Fantasy Football Power Rankings

by

September 22, 2009

Environment is the major key to fantasy football production. These rankings, updated weekly throughout the season, assess the foundation upon which fantasy football statistics rise (or fall).

NFL offenses are ranked 1 through 32 in the following categories: red zone possessions per game (trips inside the opposing 20-yard line), third-down conversion percentage, yards per rush attempt, yards per pass attempt and sack percentage allowed.

The objective is to look for outliers — the handful of teams where fantasy performance isn't tracking these foundational ranks — so we can better predict players who are set up to improve or decline.

Also, use these rankings to target weak offenses when selecting a fantasy defense for the coming week (in formats that score points allowed and quarterback sacks).

Rank Team Red Zone YPA YPC Third Down % Sacks % Total
1 NO 1 2 11 2 9 25
2 DAL 10 10 1 4 5 30
3 BAL 4 4 12 11 8 39
4 NYG 4 10 24 3 3 44
5 NE 4 5 22 21 1 53
6 NYJ 16 7 14 6 13 56
7 SEA 10 13 17 18 2 60
8 ATL 4 8 26 13 11 62
9 PHI 4 13 7 22 18 64
10 WAS 4 8 18 14 21 65
11 SD 2 10 30 5 20 67
12 TEN 21 19 2 17 9 68
13 BUF 10 22 3 8 28 71
13 CIN 10 6 19 10 26 71
15 IND 29 3 27 1 12 72
16 TB 16 27 9 20 6 78
17 DEN 32 15 10 7 17 81
18 MIA 21 1 8 27 27 84
19 STL 21 26 5 31 4 87
20 MIN 2 24 4 32 31 93
21 CHI 16 18 31 15 15 95
22 JAX 21 16 13 25 22 97
23 PIT 16 17 28 16 23 100
24 ARI 21 31 23 12 14 101
25 CAR 10 25 15 28 25 103
25 OAK 21 20 20 23 19 103
27 HOU 29 28 32 9 7 105
28 SF 21 22 6 26 30 105
29 GB 16 20 16 24 32 108
30 DET 10 29 29 29 16 113
31 KC 21 30 21 19 24 115
32 CLE 31 32 25 30 29 147

Summary: Small sample size caveats apply. But the best systems for predicting performance with a lot of data are also the best with limited data.

The Seahawks are crippled with injuries, including to quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, so forget about them.

 As Joe Flacco goes, so goes the Ravens' offense, and Flacco is going great.

I'm not surprised but disappointed that the Redskins crack the top 10. Washington's quarterback, Jason Campbell , protects the ball but cannot make the big plays necessary to score. I don't buy this ranking.

Lots of surprises at the bottom. Pittsburgh isn't a surprise to me, as the Steelers continue to be unable to adequately protect their quarterback.

The Cardinals have thus far lost the explosiveness that was their 2008 trademark.

Houston has had to face Rex Ryan's Jets and the Titans, who shut down the running game. I'd play all of their big players without fear.

Green Bay is scaring me because its offensive line play has been very poor at clearing lanes for the running game and, most importantly, protecting Aaron Rodgers (last in sack percentage allowed).

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