The New York Jets were very outspoken throughout the off-season regarding prized cornerback Darrelle Revis. New York held firm on their belief that they couldn’t afford to offer $16 million per year to a cornerback when they have an assortment of needs. The Jets characteristically let the situation get out of control which culminated in the trade of Revis to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although defense is not at the center of fantasy football, Revis is a matchup nightmare for opposing receivers.
Revis essentially missed the entire season after tearing his ACL early in 2012. Before the injury, Revis was unanimously considered the top cornerback in the NFL. As previously discovered, elite cornerbacks hold the statistical advantage against elite receivers. His move into the NFC South is an unwelcome sight to Julio Jones, Marques Colston and Steve Smith who will now match up against Revis multiple times in 2013.
Tampa Bay ranked dead last in the NFL allowing 297.4 passing yards per game in 2012. The problem was directly alleviated with the additions of Revis and Dashon Goldson. With the lack of cornerback depth in Tampa Bay, teams will absolutely turn their attention opposite of Revis on passing plays. Number two receivers for the majority of Tampa Bay opponents will be better fantasy plays than their top pass-catchers.
The lockdown ability that Revis possesses will allow the focus to shift to the Tampa Bay front-seven that experienced mixed results in 2012. They recorded the second lowest sack percentage while their top rushing defense numbers were inflated by their opponent’s high passing tendencies.
Regardless of their personnel or past shortcomings, the arrival of Revis and Goldson will indirectly improve their run defense. Revis can thrive outside in isolation and allow run-stuffing safeties Goldson and Mark Barron to focus on stopping the run.
Before this trade, Tampa Bay was already a threat to contend in a tough division. The addition of Revis doesn’t immediately make them the favorites but improves their chances to upset the supremacy of the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints.
Revis in the NFC South doesn’t downgrade the overall value of number one receivers within the division. However, it might be wise to opt for the alternative in any draft day toss-ups involving Jones, Colston and Smith.