Who wants to talk about quarterbacks and running backs when you can talk about defenses and special teams (D/ST) units! If you’re like me, you probably are changing your team defense on a weekly basis, looking for the optimal matchup to exploit. Well, that’s exactly what I am hoping to accomplish today. Today, let us take a look at Week 16 D/ST rankings!
I’ll go through my process of evaluating defenses, before getting into the specifics for the week! Who is going to be the 30-point defense this week? Let us find out!
First, we need to analyze how effective each D/ST unit has been for fantasy purposes this year. However, this doesn’t come from looking at previous fantasy points. See, turnovers (interceptions and fumbles) can be rather unstable on a week-to-week basis, making them difficult to rely on. Thus, to identify who the top defenses have been, we need to take that out of the equation.
This leads me to my new implied points statistic for D/ST units. Based on the number of points they have allowed and the sacks they’ve totaled up, we can see how many points a D/ST unit SHOULD be averaging per week:
Implied Points (Weeks 1-15)
|Defense||Difference||Implied Points||Fantasy PPG|
After shutting out the Buccaneers, the Saints rise up greatly in the implied points rankings. Meanwhile, the Broncos continue to show signs of being better than their fantasy ranking would indicate, and the same goes for the Rams and the Bengals.
You may be surprised to see the Colts as low as they are. That’s due to the fact that their fantasy ranking has been boosted by turnovers. They rank 20th in sacks and are middle-in-the-pack in yards/play allowed, but have relied on takeaways (tied-1st). That’s not a sustainable strategy, and it will be interesting if that rears its ugly head with a tough matchup against the Cardinals up next.
FEWEST PROJECTED POINTS ALLOWED
Meanwhile, these defenses will face opposing quarterbacks with the highest pressure rate:
HIGHEST OPPOSING QB PRESSURE RATE
Lastly, these defenses will face opposing quarterbacks with the highest turnover-worthy play rate:
HIGHEST OPPOSING QB TURNOVER-WORTHY PLAY RATE
Hopefully, this helps explain my thought process with regards to the D/ST rankings. Speaking of which, here they are:
Week 16 D/ST Rankings
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