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Pyro Fantasy Football Power Rankings
Week 7 Power Rankings for all 32 Teams
Pyromaniac.com has come out with a game changer!!! You may be familiar with the NFL, CBS, ESPN or other websites and their NFL Power Rankings. Those “Power Rankings” all have to do with the actual teams and how they stack up in the NFL…NOT in Fantasy. Welcome to the first installment of the Pyro Power Rankings. This weekly article is where you will find out which teams are dominating on the offensive and defensive side of the ball, in terms of Fantasy points. These charts and our insight will help you visualize how the season has gone to this point, and give you a better feel for how the season will go week to week. By using these charts you will have a better understanding of which matchups to exploit on a week-to-week basis, and DOMINATE your fantasy league.
TOTAL FANTASY POINTS PER GAME SCORED BY NFL TEAM OFFENSES
The New England Patriots stand out as they are the only team in the top 5 in 3 categories (QB, RB, TE), and they have great talent at wide receiver, so it is possible to see them with all four position groups thriving in these rankings before too long. In fact of the three position groups that are playing great right now, you might expect it to be the running backs but they in fact have the 2nd best run game trailing only the Houston Texans. The thing to keep in mind here is that this is a team total and the Patriots spread the ball around a lot. Ridley is definitely the lead back in this group and will continue to be steady force that frustrates you when Bilbo pulls him for no reason near the goal line.
Typically great quarterbacks are throwing to a great group of receivers. However, great receivers sometimes exceed the level of play of even the greatest quarterback. This seems to be the case for the Giants, Broncos, and Bengals. These teams have great quarterbacks, but the quarterbacks have not scored at the volume that the wide receivers have, but that should make you feel even better about these receivers going forward. By looking at these teams you will realize that there is one player on each of them that is dominating in terms of fantasy points in your leagues: Victor Cruz, AJ Green, and Demaryius Thomas.
Then there is the new trend that a team that has a dominate run game will prevent them from being one of the top teams in the other categories. There is some truth to the statement that if your running back is the best player on your team, then your might be in trouble. Baltimore, Houston, Miami and Kansas City are 4 of the 5 teams who are in the top 5 in running back points per game, but they don’t crack the top five at QB, WR, or TE!!! The most drastic example of this is the Kansas City Chiefs who are #4 for running back points, but bottom five in every other category.
Stay away from the Jaguars as they are not a Fantasy option. They score less than half the fantasy points the Saints and the Patriots and that will not win you any games. The only position even close to respectability is the running backs and we know that this is held up by MJD, who is not having a banner year. The Jaguars are anemic for fantasy purposes and there is no light at the end of the tunnel, at least for this season.
The tight end position is one of the categories that seems to be going more according to plan with the top stars at the position Antonio Gates, Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, and Vernon Davis leading 4 of the top 5 teams in this category. The final team in the group is the Tennessee Titans who are led by a potential breakout fantasy star in Jared Cook. While this category is being dominated by more familiar names the number of points they are scoring is probably not reflective of where you drafted them, but the fact that they are still on top of the category is good news, especially since none of these players has had a huge breakout game yet.
TOTAL FANTASY POINTS PER GAME ALLOWED BY NFL TEAM DEFENSES
For as good as the Saints are on offense (1st in total offensive points scored) they are just as bad on defense (1st in total offensive points allowed). They have, however, figured out the greatest mystery of all; how to shut down opposing tight ends (sarcasm)! They are absolutely horrific in defending everything else especially the running backs!!! Everyone who has faced them has put up a nice stat line so far this season. Whenever you see the Saints on your player’s schedule, do not hesitate to start them, as it will pay off for you in the end.
There are three really bad defenses so far this year, the Saints, Titans, and Bills. Use matchups with these teams to start flex players and take advantage of these poor defenses. The Browns aren’t too far behind either, but they are at least decent against the run game ranking a respectable 9th. Most defensive units have a certain strength and some sort of weakness, the beast coaches in the league know this and will slide their offensive plan to take advantage of this. Looking at how other players on your team will fare will also give you insight on whether the player on your roster will have a big day, a decrease in one area such as throwing to the tight end against the Saints will lead to more opportunities for those running backs and receivers. The most prominent example of this might be the New England Patriots, when a team such as the Bills is weak against the run they will slam it down the oppositions throats, when a team such as the Seahawks are on the docket they will play a more balanced game, spreading them out and let their playmakers work in space while throwing in the occasional run plays, screens, and draws to keep the pass rushers honest.
Some defenses that you might not expect are currently middling in purgatory so far this season, and my bet is many of them are sitting in your defensive spot right now. Yeah, you know the ones I’m talking about, the Giants, Jets, Ravens, Packers, and Patriots. They just aren’t dominant in a single category and that really hurts their value as a defense. Those defenses that are able to cut out on part of the opposing team’s game plan are hugely valuable; because they turn the opposing offense into a one sided affair, and let’s face it every defense is better when they know what’s coming. The San Francisco Defense had been absolutely dominant against opposing running backs, until Ahmad Bradshaw this weekend of course, and this allows them to focus on the pass game and in turn create more turnovers which is the all important factor in a great fantasy defense.
Exploit decent defenses against terrible offenses it will pay off! The Bucs defense walloped a terrible KC Chiefs offense and scored to the delight of fantasy owners who took advantage of this matchup this weekend. There are many of these matchups throughout the season so feel no shame in benching your top defense for a decent one whose matchup is better. Sometimes even the best fantasy defenses aren’t going to help stopping the Patriots, like last weekend, so play another defense. Those bottom offenses are the ones to target, and anytime a backup quarterback is thrown to the wolves, it might just be the stars aligning for your fantasy team. Never be ashamed of cutting ties with a defense and playing the waiver wire for this position as it can be a great boost.
By Stagg Party