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Defense Analyzer - Week 5

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Defense Analyzer - Week 5

Postby prince_45243 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:36 am

Defense Analyzer

Hello all. I'm reviving this series now that we have a few weeks of data under our belt.

The Defense Analyzer was originally developed based on a statistical analysis of correlation between particular stats (sacks, turnovers, TDs, points against) to determine which combination was most predictive of a break out game (10+ or more points). The analysis showed that while a defense that allowed the fewest points is great in real life, from a fantasy perspective, sacks and turnovers were more predictive of a good fantasy score. Largely because the median score for points against (in the 20s) provided almost no points to a defense but sacks and turnovers were positives. TDs obviously have an even bigger impact but other than sacks and turnovers, are very hard to predict.

My method is to take the matchups for the week, use the defense's Sacks and weighted Turnovers average per game and compare it to the sacks and turnovers given up by the opponent every week. I sum them to get a score. After I do that, I look at the individual performance of the defense as well as opponents. Last year, playing the defense that faced STL every week was better than SF (the number one defense in my league).

DEFENSE ANALYSIS
Rank, Defense, matchup, turnovers/sacks by defense, turnovers/sacks by offense, sum

Image

DEFENSE PERFORMANCE
On the left are the defenses and the number of points scored each week in my league. On the right are the points given to defenses by a particular team.

Image

Final rankings:
1) CHI vs. JAC - CHI has had 9+ points plus two 20+ point outings. JAC has given out 9+ points twice in the past 4 weeks.
2) BAL vs. KC - BAL had one bad game vs. NE and KC hasn't given out less than 9 points all year. This should be good.
3) ARI vs. STL - ARI has had two 10+ outings in a row and has also had average weeks. STL has given two 10+ outings but also two 5+ outings. I lowered enthusiasm on this one slightly as a result.
4) CIN vs. MIA - CIN had one bad week in week one vs BAl but otherwise has looked fine as a defense. MIA had one bad production to a defense vs. OAK but otherwise has given out double digits. This should be fine.
5) HOU vs. NYJ - HOU had one bad game as a defense vs. DEN but otherwise has produced very regularly facing a jets team that only gave out one bad week and just surrendered 27 points to SF. The jets weren't pushovers to midling level defenses in BUF, PIT and MIA but HOU should be a cut above.
6) NYG vs. CLE - I raised this in rank a bit. The Giants have only had one break out week vs. CAR but CLE has been very generous giving a minimum of 9 points to BUF. I think the Giants should have a good week here
7) ATL vs. WAS - ATL had one bad week vs. CAR but otherwise has been 9+ solid points. WAS however, just gave out a bad week with 23 points but prior to that had not given one higher than 6 points and gave CIN zero. Still, I would rank this matchup as top 10
8) SF vs. BUF - SF hasn't exactly been blowing the doors off the first 3 weeks but they did great vs. NYJ. BUF has given out some terible outings to KC and CLE but gave double digits to the jets and NE. I think SF is probably in that tier and so I'd keep them in the top 10.
9) PIT vs. PHI - PIT used to be an elite defense but has had a terrible first three games as a defense. PHI gave out monstrous points in the first three weeks but settled down this past week. A bit of a gamble but still makes the top 10 based on sacks/turnovers given up by PHI.
10) MIA vs. CIN - MIA hasn't been stellar in defense and CIN hasn't been stellar in what they've given out. This comes up because of the sacks/turnovers and the opportunities exist for a break out game here.

Riskier:
MIN vs. TEN - MIN has been hot last two weeks with a 13 and 23 point outing and TEN has given out 16 and 23 points to NE and HOU but not much to SD and DET. Still, MIN had good outings vs. SF and DET of late and may show a trend worth following up by taking this week.
SEA vs. CAR - SEA is a fine defense and have two break out games vs. DAL and GB but struggled vs. ARI and STL. CAR has been a fine opponent to have at times giving up 11 and 16 to TB and NYG but then not much vs. NO and ATL. This matchup depends on Good Newton or Bad Newton showing up.

Avoid?
NE did fine as a defense vs. TEN and BUF but c'mon, those aren't mega offenses. Vs. ARI and BAL, they struggled as a defense and this week they have DEN who has only given one game above 5 points all year. Would avoid.
CLE vs. NYG - CLE had a great week 1 but just so-so after that facing a giants team that hasn't given up more than 8 points all year. I'd approach with caution.
NYJ vs. HOU - NYJ have had two good weeks vs. BUF and MIA but terrible vs. PIT and SF. Hou has given out two zero's to defenses. Once a great defense but I would avoid this week.
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 5

Postby prince_45243 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:06 pm

Defense Analyzer - Rushing/Passing Defenses

The NFL ranks rushing and passing defenses based on yards per game. However, in FF, TDs and turnovers have a much bigger impact than yards per game. Thus, I provide a ranking based on the actual FF points given to opposing passers/rushers.

For passing I use 1 point per 25 yards, 6 per TD, -2 per INT
For rushing I use 1 point per 10 yards, 6 per TD, -2 per fumble.

