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Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby prince_45243 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:15 am

Last week's post: viewtopic.php?t=505532

If you've been following the column, Yahoo and this analyzer have been pretty close in their predictive ability and the prior week, Yahoo had pretty soundly beaten the analyzer's predictions so I'll keep the comparisons up until there's a solid winner or just for information.

Week 8: Average score 7.8, Median 6. 11 scores of 10 or higher

1) BAL-8
2) SF-12
3) NO-12
4) NYG-8
5) DET-29
6) HOU-6
7) CIN-24
8) TEN-16
9) PHI-10
10) SD-11

1) NYG-8
2) BAL-8
3) DAL-3
4) HOU-6
5) CIN-24
6) SF-12
7) DET-29
8) PHI-10
9) BUF-23
10) MIN-7

Yahoo's predictions had 9/10 above average inscore and had 7/11 scores that were 10 or higher.
Mine had 7/10 above average scores and had 5/11 scores that were 10 or higher. Yahoo had listed NO who scored 12, SD who scored 11 and TEN who scored 16 on theirs which I hadn't on my list. I had DAL that scored 8, BUF that scored 23 and MIN that scored 7 that were on mine but not theirs. I had said that I hadn't liked the DAL call or MIN call as I felt that Vick and Newton are holding onto the ball better. Would have liked to bring NO into my top 10.

I think I'd tip towards using Yahoo on a more regular basis. They've done well for weeks now and although the analyzer has come close to their level of predictive ability and sometimes picks a break out game that they would miss, on the whole, it does seem to tip in Yahoo's favor.

However, I think that combining information from both may be your best strategy looking at those that were called on both lists.

Turnovers/Sacks are the most reliable predictor that I can find for above average and breakout games. Other additions into the analysis only served to reduce reliability. The following lists are the rank, the defending team, their matchup for the week, the average sacks/turnovers obtained by the defending team, the same given up by their matchup and then the overall score. These are averages which consider the number of games played as some teams have now gone through bye weeks.

I've previously said that NYJ, BAL and GB are teams that should probably be started every week regardless of matchup. I've also been impressed with NYG, DET, SF and CHI and think they may be good starts regardless of matchup as well. The BYE teams are still listed. The bye 'score' btw, is just the alphabetically best fit for the computer so please ignore it.


1) SF vs. WAS (One of the best defenses with a juicy matchup against a faltering skins)
2) BAL v. PIT (Very different from week 1 but BAL is too studly to sit)
3) NYJ v. BUF (Tougher matchup against a strong BUF team but NYJ too studly to sit)
4) GB v. SD (SD is a mess right now)
5) KC v. MIA (Sneaky pick here but I think an appropriate one)
6) CHI v. PHI (CHI is a strong defense but I lowered the ranking because of recent performance by Vick and company)
7) BUF v. NYJ (Buffalo has had some elite weeks making them a higher rank)
8) HOU v. CLE (Houston a bit of a surprise to me, not sure what to make of it)
9) DAL v. SEA (DAL has to be hungry for a win and SEA is the main course)
10) CIN v. TEN (CIN is turning more and more into an elite or need good reason to sit defense)

Considers: OAK v. DEN - Playing in Oakland, denver with a lot of change and I think Oakland will have fewer turnovers than previously.
PIT v. BAL - PIT is a quality defense, I think they've played much better in the past several weeks. NYG is in my 'would sit for good reason' category and I worry about them vs. NE this weekend. We'll see what Yahoo says but I think this may be a more objective way of doing it than my seeing theirs and commenting. I'd be interested to see if they don't have CHI on their top 10.


The NFL ranks passing or rushing defense based on yards per game. However, from a fantasy perspective, TDs and turnovers are weighted much more heavily than yards in most fantasy leagues. Thus, the NFL's ranking doesn't always make sense. The following fantasy passing ranking is based on 1 point per 25 yards, 6 per TD and -2 per turnover. It does NOT take into account the matchup for the week.

Each line shows my rank, the team, the NFL's rank, the average score they are yielding opposing passers, and the toughness of their schedule so far this year. For example, the NYJ are my number 1 passing defense, they are the NFL's number 7 ranked defense. They are yielding opponents only 8.2 points per game on average and have faced the 26th toughest schedule so far.

You should also note that this is passing only and if your qb has good legs, look also at the rushing rankings.
You should also note that this doesn't take into account their opponent that week.



