Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Using Offensive Line Rankings To Find Mismatches

by Matt Bitonti

As some of you might know, I rank the offensive lines at  Often the question is asked, "How can I use these rankings to make lineup decisions?" It's a tough question, one that I have been struggling with for years. 

My latest idea is to expand the rankings and also grade the talent of the defensive front-sevens. 

The front seven rankings only include starting defensive linemen (DL) and linebackers (LB). Defensive backs are not considered. Currently the rankings do not account for depth, although that will change as the model grows more robust. These are not IDP rankings, (i.e. which players will have the most opportunities to create fantasy points in an IDP league). These are purely a judge of starting front seven talent. 

Cross listing those grades with the offensive line rankings, should produce mismatches. Where, in a given week, we can (hopefully) determine where a great offensive line is going against a bad defensive front seven (or vice versa, where a bad offensive line is playing a great defensive front).

Without further ado, these are the positive and negative match-ups from the opening week of the NFL: 

Positive match-ups to consider:

  • 1st DAL offensive line vs 23rd NYG defensive front 7.
  • 4th PHI offensive line @ 27th ATL defensive front 7.
  • 5th GB offensive line @ 29th CHI defensive front 7.
  • 6th NO offensive line @ 31st AZ defensive front 7.

Negative match-ups to avoid:

  • 32nd STL offensive line vs 2nd SEA defensive front 7.
  • 30nd SEA offensive line @ 8th STL defensive front 7.
  • 28th ATL offensive line vs 5th PHI defensive front 7.
  • 24th SD offensive line vs 4th DET defensive front 7.
Will this be helpful? Let's find out, together. I will be keeping track of my predictions and the production of that week, and hopefully by the end of the season we can know if this is an experiment worth continuing. If anyone has a question, feel free to contact me @draftdaddy on twitter. 

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