Most people look at fantasy points allowed to the position as they analyze who to start and who to sit each week. It’s a fundamental way to analyze whether to focus on the run or the pass against a team. For instance we all know that last season the 49ers were historically bad against the run. Or that the Denver Broncos are very good against the pass. usually the extremes are easy to focus on, but it get’s a little grey in the middle.

The problem with this metric is simple. We’ll take the Titans for example

The Titans were 3d in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers. and 31st in fantasy points allowed to running backs. Looking at that metric you should avoid running backs against the titans and play your wide receivers. And for the most part that’s true.

The problem is that the Titans were also 31st in rushing attempts against them and 2nd in pass attempts against them. So it becomes a question of game script. Are the Titans actually bad against the pass? And are they actually good against the run?  Jay Ajayi only scored 10 points against the Titans in week 6 and then scored 33 and 28 the next 2 weeks. Looks good for the run. How about the pass?

Davante Parker, Jarvis Landry, and Kenny Stills scored a combine 12.5 fantasy points against the Titans. You have to look at the metrics through a different lens and my preferred method of viewing is Fantasy points per attempt.

For running backs I look at fantasy points allowed by a defense per carry. This accounts for the difference in plays run against a team. Here is what we find. This chart is for running backs.  It’s currently sorted by FP/Carry (Fantasy Points Allowed per Carry). All of the charts in this article are in a smaller format. I’ll post the full chart in the reference section in a sortable format as well. Everything is pretty self explanatory but here are what a few of the acronyms stand for. FP = Fantasy Points Allowed, FPPG = Fantasy Points Per Game Allowed, RRBFP Receiving Running Back Fantasy Points Allowed.

Rank Team ATT FP FPPG Rush FP RRB FP FP/Carry RB FP/Rec
1 49ers 460 474.4 29.7 374.3 100.1 0.814 1.59
2 Saints 339 408.5 25.5 250.6 157.9 0.739 1.88
3 Bills 396 382.4 23.9 286.3 96.1 0.723 1.48
4 Redskins 379 382.7 23.9 269.4 113.3 0.711 1.60
5 Browns 444 416.1 26.0 307.2 108.9 0.692 1.56
6 Steelers 332 378.8 23.7 229.1 149.7 0.690 1.83
7 Falcons 303 382.3 23.9 207.7 174.6 0.685 1.63
8 Colts 361 385 24.1 240.1 144.9 0.665 1.86
9 Chargers 343 383.6 24.0 227.8 155.8 0.664 1.56
10 Bears 378 343.8 21.5 250.7 93.1 0.663 1.35
11 Raiders 378 359.6 22.5 249 110.6 0.659 2.09
12 Buccaneers 364 350.2 21.9 225.9 124.3 0.621 1.73
13 Bengals 343 334.6 20.9 206.2 128.4 0.601 1.40
14 Packers 329 296.4 18.5 194.9 101.5 0.592 1.39
15 Chiefs 373 329.5 20.6 219.2 110.3 0.588 1.65
16 Jaguars 374 310.7 19.4 219.1 91.6 0.586 1.16
17 Eagles 332 308.4 19.3 193.5 114.9 0.583 1.34
18 Jets 362 328.9 20.6 209.6 119.3 0.579 1.66
19 Rams 354 328 20.5 202.8 125.2 0.573 1.69
20 Dolphins 382 330.4 20.7 216.4 114 0.566 1.28
21 Cowboys 297 288.5 18.0 167.3 121.2 0.563 1.36
22 Texans 348 318.4 19.9 194.3 124.1 0.558 1.83
23 Cardinals 340 267 16.7 184 83 0.541 1.28
24 Broncos 413 336.7 21.0 220.6 116.1 0.534 1.66
25 Seahawks 378 294.7 18.4 200.9 93.8 0.531 1.38
26 Giants 361 290.7 18.2 191.3 99.4 0.530 1.20
27 Panthers 328 302.8 18.9 173.1 129.7 0.528 1.30
28 Lions 336 307.5 19.2 176.9 130.6 0.526 1.48
29 Ravens 338 302.6 18.9 177 125.6 0.524 1.44
30 Vikings 351 298.5 18.7 181.5 117 0.517 1.54
31 Titans 307 272.5 17.0 152.8 119.7 0.498 1.66
32 Patriots 323 288.5 18.0 140.5 148 0.435 1.48

If you look for the Titans you find them at 31st in fantasy points allowed per carry. This confirms that the Titans are indeed good against the run. Regardless of the fact that they had fewer attempts than most teams they also allow the second fewest yds/carry. Because the Titans are so good against the run, teams resort to throwing the ball. Attempts go up and fantasy points do as a result as well. Are the Titans as bad as they seem against the pass, or do they just get passed against a lot? This next chart is wide receivers. This shows fantasy points per reception and fantasy points per target. We’ll look at both, but this next one is sorted by FP/Rec (Fantasy Points per Reception). Again this is a smaller version of the chart and the full one is available in the reference section in a sortable fomat.

