Berry is a case where the fantasy football value doesn't match favorably with his reputation on the real field. Although he's one of the league's truly elite defenders, Berry doesn't post the highest tackle totals in Kansas City's scheme -- last year's 77 tackles were his highest total since 2012 -- which generally leaves him dependent on playmaking stats for IDP production. Luckily, Berry is quite good at forcing turnovers, and when he gets a hold of the ball he's a unique threat to find the end zone -- two out of his last three seasons of 15 or more games saw him score two touchdowns.
Despite battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014, Berry returned healthy in 2015 and displayed his old form, racking up 61 tackles (55 solo) and adding two interceptions. Playing on the franchise tag in 2016, Berry could be in line for another strong season that puts him firmly on the radar in IDP leagues.
Remains out indefinitely (illness) and will likely begin the season on one of the injury lists. If he returns at some point in 2015, it's possible he will retake a starting role at safety.
Berry has the talent to be one of the best IDPs among defensive backs, but the Kansas City defensive scheme has his exact value a bit unclear heading into 2014. Rather than allowing Berry to play the safety and centerfielder roles he excelled with in college at Tennessee, the Chiefs often moved Berry to linebacker during clear passing downs. Being a linebacker normally affords more tackle opportunities, but the principle doesn't necessarily apply to passing situations. After all, linebackers get most of their tackles on run plays, while defensive backs get theirs on completed passes. Moving Berry up in passing situations harmed his tackle total, limiting it to 74 in 15 games last season. Berry was quite effective in his role, however, and showed the big-play ability that led the Chiefs to draft him fifth overall back in 2010. He posted 3.5 sacks and intercepted three passes, returning two for touchdowns. If the Chiefs would allow Berry to work more at safety in 2014, he'd likely have his best IDP effort yet.
Berry's 2012 season was a disappointment, even after accounting for his return from a 2011 ACL tear. Although his 86 tackles (73 solo) were a solid figure, he intercepted just one pass and failed to post a sack or forced fumble. It would be wise to bet on Berry making a strong comeback in 2013, however. The vast majority of Berry's track record is highly impressive. The 2012 season aside, everything about 6-0, 211-pound Berry is blue chip, as he dominated in college at Tennessee (245 tackles and 14 interceptions in 39 games) and lit up the Combine with a 4.40-second 40-yard dash and 43-inch vertical. With a tune-up season from his ACL tear out of the way, Berry should re-establish himself as one of the league's best safeties – as a rookie in 2010, he posted 92 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions.
An ACL tear is always a serious matter, but don’t assume Berry won’t be back in a big way in 2012. As a 23-year-old with extremely rare athletic gifts, Berry is expected to be near full strength for the start of training camp. Berry is an elite talent, and he’s poised to push for triple-digit tackles after finishing his 2010 rookie season with 92 stops (77 solo) and four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. Although he has the tackling ability of a strong safety, Berry possesses excellent athleticism and center-field skills, so he’ll contribute in virtually every way possible for a defensive back IDP.
The former Tennessee star didn’t quite set the league on fire after being selected fifth overall in last year’s draft, but he was still plenty impressive. With the athleticism of a cornerback and the run-stopping instincts of a strong safety, there simply isn’t much Berry can’t offer a defense. He finished the year with 92 tackles (77 solo), two sacks, nine passes defended, four interceptions, one touchdown and a forced fumble. Those sacks, passes defended, interceptions and the forced fumble came in the last 11 games, so Berry clearly picked up steam as his rookie season progressed. Berry’s value is even higher in keeper league formats than in redraft leagues, but he’s near the top of the IDP food chain in either setting.
Based on his play with the Tennessee
Volunteers, Berry drew comparisons to
Baltimore’s Ed Reed — high praise indeed. The
fifth overall selection in the 2010 draft, Berry
will be expected to step in and contribute from
day one, both as a playmaker in the defensive
backfield and in run support.