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tripp

Box Safeties

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I stumbled upon a data point that surprised and interested me.  Eric Reid played more snaps in the box than deep (at free safety), per PFF.  We got wind of the scheme change to 3-4 months ago.  In Summer 2018, Rivera said Mike Adams would see more time in the box, but that didn't really come to fruition.  So I wondered, what other starting safeties saw more snaps in the box than deep in Week 1?  There were surprises in both directions, and more box safeties than I would have guessed (about half, which is consistent over the last couple years).  Mind you, some of this could result from game plan, game flow, or depleted personnel at LB and CB.

Eric Reid - Panthers, Keanu Neal - Falcons, Jordan Whitehead - Bucs, John Johnson - Rams, Landon Collins - 'Skins, Malcolm Jenkins - Eagles, Jabril Peppers - Giants, Pat Chung - Pats, Jamal Adams - Jets, Ronnie Harrison - Jags, Minkah Fitzpatrick - Dolphins, Kenny Vaccaro - Titans, Tyrann Mathieu - Chiefs, Justin Simmons - Broncos, Adrian Phillips - Chargers, Morgan Burnett - Browns, Shawn Williams - Bengals. 

What surprises you?  What should we have seen coming?  Any buys or sells based on this?

Edited by tripp
McDougald included in error
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On 9/12/2019 at 9:14 AM, tripp said:

Morgan Burnett - Browns...

... Any buys or sells based on this?

Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Cleveland Browns could make sense

Quote

... if the Browns like Fitzpatrick as a strong safety, they can use him right now. The committee approach of Morgan Burnett, Jermaine Whitehead and Eric Murray isn't the answer and the Browns know it.

The Browns aren't trading for Minka but the point about the rotation at SS is correct.  It's just not working right now and Burnett is part of a three-man rotation so he looks like a sell.

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I guess Jenkins surprises me most from that list.

Where did you find the data about who was in the box?

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Pro Football Focus premium stats

I read a really interesting article by Josh Johnson of DynastyFootballFactory.com  written after the 2016 season that explained defenses' movement away from the traditional notion of a strong safety in the box and a free safety deep. An Eagles fan, he used Jenkins and Rodney McLeod to illustrate his finding that safeties line up based on wide and narrow sides of the field. He went on to note that McLeod was more likely to line up in the box while Jenkins, the nominal strong safety, spent more time in the slot. 

Welp, from 2017 on, Jenkins has taken more snaps in the box than deep.

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On 9/13/2019 at 9:36 PM, tripp said:

Pro Football Focus premium stats

I read a really interesting article by Josh Johnson of DynastyFootballFactory.com  written after the 2016 season that explained defenses' movement away from the traditional notion of a strong safety in the box and a free safety deep. An Eagles fan, he used Jenkins and Rodney McLeod to illustrate his finding that safeties line up based on wide and narrow sides of the field. He went on to note that McLeod was more likely to line up in the box while Jenkins, the nominal strong safety, spent more time in the slot. 

Welp, from 2017 on, Jenkins has taken more snaps in the box than deep.

Tom Kislingbury ont he IDP Read and React podcast went through every team and mentioned how safeties were used after week 1, splitting them up between box safeties, interchangeable, or deep safeties.

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as defensive schemes get more and more complex and "variable", won't these players become hard to project. one week, more in the box snaps and the next more deep based on opponent for example.

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Anyone cutting bait on Mathieu? Doesn't seem to be doing a ton so far, getting outdone by Thornhill right now.

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BIG changes in this list in Week 2.  Again, the starting safeties that played (or who I expect to play tonight) as many or more snaps in the box as deep:

Eric Reid - Panthers, Keanu Neal - Falcons, Jordan Whitehead - Bucs, Budda Baker - Cards, Jaquiski Tartt* - 49ers, Adrian Amos - Pack, Landon Collins - 'Skins, Malcolm Jenkins - Eagles, Jabrill Peppers - Giants, Pat Chung* - Pats, Jamal Adams (yet to play) - Jets, Kenny Vaccaro - Titans, Tyrann Mathieu - Chiefs, Justin Simmons - Broncos, Adrian Phillips* - Chargers, Morgan Burnett (yet to play) - Browns, Shawn Williams - Bengals, Terrell Edmunds - Steelers, Tony Jefferson - Ravens.  

