30-Year-Old Defensive Back – Arizona Cardinals
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
The Cardinals snagged Branch in free agency this offseason on a two-year deal, likely with the expectation that he serves as the starting strong safety next to Tyrann Mathieu (knee). In his only seaso...
Tyvon Branch Contract Information:
Signed a two-year contract with the Cardinals in March of 2016.
The Cardinals will place Branch (groin) on injured reserve, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2016 Proj||29||ARI||Subscribe now to see our 2016 projections for Tyvon Branch|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Tyvon Branch: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Injuries derailed each of his past two seasons, but Branch posted notable fantasy seasons the four prior seasons, including triple-digit tackles in three of the four. If he can stay healthy, there's chance he could start at safety and become fantasy-relevant in IDP leagues once again.
Double-check on Branch's health before your draft. He missed all but two games last year with a mysterious lingering ankle injury, but as long as he's healthy, Branch should provide legitimate DB1 upside. He was an elite source of tackles from 2009 through 2012, making 421 stops in 62 games, a rate that projects to roughly 109 tackles per 16-game season. It should be noted, however, that Branch doesn't offer much upside in categories other than the tackle column. He did post four sacks back in 2010, but he had just three interceptions from 2010 to 2012.
Interceptions are exceedingly difficult to come by if you're Branch Ė he has just three over the last four years Ė but he's a highly reliable asset in leagues that reward heavily for tackle production. Branch totaled 327 tackles from 2009 to 2011, and he finished 2012 with 94 tackles despite missing two games. Those two missed games were the only ones Branch has missed in the past four years, so durability is a strong suit.
Branch seems to have little or no ability as a playmaker, particularly in coverage, but he is second only to George Wilson in being the safest bet to hit triple-digit tackles. Itís a mark Branch has had little trouble reaching each of the last three years, with 124 (98 solo) from 2009 serving as the high point. His totals from 2010 (104) and 2011 (109) also rank among the highest in the league for defensive backs. But as consistently elite as his tackle numbers are, he just hasnít done anything else of note, aside from a four-sack showing in 2010. He has just two sacks in the three seasons outside of 2010 and just three interceptions in his four NFL years. His three forced fumbles and 16 passes defended over four years are similarly unimpressive. Itís possible that Branchís game will go to the next level with an apparently bright defensive mind (Dennis Allen) taking over the team, but the reasonable expectation is for Branch to provide tackles and little else.
Branch has consecutive years with triple-digit tackles in Oakland, and everything is shaping up for him to make it three in a row in 2011. While he has mostly been an in-the-box safety in his career, itís easy to forget Branch was actually a college cornerback at Connecticut, so he hasnít been playing at the safety position for long. His 228 tackles (179 solo) the last two years, then, are an especially impressive total in light of his non-safety background. He also has five sacks and three forced fumbles in that span. Itíd really be something if Branch could expand his game and become a factor in coverage (he has just two interceptions in his career), but Branch should be expected to continue his standout play as a run-stopping safety, even if he doesnít improve from here.
The safety spot in Oakland has become a fantasy gold mine. Two years ago, Gibril Wilson made 128 tackles from the Raiders secondary. Wilson parlayed that season into a deal with Miami, so the Raiders moved Branch from cornerback to fill the vacancy. Good move. Branch became a tackling machine at strong safety, racking up 124 stops in his first year at the position to lead all defensive backs. He didnít have any interceptions, but he should be good for 100-plus tackles as the Raidersí strong safety again this year.
Branch will switch from cornerback to safety this season. If starting safety Michael Huff's struggles continue, Branch will be among a group of players pushing for more playing time.