Expert Rankings contest for both weekly in-season rankings and also for pre-season rankings and finished second in IDP rankings in 2012 and 2015. Ross is also a member of the FSWA.

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