*3 played part time.  Phillips broke an arm and was replaced by Jaylen Watkins, I believe.

In Week 1, I failed to notice that the Seahawks are not rolling out a box safety this year.  McDougald, Tedric Thompson (W1), and Delano Hill (W2) are all playing deep.  Seattle's selection of Marquise Blair in the 2nd round of the NFL draft was a tell.  Blair did not profile as a stack-and-shed box player coming out, but a slighter man destined for the slot and open-field roles.  

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5 hours ago, TheCenci said:

Anyone cutting bait on Mathieu? Doesn't seem to be doing a ton so far, getting outdone by Thornhill right now.

Def a hold for me.  

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3 hours ago, tripp said:

BIG changes in this list in Week 2.  Again, the starting safeties that played (or who I expect to play tonight) as many or more snaps in the box as deep:

Eric Reid - Panthers, Keanu Neal - Falcons, Jordan Whitehead - Bucs, Budda Baker - Cards, Jaquiski Tartt* - 49ers, Adrian Amos - Pack, Landon Collins - 'Skins, Malcolm Jenkins - Eagles, Jabrill Peppers - Giants, Pat Chung* - Pats, Jamal Adams (yet to play) - Jets, Kenny Vaccaro - Titans, Tyrann Mathieu - Chiefs, Justin Simmons - Broncos, Adrian Phillips* - Chargers, Morgan Burnett (yet to play) - Browns, Shawn Williams - Bengals, Terrell Edmunds - Steelers, Tony Jefferson - Ravens.  

*3 played part time.  Phillips broke an arm and was replaced by Jaylen Watkins, I believe.

In Week 1, I failed to notice that the Seahawks are not rolling out a box safety this year.  McDougald, Tedric Thompson (W1), and Delano Hill (W2) are all playing deep.  Seattle's selection of Marquise Blair in the 2nd round of the NFL draft was a tell.  Blair did not profile as a stack-and-shed box player coming out, but a slighter man destined for the slot and open-field roles.  

i think it's too early to say much of anything at this point. Blair was rehabbing the offseason, iirc, and didn't get much (if any) action in preseason games. he's a big hitter , for sure, and Carroll likes that kind of player.

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Well Keanu Neal is done for the season now. I picked up Kazee last year and his INT's along w/ decent tackle production were pretty damn good in my league. Is he the guy, or is it someone like Ricardo Allen?

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Last year the plan was Allen at SS with Kazee at FS. Then Allen landed on IR, as well. Not sure if that will be different this year, though.

 

Roderic Teamer took 100% of snaps as LAC SS. I caught the smallest wiff of this move and added him Sunday morning in a dynasty salary cap league where I own Derwin. Posted great stats and is likely the starter there until James is back.

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5 hours ago, Flying Elvis said:

Last year the plan was Allen at SS with Kazee at FS. Then Allen landed on IR, as well. Not sure if that will be different this year, though.

Kazee should slide over to FS, if i had to guess. he was getting time as a 3rd safety/nickelback because of his coverage skills. he put up decent numbers last year despite some bad angles. i haven't watched him this year but he's a willing defender with playmaker ability.

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19 hours ago, Flying Elvis said:

Last year the plan was Allen at SS with Kazee at FS. Then Allen landed on IR, as well. Not sure if that will be different this year, though.

 

Roderic Teamer took 100% of snaps as LAC SS. I caught the smallest wiff of this move and added him Sunday morning in a dynasty salary cap league where I own Derwin. Posted great stats and is likely the starter there until James is back.

The news of Roderic Teamer was readily available in LA media.  I guess no FFIDP analysts picked up on it.  He'd been inactive the week before.

