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Fantasy football power rankings

Michael Salfino
Yahoo Sports

You can find more from Michael Salfino at Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

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, sack percentage allowed, rushing TDs per game and passing TDs per game. You want to see the touchdowns, I know. But those must be built on a solid foundation of good performance in the sampling of these other stats. Also use these rankings to target weak offenses when selecting a fantasy defense for the coming week.

Fantasy Team Power Rankings
Rank Team RZ/Game 3rd% YPC YPA Sack% TD/Run TD/Pass Total
1 New Orleans (3-0) 1 3 5 3 14 2 1 29
2 Baltimore (3-0) 3 5 10 6 7 1 4 36
3 Dallas (2-1) 7 13 1 5 9 2 13 50
4 NY Giants (3-0) 4 2 18 4 2 23 7 60
5 Philadelphia (2-1) 6 8 11 14 11 7 4 61
6 Indianapolis (3-0) 15 7 24 1 5 16 2 70
7 New England (2-1) 4 4 20 19 1 16 20 84
8 Minnesota (3-0) 7 9 7 26 27 5 7 88
9 San Diego (2-1) 2 6 32 2 21 7 20 90
10 Atlanta (2-1) 7 17 26 12 6 16 7 91
11 Denver (3-0) 24 14 9 8 10 7 20 92
12 Seattle (1-2) 15 12 19 17 8 23 7 101
13 Cincinnati (2-1) 15 11 14 20 24 7 13 104
14 Tennessee (0-3) 24 22 2 24 13 7 13 105
15 Jacksonville (1-2) 22 15 4 21 16 2 27 107
16 NY Jets (3-0) 12 19 22 15 20 7 13 108
17 Green Bay (2-1) 7 23 16 13 32 5 13 109
18 Miami (0-3) 15 1 8 30 23 7 30 114
19 Washington (1-2) 7 18 17 10 19 23 20 114
20 Houston (1-2) 15 23 29 7 12 27 2 115
21 Pittsburgh (1-2) 15 10 28 9 22 16 20 120
22 Chicago (2-1) 12 20 31 11 16 27 4 121
23 Tampa Bay (0-3) 24 30 12 27 3 16 13 125
24 Detroit (1-2) 12 16 25 25 15 7 27 127
25 St Louis (0-3) 24 25 6 29 4 27 20 135
26 Buffalo (1-2) 24 27 3 18 30 27 7 136
27 Arizona (1-2) 15 29 30 16 18 23 13 144
27 San Francisco (2-1) 22 28 15 23 29 7 20 144
29 Carolina (0-3) 24 26 13 28 26 16 27 160
30 Kansas City (0-3) 24 32 23 22 28 27 7 163
31 Oakland (1-2) 31 21 21 32 25 16 30 176
31 Cleveland (0-3) 32 30 27 31 31 27 30 208


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
TD/Run = TD rushes per game
TD/Pass = TD passes per game

Executive Summary: Expanding these rankings by popular request, including rushing and passing TDs/game for those more literally minded. Extrapolate away with the other stats.

Notice the correlation between offensive excellence and winning. Let's see if that holds up all year.

The shocker in the top 10 is Baltimore. The Ravens were supposed to be a defense-oriented team. Yes, Joe Flacco(notes) is better. But they've played the Chiefs, Browns and an injury-decimated Chargers defense that isn't good when healthy. Let's wait for more data before buying in. I'm also quite surprised that the Broncos are 11th best and in the top 10 in yards per rush and yards per pass. Schedule caveats apply for them, too.

Everyone you'd expect is at the bottom except the Cardinals and, possibly, the Bills. But Buffalo fired its offensive coordinator just before the regular season starting gun went off, so you know there were big problems there. The Cardinals have not been able to slow down pass rushes by running better and getting into more convertible down and distance. Plus the pass blocking is worse than their sack rating suggests because Kurt Warner(notes) is getting knocked around a lot. Be worried, but don't panic.

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