These rankings do not take into account the actual player facing them. You should start McCoy, Rice and other studs no matter how hard the defense they are facing. The same with Brady, Rodgers and Brees. That's why they are studs, you can start them every week!

On the left is the passing defense rankings.
Rank, team, NFL's rank, Score given to opposing passers and toughness of the opposing passers.
For example, STL is the number one passing defense per my ranking. They are 11th by the NFL but have given opposing passers only 7.5 points per game. However, they've had the 3rd easiest schedule so far this year given the opponents they have faced.

For rushing, Houston is my number one rushing defense but they are ranked 11th by yards alone by the NFL. But they have yielded an average of only 7 points per game and have had a medium toughness of schedule.

Image

PASSING comments
A surprise here is to see STL at the top of this list. Okay, it's frankly a jaw dropper given how awful they were last year (usualy dead last). However, this year, they've only given up 2 passing TDs and have 8 interceptions(!) facing Stafford, RGIII, Cutler and Wilson. By comparison, BAL has given up only 2 passing TDs but have only 4 picks. However, that's probably because STL's rushing defense is so awful! They are yielding opposing rushers 22.5 points per game(!) facing DET, Morris, M. Bush and Lynch. They're giving up an average of 135 yards per game and have given up 6 tDs and have no fumble recoveries in those four games. Basically, why throw when you can run it in? Well, this week they have ARI and I wonder if now that they face a team with a mediocre running game, they'll give up some more through the air. Still, those are the stats.

ARI is ranked 21st by the NFL based on their yielding 256 yards per game but they have only given up 3 passing TDs and 4 picks. As a result, opposing QBs have not fared very well at all. PIT is ranked 3rd by the NFL as they have yielded only 190 yards per game through the air. However, they have given up 6 passing TDs and have only ONE interception in four games. TEN, OAK and KC are yearly fun teams to pass against but WAS is a surprise for me to see at the bottom. But they are yielding an astonishing average of 326 yards per game to opponents and have given up 11 passing TDs to only 5 interceptions. How bizarre is it to see WAS at the bottom and STL at the top of passing defense?!

RUSHING comments
Houston is ranked 11th by the NFL based on 90 yards per game but over 4 games, they have yielded ZERO TDs on the ground and have 4 fumbles (1 per game!). Very tough to run against. Last year, SF was number one and did not yield a rushing TD most of last year. This year, they gave up 1 but otherwise, also a very tough rushing defense. TB is ranked 4th by the NFL based on yielding only 75 yards per game but unlike those others, they have given up 4 rushing TDs and only have 2 fumble recoveries. CHI and SEA are highly ranked both on my and NFL's ranking but I would caution that they have had the easiest rushing toughness schedule in the league with CHI facing IND, GB, STL and DAL and SEA facing ARI, DAL, GB and STL. STL has yet to find a rushing TD and GB, IND, and DAL have only had one TD in four games and ARI has had only 2 rushing TDs (but only 68 yards per game). This week, CHI faces MJD and SEA faces the CAR offense. CAR has 6 rushing TDs and an average of 122 yards per game. MJD has only 1 rushing TD but averaging 108 yards per game.

Also noteworthy is ARI as a rushing defense. They are ranked 14th in the NFL and 11th by me but they have yielded only ONE rushing TD all year and have faced Lynch, Ridley, McCoy and MIA's rushing game. Technically the toughest rushing schedule so far this year. Upcoming is SJAX, F. Jackson, AP and Gore which is even tougher of a schedule for rushing.


As always, please don't replace common sense with a bunch of statistics and don't obsess about a 0.1 difference between teams. That's meaningless. Your knowledge of your own players is better than any 'expert's knowledge of every player. Good luck!
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 5

Postby prince_45243 » Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:40 am

Image

The above shows the Defense/ST rankings by a variety of other bloggers and websites. Yahoo and ESPN hasn't posted theirs yet and most waiver wires are for today. Last year the analyzer performed very favorably compared to other web sites but it will be interesting to see how it does this year. If it fails to keep up or some other site consistently beats out the analyzer, we can all just switch to that and I can save myself an hour or two a week.

ATL and MIA appear on my list but on none of the four other lists. As I said in my ranking, ATL has had 3 games of 9+ points and only one bad outing while WAS has only given out one really good game to defenses. It's a gamble/risky bet but we'll see how it pans out. MIA I can't really defend very well. MIA has really only had one good game and CIN has only given out one good game to BAL. I may have overcalled that one. But the TO/S ratios look awfully favorable.

CIN appears on my list and KFFL's but no one else's. CIN has really only had one bad game vs. BAL and MIA has given out 10+ points nearly every week and the sacks/turnover margin is fourth highest on my list. I'm sticking with it.

PIT is on my list and Bleacher but no one else's. PIT has struggled all year and if Vick calms down, this might be a shaky pick. This one ranks high based on the first three terrible weeks from PHI on turnovers and may be over-rated on my list.

SEA appears on all 4 other lists. It was on my riskier list as much depends on Cam Newton and turnovers. I can't think of anything more to say on this one. Probably equal to the MIA and PIT ranking on my list.

