I’d like to welcome back my old friend Statistical Strategery. This is where I throw some numbers together and see if we can gauge which team defenses are the easiest and hardest to run, pass or kick against, well, not the kick part. This is week 1 and there have been major coaching and personnel changes in the NFL so these numbers won’t be quite as helpful as they will be in say week 8, but they are what we have to work with.

The one thing that is obvious for week one is that the Steelers and Ravens are going to be tough to run on, but you also can’t not start Ray Rice and Rashard Mendenhall (them’s the breaks). Thankfully there are some fantasy RBs who do have nice matchups, like Deangelo Williams, Jamaal Charles, Darren McFadden, Beanie Wells and the Giant backs.

The idea to start your studs no matter the matchups is even more true early in the season when we haven’t seen defenses at full strength and in new schemes, etc..

I do these charts for passing defenses as well and am always looking for new stats and ways to tweak them so comments are always welcome. The Key is at the bottom if you have any questions about the numbers. Good luck!


Each number is the ranking that the teams have in that particular statistic over the last 7 weeks.  For example, Pittsburgh has given up the least amount of rushing yards per game so they have a “1″ under the “Yds/Gm” column.  The ranking on the left coincides with the average on the right.  The higher the number the worse their rush defense stats are.

Rank: Overall ranking of each team.

Team: The team that is being evaluated for their defensive strength.

Opp: The team with your fantasy players

Yds/Gm: Total rushing yards given up per game

RB FPA: Fantasy points allowed to running backs

Yds/c: Yards Per Carry Ranking

TDs: Rushing Touchdowns Allowed Ranking

DVOA: Defense-adjusted Value Over Average

Average: The average of each each individual ranking. (this corresponds to the overall ranking)

  1. douglas says:

    Ah, actual strategy! I love it. I’ve read this and come to my own conclusions but I’d love to know what you think of the following:

    I went a bit wild drafting RBs in a league with a long bench. I need to drop one to pick up a K (stupid Kickers). So thoughts on who I start and who I drop?:

    D. McFadden, F. Jones, M. Ingram, T. Hightower, D. Carter, D. Ward, D. Karim, L. Washington

  2. herschel says:

    @Doc: posting from my blackberry (old school, I know). Not sure if anyone else is having the same problem, but on my main computer internet browser (firefox) when I go to the football razzball homepage, the first article I see is “draft recap, schmaft schmecap” posting from aug 30. Not sure if anyone else is having the same problem or I need to eat my cookies or something (again, I’m not too tech savvy), but just wanted to let you know. Thanks.

  3. Andrew says:

    Trade offer, I give javhid best and steve johnson, I get greg jennings.and plaxico, thoughts?

  4. hideousmutants says:

    Hey Doc,

    Are you going to put out your weekly position rankings this year? I need a D for Week 1 and my weird ass league snapped up the top Ds in the draft. Obviously I’m playing matchups and am looking at KC (vs. Buff), SD (vs. Minn) and Tenn (Vs. Jacksonville). Any other horrible offenses that you think will make the opposing D look good?

  5. hideousmutants says:

    one more question…

    I left the draft with Celek as my TE which I’d like to upgrade. The owner of Owen Daniels has Cassel and Peyton as her QBs so she might be motivated to trade Daniels. I’d have to give her my backup QB Stafford to do it (Romo is my starter). I’m pretty high on Stafford to have a huge year so if I’m right, I could get a lot more for him later but is the chance to upgrade to Daniels right now worth trading him?

  6. Doc

    Doc says:

    @douglas: I’d probably drop Washington because he’ll be safe on the wire for now.

    @herschel: Does clearing your cache help?

  7. John Barleycorn says:

    @Andrew: No, I wouldn’t.

  8. MJD Took A Knee says:

    I have the same problem not seeing updated posts. Using firefox but same problem for me with IE.

  9. MJD Took A Knee says:

    Just wanted to say I got back to this post from twitter

  10. Bourne says:

    Ben Tate or James Starks on my bench? Non PPR. Currently have Starks.

  11. charlie batch says:

    Doc, I wrote this on the forums, but Im not sure you check them – Im pasting my question here. Please, dont be annoyed!

    “Bonjour Dockimus Prime!

    Ive read your site for almost 3 years, and I must have you assess my team, if you could. Please, do not be gentle – even if it hurts. I’m thoroughly displeased with this team, but hearing it from you would help me.

