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2016 Most Impactful Defensive Players (Another Look)
By Keith Van Wagner
Special to gzl-football.com

So this is my second article relating to Impactful Defensive Players. The first, posted a few minutes ago, tried to quantify "impact" based on average yards lost on sacks and tackles for loss. It was, to me at least, interesting, but it only captured one facet of defensive production. I mentioned in my article how I toyed with creating a unifed defensive impact metric, but it got bogged down in determining yardage (how many yards is a safety worth? A forced fumble?)

Anyway, after posting my last article, I decided to try to put together a more inclusive metric for defensive players, based not on yardage. Instead I've created a rough metric that assigns points for particular defensive categories, in a weighted manner. So, for example, a tackle for loss is worth more than a tackle, and a sack is worth more than a tackle for loss.

Though my weightings were basically pulled out of my ass, it is my hope that they capture in some way the importance of each type of defensive play. Here is the way I weighted each:

Tackle = 1 pt
Deflection = 2 pts
TFL = 3 pts
Forced Fumple = 6 pts
Sack = 9 points
Fumble Recovery = 12 pts
Interception = 12 pts
Safety = 15 pts
TD = 20

You may have quibbles with these weightings ( I've already changed them from my first attempt) and I can tweak them, but I think this captures the general idea.

With that in mind, here are the Top 10 Impactful Players:

1. MLB Manti Te'o, BAL -- 331 pts
2. CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, DAL -- 329 pts
3. MLB LaMarr Woodley, BUF -- 322 pts
4. CB Derek Cox, MIN -- 316 pts
5. CB Marquis Robinson, KC -- 315 pts
6. DE Quinton Coples, WAS -- 302 pts
7. MLB Von Miller, STL -- 289 pts
8. MLB Jerod Mayo, NE -- 282 pts
9. DE Brandon Graham, MIN -- 273 pts
10. CB Jalil Brown, TEN -- 272 pts

Anyway, let me know your thoughts!
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