Dwight Freeney NFL Stats
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Dwight Freeney NFL Game Log
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Free Agent Team Injury Report
Freeney's first season in San Diego was limited to just four games due to injury, but he should be healthy and back in the mix in 2014. He is listed as a starter at outside linebacker, but Larry Engligh will also be in the mix for snaps at his spot, and the veteran could be more of a situational pass rush specialist at this stage of his career.
Freeney is declining at a significant pace as he heads into 2013, but he'll probably start anyway for a talent-deficient San Diego squad attempting to replace Melvin Ingram (ACL). Still, he probably won't be an IDP option in any scenario with a linebacker designation in San Diego.
Freeney recorded just 8.5 sacks last season, failing to record double-digit sacks for the first time in four years. There was talk Freeney could be traded last spring since he's due $14 million in 2012 and appears to be an odd fit in Indy's new 3-4 defense. Instead, he'll move to linebacker and play from a standing up position for the first time in his career. It may not hurt his fantasy value too much since he never had strong tackle totals as a defensive end and the Colts will move him around the field to find mismatches to maximize his sack opportunities. Still, given his position change and his age (32), he's become a riskier IDP option.
As a perennial double-digit sack artist, Freeney warrants a higher ranking in leagues that disproportionately award sack and forced fumble production. But in most leagues, Freeney is a surprisingly average IDP option due to his extremely low tackle totals. In Indianapolis’ spread-out 4-3 defense, Freeney does little more than bolt straight off the edge at top speed every play. As a result, he has failed to reach the 30-tackle mark for five straight seasons. Three straight years of double-digit sacks helps make up for it, of course, but Freeney will never be an elite IDP option unless he registers more tackles.
The Colts' career sack leader started just nine games but still recorded 13.5 sacks last year. A perennial Pro Bowler when healthy, Freeney should be recovered from an ankle injury by the start of the season and ready for another year of tormenting opposing quarterbacks.
As long as Freeney is healthy, he is always a desired IDP league pick. He is coming off a 10.5 sack season (along with two sacks in the postseason), and we do not expect any less from the Pro-Bowl defensive end.
After opening his career with four-straight seasons notching double-digit sack totals, Freeney regressed to 5.5 in 2006 despite playing in all 16 games and fell to 3.5 in 2007 through nine games. Still, he has compiled at least four forced fumbles in every one of his seasons and claims to be healthy and training at full speed. Though his production will be stifled by the amount of double teams he'll see, a good eight or nine sacks are well within reach. While it can't be expected, a double-digit total is not at all out of the question.
One of the most disruptive defensive players in the NFL, Freeney had a down season (statistically speaking) last year. His sack total did not reach double digits and he did not force as many fumbles. This is because offensive coordinators would gameplan around him, and make sure there were constant double teams sent his way. Freeney combines excellent speed with a vast array of moves in order to beat much larger blockers. He should have an upswing in stats but won't reach his career high of 16 sacks.
There are two things to notice about Freeney statistically. First, in four seasons, he’s always had 11 or more sacks. Second, his tackles are so low, usually ranging in the high 20s or low 30s, that he’ll remain a good second fantasy lineman but needs 15 or more sacks to be worth a top-10 pick. Kind of comes on like a limp handshake, doesn’t it? For someone this talented, it’d be nice if the fantasy spoils matched the on-field excitement. He’s a short fella at 6-1, 268, but man is he disruptive, spinning back inside when he isn’t beating linemen around the edges. He’s got the sort of speed and initial burst that make you think you could do it, too. Surprisingly, he’s got some ability with the bull rush, as well. He led an electrifying Coltsí attack last year alongside Robert Mathis that especially early in the season seemed to be crushing signal callers from all quarters. It’ll be hard to find the personnel to double-team him. He’ll benefit from spending a full training camp with Corey Simon at defensive tackle. Just temper the desire to snatch him up early with the clear evidence of a paltry tackle base.
Freeney is the premier sack artist of the NFL. He led the league with 16 last year and has 40 career sacks in just three pro seasons. A speed rusher, he’s not a giant compared to other ends. At 6-1, 268 pounds, his small size may be why his tackle totals are so low (just 27 solos in 2003). He doesn’t do much in pass coverage, but he forces at least four fumbles every season. With so few tackles, he’s feast or famine week to week, but during a four-game outburst of 13 tackles and nine sacks like he had last December, you’ll know why you drafted him. Offseason shoulder surgery was dubbed “just a cleanup” by head coach Tony Dungy, and Freeney is expected to be back on the attack come training camp.
With 24 sacks in his first two years as a pro, Freeney ranks fourth all-time behind Jevon Kearse (26), Derrick Thomas (30) and Reggie White (31). It’s with this rare company that we expect him to keep up with another 10-plus this year. A dip from 45 to 29 solo tackles is a major concern, and he generally took a step back last year despite having more playing time than in 2002. The abdominal injury that knocked him out for one game had something to do with that, so we expect a rebound.
Like Julius Peppers, Freeney stormed to the top of the defensive end ranks during his rookie season, racking up 13 sacks and 45 tackles in just 13 games. Playing a full season opposite DE Chad Bratzke (who led the team in sacks in 1999-2001 and had six last year) and DT Brad Scioli, who can also rush the passer (seven sacks), Freeney should be good for another double-digit sack season with good tackle numbers.