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 16th 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.
It is championship week in most fantasy leagues, its arrival creating a sense of anticipation and intrigue. Line-up decisions become magnified, the prospect of upside versus a safe floor must be accounted for, and sometimes you just have to rely on your gut. Whatever happens, ensure your preparation is airtight. After that, let the chips fall where they may – and enjoy the ride.
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||15.0%||2.51||5.59||37.3||15.0%||2.51||5.59||37.3|
|Team Defense||Team Offense|
|Pressure Applied||QB||QB||Drop Backs||Pressure Allowed||QB Sacks||QB Hits||Drop|
|GREEN BAY Packers||16.2%||2.5||6.0||37.1||15.1%||2.4||5.5||36.5|
|KANSAS CITY Chiefs||15.0%||2.8||5.8||38.6||12.5%||1.7||4.9||38.7|
|LOS ANGELES Chargers||13.1%||1.9||4.1||31.1||15.3%||2.1||5.9||38.7|
|LOS ANGELES Rams||15.0%||3.1||5.7||38.2||12.5%||1.5||5.0||40.1|
|NEW ENGLAND Patriots||17.2%||2.9||6.2||36.2||14.0%||1.9||5.9||41.8|
|NEW ORLEANS Saints||16.7%||3.4||6.9||41.1||9.9%||1.2||3.7||37.6|
|NEW YORK Giants||16.1%||2.3||5.9||36.4||18.0%||2.7||7.1||39.7|
|NEW YORK Jets||16.4%||2.1||6.3||38.4||19.5%||3.4||7.1||36.2|
|SAN FRANCISCO 49ers||16.2%||3.4||5.6||34.3||15.1%||2.0||4.9||32.6|
|TAMPA BAY Buccaneers||15.4%||2.6||6.8||44.1||16.3%||3.1||7.0||42.9|
Pass Rushing Match-ups to Exploit
Cincinnati pass rushers at Miami
The Bengals may be a 1-13 team, but they have stretches where they look as if they could topple superior outfits. Even against the Patriots last week there was a period when they appeared feisty, with defensive stalwarts like Carlos Dunlap making his presence felt. Cincinnati’s pass rush has averaged pressure on a paltry 14.2% of dropbacks this season, a statistic as much about opportunity as anything else. With the team trailing in most games, the chances to rush the passer simply haven’t been forthcoming. That may change this week.
The Dolphins have been a defense resembling soft butter this season, with every NFL offense acting as the knife that cleaves it down its soft center. Ryan Fitzpatrick can move around the pocket, extend plays and gives the offense a chance, but they have allowed 3.9 sacks and 9.4 hits on average and consistently fail to run the ball (40.9 dropbacks per game). Vegas predicts a close game, but even the Bengals’ much-maligned pass rush can thrive in this spot.