This is the eighth installment of a 10 part series spotlighting players that will make a significant leap in the 2015 NFL season. If you haven’t checked out our feature on the Vikings defensive back Xavier Rhodes, I suggest giving it a read. Each player featured in this series are prime prospects to target in season long formats, as well as early season IDP lineups before their prices rise. Let’s get into it!
For NFL fantasy enthusiasts: Ziggy Ansah already broke out last season with his 7.5 sacks, but we know that he is capable of producing double digit sacks. The former BYU standout became the 5th overall pick by the Detroit Lions in 2013, but was expected to be a “raw” project for the Lions defense. With his 6’5” 270lb frame, Ziggy brings both power and explosive abilities. With the loss of Ndamukong Suh to free agency, the Lions brought in Haloti Ngata, and now have the run stuffing defensive tackle that can complement Ziggy’s talents. Now into his third season, Ansah is expected to be the go to pass rusher for the Lions, which we feel he is more than capable of doing this year.
Now let’s take a look at why Ziggy Ansah’s numbers from 2014 will only vault him into the top 5 for defensive lineman in the NFL this coming season. For his first two seasons, Ansah has produced 15.5 sacks, with 7.5 coming last year. With Ndamukong Suh leaving for South Beach, and taking his 8.5 sacks from 2014 with him, Ansah should have more opportunity to be the team’s leader in sacks. Ansah ranked as the 11th best defensive lineman in fantasy totals last season and is expected to produce double digit sacks for the first time in his young career.
Now, headed into his third season, Ziggy looks to become one of the premier defensive ends in football on an already strong defense. With the addition of Haloti Ngata and a healthy Stephen Tulloch to go along with DeAndre Levy, Ansah will have all of the support in the box that he needs to breakout. Will the amount of quality players on the Lions defense, it will allow the focus to remain off of Ziggy and onto other players, which will only open up more opportunities for him.
The numbers Ansah has the chance to produce this season are unlimited with his combination of size and speed. With the new opportunities to play IDP (Individual Defensive Players) fantasy leagues, Ansah should be a feature defensive lineman to look for on draft day. Ranked as the 11th defensive lineman last season, Ansah will be expected to produce numbers that should put him in the top 5 in fantasy this season.
The Lions only had one significant personnel change on their defense, with Suh leaving via free agency. A lot will be expected of Ansah this season, and he is looking to finally get over the double digit threshold that has held him back. Another key fantasy translation is tackles for loss, and with his sack totals expected to increase, so will his TFL numbers.
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