Kemal Ishmael replaced Keanu Neal on the field; Kazee remained in the slot.  Ishmael is designated LB on MFL (good ol' Fantasy Sharks!). Takk McKinley got hurt, too, so they played a lot of 4-2-5 Sunday. Could Atlanta do something different with a week of practice?  Sure. They looked bad Sunday.  They looked lost in coverage and slow to the ball to me, with De'Vondre Campbell as Exhibit 'A'. 

Malik Hooker got hurt in the same game.  Khari Willis came on for him.  I like Willis, but Indy is playing a lot more Cover 2 this year than last, so not an ideal situation.

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On 9/24/2019 at 10:37 AM, tripp said:

The news of Roderic Teamer was readily available in LA media.  I guess no FFIDP analysts picked up on it.  He'd been inactive the week before.

Kemal Ishmael replaced Keanu Neal on the field; Kazee remained in the slot.  Ishmael is designated LB on MFL (good ol' Fantasy Sharks!). Takk McKinley got hurt, too, so they played a lot of 4-2-5 Sunday. Could Atlanta do something different with a week of practice?  Sure. They looked bad Sunday.  They looked lost in coverage and slow to the ball to me, with De'Vondre Campbell as Exhibit 'A'. 

Malik Hooker got hurt in the same game.  Khari Willis came on for him.  I like Willis, but Indy is playing a lot more Cover 2 this year than last, so not an ideal situation.

I mentioned this in a different thread. Willis will play for Hooker while he's out. Geathers will stay at SS for now.

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On 9/25/2019 at 5:48 PM, saintfool said:

I mentioned this in a different thread. Willis will play for Hooker while he's out. Geathers will stay at SS for now.

Looks like Geathers got a concussion this week. Willis has done well since becoming a starter, could have an even bigger week if Geathers sits.

 

I also don't know if Kemal Ishmael got injured, but it looked like Ricardo Allen was the only one that had 100% of the snaps that game?

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34 minutes ago, TheCenci said:

Looks like Geathers got a concussion this week. Willis has done well since becoming a starter, could have an even bigger week if Geathers sits.

 

I also don't know if Kemal Ishmael got injured, but it looked like Ricardo Allen was the only one that had 100% of the snaps that game?

Kemal is playing LB. Cyprien was brought in via trade this week to Atlanta.

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Deionte Thompson at Arizona, playing as the safety up close to the line? 

He's starting and is the SS listed. Its typically easier/better to not have the younger guy with all the pass responsibilities.

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In Detroit Walker and Diggs played Left and Right. With the tight-end typically lined up across from the Left guy (Walker) making him the default SS who would move up to the line. With Diggs injury did this change with the Tavon Wilson hit the field?  Did they have Walker slide over?  Wilson got a ton of tackles.

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Posted (edited)

Will Harris came on for Diggs. Both mainly played deep in Week 4.  Walker has taken on relatively more responsibility in the slot and box over the last two weeks. He's among the most targeted safeties in the league so far, and the results have been less than stellar. (Lots of tackle opportunities!) Wilson's snaps came at the expense of DLs and LBs. Lions deployed lighter personnel groupings to face Mahomes. Wilson ate in the box.

Edited by tripp
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20 hours ago, tripp said:

 Wilson ate in the box.

 

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I reckon the list is worth updating now that we're 4 weeks in.  I think that tends to be enough info to get a sense about the players and their teams' approaches. So, starting safeties playing more snaps in the box than deep, per PFF:

Panthers' Reid, Bucs' Whitehead, Falcons' Neal/Ishmael, Packers' Amos, 'Skins' Collins, Eagles' Jenkins, Giants' Peppers, Jets' Adams, Pats' Chung, 'Phins' Jones, Titans' Vaccaro, Chiefs' Mathieu, Chargers' Phillips/Teamer, Browns' Burnett, Bengals' Williams, Ravens' Jefferson.

Situations to watch:

PIT: Terrell Edmunds would be on this list if not for Week 1 vs. New England, with Sean Davis injured and before the trade for Fitzpatrick.

