Fantasy Reaction: Paul Kruger Signs With Cleveland
The Browns struck early in the league’s new year and signed Paul Kruger, who was among the most sought-after free agent pass rushers. Kruger will reportedly get a five-year deal worth $41 million with $20 million guaranteed.
Kruger’s stock skyrocketed after his stellar postseason in the Ravens’ Super Bowl run. He’s a strong pass rusher, but Kruger’s run defense remains very suspect. As a result, his IDP value will likely be limited in Cleveland as an outside linebacker. For a comparison of Kruger’s value to former teammate Dannell Ellerbe, check out this article.
With five sacks in the postseason in addition to 10 regular season sacks, Kruger was a nuisance for opposing offensive linemen. Kruger recorded a QB pressure on 15.3 percent of his regular season snaps as a pass rusher, and posted a respectable 13.5 percent in the postseason. Kruger’s 10 regular season missed tackles on 52 tackle attempts is alarming, and fantasy gamers should take note.
This poor play against the run didn’t go unnoticed by the Ravens, and Kruger’s playing time began to reflect this. Throughout the regular season, 40.8 percent of Kruger’s snaps came against the run. This number dropped significantly as only 31.3 percent of his snaps were against the run during the postseason. It’s apparent that the Ravens didn’t want Kruger on the field in running situations.
Kruger’s deal with Cleveland is based on his ability to get after the quarterback. Double-digit sacks are certainly within the realm of possiblity, but it’ll be interesting to see if he’s used in an every-down role. In tackle-heavy and balanced scoring systems, it’s tough to advocate Kruger in 2013. Outside linebackers in 3-4 schemes tend to be devalued, but he will hold LB3 or better value in big-play scoring systems.
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