In the Trenches - Week 5
Each week I’ll be using data from PFF and around the web to give some insight into IDP fantasy football, and how using these metrics can lead to finding undervalued players, potential breakouts and sleepers.
This week, rather than looking directly at the performance or production of defensive players, I’m going to delve into the effectiveness of offensive tackles, and look for matchup opportunities IDP owners can exploit with their defensive lineman.
Pass Blocking Effectiveness
One of the positions you get asked the most questions about as an IDP analyst is defensive lineman, and in particular, defensive ends. They are vulnerable to sporadic scoring, and even the very best can post a zero in a given week, infuriating the fantasy owners. Case in point, J.J. Watt, the destroyer of record books and fantasy conventions, posted zero defensive statistics in Week 2 of this year. On the flipside, a relative unknown, who is a pass-rush specialist and only sees the field on obvious passing situations on third down can post a monster score, triggering a week of, “Should I drop <stud defensive lineman> for <one week wonder>?”. For example, Mario Addison played just 29-of-73 snaps in Week 2 against the Lions, yet he recorded 2.5 sacks, suddenly thrusting him into the fantasy limelight in IDP circles.
The reason this can happen is down to matchups, as of all the IDP positions, defensive lineman are the most susceptible to a good or bad matchup. Come up against an elite pass-blocking tackle and the most gifted of sack artists can be stone-walled, and vice versa, a run of the mill, journeyman D-End can put up a multi-sack game if facing a turnstile tackle.
All that being said, let’s look at some numbers on which of the league’s offensive tackles have been performing poorly to date and are a matchup worth targeting in October.
Ross Miles is a Lead Writer for Pro Football Focus Fantasy. Follow him on Twitter – @RossMilesNFL
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