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 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 fourth edition of the IDP Matchup column here at Footballguys in 2019. I have been penning this defensive diary for the past several years and I am delighted to be able to share some tidbits to help you secure a league title come December.
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. 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.
The match-up picture is becoming clearer as we gather more data, allowing us to pinpoint the most and least exploitable opponents for optimal IDP line-ups. However, the NFL is difficult to tame. With multiple changing quarterback situations, each week is an exercise in re-evaluation, clarity, and conviction.
Make sure you have a clear picture in your mind of the ever-shifting landscape before you take your first steps out onto the lush fantasy plains.
Without further ado, let’s kick off with this week’s matchups.
Pass Rushing Match-ups to Exploit
New York Giants pass rushers vs. Washington
As hard as Case Keenum may work from Sunday to Sunday to prepare for the week’s opponent, there is no quickfire remedy for a poor offensive line. Under siege against the Bears, Keenum was often pressured almost immediately off the snap and it had a downstream effect on his play. Trent Williams’ absence is being felt more acutely each week that goes by. The Washington offense, in general, hasn’t been all that productive, something the reinvigorated Giants will aim to exploit.
Daniel Jones’ presence has given this team a new life, and it is likely to have a knock-on benefit for the defense which, let’s be honest, has been carved up the past few weeks. The personnel certainly aren’t up to snuff, and the Giants brass has a lot of work to do in the offseason to build their talent, but this match-up at home presents as an ideal chance for production.
Key stat: Washington’s offense allowed pressure on 16.8% of dropbacks last year. The 2019 figure isn’t yet available, but this unit is ripe for the picking.