DET: Tracy Walker would be on the list if not for a large chunk of deep snaps vs. Arizona.  Eric Reid also played a chunk of snaps deep vs. the Cards' 4-wide and empty sets.  Walker leads all safeties in solo tackles.  In his slot and TE coverage assignments, he's faced Larry Fitzgerald, Zach Ertz, Keenan Allen, and Travis Kelce, among others.  

ATL: Ishmael didn't play a full complement of snaps in Week 4.  Will any strong safety there?  Falcons acquired Jonathan Cyprien via trade.

NO: Bell is the top scoring FFIDP safety per FootballGuys.com, but his PFF grade in coverage is 58.5.  Will he maintain a full-time role and hold off Gardner-Johnson for playing time?

ARI: Swearinger got cut.  Second team in two seasons to cut him for off-field issues.  Can the next guy up be functional deep, or will Baker have to play there?

SEA: What happened to the Kam Chancellor role?  The answer might be that LB Mychal Kendricks is playing it.  I don't know that any team has fewer DB snaps.

SF/JAX: Former assistants to Pete Carroll are also moving away from the box safety, disguising more coverages, and sometimes bringing free safeties forward.

CIN: Williams looks like the only full-time old-fashioned box safety in the league right now, playing the vast majority of his snaps in the box.  After watching the Bengals Monday night, I can't help but wonder if Cinci's no-name defensive coordinator isn't long for this league.

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I picked up some shares over last week and this week of Teamer (latest Charger SS?), Reshad Jones (back healthy, someone cut him), Deionte Thompson (possible Cardinals SS), and Khari Willis (FS, but scoring well).

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Aaaannnndddd Cyprien is on IR. Damn. Guessing they're either going to continue on with Allen/Ishmael or acquire someone else again?

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Any love for Jermaine Whitehead from the Browns? He's had 100% of the snaps for the past five weeks, and the past 3 weeks he's had some very good games. I'm guessing he's not playing in the box a ton, but he's producing. Thinking about picking him up this week, or next week after his bye if he's still available.

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4 hours ago, TheCenci said:

Any love for Jermaine Whitehead from the Browns? He's had 100% of the snaps for the past five weeks, and the past 3 weeks he's had some very good games. I'm guessing he's not playing in the box a ton, but he's producing. Thinking about picking him up this week, or next week after his bye if he's still available.

He has bad football player risk, but as long as he's getting snaps...

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5 hours ago, TheCenci said:

Any love for Jermaine Whitehead from the Browns? He's had 100% of the snaps for the past five weeks, and the past 3 weeks he's had some very good games. I'm guessing he's not playing in the box a ton, but he's producing. Thinking about picking him up this week, or next week after his bye if he's still available.

I think some of that play time was when Burnett was out injured but he appears to be back for the time being at least on a limited basis (23% snap count).  However that didn't seem to take away from Whitehead who still was at 100% snaps....

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John Johnson placed on IR.  Does this give Weddle a boost in production to what was already fairly solid output?

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Any insights on the Oakland situation? They've got three safeties listed playing 100% of snaps (E. Harris/K. Joseph/L. Joyner). Harris seems to be putting up some great stats the last few games.

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21 hours ago, Gally said:

I think some of that play time was when Burnett was out injured but he appears to be back for the time being at least on a limited basis (23% snap count).  However that didn't seem to take away from Whitehead who still was at 100% snaps....

Burnett's playing like liquid poop when he's out there too. All of the safeties are.

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2 hours ago, Gally said:

John Johnson placed on IR.  Does this give Weddle a boost in production to what was already fairly solid output?

I'd think Wade would still play his split safety scheme, but I'll admit I haven't paid any attention since moving Johnson sometime last year.

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5 hours ago, PhantomJB said:

Any insights on the Oakland situation? They've got three safeties listed playing 100% of snaps (E. Harris/K. Joseph/L. Joyner). Harris seems to be putting up some great stats the last few games.

