Position Change Effect – Charles Woodson
July 29, 2012 1 Comment
It was reported on the first day of training camp that Charles Woodson was lining up at SS in the Packers base defense. This is a good example of when you have to really comprehend what you are reading. If you focus on the “lining up at SS” part then you are missing the entire message.
Don’t get me wrong, a move to SS isn’t something to take lightly because it does have fantasy implications — and not just for Woodson.
The key is to realize that the move looks as if it will only be when the Packers are in their base defense. Something that the Packers weren’t in all that much in 2011. Mike Clay’s (@MikeClayNFL) article “Fantasy Defensive Personnel Packages – Part 1” shows that the Packers played in their base defense just 27% of the time last year. According to ProFootballFocus, Woodson played in 1068 of the Packers 1182 defensive snaps (90.4%). That means that if this position change would have taken place last year, Woodson would have played in approximately 288 snaps at SS, and 780 snaps as the slot CB.
Today, the information highway is loaded with information for fantasy owners — those that can discern that information the best can create a distinct advantage over the other owners in their league(s). The above scenario with Woodson is one of those times where discerning the information can give you a leg up in your league.
Full Impact – Fantasy: In my eyes, the move is a positive one for Woodson, and should easily push him into the top-5 at the DB position this year. Last year, Woodson scored 193 fantasy points, good for 9th most among DBs. Considering that Woodson was just 5.5 points shy of the top-5 last year it should be clear why I feel the way I do.
For every action there is a reaction. Morgan Burnett finished 2011 as the 4th ranked DB — scoring 201 fantasy points. Since it doesn’t look like Woodson will play exclusively at SS, Burnett should remain a viable fantasy option in 2012. However, I will not be surprised in the least to see Burnett fall out of the top-5 and end up as a DB2 or even a DB3. Based off of last year’s production, if Woodson steals just 6 solos and 5 assists from Burnett it would knock Burnett down to a DB2 — a loss of 10 solos and 7 assists would knock Burnett down to a DB3. If you don’t think that a top-5 DB can fall that hard or fast then you need to read “IDP Top-20 Turnover By Position.”
The other reactions that occur with this move are that if M.D. Jennings takes over at safety when Woodson moves to the slot, he very well could sneak into the top-50 in DB fantasy scoring. Giving him value as a depth player and even as a starter in very deep leagues. As for who replaces Woodson at CB, I think that won’t be completely decided until much later in camp or the preseason.
Full Impact – NFL: When your defense gives up 4,796 passing yards — the most in the NFL — it’s going to be hard to not show improvement. Woodson is a versatile player and considering the Packers have better depth at the CB position it makes sense to slide him to SS position in their base defense. I don’t see how this can’t improve the Packers defense — at least by default.