Each week, this column will take a critical look at key statistical trends to highlight pass rushing and tackle matchups to exploit and avoid. We'll be heavily relying on another great feature at FBG this season, the IDP Matchup Spreadsheet that will be generated by Aaron Rudnicki. That spreadsheet will contain a number of weekly and weekly average statistical measures to help identify those defensive teams who are facing the best and worst opportunity as the season progresses. While this column will include analysis of tackle and pass rush opportunity and matchup data, it's only a fraction of the data available in the spreadsheet. We hope that the Matchup Spreadsheet and this column will join John Norton's weekly IDP projections, Doug Drinen's Matchup Analyzer Tool and our customizable MyFBG function as useful tools to assist in making weekly line-up and waiver wire decisions.
You are very welcome to the Week 14 edition of what will be a season-long look at the best and worst matchups in the IDP landscape based on detailed, accurate spreadsheet data generated by Aaron Rudnicki on a weekly basis.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dave Larkin. I am a veteran IDP player and what some would call a diehard fan of this game of football that we all love so much.
Defense is my passion. Over the past few years, I have assimilated countless pages of data from various sources to hone my knowledge of the defensive side of the football. Each and every week I will study film from the previous week’s games and provide you with nuggets of wisdom that will lead you to a championship.
It’s playoff time for most leagues, so we are down to the nitty gritty. No matter how you got here, whether by good fortune or sheer domination, enjoy the ride. Ultimately, these past 13 weeks were just the opening stanzas of an epic poem that will be part of fantasy football lore – if you can only finish the job and win that title.
Pinning down the match-ups to do just that will be crucial as always, so let’s finish strong in 2017.
Pass Rushing Matchups to Exploit
Los Angeles Chargers pass rushers vs. Washington offensive line
The turnover on the Washington offensive line has seen Kirk Cousins face constant pressure. He should be commended for making the most of a bad situation, unleashing improbable bombs downfield despite being clocked in the facemask time after time. Something tells me a Chargers defense that averages 3.4 sacks per game at home will pick up right where Dallas left off last week. The motivation will be sky high for the 6-6 home team as the playoffs remain within their grasp. I expect a bloodbath up front for the Redskins, and a comfortable Chargers win.
Key stat: The Redskins have surrendered pressure on 18.6% of dropbacks, although recent offensive line woes have exacerbated matters.
San Francisco pass rushers at Houston
The Texans will always put forth a game effort, but you have to wonder how motivated they will be after the disheartening loss last week. Tom Savage has made some strides in his development, but he is still an immobile quarterback for the most part. A revitalised San Francisco front seven should be able to take advantage. The insertion of potential franchise quarterback (and saviour) Jimmy Garoppolo into the starting line-up injected a new sense of vitality and inspiration into the team last week. I believe that could be carried forward into this week. The 49ers would not generally be on the fantasy radar of many owners, but this Texans offensive line has been porous at the best of times.