Fantasy Reaction: Matt Shaughnessy Signs With Arizona

Ross Miles takes a look at how the Matt Shaughnessy signing in Arizona effects his fantasy value in 2013.

| 4 years ago
Matt Shaughnessy

Fantasy Reaction: Matt Shaughnessy Signs With Arizona


Matt ShaughnessyAfter two years in the fantasy wilderness, the once-touted IDP sleeper pick Matt Shaughnessy has signed a one-year “prove it” deal in Arizona, but it looks likely that his landing spot did not improve his fantasy outlook. Having once flashed DE1 upside, the move to the desert in Phoenix won’t be reinvigorating for Shaughnessy’s potential.

A solid 2010 campaign for the Raiders saw Shaughnessy (the No. 14 ranked DL that season) meet several criteria that pointed to future IDP success. Although limited by his snap percentage (60%), he was productive when on the field charting 56 total tackles, comparable with DE1s Jared Allen (60) and Julius Peppers (54) that year.

His sack total of seven held him back from entering into the top tier of defensive lineman, but with the prospects of increased playing time the next season and flashes that he was underachieving with his pass rush (9.71% QB pressure frequency), Shaughnessy had the profile of a player ready to a step forward in his third year in the league. A solid base against the run (+11.2) and above-average tackle production for a lineman (9.71% tackle frequency) meant if Shaughnessy could play 70 percent or more of snaps (approx. 800 in a season) and be a fraction more successful in getting to the opposing quarterback, he could be a very reliable low-end DE1.

Shaughnessy did not deliver for owners in 2011, as he suffered a shoulder injury in Week 3 against the Jets that landed him on IR. Albeit a small sample size, Shaughnessy had been blitzing on 69.44% of his snaps, up from 44.68% the year before, indicating the belief from the coaching staff that he could be a more productive pass rusher. Owners who believed that he was on the cusp of the breakout fantasy season would be left waiting and his fantasy value fell to the extent where in 2012 redraft IDP leagues he was often available in the latter rounds as a DL-backup.

Anyone taking a flyer on Shaughnessy in 2012 would have been greatly disappointed as he failed to deliver on his pass-rushing potential (-18.7 and a dreadful 3.68% QBP). His struggles on the field were then compounded by a falling snap count, which resulted in him playing less than 60% of snaps for the final four weeks of the season. His tackle production was also down to a level nearly half of what he had achieved two years previously (5.01% vs 9.71%), and although his play against the run was decent (+7.7) it was clear his time in Oakland was coming to an end with his contract.

Shaughnessy’s 2010-12 Fantasy Stats

Yr

Rk

Gm

Sn

%Sn

TT

TFreq

PR-Sn

PR-Sn%

Sk

Hi

Hu

QBP%

FF

FR

INT

2010

14

16

649

60.0

56

9.71%

290

44.68%

7

3

18

9.66%

2

0

0

2011

3

144

61.8

7

5.56%

100

69.44%

1

1

4

6.00%

0

0

0

2012

56

16

689

65.1

31

5.01%

367

53.27%

3.5

5

5

3.68%

0

0

0 

Signing with Arizona will mean a change in scheme for Shaughnessy, who will now find himself playing in a 3-4 defense. Having failed to develop his pass-rushing repertoire a switch to a 3-4 DE role will likely benefit his playing style and help him to rack up consistent tackle numbers from his opportunities. However, it is the number of opportunities he is afforded that will determine his fantasy value. Calais Campbell is locked in at right defensive end for Arizona. Bruce Arians plans to use Darnell Dockett as more of an interior pass rusher going forward, which should open things up for Shaughnessy on the left side.

Dynasty owners should also take that Shaughnessy is 26, so although he has only signed a one-year deal there is potential that he could catch on in the 3-4 and become a productive end in tackle-heavy scoring leagues. In redraft leagues, Shaughnessy’s fantasy value will be limited in 2013. Not only does he need to prove he can play as a five-tech, but he also has to stay healthy. It’s a good idea to pass on Shaughnessy in all but the deepest of leagues.



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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