IDP Bets for Breakout - Demario Davis
The 2013 version of my Bets Breakout Series kicks off for Pro Football Focus Fantasy. In case you’re new to the site, last season I began this series looking at a collection of IDPs that could provide value to your fantasy squad, much like NaVorro Bowman did just a few seasons ago. I looked back at my thoughts on that collection of players here.
My first piece kicks off with a second-year linebacker that was off the radar in 2012, mostly because of his lack of playing time and the fact that the 2012 rookie linebackers were extremely productive. My first selection is Jets linebacker Demario Davis.
Davis entered the 2012 draft with some good measureables and performed decently at the Combine. His size made him a desirable prospect, as he was built well for the NFL. At this stage, he offers much more upside and better sideline-to-sideline range than his predecessor Bart Scott. He didn’t project as a starter in 2012, but was given the chance at the starting job, eventually losing out to Scott.
Don’t look at the numbers for Davis and try to compare him to the likes of Luke Kuechly or Bobby Wagner. He didn’t get into the starting lineup and was playing behind Scott for the majority of the year. Davis did manage to appear in 315 defensive snaps and started three games, but was mostly used on nickel packages. He participated in 122 coverage snaps and 135 snaps against the run, grading just slightly below the negative for both. If you look at the numbers in a vacuum, they aren’t that impressive.
Davis notched 36 tackles in 16 games, which is an average of just more than two per game. A close look at his snap count shows there were only three games in which he played more than 40 snaps, and he had six games of single-digit snaps. That’s not nearly enough playing time to accumulate roster-worthy stats.
But, when he was on the field, he did his best to make it count and make tackles. Davis had four games where he produced four-plus tackles, including two games of at least seven tackles. What I do like is his tackle frequency, which shows his capabilities of being productive. In 315 defensive snaps, he produced a tackle frequency of 11.4 percent and missed a tackle in every 13 attempts. Now, he’s not going to be considered the next great pass rusher, as he only had 58 pass-rush snaps and produced seven total QB pressures. So, with this lack of playing time and snaps, why am I so high on him in 2013?
The Jets aren’t bringing back Scott, and Rex Ryan has given Davis the green light and confirms that he will be the starter at the inside next to David Harris. Now, starter doesn’t mean much unless you get the nickel/sub packages, but since Davis played mostly nickel this past season, I don’t see any reason why he won’t be on the field for every down during the 2013 season. If you look at last season’s numbers and project them over the course of a full-season, Davis has LB3 upside in most formats.
Mike Woellert is a Senior Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy. Follow Mike on Twitter@PFF_MWoellert