At this point, the top and bottom 10 passing and rushing defenses tends to stabilize quite a bit for the rest of the season with perhaps one team moving in and out of the top or bottom. Too much data now forces the trends a bit.

The jets have allowed only 4 passing TDs in 7 games and have had a solid 11 picks. The average for the league is 10 with the Colts giving up 15 in 8 games folllowed by the Rams, Broncos, Dolphins and Minnesota each giving up 14 TDs. Despite how good Cincy looks against the pass, they have only 3 interceptions (league averages 7 or one per game) with buffalo having the most at 14 picks. A surprise to me is that KC has the 2nd highest number of picks at 13 but one has to remember 6 given up by OAK in one game. Still, they've been good at keeping the ball away. And the primary reason that PIT isn't higher on my ranking scale is that they've only had 2 picks in 8 games which is tied for worst in the league with Miami.

Based on 1 per 10 yards, 6 per TD, -2 per fumble.
For example SF is my number 1 rushing defense, ranked 11th by NFL, giving up an average of only 5.3 ppg to opposing rushers but with the easiest schedule this year.


SF's streak continues. No rushing TDs allowed so far this year. The Ravens have similarly allowed only 2 rushing TD all year. Rough day for Mendenhall coming up. CLE, DET, GB and MIA have also only allowed 3 rushing TDs in their games this year with CLE being the surprise there. Normally one would think of them as a very weak defense. MIA is also a surprise in there given how soft they are in general.

CAR and ARI have yielded the most rushing TDs with 11 apiece and Indy has allowed 10. The jets and giants are solid passing defenses but they have each yielded 9 rushing TDs which averages at more than one per week. As for Fumble Recoveries, again the Steelers would be ranked in my top 10 but for the fact that they've only had 1 FR in their 8 games of play so far.Combined with their low picks, they end up very low from a turnover standpoint.

The sack leaders are NYG at 26 and BAL at 25 but a surprise right behind is MIN with 24. DET has the same mark. And WAS has 23 although on the decline and PHI with 22. I would have thought DAL to be in the top 5 but they and SF have 21. On the low end of that spectrum is KC with only 9 sacks on the year. TB, IND have 12 and the Bills, for as good as they are on defense, only have 13.

I've always said that Defensive and Return TDs are difficult to predict other than pressure such as sacks and turnovers.
However, just for completeness, the Ravens and Lions have had 4 defensive TDs. Buffalo, Cincy and the jets have each had 3 defensive TDs and CHI, KC, NO and TEN have had 2. But as I've always said, these are very hard to predict from week to week other than looking at sacks and turnovers.

Special Teams returns are even harder to predict. CHI, SF and ARI each have 2 returns for TD. A smattering of others have 1.

Points allowed are typically a poor predictor of overall score but for the record, the Ravens and 49ers have only allowed 104 and 105 points. Close behind are the Bengals at 117. The Jets are fairly close to the pack of 128 along with PIT at 133. But looking at the other end of the spectrum, Indy has allowed 234 points (gah!) and Carolina and Minnesota have allowed 201 and 197 points. At the extremes, I do think that points against will matter more.

So that's the tour of the statistical look at defenses for the week.

This information is for entertainment purposes only. Please do not replace common sense and good judgment with a bunch of statistics.

Good luck!
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby robotninja » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:43 pm

Not sure who to go with this week, what does your gut say between

Hou vs Cle

Cincy @ Ten

Unfortunately Cincy has been riding the pine the last few weeks because I didnt believe but as you said its becoming hard to sit em.
10 Team Std Scoring No PPR
QB Stafford
RB Spiller
RB Morris
WR Nelson
WR Reggie Wayne
WR/TE Jimmy Graham
Flex Ridley
K and Def by committee
Min and Hartley

A Brown (pit)
Bernard Pierce
Roy Helu
Bryce Brown
Mark Ingram
Marlon Brown
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby FormerlyADog » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:26 pm

Both Buffalo and NYJ hit the WW today in my league. Next waiver pickup is Saturday. I plan on dropping NYG (who are heading into a very tough schedule) and a WR (probably Decker) to pick up both Buffalo and NYJ. Buffalo has a ridiculous schedule for playoffs (15 and 16). As you say, NYJ are pretty much a good start, even with matchup.

