Vontaze Burfict NFL Stats
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Vontaze Burfict NFL Game Log
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(Compared to other LBs)
Arm Length: 0.00 in
Hand Length: 0.00 in
Cincinnati Bengals Team Injury Report
Regarded as of the league's biggest villains, Burfict is nonetheless one of the top IDP options when healthy and not suspended for his violent play. After missing the first three games of last year due to suspension, he missed further time with concussion, neck, thigh and ankle ailments at various points, illustrating the myriad ways he can miss snaps. And yet, he still got to triple-digit tackles in 11 games while providing his customary sack and interception stats. His 171-tackle 2013 season is the ceiling, and his five-game, 29-tackle 2014 season is the floor.
Burfict will serve a three-game suspension to start the year and is arguably a contemptible player for his dirty and dangerous behavior on the field, but so long as he's on the field he's a highly-valuable IDP. Indeed, for him to rank this high, with a three-game absence factored into the projections, is impressive. His 74 tackles on 467 snaps last year implies 130-tackle upside despite the three missed games. In leagues with ample bench space, he's worth selecting higher than this because of the likelihood he'll make up for missed time upon his return from suspension.
Burfict's 2014 season was wrecked by two injuries, the first a concussion/neck strain (depending how you classified the injury) suffered in Week 1 and then aggravated in Week 2, the other a knee injury that ended his season after Week 8. Between the two injuries and the time that passed before the Bengals declared him out for the season, Burfict hurt a lot of his owners in IDP leagues. Additionally, Burfict had microfracture surgery in January and could miss the beginning of the season, so tread carefully in early drafts and check his status in training camp.
What an immense steal Burfict turned out to be for the Bengals. After a directionless college career full of discipline issues and frustrating underachievement, Burfict went undrafted in 2012, with many suspecting he wouldn't even be signed as an undrafted free agent. The Bengals were willing to take the gamble, and now they have 298 tackles over the last two years to show for it, including a league-leading 171 (114 solo) in 2013. Burfict is firmly established as one of the league's top linebackers at this point, and while some regression would be reasonable after last year's enormous tackle-total, he's still a good bet to lead the league in tackles again in 2014. Fellow Cincinnati linebackers Rey Maualuga and Vincent Rey have never been major tackle producers, so Burfict should have a big market share of the tackles to himself, and there's definitely no one capable of stealing from Burfict's play count. The Cincinnati defense logged over 1,000 snaps in each of the last three years, and the AFC North should be fairly run-heavy in 2014, so the tackle opportunities should remain abundant for Burfict.
Burfict went from five-star recruit to a bust at Arizona State, but the undrafted rookie started to capitalize on his talents once the Bengals gambled on him after the draft. He finished 2012 as Cincinnati's top linebacker, and he heads into 2013 with the same distinction. He closed out his rookie year with 127 tackles despite playing just 887 snaps on defense, and it's possible that he'll see a bigger snap count in 2013. He is somewhat of a risk, given his questionable history, and it's possible free-agent signee James Harrison might steal some tackles.