Eagles Re-sign Brandon Graham
IDP owners let out a collective sigh with this signing, as it appeared like Graham would finally get an opportunity to get unleashed in an every-down role as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense. While that won’t be the case, it does appear likely Graham will start for the Eagles following the release of Trent Cole.
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Graham has excelled as a situational pass rusher over the last three seasons. He was especially effective in 2014, producing 53 QB pressures in 240 pass rush snaps. For comparison purposes, Graham recorded a pressure on 22.1 percent of his pass rush snaps while Justin Houston managed a rate of 18.8 percent.
For those hoping that Graham will somehow be classified as a defensive end, don’t hold your breath. Graham is essentially locked in as a linebacker on all fantasy commissioner sites for at least the 2015 season.
The good news is that an every-down role will place Graham squarely on the fantasy radar, though he’ll only be a borderline starter in balanced scoring formats.
We caught a glimpse of what to expect out of Graham in a three-down role when he played every snap in Week 16 of the 2014 season. He managed two solo tackles and four assists in front of the assist-heavy Washington stat crew. While it’s a small sample size, that sort of performance is likely to be the norm out of Graham this season.
Those in tackle-heavy formats will want to avoid Graham altogether, but Graham becomes a very intriguing option in big-play heavy leagues. His pressure rate suggests a double-digit sack ceiling, and his tackle production is just enough to get fantasy owners through weeks where he doesn’t record a sack.
Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy.