In fantasy football, there are some new trends that I enjoy writing about: dynasty leagues, and individual defensive player leagues. This weekly column will combine two of those by discussing two young IDPs. I will give my scouting thoughts on how they played a particular week. Today I will be discussing the Broncos rookie cornerback Bradley Roby and the Patriots linebacker Jaime Collins.
CB-Bradley Roby, DEN- This rookie corner faces teams every week in hurry up mode. Because he played his college ball at Ohio State, this is just another day in the office for Roby. The corner back plays physical when asked, jamming the receiver at the line of scrimmage or can play off up to ten yards depending on what the defensive call is. It varied where he played: the slot, on the outside or deep middle. Against the Chargers, Roby spent a great deal of the time chasing Keenan Allen around the gridiron. He closes quickly on the ball with good anticipation. When the corner is shadowing his receiver, he tries to keep the offensive player in front of him at all times.
His tackling technique leaves a lot to be desired as he tends to launch himself lowering a shoulder, instead of wrapping up the ball carrier. Phillip Rivers did a good job when he sent Allen in motion on the five yard line across the field, because Roby was slow to get over to the other side of the formation. This set up a pick play with a crossing route that freed up Allen for a touchdown. The corner also continued a drive when Allen outmaneuvered him as Roby grabbed him to prevent a big play, but got called for the hold. This is year one and he has an outstanding corner opposite him, so Roby will get targeted plenty. I would be happy to have him as a CB2 on a dynasty roster, but would want someone who provided more tackle opportunities in the run game as a CB1.
LB-Jaime Collins, NE- The second year linebacker forced his way into the Patriots starting lineup towards the end of last season. Now in 2014, Collins is fighting his way onto fantasy lineups. The majority of the time he lines up as a strong side linebacker. By playing this position, he has a lot of pass coverage responsibilities. The linebacker faced either running back Matt Forte or one of the Bears tight ends on most passing downs. He is a little flat-footed dropping back into coverage, but gets very physical with the would-be pass catchers. Collins recognizes pass patterns quickly and reacted well to the ball in the air. He has the speed to make up ground to tackle Forte in the flat and chase the back downfield. That isn’t to say that Forte didn’t get the best of him a couple of times.
It was Collins that Forte smoked a wheel route for Chicago’s first touchdown. The linebacker took the wrong angle and the runner darted past him for the score. He did a lot of faking the blitz, only to drop back into coverage. However, Collins got good penetration when he did cross the line of scrimmage and narrowly missed on a sack when Jay Cutler showed off some quick feet getting out of the backers way. When it comes to playing against the run, Collins sheds blockers quickly and steps up to fill the hole on the line of scrimmage. The linebacker reads blockers well, identifying where to flow. He finished the day with six tackles and five assists, but it felt like the linebacker was in on more than that. In dynasty leagues, this might be the prime time to buy him. Mayo’s injury leaves Collins fully able to be the best linebacker in New England. He could become a solid LB2 option by the end of this season.
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