The first week of free agency is in the books and the IDP landscape has definitely been altered, as many big names have packed their bags for new destinations. It’s never too early to examine how these moves will affect a players’ fantasy potential heading into the 2017 season.
This is a quick look at some of the early signings that should really interest IDP owners from a standpoint of which players have landed in a prime position to succeed, as well as a couple that have me worried.
Barry Church, S, Jacksonville Jaguars
This signing is perhaps the easiest early move to evaluate, as Church will be asked to step in immediately as the starting strong safetey to replace the departed Johnathan Cyprien (more on him in a bit) in the Jacksonville secondary. This is an ideal landing spot for Church, as he is basically a slightly older version of the man he is replacing. Since taking over a starting position for the Cowboys in 2013, Church has averaged 78.5 solo tackles while posting above-average grades in run defense three of the four seasons.
When we consider the fact that Church is stepping into a role that has seen Cyprien post at least 98 total stops in each of the past four seasons the potential for big tackle numbers is certainly there. As for coverage skills, let’s just say Church will never be mistaken for Charles Woodson. He’s really struggled over the last two seasons, having allowed 80 and 95.7 percent, respectively, of passes thrown into his coverage to be completed. Luckily the Jaguars have ball-hawking FS Tashaun Gibson to handle the coverage duties while Church lurks closer to the line of scrimmage. This definitely a winning situation for the veteran defensive back.
Johnathan Cyprien, S, Tennessee Titans