MIN shows up on 3 other lists and was on my riskier list as hot the last two weeks and TEN giving out a few good weeks of points as well. Overall, it was pretty far down my lists from sacks/turnovers so it didn't make the top 10 for me but I think it's a good recommendation.

GB shows up in 3 other lists facing IND. GB has had 2 games of 9+ points and IND has given out one game of 14 points but the rest were 2 and 3 pointers (bye last week). From a sacks/turnovers standpoint, this actually ranks pretty low on my overall list but it is noteworthy that it showed up on so many other lists and I think is worth a flyer.

STL appears on 2 other lists facing ARI. They have two 10+ outings but ARI has given only one game above 6 points. They have a bizarrely high passing rating probably related to their weak rush defense but facing an ARI team that is fairly pass heavy. Will be interesting to see if Fitz and Roberts can blow em up. I guess I can't really recommend them right now.

I'm out of town tomorrow through Sunday so may not answer questions as readily as I have in the past.
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 5

Postby prince_45243 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:45 am

Post-Mortem:

prince_45243 wrote:Image


Scores:
CHI: 28
BAL: 15
ARI: 4
CIN: 7
HOU: TBD
NYG: 6
ATL: 11
SF: 12
PIT: 8
MIA: 13
5/9 were break out games and 6/9 were median score or above (8)
In particular, the analyzer chose ATL and MIA which no other list selected and those two had break outgames.
A very good week for the Analyzer.

Others:

MIN: 10
SEA: 15
GB: 5
STL: 18
NE: 8

Funston: SF:12; CHI:28; HOU: TBD: NYG: 6, BAL: 15; ARI: 4, MIN: 10; SEA: 15, GB: 5, PIT: 8; 5/9 breakout, 6/9 median or above; As good as Analyzer
Bleacher: HOU: TBD, CHI:28; ARI: 4, BAL, 15, SF, 12, SEA: 15, PIT: 8, STL: 18, GB: 5, NYG: 6; 5/9 breakouts; 5/9 median or above; Not as good as Analyzer
Fantasy Fix: HOU: TBD, CHI: 28, SF; 12, BAL: 15, ARI: 4, NYG: 6, MIN: 10, NE: 8, STL: 18, SEA: 15; 6/9 breakouts, 7/9 median or above; Better than analyzer
KFFL: BAL: 15, ARI: 4, CHI: 28, SF: 12, HOU: TBD, MIN: 10, CIN: 7, SEA: 15, NYG: 6, GB: 5; 5/9 breakouts; 5/9 median or above; Not as good as analyzer

Also: Yahoo (posted on October 5th: CHI: 28, SF; 12, HOU, tbd, BAL: 15, NYG: 6, PIT: 8, GB: 5, MIN: 10, SEA: 15, PHI: 1; 5/9 breakout; 6/9 median; Also recommended PHI who had only 1 point; Not as good as analyzer

The analyzer performed well this past week with 2/3s of picks being better than the median score. Two picks chosen based on the TO/S ratios (ATL and MIA) which were the only solo picks of the analyzer had breakout games of 10+ points. So far, looking at that metric is 3/3.

However, SEA appeared on 4 other lists and scored 15 points. It was on my riskier picks list. MIN showed on 3 other lists and scored 10 points and I upgraded to a good recommendation. STL appeared on 2 other lists and scored 18 point and I did not recommend them; bad call. GB showed up on 3 other lists but scored only 5 points. It was very low on my list of sacks/turnovers ratio which was a good call. PIT appeared on my list and Bleachers but no one else's and I downgraded to 'shaky' but they actually got 8 points or the median score. Hopefully no harm done. CIN appeared on my and KFFL's list but no one else's and they scored 7 or one point below median. Semi-bad call.

Thus, it may be worthwhile in addition to looking at Analyzer to look at other lists for teams that show on two or more for possible breakouts. Of SEA< MIN, GB and STL, 3 of the 4 had breakout games.

The NYG appeared on all 6 lists and ARI appeared on everyone but Yahoo's list and had only 6 and 4 points respectively. Bad calls all around.

Missed: CAR had 17 points vs. SEA including a safety and a defensive TD; KC vs. BAL had 12 points. WAS v. ATL had 11 points including a defensive TD. CAR would have been hard to predict, they had a very low ranking on sacks/turnovers ratios and yet had 2 sacks 3 turnovers for the game. Just a fluke? KC had 4 sacks and 2 turnovers and held the ravens to only 9 points. Also would have been hard to predict. WAS had a defensive score from 1 sack and two turnovers that tipped them over the 10 point game. Also would have been tough to predict.

A considerable advantage of the Analyzer is that it was posted Tuesday Oct 2nd where as the others were posted Wednesday which is after the 2 day waiver wire pick-up deadline that many leagues have and Yahoo posted on Friday the 5th (after the Thursday game).

Lesson so far is that the Analyzer does seem to work pretty well as it has in year's past. It's comparable to other sites and if a team appears on more than one other of the rankings that I chose, it looks like it may be worth picking up.

Good luck!
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