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Defense Analyzer - Week 6

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Defense Analyzer - Week 6

Postby prince_45243 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:41 am

Last week's post: viewtopic.php?t=523791

Defense Analyzer

The post-mortem is on the last post of last week's. To summarize, the Analyzer performed as well as most commercially available ranking lists, better than a few, only one did slightly better and 70% of the top 10 picks were above average with 50% being 10+ point games. Only KFFL did better last week.

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).

Rank, defense, matchup, turnovers/sacks by defense, turnovers/sacks by offense, sum


On the left are 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.


Kansas City note: Every year there's some poor team that is better to start against than starting the best of defenses (although this year CHI is going to be hard to beat on that scale). This year, it may be KC. KC has failed to yield a below average game all year. Look at your defense's bye week, see who KC is playing that week and you may want to pick that team up.

Final Rankings:

1) BAL v. DAL: Baltimore has only had one bad game vs. NE and breakout games all four others. Dallas has only given up one bad game and breakout games in the three others. Looks as good as it gets (except CHI who is on bye).
2) TB v. KC: TB has had 2/4 breakout games and 3/4 above average games facing a KC team that has given out 5 above average and 3 breakout games. Basically KC has yet to yield a 'bad' game to an opponent this year. See note above.
3) HOU vs. GB: HOU has had 4/5 above average games but only 2 breakout games. They face a GB team that has given out 3 above average games but only one breakout game. While HOU is a fine defense, this matchup is tougher and so I lowered enthusiasm slightly but still in my top 3.
4) NE vs. SEA - NE has had 3 above average games but only 2 break outs out of five while SEA has given a similar 3 above average and 2 break outs. SEA gave break out games to CAR and STL and above average to ARI and I think NE is as good or better than that group. I raised enthusiasm.
5) ATL vs. OAK: ATL has only had one bad game as a defense against a pumped up Cam and 3 break out games. They face an OAK team that has only given out one bad game, however and so will be interesting to see this matchup. OAK has only given out 2 INTs/1 fumble and 7 sacks in 4 games and are technically the least likely to give a break out game in the league from the sacks/turnovers standpoint. ATL on the other hand has the highest sacks/turnovers ratio in the league with 16 turnovers and 13 sacks in just 5 games. That's THREE turnovers per game. I bumped them up from 12th on the strength of the defense and an admitted distrust of OAK's early ball control.
6) ARI vs. BUF - ARI stumbled last week to STL. They have had 3/5 above average weeks with two break outs. BUF has given out 3 break out weeks and two bad games. As a trend, ARI seems to be fading but the matchup looks favorable statistically.
7) STL vs. MIA - STL has had 3 break-out games this season and MIA has given out 3 break out games this season. Somewhere in the middle of the upper pack but MIA disappointed CIN last week.
8) CIN vs. CLE - CIN has had 3 above average and 2 break out games as a defense but didn't show up last week vs. MIA. They had 10 points from CLE in week 2 and CLE has given out 4/5 above average games with 3 break out games however and so this looks pretty interesting.
9) MIN vs. WAS - Minnesota has had 3 break out games in a row facing a WAS team that may be sans RGIII and has given up two break out games in a row. This one may not look as pretty stats wise but looks good enough for me.
10) PHI vs. DET - PHI has only had one really good game as a defense but it's worth noting that DET has given 3 out of 4 games this year as break out games (actually worse than KC).

SF vs. NYG: I really struggled on whether to start SF in the top 10. They've had two solid weeks vs NYJ and BUF but the giants have been the second worst team to play against (only NE being worse to play against) giving out a -2 to CAR and a zero to CLE. The highest they've given out this year was an 8 to TB. Still they haven't faced very good defenses so far this year. DAL is bottom 10 and they gave them a six and in week 4 they faced PHI which is also bottom 10 and gave them a 3. SF struggled early against GB, DET and MIN but have stabilized nicely vs. NYJ and BUF. Still, I fear that the Giants are an elite team more on the level of GB or MIN and SF may fall back down this week. Tough call as I'm betting SF makes the top 10 in many other rankings (and I have SF on my team). Still, I couldn't find someone I would drop in the top 10 for SF who so far looks like a matchup play rather than the must start they were last year.

CLE vs. CIN - As with the MIA pick last week, this one is a bit out of left field. CLE has only had one good game all year and just dropped a goose egg. CIN however, has given out 3 above average games with two break out games. I couldn't put this above SF but it was the fourth most favorable on my sacks/turnovers ranking. CLE has 7 Picks and 13 sacks and 4 fumbles as a defense in 5 games. That's about 2 turnovers and 2 and a half sacks per game. Cincy has given up 6 picks, 15 sacks and 4 fumbles or about 2 turnovers and 3 sacks per game. However, most of CLE's picks were vs. Michael Vick who had 4 on week 1 and McCoy fumbled it so 5 of their 11 turnovers were in week 1. After that, they really haven't been very special as a defense.

