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Fantasy football power rankings

Michael Salfino
Yahoo Sports

You can find more from Michael Salfino at NESN

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 1-32 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 QB sacks).

Fantasy Team Power Rankings
Rank Team RZ/Game 3rd% YPC YPA Sack% Total
1 New Orleans 1 2 11 2 9 25
2 Dallas 10 10 1 4 5 30
3 Baltimore 4 4 12 11 8 39
4 NY Giants 4 10 24 3 3 44
5 New England 4 5 22 21 1 53
6 NY Jets 16 7 14 6 13 56
7 Seattle 10 13 17 18 2 60
8 Atlanta 4 8 26 13 11 62
9 Philadelphia 4 13 7 22 18 64
10 Washington 4 8 18 14 21 65
11 San Diego 2 10 30 5 20 67
12 Tennessee 21 19 2 17 9 68
13 Buffalo 10 22 3 8 28 71
14 Cincinnati 10 6 19 10 26 71
15 Indianapolis 29 3 27 1 12 72
16 Tampa Bay 16 27 9 20 6 78
17 Denver 32 15 10 7 17 81
18 Miami 21 1 8 27 27 84
19 St Louis 21 26 5 31 4 87
20 Minnesota 2 24 4 32 31 93
21 Chicago 16 18 31 15 15 95
22 Jacksonville 21 16 13 25 22 97
23 Pittsburgh 16 17 28 16 23 100
24 Arizona 21 31 23 12 14 101
25 Carolina 10 25 15 28 25 103
26 Oakland 21 20 20 23 19 103
27 Houston 29 28 32 9 7 105
28 San Francisco 21 22 6 26 30 105
29 Green Bay 16 20 16 24 32 108
30 Detroit 10 29 29 29 16 113
31 Kansas City 21 30 21 19 24 115
31 Cleveland 31 32 25 30 29 147

Category Key:
RZ/Game = rank in red zone possessions per game
3rd% = rank in 3rd-down conversion percentage
YPC = rank in yards per carry
YPA = rank in yards per pass attempt
Sack% = rank in sacks allowed percentage

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 QB Matt Hasselbeck(notes), so forget about them. As Joe Flacco(notes) 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 QB Jason Campbell(notes) 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 they continue to be unable to adequately protect their QB. 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 their 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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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 28 9:00 am
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