Fantasy Reaction: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Signs With Denver

Ross Miles clues us in on the IDP impact of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie signing in Denver.

| 4 years ago
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Fantasy Reaction: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Signs With Denver


Dominique Rodgers-CromartieWe are two years removed from the assembly of the “dream team” in Philadelphia, and the three major signings who were going to push the Eagles over the top are all going to be playing for different teams. While Nnamdi Asomugha and Jason Babin were the prizes of the 2011 free agency class, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (who the Eagles acquired via the Kevin Kolb trade in 2011) now finds himself a free agent signing for Denver, having been one of the top cornerbacks on the open market. His lucrative one-year, $5 million contract for the Broncos gives him the opportunity to play for a Super Bowl contender with an All-Pro corner on the other side, which means this perennial under-achiever has an opportunity to finally meet his potential in 2013.

Rodgers-Cromartie is best known for his ball-hawking skills and has snagged 16 interceptions in his five years in the NFL. His 2011 campaign was a disappointment, as he failed to pick off a single pass or lock down a starting role on the Philadelphia defense. He had recorded a minimum of three interceptions in all four of his other seasons. Playing alongside Champ Bailey, one of the best cornerbacks to ever don pads, Rodgers-Cromartie is sure to see a fair share of targets. Looking back at Bailey’s teammates over the years there has been a variation in talent level, and arguably none are as gifted as Rodgers-Cromartie (similarly he has never played regularly with someone approaching Bailey’s abilities), which suggests that he has the potential to post career-best figures in 2013.

Snaps, targets and interceptions for Denver No. 2 cornerbacks: 2008-2012

Year

Player

Sn

TA

INT

Sn/TA

TA/INT

2008

Dre’ Bly

1018

92

2

11.1

46

2009

Andre Goodman

1021

86

5

11.9

17.2

2010

Perrish Cox

787

84

1

9.4

84

2011

Andre Goodman

1070

85

2

12.6

42.5

2012

Chris Harris

935

75

3

12.5

25

AVG Average

966

84

2.6

11.4

32.5

Over the previous five seasons, Bailey’s partner in the Broncos’ secondary has consistently been targeted once every 11-12 snaps, which over the course of a typical full season of snaps equates to over 80 targets in a season. Rodgers-Cromartie has been targeted a similar rate during his career (82 vs 84), but has been a more productive player with his opportunities than the combined efforts of the No. 2 corner in Denver, posting an interception every 25.8 targets vs 32.5.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie snaps, targets and interceptions: 2008-2012

Year

Sn

TA

INT

Sn/TA

TA/INT

2008

820

79

4

10.4

19.75

2009

987

120

6

8.2

20

2010

1130

90

3

12.6

30

2011

487

42

0

11.6

0

2012

1020

81

3

12.6

27

AVG

889

82

3.2

11.07

25.8

Remove Cromartie’s 2011 season in a reduced role as the nickel corner in Philadelphia from the equation and his stats highlight his potential to be a serious playmaker in Denver.

Year

Sn

TA

INT

Sn/TA

TA/INT

Excl. 2011

989

92.5

4

10.9

23.1

It should be mentioned that despite the torching Champ Bailey received at the hands of Torrey Smith in the playoffs (which prompted the national consensus opinion that we were witnessing the demise of a former great), Bailey only allowed a single touchdown last season. Targeted 72 times, his single allowed touchdown came against A.J. Green, despite having faced the dangerous passing offenses of Atlanta, New Orleans and New England (not to mention clashes with premier wideouts Andre Johnson and Vincent Jackson). Bailey will be back playing at a high level and opposing quarterbacks will be looking more frequently in the direction of Rodgers-Cromartie than they previously would have, which bodes well for his scoring potential in big-play scoring systems.

The weakness in Rodgers-Cromartie’s fantasy game is his mediocre tackle figures. He needs splash plays to push his fantasy scoring into every-week starter territory. His best fantasy season was in 2009 and saw him post career highs for total tackles (50), a figure bested by over 50 cornerbacks that year. He supplemented that total with career highs in interceptions (six, and one returned for a touchdown), forced fumbles (three) and passes defended (25).

A combination of these factors led Rodgers-Cromartie to be a CB1/DB2 that season. A year later – despite two pick-sixes – a drop in his tackles (44), interceptions (three), passes defended (17) and zero forced fumbles pushed his fantasy value down to CB3 and not rosterable for leagues that combine corners and safeties. And therein lies the volatility of a dynamic, ball-hawking cornerback like Rodgers-Cromartie. Without posting at least six or seven turnovers he is a marginal fantasy prospect. As such, I’d feel most confident in using him as a boom-or-bust CB2.



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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