Question is this:
Ari vs StL
Atl @ Indy
NYJ @ Buf
Buf vs NYJ

NYJ and Buffalo are listed very high in your list (4 and 8).
Buffalo offense has allowed the fewest D/ST point this year (Highest scoring offense, 2nd fewest sacks)
NYJ offense are mid to high for scoring but give up a good number of turnovers each game.

Arizona and Atlanta are further down on your list.
St. Louis offense averages 11.6 points a game, by far the lowest in the league. They also give up about 4 sacks a game and they've given up 4 defensive TDs in 7 games!
The Colts are horrendous and allow D/ST to rack up points. Granted, they give up very few sacks (sub 2 per game average), but they don't score, average close to 2 turnovers a game, and have allowed 4 defensive TD's in 8 games. 1 defensive TD in each of their last 3 games!

If there were a game to sit the Jets D, i think this would be it. Arizona and Atlanta are two D/ST that should perform well and are not in your top 10.

Personally, I will be picking up NYJ and Buffalo off the WW on Saturday, and will play the Buffalo D. this week.

If you're a shoe in for playoffs, and you need a D for weeks 15/16, Buffalo is prime!
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby prince_45243 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:01 pm

Wow, great idea formerly!

I modified a few sheets and came up with the figure below:

This figure is based on the opponent not the defense. It shows the average number of points that the team has given up to opposing defenses (Byes count as zeros but they aren't included in the average).

STL leads the way yielding an average of 13.6 ppg and with only one week out of all weeks started against where they had less than 10 points.
Seattle has had 2 non-bye weeks that they yielded less than 10 points and frankly less than average points but they had two games allowing 20+ points.
Denver is an anomaly based on the 29 points they just gave up in one week. 3 out of their 7 weeks they ahd below average defense productions and only 3 out of 7 that were above 10 points.
Indy has had two weeks of less than 10 points but otherwise has yielded more than 10 points per game all season.

I think I'll try a Green Light/Yellow Light paradigm. I've always said that a point here or there is meaningless statistically. I've adjusted this with the data that formerly suggested on points they've give up as a matchup. I think such data is useful when consistent but teams that fluctuate a lot (See KC's line) are more problematic.

SF vs. WAS (Last 3 weeks the skins have given up 10 or more ppg)
GB v. SD (SD is a mess right now; 2 of last 3 games with 10+ points to defenses, injured RB corp)
ARI v. STL (Although ARI is not much of a defense, STL has given 9+ ppg all season)
ATL v. IND (5/7 games have given up 10+ points to defenses)
BUF v. NYJ (Jets have given up 8+points 4/7 weeks)
HOU v. CLE (CLE has given up 10+ points in last 4 games to opposing defenses)
DAL v. SEA (SEA has given 20+points twice this year and 5/7 games have given up 10+ points

BAL v. PIT (A must-start in BAL but PIT has allowed very few points to defenses since week 4).
NYJ v. BUF (Also a must-start but BUF has failed to yield more than 7 points to a defense all season and have been the worst matchup all season).
KC v. MIA (Sneaky pick here but I think an appropriate one, KC on fire and MIA with a 5th highest avg ppg)
CIN v. TEN (CIN is turning more and more into an elite or need good reason to sit defense but TEN hasn't yielded much to opposing defenses this year).

Robot, I think TEN is pretty soft but they've really only yielded one 10+point game to an opposing defense all year. While CLE has yielded 10+points in each of their last 4 matchups. I'd tip towards Houston there.

Interesting ideas. Also, I invite people to make their suggestions on the ranking as well.
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby prince_45243 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:25 pm

FormerlyADog wrote:If you're a shoe in for playoffs, and you need a D for weeks 15/16, Buffalo is prime!

My league has a 3 week playoff, weeks 14-16. The following figure looks only at the opponent, NOT the quality of the defense.

I have to agree that BUF looks the best through the playoffs with several very easy matchups and they are the best defense going into that. But NE has some very nice matchups through the playoffs, WAS, DEN and MIA and PHI also has some nice matchups with MIA, NYJ and DAL. SF is higher on the list largely because of SEA but if you don't get to your week 16 what good is that matchup?

BAL looks fine as well with IND, SD, CLE but the Jets look like they have subpar matchups throughout the playoffs, particularly if KC surges.
DET looks like a good defense to get you there but some tough first few weeks of the playoffs with MIN and OAK.

