Fantasy Reaction: Bernard Pollard Signs With Tennessee
Bernard Pollard received some unexpected news when the Ravens released him, but he signed with the Titans to a one-year deal to play strong safety. He’ll stay in the AFC, but what does his signing with Tennessee mean for his prospects in IDP leagues in 2013?
The Chiefs drafted Pollard in 2006 as a big hitter. He unfortunately lived up to this reputation with the hit that ended Tom Brady’s season in 2008. Pollard spent three seasons with the Chiefs, amassing 198 tackles, including two seasons of 90+ tackles. That 2008 season, he played 1,015 defensive snaps and compiled 98 tackles (78 solos), resulting in a 9.7 percent tackle frequency and made a solo tackle on 7.7 percent of snaps. He also made several plays on the ball, including two picks and seven defended passes in 36 targets.
After the 2008 season, he signed with the Texans and enjoyed solid IDP production. In 2009, he played the strong safety role, appearing in 13 games and a total of 840 defensive snaps. He compiled 102 tackles, four interceptions, and seven defended passes, which were elite numbers despite his playing a short season. His tackle frequency was at 12.1 percent, and he made a solo tackle in nearly 10 percent of those snaps. Pollard saw 41 targets, allowing 31 catches but made a play on the ball on 27 percent of his targets.
Pollard’s 2010 season saw him rack up a career-high number of tackles, compiling 112 in 1,025 defensive snaps, which resulted in an 11 percent tackle frequency. Pollard struggled in coverage, as he allowed six touchdowns in 38 targets and didn’t record a single pick. He was, however, able to force four fumbles.
Pollard, once again, found himself a free agent in 2011 and ended up getting signed by the Baltimore Ravens. His big-hit ability certainly fit into Baltimore’s attitude on defense. Between the 2011 and 2012 season, Pollard started 16 games and appeared in 29 total games for Baltimore. In 2011, he recorded just 75 tackles, but he did have two sacks and a career-high 13 defended passes, plus he enjoyed an efficient season in pass coverage.
Pollard’s 2012 season saw his tackles increase to 98 in just 915 defensive snaps, but he wasn’t as active around the ball, defending just six passes and intercepting one. Ultimately, Pollard was a cap casualty this offseason, so now that he’s with the Titans, what are his chances for IDP success in 2013?
Pollard is a solid IDP producer, as he’s only had two seasons where he’s produced less than 90 tackles in his playing career. Since Pro Football Focus started keeping track of snaps, he’s appeared in 4,696 total defensive snaps and has produced a tackle frequency of 10.3 percent, which is a high rate for a defensive back and an indicator of IDP production. He also maximizes his chances for points with his solid 8 percent solo tackle frequency. If you’re in a tackle-heavy format, he’s producing points for your team, as he’s posting a nearly 4:1 solo/assist ratio.
He doesn’t miss too many tackles, especially for the type of player and hitter he is. He’s missed 47 total tackles since PFF has kept track and has missed on just 8.8 percent of his tackle attempts, which in my mind, makes him a reliable tackler. In terms of his big-play ability, he gets knocked for his pass coverage, but from an IDP standpoint, he has nine interceptions and 39 defended passes, which results in making a play on the ball 26 percent of the time he’s thrown at. The big plays are tough to predict, but he’s usually able to produce a few. Don’t depend on the sacks from Pollard either, as he’s rushed the passer on just 3.7 percent of his regular season snaps.
Pollard’s numbers indicate that he should be in line for a solid season of IDP production in 2013, as long as he nails down a starting job and can stay on the field for nickel and dime packages. He’s signed for a one-year “prove it” deal, and I do believe he’ll knock down George Wilson for the starting strong safety role. I would target him as a DB3 and hope he earns the every-down role, which could lead to DB2 production.
Mike Woellert is a Senior Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy. Follow Mike on Twitter @PFF_MWoellert