IDP Dynasty Stock Watch - June
There have been plenty of changes this past off-season among coaches and players. As we get closer to the season, schemes, personnel and position battles are coming into focus. Lets take a look at the players affected most, and how you should value them going forward.
Kiko Alonso – LB – Buffalo Bills – Alonso tallied a combined 159 tackles during a stellar 2013 rookie season but the news has been all negative this off-season. First, there was news that the new defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz, is moving Alonso from the middle to the weak side. Then there was news that he suffered a torn labrum and had to undergo hip surgery to correct the issue. He’s been unable to participate in OTAs and, depending on when the surgery took place (the date of which hasn’t been confirmed), could be out even longer.
When looking at Alonso’s value, he’ll still be a very solid linebacker in IDP leagues. But the issue, is how valuable? It’s quite possible his stock will never be higher than it was after his rookie year. A torn labrum typically takes 4-6 months to fully recover and the switch from the middle of the field to the weak side will take away opportunities for tackles. If you’re in a big play league his value won’t be nearly as affected as if you play for tackles. I would be looking to sell Alonso to the highest bidder.
Derrick Morgan – LB – Tennessee Titans – After being a top ten 4-3 end according to Pro Football Focus the past two years, Morgan’s stock has dropped thanks to a position change that decreased his value. A defensive end since high school, Morgan has never played linebacker or been asked to do the things a linebacker does like, occasionally drop into coverage. Thanks to the new defensive coordinator, Ray Horton’s 3-4 scheme, Morgan will attempt to do just that.
Morgan had a ton of hype entering the league and was drafted 16th overall by Tennessee out of Georgia Tech. However, he has yet to reach the potential many saw in him coming out of college, and has managed just 16.5 sacks over a four-year career. Even though switching to a linebacker may be Morgan’s last shot at providing IDP value, the move has already affected his stock. Linebackers are more a dime a dozen than defensive linemen and Morgan has an uphill climb.
Sharrif Floyd – DL – Minnesota Vikings – Entering the league last year, Floyd was drawing high praise from scouting gurus. His combination of size and athleticism was drawing comparisons to a Warren Sapp or Muhammad Wilkerson-type defender in the middle. After being drafted 23rd overall in 2013, Floyd got his feet wet playing All Pro Kevin Williams in Minnesota. On the year, Floyd totaled 2.5 sacks in playing nearly 500 snaps.
After learning from one of the best in Williams, Floyd became the starter after Williams signed with Seattle in the off-season. His stock was already heading north, thanks to the hiring of Mike Zimmer as coach. As defensive coordinator in Cincinnati, Zimmer turned interior lineman Geno Atkins into a perennial Pro Bowler. Luckily for Floyd, he profiles a lot like Atkins — Floyd is 6’ 3” compared to Atkins, 6’ 1”, and both check in at a little over 300 pounds. They both use their athleticism and quickness to beat the gap and be a disruptive force. If Floyd can replicate Atkins statistical output, you’re looking at double-digit sack seasons.
Floyd is just 23, but he is already one of the core pieces in an ascending defense. And if anyone can get the most out of the already gifted Floyd, it’ll be Zimmer. Floyd would be a fine DL2 in any IDP format.
Emmanuel Lamur – LB – Cincinnati – It’s not every day that a three-down linebacker seemingly comes out of nowhere but Emmanuel Lamur could be one of the few. After signing with Cincinnati as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Lamur played 136 snaps during his rookie season before being ticketed for a bigger role in 2013. But before he could cash in, Lamur suffered a shoulder injury that knocked him out for the full season, and he ended up on injured reserve.
However, the Bengals saw enough in Lamur, especially on special teams, to keep him on the roster and give him a shot to realize his potential. He has a 6’ 4”, 240-pound frame with good athleticism and great coverage skills. The Bengals’ new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther plans to use Lamur on the strong side to replace James Harrison. He’ll play opposite Pro Browler Vontaze Burfict for all three downs, and should rack up decent tackle numbers. It’s not every day that a potential three down linebacker is available in dynasty leagues but if Lamur is, don’t hesitate to scoop him up.