Fantasy Reaction: LaRon Landry Signs With Indianapolis
The Colts filled a need at safety, signing LaRon Landry to a four-year, $24 million deal. Landry surprised many in 2012, not only with a Pro Bowl selection, but also by playing in all 16 games for the first time since 2008.
With Landry getting $14 million in guaranteed money, it’s a fairly steep price to pay for a player who ranked 65th among all safeties last season. While Landry graded out poorly, his raw talent is appealing and the potential for a breakout season is still there.
Landry put up fantasy-friendly numbers last season with 99 total tackles, four forced fumbles, two interceptions and a touchdown. Owners who took a chance on Landry got a top-10 option at a discounted price on draft day.
Because of his physicality and penchant for forcing fumbles in the run game, it’s no shock that Landry did most of his dirty work while in the box. In fact, the Jets had him play in that area for over 46 percent of his total snap count. This could give Indianapolis an element to its defense it has not seen since the days of a healthy Bob Sanders. That is, provided Landry can keep his clean bill of health.
2013 Fantasy Outlook
Landry surprised many with his production a season ago, and now that the cat’s out of the bag, expect a rise in his ADP from a season ago. Provided the Colts allow him the same freedom to hover near the line of scrimmage, Landry could rack up similar tackle numbers to a season ago and give his owners a reliable, steady season.
However, the Colts already have another $20 million investment at the safety position who is also accustomed to triple-digit tackle seasons, Antoine Bethea. There isn’t enough room for both to reach this plateau, and there’s no guarantee that either will monopolize the ground-game responsibility. The Colts have the freedom to utilize both and disguise coverages with these two because of their experience defending the run, but Bethea posted top-15 ratings among safeties in tackle efficiency in coverage and coverage snaps per target and reception, all of which ranked higher than Landry.
If the Colts take that to heart and keep Landry in his usual role with the Jets and allow Bethea a greater responsibility up top, then Landry could give his fantasy owners plenty of chances to replicate his tackle numbers. But for now, it’s a murky situation in the back end of the Colts defense, and owners expecting the same production from Landry as last season may be in for a rude awakening.