29-Year-Old Defensive Tackle – New Orleans Saints
2017 Fantasy Football Outlook
After disappointing seasons in Detroit and St. Louis, Fairley signed a one-year deal with New Orleans last season and produced career highs with 43 tackles (29 solo) and 6.5 sacks. In fact, Fairley fi...
Nick Fairley Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $30 million contract with the Saints in March of 2017.
Fairley (illness) was placed on the Saints' reserve/non-football injury list Monday, effectively ending his 2017 campaign, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
Nick Fairley: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Picked 13th overall by the Lions in the 2011 NFL Draft, Fairley has endured a number of ups and downs during his five-year career. He had a total of 98 tackles and 13.5 sacks, while missing a total of 18 games, during his first four season in Detroit. As a rotational backup with the Rams in 2015, he had only 29 tackles and a half sack, but was lauded by scouting services such as Pro Football Focus for being a disruptive presence. After signing a one-year deal this offseason with the Saints, Fairley is expected to see significant playing time at defensive tackle alongside Saints' 2016 first-round draft pick Sheldon Rankins. If Fairley can convert some of those defensive pressures into sacks -- as he did during his first few seasons in Detroit -- he could be a valuable IDP option in position-specific fantasy leagues.
Fairley goes from one great defensive front to another, leaving the Lions and joining the Rams in 2015. He will combine with Defensive Rookie of the Year Aaron Donald to form one of the best defensive tackle duos in the NFL if Fairley can stay healthy and motivated. Talent has never been a knock on Fairley, but his commitment to be the best every down has come into question on occasion. Playing alongside Donald, Robert Quinn and Chris Long, should provide opportunities for 308-pound tackle, as teams can't focus in on any one defensive lineman for St. Louis. A change of scenery could provide the fifth-year tackles with what he needs to return to his 2012 and 2013 form, when he averaged 34 tackles and 5.5 sacks per year.
Fairley hasn't quite been the force the Lions had hoped when they drafted him, but he's still a load, especially considering he won't be constantly double-teamed thanks to the strength of the team's defensive line. He's not likely to be an IDP all-star, but he should be a productive player.
Fairley had his second season cut short due to a shoulder injury, but he had somewhat of a breakout season with 35 tackles (28 solo), 5.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He will start alongside Ndamukong Suh at DT in 2013.
Fairley was arrested twice this offseason and could draw interest from the league office. He is, however, healthy after a less-than-stellar rookie campaign that got off to a delayed start due to injury. He'll make up a a major part of a Detroit defensive line that has the talent to be a fearsome bunch, though whether his numbers will be fantasy-worthy in many IDP formats remains to be seen.
It’s tempting to rank a massive talent like Fairley higher, but rookies bring a certain risk. Fairley, the 13th overall pick in April's draft, has huge upside in Detroit – not only is he an elite talent, but he should get favorable matchups thanks to the presence of Ndamukong Suh. Fairley dominated the college ranks last year with 60 tackles (36 solo) and 11.5 sacks in 14 games for Auburn and has the potential to be an impact player in the NFL.