Targeting Top Offenses

Identify and target players on top offenses

Once upon a time, David Dodds wrote a very interesting article that was called “Eliminate the Suck”. The prevailing concept was pretty simple – avoid players on offenses that could be considered questionable. In the original article, David eliminated the Bottom 10 offenses, kept the Top 10 offenses, and made decisions on the remaining 12 based on their fantasy playoff (Weeks 14-16) schedules. Additional criteria were used (favoring positive value against ADP, while avoiding players with age and injury issues).

While I loved the concept, I thought that it could stand some modernization – and a little less rigidity. Limiting the players to only those on the Top 10 offenses seems arbitrary, so a more quantifiable method was used to filter the list of the Top 200 players (no need for 300) to get down to the best of the best.

Taking 2018 results and sorting offenses by relevant fantasy production in the regular season, a score was given to the best NFL teams to identify a few categories of offenses from last season. Ranking all 32 teams according to yards per game, total points, passing yards, and total yards sounded like a reasonable start. You may notice that rushing touchdowns and yardage were not emphasized and for good reason. The NFL emphasizes the passing game, as 14 teams had over 4,000 yards passing for the season while only eight teams had over 2,000 yards rushing. Further, only 10 teams had 16 or more rushing touchdowns (with the Saints’ 26 and Rams’ 23 the only teams over the 20 mark) – yet 20 teams had 25 or more passing scores, with the Top 10 throwing for at least 30. Passing is king in the NFL.

Three clear team groupings emerged from the four criteria:

Group 1 – Elite Offenses [Five teams]

  • Kansas City (Yards Per Game 1st, Total Points 1st, Passing Touchdowns 1st, Passing Yards 3rd)
  • Los Angeles Rams (2nd, 2nd, 8th-tie, 5th)
  • Pittsburgh (4th, 6th-tie, 5th-tie, 2nd)
  • Indianapolis (7th, 5th, 2nd, 6th)
  • Atlanta (6th, 10th, 3rd-tie, 4th)

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