DET vs. PHI - Vick hasn't thrown a pick since week 2. But it's hard to throw INTs when you keep fumbling the ball. PHI has given 4 above average games and 3 break out games in their first five. DET however, hasn't had a single above average game yet this year and has one of the lowest rates of sacks/turnovers. I think it's possible that Vick holds onto the ball well here here but his history is against him and so I pulled from top 10. Up to you though.

BUF vs. ARI - BUF has only had 2 good games as a defense all year. ARI has given out double digits in the past two weeks. I dropped from the top 10 mostly in that BUF has performed well vs . KC and CLE but not vs. the jets, NE and SF. ARI is likely between those groups in quality and so I was hesitant to recommend the bills. ARI has given up 23 sacks the year but only 3 picks and 2 fumbles in 5 games. Consider Risky.

SEA is a solid defense with 3 break out weeks but face a NE team that has yet to yield an above average game with the best outing given as 7 points vs. ARI. They gave BAL one point as a defense in week 3 and a goose egg to WAS. I think a lot of SEA as a defense having gotten break out games vs. DAL, GB and CAR but I'm not sure they'll do it vs. Brady and Ridley. Brady has only given up 1 pick in 5 games and has been sacked 12 times. NE has only had 3 fumbles in 5 games. It doesn't look as promising as their statline suggests.

Good luck everyone and if you have any insider information you want to share please do!
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 6

Postby prince_45243 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:29 am

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 12th by the NFL but have given opposing passers only 7.9 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 9th by yards alone by the NFL. But they have yielded an average of only 6.6 points per game and have had a medium toughness of schedule.


PASSING comments
As with last week, I'm still dumbfounded by STL topping this list. They have faced Stafford, RGIII, Cutler, Wilson and now Kolb which is a relatively light schedule from the standpoint of passers and that may be why they are so high. They have given up only 2 passing TDs in 5 weeks(!). Only BAL has given up 2 passing TDs as well but STL has had 8 picks and 15 sacks. This week, MIA goes against them and I'd be hesitant to start their QB or WRs vs. STL. On the other hand, STL continues to be pretty bad as a rushing defense.

BAL is ranked 22nd by the NFL in passing defense for giving up an average of 261 ypg but don't be fooled! They've only given up 2 passing TDs and have 6 picks in 5 games. DAL is ranked number 1 by the NFL and is yielding offenses only 169 ypg through the air but they have given up 5 TDs and one pick. A good defense to be sure but not as giving as others. KC is ranked as a top 10 passing defense by the NFL for giving up 205 yards per game but they have yielded a very generous 10 passing TDs per game and have only 3 picks in 5 games.

WAS continues to be the most fun to throw against giving an AVERAGE of 328 yards per game and have yielded 13 passing TDs. However, they have faced the third toughest schedule with Brees and Ryan and Dalton in the first five weeks. Only KC and DEN have had tougher schedules. KC facing Ryan, Brees, Rivers and Flacco and DEN facing Ryan, Brady, Schaub and Big Ben.

OAK TEN and BUF are no surprise but NE has continued last year's bad passing defense giving up 291 yards per game and 12 TDs (only WAS is worse on passing TDs). Peyton had fun against them to the tune of 345/3/0.

PIT is ranked 3rd by the NFL for giving up 184 yards per game but have given 8 passing TDS. The astonishing line, however, is that they only have one interception after 4 games. Only OAK has fewer INTs at zero. Lowly Carson Palmer had 209/3/1 vs. PIT which in my league would have been over 20 points.

While BUF is ranked near the bottom of passing defense, that goes doubly so in that they've had technically the easiest passing schedule of the year facing sanchez, cassel, weedon, brady and alex smith. Brady is an elite qb but of course, but the others aren't exactly star-studded unless they have been playing BUF.

PHI has been surprisingly strong on passing defense having faced Big Ben, Eli, Kolb, Flacco and Weedon. They have yielded only 5 passing TDs and have had 6 picks over the first 5 weeks.

RUSHING Comments:
HOU may be 9th by the NFL but they have yet to yield a rushing score all season. Only 86 yards per game and 5 fumbles in 5 games and no rushing TDs. Thinking of picking up Alex Green, weren't you? He may be fine ultimately but I'll bet he's a bust this week.

ARI is ranked 14th by the NFL but 9th by me in that they have only yielded 1 rushing TD in 5 games this year. That's as good as the Chicago bears (although the bears give up much fewer yards at 65 per game). In addition, they are the only top 10 defense to have faced a top 10 rushing difficulty schedule with Lynch, Ridley, McCoy, MIA and STL so far. MIA is ranked number one on rushing defense and were highly ranked last year and have given up 2 rushing TDs. Would avoid them.

TB is ranked fourth by the NFL for giving up only 73.8 ypg on the ground but they have yielded 4 rushing TDs and have only 2 fumbles in 5 games. Just midling so far.

The Buffalo Bills have yielded 9 rushing TDs in 5 games. Practically 2 per game. The jets have given up 8 and have yielded a smidge more yards. The Baltimore Ravens have forced the most fumbles with 6 which edges the Texans who have 5. But a shocker to most would be that BUF has forced 5 as well.