Interesting stuff.
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby FormerlyADog » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:29 pm

I agree that NE has great matchups as well for those three weeks, but looking at the D/ST, I would have a tough time trusting them. Week 1 against Mia, they allowed 24 PA, with 4 sacks and 1 INT. I haven't seen anything else during the season that points to them being a good start.

Buffalo I already commented on. While weeks 15/16 are great matchups, week 14 against SD is middle of the road. I don't see them pulling anything fantastic, but its not too risky of a play.

Philly also has a good schedule for those weeks. They cleaned up well against good matchups in week 1 (St Louis) and week 6 (Washington). They also only allowed 7 PA, with 4 sacks and 1 INT against Dallas in week 8 (week 16 matchup). While the Eagles D/ST played poorly against good teams in weeks 2-5, they should be trustworthy against the teams they're facing in 14-16.

NYG look good on paper as well with Dallas, Washington and Jets. However, I'm dropping them for NYJ and Buffalo D/ST. It took a lot of thought and I'm still a bit hesitant (and it doesn't help that I'm a Giants fan) but I'm going through with it. Here's my rationale (using yahoo's default scoring):
Week 1: @Wash -- 22 PA, 4 Sacks, 1 Fum Rec = 6 pts
Week 2: StLouis -- 16 PA, 2 Sacks, 2 Fum Rec, Def TD = 12 pts
Week 3: @Philly -- 16 PA, 2 Sacks, 3 Int = 9 pts
Week 4: @Ariz -- 27 PA, 4 Sacks, 1 Int, 1 Fum Rec = 8 pts
Week 5: Seattle -- 28 PA, 6 Sacks, 1 Int, 2 Fum Rec = 11 pts
Week 6: Buffalo -- 24 PA, 3 Sacks, 2 Int = 7 pts
Week 8: Miami -- 17 PA, 5 Sacks, 1 Int = 8 pts

While none of these are horrible performances, you can see that the results of matchups (especially week 1, 2, 5) were nothing to get excited over. They do consistently get sacks and turnovers, but the points allowed in each game detracts from their ability to put up stellar numbers. NYG are in the bottom three so far in the season in each of those matchups (e.g., 2nd lowest scoring D/ST against Washington so far this year, 3rd lowest scoring against St Louis, 3rd lowest scoring against Miami)

Other than those 4, only Baltimore has a consistently good schedule for all 3 weeks, and they are a must start. If picking one team to take you through the three playoff games (assuming Baltimore is taken), I would take Buffalo first, Philly second.

**edit: I completely derailed this from a week 9 analysis! Sorry guys!
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby Itchy » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:52 pm

Please give your opinions. I have 3 defenses and don't want to drop any of them, but looks like I might have to. I'm not a sure thing for playoffs, but it's looking good-I'm 7-1. Our playoffs are weeks 15 & 16. Here's the defenses and upcoming opponents:

DEFENSE 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16


My dilemma is that I think GB is the best defense of the 3, but seems to have a tougher schedule. I looks to me PHI has the best schedule toward the end. I was hoping to keep all 3 and play depending on matchups. I could drop a WR if needed-but that'll leave me pretty weak in that dept - although my WR's aren't all that great anyway. Thoughts?
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby impervious » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:47 pm

you're ranking NYJ that high against the bills? that game should be a high scoring game
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby Drift Monkey » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:19 pm

Yahoo's rankings are up!

1. San Francisco 49ers
2. Oakland Raiders
3. Dallas Cowboys
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Houston Texans
6. Baltimore Ravens
7. Green Bay Packers
8. Kansas City Chiefs
9. Atlanta Falcons
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
11. New York Jets
12. Cincinnati Bengals
13. New Orleans Saints
14. Buffalo Bills
15. Chicago Bears
16. St. Louis Rams
17. New York Giants
18. Arizona Cardinals
19. Denver Broncos

I have Dallas right now...wondering if I should drop em for Oakland?
Week 13

QB - Tim Tebow
WR - Hakeem Nicks
WR - Dez Bryant
RB - Ray Rice
RB - Ryan Mathews
TE - Jermichael Finley
W/R/T - Vincent Jackson
BN - Tony Romo
BN - Julio Jones
BN - Roy Helu
BN - Ben Tate
BN - Kevin Smith
K - Mason Crosby
D - Houston
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 9

Postby prince_45243 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:13 pm

impervious wrote:you're ranking NYJ that high against the bills? that game should be a high scoring game

Points against are only a little predictive and NYJ are not a very good pick this week, just that they're a very good defense gets them higher.
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