34-Year-Old Safety – New Orleans Saints
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
Harper made 73 tackles as a starting safety for the Panthers last season, but he returned to New Orleans this offseason, where he averaged just shy of 100 tackles per season between 2007 and 2012. Ent...
2016 ADP: –
Bye Week: 5
Roman Harper Contract Information:
Signed by the Saints in June of 2016.
The Saints plan to use Harper in a part-time role in which he will be deployed closer to the line of scrimmage as a blitzer and open-field tackler, ESPN.com reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
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.
Roman Harper: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
In his first season as a Panther, Harper recorded an admirable 62 tackles, four interceptions, one sack, one forced fumble and one touchdown last year. At 32 years old, Harper proved he could still fill a valuable starting role at strong safety, where he's expected to maintain his first-team spot this season.
Harper presents some risk as a high IDP investment since he's coming off an injury-plagued 2013 season and is heading to a new team with an uncertain role, but it's generally easy to see him securing a three-down role in Carolina. The Panthers lost 2013 starter Mike Mitchell in free agency, and former starting safety Charles Godfrey was moved to cornerback. Thomas DeCoud is locked in at one safety spot, leaving the other up for Harper to grab after signing a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the Panthers in the offseason. If he does earn a three-down role, Harper would present significant IDP upside. He posted between 93 and 115 tackles per year from 2009 to 2012, tossing in 12 sacks over that time frame.
While Harper's game as a strong safety complements the skill sets of safety-corner hybrids Vaccaro and Jenkins, his poor 2012 season could see his snap count lowered. For that reason it's difficult to see him matching the 115 tackles from 2012. Still, Harper is an accomplished pass rusher who figures to pile up his tackles, even if he's no longer an effective defender for his real-life team.
Although he rightfully has a reputation as one of the league's more dangerous defensive backs, Harper (at press time) was not targeted for suspension as a result of New Orleans’ alleged bounty scheme. With that bullet dodged, Harper should reprise his role a one of the league’s best in-the-box IDP defensive backs – nearly a non-factor in coverage but annually hovering in the 100-tackle range. In recent years, though, Harper has emerged as a dominant blitzer, which provides a nice boost to his fantasy value. Although he had no interceptions, Harper added 7.5 sacks to his 95 tackles (73 solo). It’s highly unlikely that Harper will approach that sack number again in 2012, but he still has to be the favorite to lead the league in that category among defensive backs. Between his above average sack (10.5 since 2010) and forced fumble (eight since 2010) production, Harper’s lack of activity in coverage is mostly offset in the vast majority of IDP scoring systems.
Harper is a pure strong safety who generally doesn’t have the ability to make plays in coverage, but he still made a big showing in the turnover category last year, finishing the year with six forced fumbles. He also makes a dent as a pass rusher, as evidenced by his three quarterback sacks last year. Entering 2011, Harper should remain a standout IDP option in the secondary due to his consistent and effective presence in the box. Although he has just four interceptions in his five-year career, Harper makes up for it with his consistent tackle numbers.
Harper proved to be a great fit for Gregg Williams’ aggressive defense, racking up just over 100 tackles in 2009. Williams uses Harper on the blitz regularly, so an increase from last season’s sack total wouldn’t be an unreasonable expectation for 2010.
In 2008, Harper recorded 89 tackles and only one forced fumbled with zero interceptions. Those numbers were a substantial drop off from his 2007 numbers in which he recorded more tackles, sacks, forced fumbles, and interceptions. Entering his fourth year in New Orleans, Harper will look to regain the form that made him one of the top young safeties in the game under the aggressive approach of new defensive coordinator Greg Williams. Look for Harper to bounce back from a disappointing season and produce once again as the starting strong safety in what should be an improved New Orleans defense.
Harper's IDP value is based around his ability to be a sack/INT combo player. Only 21 games into his NFL career, Harper could definitely improve on his four sacks and three picks in 2007. He has the starting strong safety position locked up and should continue to grow as a player.
Harper, the Saints second-round pick in 2006, broke into the starting lineup at safety last season before tearing his ACL in Week 5 and missing the rest of the year. He is still rehabilitating the knee, and will have to prove to head coach Sean Payton during training camp that he is fully recovered. Though Harper is one of the most talented members of the team's secondary, the Saints are likely to somewhat limit his playing time - at least early in the season - to protect against further injury. Nevertheless, if he's healthy enough to fully participate during training camp, he should be on the starting roster for Week 1 of the 2007 season.
Harper excelled at Alabama as a three-year starter, but is likely to begin his NFL career as a reserve. However, if the team's othr safeties struggle during camp or the regular season, head coach Sean Payton likely won't hesitate to give Harper a chance to start as a rookie.