Did you know that Big Ben and Alex Smith are tied with Brady for fewest INTs this year at 1? Meanwhile, the Chiefs and Browns have both yielded 9 picks in only 5 games each. The Houston Texans have yielded only 3 sacks this year, best in the league. Compare that with the cards who have allowed 23 and the packers who have allwed 21 sacks!.

The steelers have not allowed a 40+ yard pass all season but to my surprise, either have the chiefs! Meanwhile the Cincinnati Bengals have yielded a monstrous SIX 40+ yard passes in only 5 games.

PIT has the best outlook from a passing standpoint for the next four weeks. They face TEN, CIN, WAS and NYG in that time frame. Hang in there you Wallace fans!

Next best passing outlook is (swallow) tampa bay?! Who face KC, NO, MIN and OAK. Three of those teams are bottom 10 passing defenses.
Then IND who has NYJ, CLE, TEN and MIA coming up. Other than the jets, the IND passers and receivers have a nice outlook coming up.

Worst outlook is NE facing SEA, NYJ, STl and a bye week. All are top 10 defenses.
MIA is second worst outlook facing STL, bye, NYJ and then IND. Only IND is a favorable matchup.
SF and NO also have lousy outlooks with SF facing NYG, SEA, ARI and Bye while NO has Bye, TB, DEN and PHI.

Best rushing outlook is for IND facing NYJ, CLE, TEN, and MIA. Only MIA is a tough defense. Will we see some Rushing out of Indy?
DMC has the next best outlook with ATL, JAC, KC and TB. The first two are bottom 10 defenses with midling defenses after that.
And Dallas rounds out the top 3 facing BAL, CAR, NYG and ATL. BAL hasn't been that solid of a rushing defense and only ATL is bottom 10 of that group.

Worst rushing outlook is STL facing MIA, GB, NE and Bye. Mia and NE are top 10 rushing defenses and GB is 16th.
CAR is next worse with a bye DAL, CHI and WAS
SF is third worst outlook with NYG, SEA, ARI and bye. That's two top 10 rushing defenses plus the giants at 17th.

So IND has top 3 passing and rushing outlooks in the coming 4 weeks. Interesting eh?
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 6

Postby prince_45243 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:03 am


I miswrote above. It was Fantasy Fix that actually did better than the analyzer last week but I couldn't find a listing for that website as of this morning. So I used those available.

I gave a number of others this week including and ESPN's projections.

All of my top 10 appear on someone else's list at some point but there is definitely a lot of strange picks on there.

TB, however, appears on two other lists only, KFFL and as top 10.
ATL, ARI, MIN, PHI and STL on 3
CIN on 4

Of those not on my list,
PIT appears 4 times
SF appears 4 times
BUF appears 4 times
MIA appears 3 times
DET appears twice
NYG appears once
CLE appears once
SD appears once

PIT/TEN looks like a good pick to me. They don't rate very high on my list as having only 1 pick in 4 games so far but TEN has been generous to the point of 3 break out games out of five. PIT has yet to have a breakout game this year but I think doable.

SF as I had said would be on many other lists was on there again. I do think the giants will be a handful but there it is. Hard to argue with it.

BUF appears four times. They've only had one break out game but are facing ARI that has given two break out games in a row. I'd call it more of a gamble myself.

MIA appears 3 times probably on the last two break out games facing a STL team that has given out two break out games this year. But STL has been stiff the last two weeks against SEA and ARI which I thought were better than MIA. However, something to consider that they appear on so many other lists.

DET faces PHI and is probably high because of Vick. Again, I think vick may actually do okay vs. DET's lack of pressure.

Anyway, there it is, good luck!
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Re: Defense Analyzer - Week 6

Postby prince_45243 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:05 am

Last week, Fantasy Fix was the only site that outperformed the Analyzer (slightly).

1) BAL
2) SF
3) PIT
4) ATL
5) MIA
6) NE
7) ARI
8) MIN
9) PHI
10) HOU

And last year Yahoo combined rating was the only one that consistently did as well or better than the Analyzer.

1) PIT
2) ARI
3) BAL
4) SF
5) ATL
6) HOU
7) TB
8) MIA
9) PHI
10) DET

Both list PIT very highly and appears on four other lists. Probably a missed call by the analyzer and a solid start. SF is also listed on both and not on 4 others. I worry about NYG's giving so little to defenses but this must surely be a hold-over from last year's pwnage by SF. TB does show up on Yahoo's as it did on mine and MIN showed up on Fantasy Fix but not on Yahoo's. CIN was on many other lists but surprisingly not on either of these two and MIA appeared on 5 of the 9 lists this week.

A lot of variability this week on the picks. ESPN and NFL rankings are the most highly variable with the other rankers and I'm betting going to fare the worst. Yahoo and Fantasy Fix have the disadvantage of not posting their lists until late in the week.

Good luck!
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