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 15th 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.
Playoff intensity is in the air. There is nothing quite like earning the bragging rights by beating a friend or colleague in the fantasy playoffs, seeing the fruits of your season-long labors as you lift the trophy. That comes in time; for now, the focus must remain on the week ahead. The decisions you make over the next week or two will define your season. Let’s use the match-ups to their fullest to make it a memorable finish.
Without further ado, let’s kick off with this week’s match-ups.
|Team Defense||Team Offense|
|LEAGUE AVG||Pressure Applied||QB||QB||Drop Backs||Pressure Allowed||QB Sacks||QB Hits||Drop|
|2016 NFL Average||14.2%||2.18||5.37||37.8||14.2%||2.18||5.37||37.8|
|2017 NFL Average||15.1%||2.33||5.49||36.5||15.0%||2.33||5.49||36.5|
|2018 NFL Average||15.0%||2.50||5.56||37.0||15.0%||2.50||5.56||37.0|
|2019 NFL Average||15.2%||2.58||5.68||37.4||15.2%||2.58||5.68||37.4|
|Team Defense||Team Offense|
|Pressure Applied||QB||QB||Drop Backs||Pressure Allowed||QB Sacks||QB Hits||Drop|
|GREEN BAY Packers||17.3%||2.5||6.2||35.6||15.3%||2.5||5.6||36.7|
|KANSAS CITY Chiefs||14.2%||2.8||5.5||38.4||12.5%||1.6||4.8||38.8|
|LOS ANGELES Chargers||13.6%||2.1||4.3||31.6||15.6%||2.1||6.0||38.5|
|LOS ANGELES Rams||15.4%||3.3||6.1||39.4||12.6%||1.5||4.9||39.1|
|NEW ENGLAND Patriots||18.1%||3.2||6.6||36.6||13.7%||1.9||5.8||42.6|
|NEW ORLEANS Saints||16.3%||3.6||6.8||41.5||10.1%||1.3||3.8||38.2|
|NEW YORK Giants||15.2%||2.2||5.5||35.8||18.8%||2.8||7.6||40.5|
|NEW YORK Jets||16.6%||2.2||6.5||39.5||19.6%||3.6||7.2||36.5|
|SAN FRANCISCO 49ers||16.4%||3.5||5.5||33.8||15.6%||2.1||5.1||32.5|
|TAMPA BAY Buccaneers||15.6%||2.6||6.8||44.0||16.5%||3.2||7.1||42.8|
Pass Rushing Match-ups to Exploit
Baltimore pass rushers vs. New York Jets
With Vegas tabbing them as a 14.5-point favorite, the Ravens should have their way with the Jets in a Thursday night showcase. The quadriceps injury to Lamar Jackson may, in a funny way, be a boon for the defense. If Jackson can’t make magic like he normally does, it will be on the shoulders of the defensive giants on this roster to make the plays to win the game. The Ravens average a staggering 7.2 quarterback hits per game and apply pressure on 19.3% of dropbacks, figures that will strike fear in the heart of second-year Jets quarterback Sam Darnold.
Adam Gase’s team has little reason to be confident in an offensive line that has allowed pressure 19.6% of dropbacks, with 3.6 sacks and 7.2 hits per game. Granted some of these numbers were accumulated while the Jets were forced into starting Luke Falk, but this offense struggles mightily on the road. The discrepancy between sacks taken at home versus on the road is stark: a 15 to 32 split. Only a few bounces of the ball to keep this game close on the scoreline will allow the Jets to run their offense in a balanced fashion. Unfortunately for Darnold, that script isn’t likely to play out. Plug in your Ravens in a clash that should include ample pass-rushing opportunities.