IDP Free Agency Gauge: Signed De’Vondre Campbell
March 31, 2020 No Comments Article Gary Van Dyke

Welcome to the IDP free agency gauge, where we’ll use an assortment of available information to gauge a player’s potential fantasy football outlook. And signed or unsigned, we’ll accumulate what we’ve learned in the process to gauge how to proceed from an IDP point of view with each player. So sit back and enjoy as the NFL ramps up their free agency period, and we break down those scenarios along the way.


Media Resources

Overall 2019 PFF Grade: 50.1

Contract Details

NOTE* 2021-2024 years automatically void the 5th day after the 2020 league year Super Bowl ($4M dead cap). (WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?)

And We Quote...

PFF’s Ben Linsey wrote: “It’s hard to get too down on a one-year deal, but Campbell simply hasn’t produced even average starting level play for the Atlanta Falcons over the last two seasons. There have been 57 off-ball linebackers that have played 1,000 or more defensive snaps over the past two years. Campbell’s overall grade of 52.4 ranks 50th in that group, just above the recently released Alec Ogletree. The Cardinals will be hoping that Campbell can get back to his 2017 form (69.1 overall grade, 23rd among linebackers), but recent results make this appear as an overpay on the part of Arizona.

2016 PFF Run Grade

Snap Count 547 / 49%

PFF COVerage Grade

2017 PFF Run Grade

Snap Count 950 / 91%

PFF COVerage Grade

2018 PFF Run Grade

Snap Count 901 / 83%

PFF Coverage Grade

2019 PFF Run Grade

Snap Count 924 / 89%

PFF Coverage Grade

IDP Free Agency

But It's Fantasy Football

Campbell's 2019 Gridiron Ratings






Twitter Has Spoken

After doing quite a few of these articles, I went to the masses. And accordingly, there is a lot of interest in Campbell heading into 2020 as an IDP play.

But It’s Fantasy Football

And despite what PFF’s Mr. Linsey shared with us about “real life” NFL results, in terms of fantasy football IDP production, Campbell’s been pretty good over the last couple of seasons. Especially in 2019, hitting triple-digit combined tackles with 129. But I can’t help myself, reflecting what I always say, and can be explained in B.J. Goodson’s article HERE.

In IDP, being productive by default counts.

So with that being said, in 2017 and 2018, he produced as a high-end LB2 overall and with borderline LB1 performances mixed in throughout those seasons. Just to peak in 2019 as a clear cut LB1, as we mentioned. And for our purposes that is hard to knock on. But I would like to point out a couple of things about him and the Falcon’s defense as a whole before getting to the bottom line.

Recapping 2017 – 2018
  • It’s my opinion the defense as a whole struggled and never performed up to par because of lingering injuries to stud LB Deion Jones and the likes of Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen. Expesaily Jones, who after getting hurt early in 2018, never did return to form and seriously struggled on the field comparably pre-injury. His overall PFF grades over that time, 2017 – 87.8, 2018 – 75.8, and 2019 – 76.6. Notice that overall Campbell’s production going up jives with Jones’s grade? 
  • Other than stud DT Jarrett Grady, the Falcons defensive lineman like Vic Beasly and Takk McKinley was either hurt or just never came close to performing as their status indicated they should. According to the Football Outsiders, here are the Falcon’s overall defensive line efficiency rankings, 2017 – 19th, 2018 – 31st, 2019 – 19th.
  • Backups all over the field, over the 3 years Campbell did well, there always seemed to be a lot of backup level players needing to be plugged in for all the things listed above. Or they were simply asked to play too early via their draft status. According to the Football Outsiders, here are the Falcon’s overall defensive efficiency rankings, 2017 – 22nd, 2018 – 31st, and 2019 – 20th. Again, there are some correlations in the rankings to Campbell’s production.
  • In the past three seasons, Campell has by fare lead the Falcon’s inside linebacker unit in snap counts on an overall average. Due to injuries as we mentioned. And wondering, after listing everything above, how come Campbell’s 2018 production wasn’t higher? Wait, 6th round rookie, LB Foyesade Oluokun stepped for the injured Jones and nearly had the same amount of combined tackles with 91 to Campell’s 94, and with 376 fewer snaps.

IDP Free Agency

IDP Free Agency Scenario Gauged

There’s one more thing before we get to why we mark him slightly descending in our gauge. While researching for this article, I noticed a lot of local beat writers in Arizona repeating that maybe now they have a guy that can help cover the tight ends in coverage.

But yet when I look HERE at PFR’s Advance Metrics for 2018 and 2019, Campell stinks in coverage. Affording a 86% in 2018 and 91% completion percentage when targeted, wow! Is it possible that allowing 59 of 65 completions be why the Falcons didn’t bother to try and at least match the one year deal the Cardinals gave him? Which six million is under the average for a good starting linebacker nowadays. And noting, seen a lot of Campbell’s games as a Deion Jones and Foye Oluokun fan. So seen his lack of coverage on tape, and no need to point out more than what PFR has.

I mean, a weakside linebacker in the Falcon’s scheme is the coverage linebacker technically, right? And isn’t his reported role for 2020 next to Jordan Hicks as the weak inside linebacker also the coverage guy? Could it be that a large portion of his production comes after he allows the catch? He did run a 4.58 40-yard dash at the combine, an outstanding 40 for a guy who stands at 6’4″ and almost 240 lbs.

So was he capable to allow the catch and then run the receiver down, recording a tackle? Is that as interesting as the fact that in 3322 snaps as a Falcon in four years he has only recorded two interceptions, sixteen passes defended, and just a handful of other playmaking type statistics, comparably? Uh oh, here we go again…

In IDP, being productive by default counts.


Descending Ascending
The Bottom Line

As an IDP writer that has dived deep into positional metric among the inside linebackers, which the data can be seen HERE, in the older 2019 IDP Bible. And know that some original images may be broken from merging with Gridiron Ratings this year. But the data is there, and we have full confidence after doing a few of these and different spans of years, nothing has changed to a relevant point. The most recent IDP Bible can be seen HERE if you’re interested in years of research like this on how to structure your IDP lineups and rosters.

I wonder if we should gauge Campbell descending even more than we have.


Furthermore, Campell will be playing (on paper) a less overall productive linebacker position at WILB, next to Jordan Hicks, as we mentioned. So on talent, skill set, and scheme, Campell will not reproduce the numbers he did in 2019 in 2020. The odds aren’t even 50/50 from where this writer sits and knowing what we know. And the only foreseeable reason Campbell could match those combined tackles in 2020, is if Jordan Hicks gets hurt as he has been known to do before 2019. And we’ll add, going to say that we give that scenario at 50/50 odds that he’ll not get hurt.

But we can’t count on anything other than what we know. So to be safe, IDP owners should approach Campbell as a solid LB2 for our fantasy football purposes. And know that there isn’t any relevant upside to becoming an LB1 on the season based on Campbell’s abilities and opportunity on paper. And thinking that he will outproduce this LB2 range is solely dependent on injuries, and possibly his team’s defensive play, just like it did in 2017-2019 with the Falcons.

IDP Free Agency

Thank you for joining us at Gridiron Ratings.  

Gary VanDyke

“The IDP Tipster”

The IDP Tipster

Would you like directly to have access to Gary VanDyke and his fantasy Football IDP “takes” or interact? You can find him here @TheIDPTipster via Twitter. His most active account. Or chat with us using our member’s chat on site. We look forward to hearing from you.

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