Continuing another similar piece to what I’ve been writing about this past week or so, today we’ll be taking a look at Explosive Play Rankings from Sharp Football Stats. Over the past week or so, I’ve been talking a lot about finding fantasy value and bargain players that come from the most successful offenses, or offenses that prioritize the pass or run compared to other teams. Well, today, we’ll be diving into Explosive Play Rankings, and finding out which offenses have explosive run games, and which offenses are explosive through the air. In turn, this should further help us on draft day by targeting lucrative offenses that will produce some of the best fantasy players. 

In this piece, “Explosive” will mean any rushing play that goes for more than 10+ yards, or any passing play that goes for more than 15+ yards. These are then further averaged out into overall rates that we can judge offenses by. We’ll be looking at the top 5 offenses in Explosive Run Rate, Pass Rate, and overall Play Rate. 

*Note* – All data is courtesy of Sharp Football Stats

Explosive Play Rankings – Rushing

Team Avg. Explosive Run Rate
CAR 17%
KC 16%
GB 15%
SF 15%
CIN 15%

Taking a look at the offenses with the most explosive rushing rates, we see some familiar names. It’s no surprise that Carolina or Kansas City rank in the top 5, especially considering how good Christian McCaffrey, Kareem Hunt, and Damien Williams were last year, with CMC and Hunt both finishing in the top 10 in fantasy, and Williams bursting onto the scene late last year. They should continue to be fantasy darlings in the year to come. The two teams on this list that I’m most intrigued by are Cincinnati and Green Bay. A lot of people are high on both Joe Mixon and Aaron Jones, and for good measure. Not only did Mixon finish in the top 10, but Cincinnati as a whole finishes with a solid 15% explosive run rate. As for Jones, he finished in the top 20 last season, but with the nature of this offense (when fully healthy), and the addition of Matt LaFleur as Head Coach, Jones will be viewed as a hot commodity in fantasy drafts. His ADP already signals a 3rd-round price tag. San Francisco is also a shocker to end up in the top 5 in explosive run rates, and I’m not exactly sure what caused this. Matt Brieda finished as the 24th RB in standard scoring last season, but I would have to assume that a lot of his production must have come in explosive rushing plays. It’s something to keep an eye on this season, along with the training camp battle between him, Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon.

Explosive Play Rankings – Passing

Team Avg. Explosive Pass Rate
KC 13%
NO 12%
SF 12%
LAC 11%
LA 11%

Again, some familiar names pop up on this list of explosive passing offenses. It comes as no surprise that Kansas City finishes first on this chart with a 13% explosive pass rate. While I do believe that Patrick Mahomes will regress a little bit, this is still an offense to completely invest in this season. Not only do I view Damien Williams as a potential RB1, but I really like the value of Sammy Watkins, as I wrote about here. We’ve also got both L.A. teams on this list, and I don’t think anyone is shocked about that. New Orleans is another offense we should expect to fall on this list as well. However, we’re seeing the 49ers finish in the top 5 again, this time in explosive passing plays. Now, what I can draw from this is the fact that San Fran fell behind in a lot of games last season, and was forced to get aggressive in the passing game, most notably with Dante Pettis and breakout tight end George Kittle.  Perhaps they’ll get better as a team with a full healthy offseason and the return of Jimmy Garoppolo, and won’t be playing from behind as often, but I still don’t think they’ll shy away from being aggressive on offense anytime soon.

Explosive Play Rankings – Overall Rate

Team Explosive Play Rate
KC 14%
SF 13%
LAC 13%
SEA 12%
LA 12%

The usual suspects again fall on this list of overall explosive play rates, with a new addition, this time being the Seattle Seahawks. Last year, the Seahawks featured one of the most run-heavy offenses in the entire league, and while they did find success in the passing game, I do think this overall explosive play rate has a lot to do with their rushing success. Heading into the year, even with the addition of D.K. Metcalf, I don’t think Seattle will shy away from establishing the run with the likes of Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny.

Heading into fantasy drafts, it’s good to keep in mind that Kansas City, San Francisco, the L.A. Chargers and Rams are some of the most explosive offenses in the NFL, and we should be targeting every piece of these offenses as we can. We also can look to Seattle, Carolina, Green Bay, and Cincinnati as the offenses to target running backs from, as they’ve shown how successful they can be on the ground.


You Can Follow Me on Twitter @zachrob2k

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big league choo
big league choo
3 years ago

12 team keep 3 forever

Have someone interested in Evans or Julio, who would you trade and what would be fair value in picks? Picks are fixed, not snake I pick 11th because I won last year. He picks 4th each round, one of them would be on the board for him probably, but he doesn’t have 3 good keepers. If he doesn’t give up no.4 overall, which is likely would you take his 2nd and a swap in the 3rd round for one of them?

My possible keepers
RBs Gurley, Cook, Fournette
Wr Davante, Julio, Evans
TE Kelce

Leaning towards gurley, cook, Davante as keepers

3 years ago

Good stuff, Zach

3 years ago

I’m interested in Damien Williams role but wanted your thoughts on two different players playing on explosive offensive teams.

WR Mike Williams
TE Jared Cook

Do you see both of these two having breakout seasons if they stay healthy?

3 years ago

12 team keeper league where you pay $100 to keep one player. Its 5 points passing td and 6 points all other tds. Who should I keep out of
1) Patrick Mahomes 12 round
2) Nick Cubb 9th round.
3) E. Elliott 1st round

southside dom
southside dom
3 years ago

10 Team, 1 Keeper only. Reining League Champ.

Would you go:
-McCaffrey in the 2nd round (would be the 13th overall pick), or
-Mahomes in the 12th (pick 113 overall)

I’m haunted by 2017 when I chose to keep Brady in the 9th over Gurley in the 5th…