RK TEAM ATT COMP TD FP Allowed FP/Rec FP/Attempt
1 Cleveland 543 347 36 789.1 2.27 1.45
2 San Francisco 521 322 30 725.8 2.25 1.39
3 Oakland 541 328 27 738 2.25 1.36
4 Green Bay 571 370 32 807.8 2.18 1.41
5 NY Jets 545 347 30 743.3 2.14 1.36
6 Philadelphia 553 333 25 699.7 2.10 1.27
7 New Orleans 582 378 27 789 2.09 1.36
8 Tampa Bay 548 347 24 718.7 2.07 1.31
9 Buffalo 511 306 19 625.2 2.04 1.22
10 Miami 591 368 30 751.5 2.04 1.27
11 Indianapolis 582 378 27 771 2.04 1.32
12 Kansas City 598 350 23 708.8 2.03 1.19
13 Tennessee 635 388 25 774.7 2.00 1.22
14 LA Rams 582 378 32 754.2 2.00 1.30
15 Detroit 549 399 33 795 1.99 1.45
16 Baltimore 578 369 28 724.9 1.96 1.25
17 Atlanta 655 422 31 823.7 1.95 1.26
18 Carolina 612 409 27 795.6 1.95 1.30
19 LA Chargers 580 364 21 706.7 1.94 1.22
20 Chicago 530 342 22 662.8 1.94 1.25
21 Washington 589 387 22 738.5 1.91 1.25
22 Minnesota 548 332 22 630.7 1.90 1.15
23 Houston 522 319 20 602.1 1.89 1.15
24 Seattle 537 331 16 622.7 1.88 1.16
25 New England 596 368 21 690.6 1.88 1.16
26 Cincinnati 593 374 22 699 1.87 1.18
27 Jacksonville 551 345 20 636.9 1.85 1.16
28 Arizona 547 344 21 634.5 1.84 1.16
29 Pittsburgh 590 381 20 698.7 1.83 1.18
30 Dallas 633 425 25 779.2 1.83 1.23
31 NY Giants 630 369 15 676.3 1.83 1.07
32 Denver 552 306 13 528.2 1.73 0.96

You find the Titans at 13 on this chart. Middle of the pack against the pass. Not the #2 that fantasy points per game shows. This explains why above average wide receivers like Ty Hilton had success against the Titans posting scores of 22.8FP in week 7 and 18.2FP in week 5, while lower end wide receivers struggled a bit. The previously discussed Dolphins as well as the Vikings wide receiver core didn’t have so much success. Let’s look at Fantasy Points per attempt next:

RK TEAM ATT COMP TD FP Allowed FP/Rec FP/Attempt
1 Cleveland 543 347 36 789.1 2.27 1.45
2 Detroit 549 399 33 795 1.99 1.45
3 Green Bay 571 370 32 807.8 2.18 1.41
4 San Francisco 521 322 30 725.8 2.25 1.39
5 Oakland 541 328 27 738 2.25 1.36
6 NY Jets 545 347 30 743.3 2.14 1.36
7 New Orleans 582 378 27 789 2.09 1.36
8 Indianapolis 582 378 27 771 2.04 1.32
9 Tampa Bay 548 347 24 718.7 2.07 1.31
10 Carolina 612 409 27 795.6 1.95 1.30
11 LA Rams 582 378 32 754.2 2.00 1.30
12 Miami 591 368 30 751.5 2.04 1.27
13 Philadelphia 553 333 25 699.7 2.10 1.27
14 Atlanta 655 422 31 823.7 1.95 1.26
15 Baltimore 578 369 28 724.9 1.96 1.25
16 Washington 589 387 22 738.5 1.91 1.25
17 Chicago 530 342 22 662.8 1.94 1.25
18 Dallas 633 425 25 779.2 1.83 1.23
19 Buffalo 511 306 19 625.2 2.04 1.22
20 Tennessee 635 388 25 774.7 2.00 1.22
21 LA Chargers 580 364 21 706.7 1.94 1.22
22 Kansas City 598 350 23 708.8 2.03 1.19
23 Pittsburgh 590 381 20 698.7 1.83 1.18
24 Cincinnati 593 374 22 699 1.87 1.18
25 Arizona 547 344 21 634.5 1.84 1.16
26 Seattle 537 331 16 622.7 1.88 1.16
27 New England 596 368 21 690.6 1.88 1.16
28 Jacksonville 551 345 20 636.9 1.85 1.16
29 Houston 522 319 20 602.1 1.89 1.15
30 Minnesota 548 332 22 630.7 1.90 1.15
31 NY Giants 630 369 15 676.3 1.83 1.07
32 Denver 552 306 13 528.2 1.73 0.96

You can see the Titans fall down to 20th allowed when you look at it by attempt. Looking at the difference between Fantasy Points / Reception and Fantasy Points / Attempt you can determine how good a teams secondary is at tackling as well. When a team is further down the list in points per attempt than reception they allow more completed passes for more points.

When a team allows more points per reception than allowed (like the Titans), they break up passes and don’t allow a lot of completions. However when a receiver like TY Hilton does get the ball they can be susceptible to missed tackles and yards after the catch.

Hopefully this will help you in the upcoming season. It’s just another tool to add to your belt to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of teams for the upcoming year. We will of course be posting stats for the 2017 season as they become available as well. If you’d like to tinker with these charts a bit more you can find them in the research section or simply click below:

Running Backs

Wide Receivers