32-Year-Old Linebacker – New York Jets
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
One of the league's steadiest and time-tested linebackers, both in real-life and IDP terms, Harris once again should prove a fine LB2 asset in 2016. His age is a slight concern as he heads into his ag...
David Harris Contract Information:
Re-signed with the Jets on a three-year, $21.5 million contract in March of 2015.
Harris (hamstring) was a full participant in Thursday's practice.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2016 Proj||32||NYJ||Subscribe now to see our 2016 projections for David Harris|
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.
David Harris: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Re-signed to a three-year deal with the Jets this offseason, Harris returns to New York having posted 124, 124 and 123 tackles, respectively, over the past three seasons. In fact, Harris has registered at least 120 stops in five of his nine NFL seasons, evidencing tremendous consistency. As a bonus, the veteran added a career-high six sacks last season and also forced two fumbles. With that track record and recent improvement, Harris is a fantastic IDP value as the anchor of the Jets’ linebacking corp. Additionally, new head coach Todd Bowles’ noted defensive acumen could further highlight Harris’ ability this season, making the 31-year-old all the more enticing for fantasy owners.
Harris has perhaps been the league's most reliable sack source at inside linebacker over the last seven years, totaling 24.5 over that span, and over the last two years he's rounded out his IDP value with high-level tackle production. After posting 123 in 2012, Harris provided a nearly identical 124 last year. While he recorded just five sacks over the last two years, Harris might be due for better luck as a pass rusher in 2014 – he posted at least five sacks in 2007, 2009 and 2011. He's clearly the Jets' top inside linebacker and shouldn't see his play-count threatened any time soon.
A Jets offense specializing in turnovers and three-and-outs granted Harris and the Jets defense an enormous snap count in 2012, leading him to improve his tackle numbers drastically over the previous two seasons. (Harris finished 2012 with 123 stops (79 solo) after he posted 99 and 86 tackles in 2010 and 2011, respectively.) It’s difficult to see the Jets offense being as bad as it was last year, so Harris might not see 1,067 snaps again, but it's unlikely it morphs into a ball-control, keep-their-own-defense-off-the-field juggernaut, either. In other words, Harris should still have an above-average number of chances to make tackles.
Harris is generally not much of a threat to pile up big tackle totals, but he’s a very good blitzer and has shown some playmaking ability in coverage in recent years. Although he finished last year with just 86 tackles (65 solo), he helped make up for it with five sacks and four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown). History suggests Harris’ low tackle count from last year is most likely a fluke. His previous years saw him average a 16-game pace of roughly 116 tackles per year. Look for him to find a healthier balance between the tackle and sack/interception categories in 2012.
Harris is a good player in real life, but his IDP utility is limited by the Jets’ ball-control offense as well as the defense’s ability to force three-and-outs. Harris has to wait a while to get on the field, and once he gets there, he gets back off in a hurry. That said, Harris should still do better than last year's numbers, when he finished with just 99 tackles (69 solo). Expect his tackles to increase, and rank him a bit higher in leagues that focus on sack production, as Harris is a better blitzer than most inside linebackers (8.5 sacks the last two years).
The only thing separating Harris from superstar IDPs like Patrick Willis and Jon Beason is durability. Harris exploded into fantasy stardom as a rookie, racking up 120 tackles and five sacks. But in 2008 he missed significant time due to a nagging groin injury and last season he was slowed by ankle problems. That said, even limited by the ankle, Harris’ final 2009 tally still included 126 tackles, 5.5 sacks and two interceptions. If he can avoid nagging injuries, Harris should be back among the IDP elite this season.
Another of the superstar middle linebackers from the 2007 draft, Harris exploded on the scene in the second half of his rookie year, racking up 127 tackles and five sacks despite not breaking into the starting lineup until Week 9. That performance earned Harris a place atop many IDP cheat sheets for 2008, but his production last season was limited when a nagging groin injury sidelined him for five games. Assuming he can stay healthy for a full season in 2009, he should be among the league leaders in tackles.
We might never know why the Man-genius didn't hand a starting role to Harris until Week 9. He still turned in monster numbers (122 tackles and five sacks) as a rookie, no less. Harris made 41 tackles (30 solo) in Weeks 8 and 9 alone. His upside is tremendous. In his nine starts, he averaged 11.3 tackles per game, about half a tackle per game more than the league-leading season pace of fellow rookie Patrick Willis. Assuming Harris can take the pounding for an entire season (we think he can, especially as a 24-year-old), then he should challenge Willis for the league lead in tackles this season. He possesses an enticing mix of speed, power and instincts.