They've rolled out mostly nickel and dime since Burfict got suspended. Joyner is mostly a slot defender in Oakland. They didn't get steamrolled in London, as might have been expected, so it remains to be seen if they have a third LB they'd rely on alongside Whitehead and Morrow.

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Taylor Rapp had 100% of the snaps this week for the Rams. I don't know if that was directly as a replacement for John Johnson, or what.

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12 hours ago, TheCenci said:

Taylor Rapp had 100% of the snaps this week for the Rams. I don't know if that was directly as a replacement for John Johnson, or what.

And Weddle had his worst game of the year with respect to fantasy points......

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On 10/21/2019 at 10:41 PM, TheCenci said:

Taylor Rapp had 100% of the snaps this week for the Rams. I don't know if that was directly as a replacement for John Johnson, or what.

Yeah, the coaches lied to us!  Said Rapp wouldn't play full time! 😆 

Weddle played almost exclusively deep, whereas his and Johnson's roles had been more interchangeable.  Makes sense not to trust a rookie with too much deep responsibility.  And Marqui Christian? Meh. So, yeah, Weddle's IDP value takes a hit.

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Kislingbury said to pick up Chuck Clark... with Earl Thomas there, is he playing in the box all the time?

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14 hours ago, saintfool said:

Rookie Marquise Blair with 9 solos and a forced fumble.

He's on my taxi in one league as a stash so I follow news on him. Was solid last week and studly this week but he's likely just holding down the fort for McDougald. They traded for Q. Diggs, too, so the future is murky (at least for this season) with Blair. McDougald signed through 2020 and Diggs through 2021. 

Article below from after the Ravens game (4T 4A) but before he blew up vs. CHI this week.

https://www.si.com/nfl/seahawks/news/ken-norton-jr-extremely-impressed-by-marquise-blairs-first-nfl-start/

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1 minute ago, Flying Elvis said:

He's on my taxi in one league as a stash so I follow news on him. Was solid last week and studly this week but he's likely just holding down the fort for McDougald. They traded for Q. Diggs, too, so the future is murky (at least for this season) with Blair. McDougald signed through 2020 and Diggs through 2021. 

Article below from after the Ravens game (4T 4A) but before he blew up vs. CHI this week.

https://www.si.com/nfl/seahawks/news/ken-norton-jr-extremely-impressed-by-marquise-blairs-first-nfl-start/

Carroll's meritocracy gives me some real hope actually for Blair. He's getting some burn now with the injuries and filling the role Pete has for him. McDouglad is JAG. Diggs is more a FS, imo, than SS. This, to me, is about setting the stage for Blair next year as much as this year.

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How about some more love for Taylor Rapp? I actually don't know if he's playing in the box, but he showed out this week with 9 solos and 12 total.

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21 hours ago, Tick said:

Kislingbury said to pick up Chuck Clark... with Earl Thomas there, is he playing in the box all the time?

Clark is generally playing closer to the line of scrimmage, similar to what Tony Jefferson had been doing.  Onwuasor and Bynes aren't exactly lights out in front of him.  Worth noting that Anthony Levine continues as the dime linebacker.  So yeah, worth a pick-up, but don't expect Shawn Williams-like numbers.  His role is more varied than Williams's.

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59 minutes ago, TheCenci said:

How about some more love for Taylor Rapp? I actually don't know if he's playing in the box, but he showed out this week with 9 solos and 12 total.

And Weddle had another relatively down day.  I am probably going to drop Weddle and pick up Rapp.

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1 hour ago, TheCenci said:

How about some more love for Taylor Rapp? I actually don't know if he's playing in the box, but he showed out this week with 9 solos and 12 total.

Classic high-low relationship between Weddle and Rapp these past two weeks.  Yeah, Rapp is the one to roster here.

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3 hours ago, griffin6687 said:

Everyone's thoughts on Maquise Blair, anyone think he can continue to start over Mcdougal? High draft pick pedigree. 

scroll up.

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