Danny Trevathan has fantasy appeal in Chicago
Danny Trevathan has signed with the Bears on a four-year, $28 million contract, in a move that will reunite him with former Broncos head coach, John Fox, who had originally drafted him in Denver.
Trevathan is coming off an average 2015 season in which he was never really given a full shot at playing an every-down role as an inside linebacker, instead splitting duties with Brandon Marshall. He only played more than 80 percent of snaps on three occasions during the regular season, and two of those games came in Weeks 16 and 17. Despite the limited snap count, Trevathan recorded eight games of more than six solo tackles, had 110 total tackles on the season, and most notably had double digit tackles in the final two weeks when his playing time wasn’t so heavily throttled.
The former Kentucky Wildcat has shown throughout his career that when he is given playing time his name appears on the stat sheet. He’s an efficient tackler and last season was no different, as he recorded the highest tackles-per-opportunity (tPOP) mark amongst linebackers playing a minimum of 50 percent of snaps. His tPOP of 18.6 narrowly bested Luke Kuechly (18.5), and anytime your production is compared to one of the top IDP assets in fantasy, that’s a good thing for your future fantasy projections.
It’s expected that Trevathan will be favored to start as a three-down inside linebacker over Christian Jones, Jonathan Anderson, and Shea McClellin, all of whom graded negatively last season. Trevathan has been used in a three-down role by Fox before (in 2013), and in that role he ended the season as a top-end LB2 thanks to 128 total tackles, two sacks, three interceptions, and three forced fumbles. Those stats came with Trevathan playing 85.6 percent of snaps, a number which could go up in 2016, suggesting another solid fantasy season is in the cards. There will be a camp battle to play alongside him, but it’s difficult to be confident of any of the trio of Jones, Anderson, or McClellin to seize that role and carve out some fantasy value of their own.
From a purely fantasy perspective, Trevathan is appealing as an under-the-radar pick in less savvy leagues. While your league mates are enamored by the latest rookie class and the sexier names on their draft boards, Trevathan profiles as a strong LB2 who could slide on draft day. His scoring comes primarily from his tackle totals, and although he doesn’t have elite upside because he isn’t a dynamic playmaker, he can make the odd splash play. Look to target him as your second or third linebacker after 18-20 have been drafted, and expect him to at best be a fringe LB1, but more likely a highly-dependable top LB2.