    League notes: 14-teams, I had pick 11. 6 points per TD (rush – reception – pass), 1 point per reception, 0.25 points per rush attempt, 0.02 points per pass attempt, -0.01 point per incomplete pass, -2.5 per interception, -0.75 per sack, yards unimportant (15yds per 1 point for receiving; 17 per 1 for rushing; 20 per 1 for passing).

    This is my team, with round chosen:

    QB – brees (2)
    WR – andre johnson (1)
    WR – amendola (5)
    WR – bess (9)
    RB – blount (3)
    RB – grant (6)
    TE – finley (4)
    W/R/T – addai (8)
    BN – daniel thomas (7)
    BN – starks (11)
    BN – rashad jennings (13) -> just found out he’s injured too.
    BN – delone carter (14)
    BN – stevan ridley (15)
    BN – javon ringer (17)

    1) regret taking blount over best; thought best would fall back to me in early 4th.
    2) regret taking bess over jacoby ford… or should I?
    3) finley in 4th seems too early for a TE, but it was between him, welker, and brandon marshell, and I thought I could wait on WRs since I had AJ.
    4) glad i locked up indy and green bay’s running games! i need a lottery ticket rb, bad.

    What say you?

    PS – Youre even a great fantasy baseball writer (I read your baseball fillins). Keep it up my friend.”

  12. Doc

    Doc says:

    @charlie batch: There are question marks to be sure, but you were smart about everything. Bess in PPR should still probably out produce Ford who will be sporadic. I probably would have went with the wide receiver over Finley, but I love Finley so it’s hard to be too hard on that pick. I do think you’ll get some good production out of the Indy and GB backfield eventually. Overall you’ll need some breaks, but in a 14 teamer the in season moves are really important.

  13. Leroy says:

    hey doc – thx for all the great work. looking to pickup a TE in my points league (PPR)… moves are limited so trying to hold onto the TE i pickup.

    who you like best from gronkowski, jared cook or lance kendricks? theres good stuff about each but curious to see ur thoughts…

  14. SwnDvr says:

    Need some help, was waiting to take a QB and got bumrushed in my long wait between picks, literally someone made a joke and 12 or 13 QBs came off the board…So I ended up with this, what do you think about week 1?

    League scoring is 25pass yds/1pt,4pts pass td,10rush/rec yds/pt, 6pts rec or rush td
    5 completions/1pt, 5rec/3pt, and 300/100 yd bonuses, and TD over 50yd Bonus

    We start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, ! RB/WR, TE, D/ST, K and I was wondering what you think about my QB/RB/WR/Flex situation.

    QB:Hasselbeck and Colt Mccoy (I know I know)
    RB: Deangelo Williams, Knowshon Moreno, Beanie Wells, James Starks, Marshawn Lynch, Ryan Torain
    WR: Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Mario Manningham, Jordy Nelson

    Long time reader, only chimed in a few times but really was hoping for your input on this one…thank you for all the input and everything you do, keep uo the great work !!!

  15. Mike Scobeyt says:

    Your like Arizona defense against Carolina yet you think Carolina well be able to run against Arizona’s defense. Question is should I play Arizona’s defense or New England’s defense against Miami.

  16. Mike Scobey says:

    How good is Denver’s defense with Miller added.

  17. Mike Scobey says:

    LeRoy I like Bradford passing to Kendricks. Should be special.

  18. Jeb says:

    Got one for you: Hightower @ NYG or Sproles @ GB in a return yardage league?

    Leaning Hightower although Crosby has a terrible touchback %.

  19. jerky says:

    12 team standard who had more upside? D.Carter for Indy or g.little for cle. And are.they worth dropping Ricky Williams?

  20. Doc

    Doc says:

    @Leroy: I like all of them, but I’m leaning Cook. I love Kendricks’ upside for a riskier pick.

    @SwnDvr: Yeah, that’s a sad state there at QB. I think I’d at least look to upgrade a little with a trade if you can. I’d probably switch from Manningham/Moreno at flex and put Wells and Williams as the starters. I like Starks to step up at some point so that’s good. I would probably drop Torain for an upside backup RB or QB like Cam.

    @Mike Scobeyt: I’d go with NE.

    @Mike Scobey: They are much improved.

    @Jeb: I’d feel better with Hightower

    @jerky: I’d drop Ricky for Carter

  21. Bungler says:

    Love your analysis above. I currently have ARI as a week 1 pickup but the run ranking against Williams and Newton give me pause. Might I be better off with NYG, SF or KC? If so, which would you recommend? Thanks.

  22. Paulie says:

    So help me out pick 2: medenhall, blount, or beanie wells

Comments are closed.