IDP Matchups to Exploit and Avoid: Week 17

Dave Larkin breaks down the key clashes to target and fade for IDP production

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 final 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 final week of the regular season can be highly unpredictable. The NFL is difficult enough to forecast as it is. Throw in the added complication of teams resting starters and you have a whole other thing to consider. The best advice is to move your championship game back to Week 16 for future seasons, but you need not worry if you’re facing your decider this week. As always, we have you covered at Footballguys.

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
AVERAGE Sacks Hits Faced Allowed Allowed Backs
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
Sacks Hits Faced Allowed Allowed Backs
ARIZONA Cardinals 13.6% 2.4 5.4 39.9 10.9% 3.4 4.1 37.9
ATLANTA Falcons 11.9% 1.7 4.3 36.0 17.7% 3.1 8.0 45.1
BALTIMORE Ravens 19.2% 2.4 7.1 37.1 12.6% 1.9 3.7 29.6
BUFFALO Bills 16.2% 3.0 6.1 37.6 16.8% 2.5 5.8 34.4
CAROLINA Panthers 17.4% 3.5 6.6 38.2 14.8% 3.6 6.2 42.1
CHICAGO Bears 13.7% 2.2 5.4 39.1 12.4% 2.7 4.9 39.1
CINCINNATI Bengals 14.2% 1.6 4.5 31.6 13.0% 3.1 5.4 41.1
CLEVELAND Browns 14.9% 2.6 5.2 35.1 11.5% 2.4 4.2 36.6
DALLAS Cowboys 15.6% 2.3 5.9 37.4 13.7% 1.6 5.3 38.7
DENVER Broncos 12.8% 2.4 4.6 35.8 15.6% 2.8 5.4 34.4
DETROIT Lions 11.1% 1.9 4.4 39.2 14.6% 2.7 5.8 39.6
GREEN BAY Packers 16.2% 2.5 6.0 37.1 15.1% 2.4 5.5 36.5
HOUSTON Texans 15.0% 2.1 5.9 39.0 15.4% 2.9 5.6 36.1
INDIANAPOLIS Colts 14.1% 2.4 5.1 36.5 17.9% 1.9 6.2 34.8
JACKSONVILLE Jaguars 17.3% 3.1 6.1 35.0 13.2% 2.6 5.2 39.6
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
MIAMI Dolphins 11.3% 1.3 3.9 34.1 22.9% 3.9 9.4 40.9
MINNESOTA Vikings 15.8% 2.9 6.4 40.4 12.8% 1.6 4.0 31.1
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
OAKLAND Raiders 11.5% 2.1 4.0 34.9 8.9% 1.7 3.0 33.6
PHILADELPHIA Eagles 17.4% 2.6 6.4 36.9 15.8% 2.5 6.4 40.6
PITTSBURGH Steelers 19.4% 3.5 7.1 36.9 13.3% 1.9 4.5 33.9
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers 16.2% 3.4 5.6 34.3 15.1% 2.0 4.9 32.6
SEATTLE Seahawks 10.8% 1.7 4.4 40.9 19.5% 3.0 6.8 34.9
TAMPA BAY Buccaneers 15.4% 2.6 6.8 44.1 16.3% 3.1 7.0 42.9
TENNESSEE Titans 13.4% 2.6 5.4 39.9 19.7% 3.6 6.4 32.2
WASHINGTON Redskins 16.0% 3.0 5.8 36.2 18.3% 3.1 5.9 32.0
Strong Matchup
Neutral
Weak Matchup

Pass Rushing Match-ups to Exploit

New Orleans pass rushers at Carolina

The Saints are in the green for all the primary pass-rushing metrics in our worksheet, with a pressure-applied number of 16.7%, 3.4 sacks and 6.9 hits per game. Due to the quality of their offense, the defense has been able to garner additional pass-rushing opportunities; they have faced 41.1 dropbacks per game. Expect a similar tale to unfold in this regular-season finale against Carolina. The grass field might slow down some of the more explosive pass rushers, but it shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance.

The Panthers, after all, are circling the drain and have been looking forward to next season since Ron Rivera’s ouster. The offensive line is in tatters, with rookie left tackle Dennis Daley showing poorly in recent weeks. With Will Grier making just his second start, the Saints will key on Christian McCaffrey and force the rookie to go elsewhere. Grier held the ball too long on a couple of dropbacks last week and took unnecessary sacks. If the script plays out the same way, this could be an ugly day for the Panthers – and a potentially explosive game for Saints players.

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