If you are new to these rankings here is a summary of how they work
The power rating column is a power rating on each team. It is based on what the team has done statistically and who they have done it against. Early in the season, the ratings go back to the last few weeks of the previous season adjusting for changes at major positions. Adjustments have also been made for in-season injuries. Mostly at the QB position. You could set a point spread based on the power rating by taking the differential in two teams and adjusting by 2.5 for home-field advantage.
The Defensive rating is the number of points the team is expected to give up to an average offense.
The Offensive rating is the number of points the team is expected to score against an average defense.
The offensive rushing rating is a number that calculates how far above or below the team performs in yardage against the average of their opponents. In other words, if a team plays a defense that averages 100 yards against in rushing they will get more credit for 120 yard rushing game than if they faced a team that averaged 140 yards rushing against.
The offensive passing rating works exactly the same as the rushing.
The defensive rushing rating is the same as the offensive rushing rating but for the defense. A positive number here is better than a negative one. Meaning the team holds opponents under their typical average rushing game.
The defensive passing rating works the same as the defensive rushing rating.
New England stays on top of the rankings and deservedly so after a road win at the previously undefeated Buffalo Bills. The Patriots continue to impress on defense boasting a slim lead over the Chicago Bears. As of now, there is no team more balanced. The Patriots are above average in every ranking with no negatives. With Washington coming up this week the defense might continue to show it’s dominance. Washington ranks 31st overall. They look even worse than that with Haskins at QB. I do not expect a change at the top of the rankings next week.
The LA Rams had a disappointing loss at home to Tampa Bay last week. Certainly, a game that knocked out many survivor pool players. Despite getting torched for 55 points they still stay pretty strong in the rankings. The defense ranks 6th overall. This week they get Seattle, a middle of the road offensive team. If the Rams show last week was an outlier and not a new trend they should stay up in the top 4 next week. What has helped prop them up is what they lost in defense last week they gained in offense. Tampa was rated better than average on defense coming into the game so the offensive explosion by the Rams helped move them up in offensive ratings.
San Francisco may seem like a bit of a surprise team. They are probably not deserving of the 4th spot but that is how they rank currently. I do think this 49ers team is a playoff contender. If you look at the ratings they are one of the better offensive rushing teams in the NFL. Part of the reason they are rated as high as they are is how well they played defensively against Tampa and now Tampa has exploded on offense. We will see this start to balance out in the next few weeks. Early in the season the rankings can seem a little off. This is where you need to adjust a bit and understand how they are compiled.
I know many traditional rankings by guys just using the eye test have the Saints much higher. With Drew BreesP they would be ranked 8th or so. But these rankings are without Brees. I know the last two games without Brees have seemed impressive winning in Seattle and then as a home dog to Dallas but if you look at my rankings both of those teams are probably more hype than substance. That takes nothing away from the importance of both wins for the Saints. In a division that is wide open, the Saints just need to stay in contention long enough to get their hall of fame QB back. If they do you will see them shoot up the rankings.
One of the best uses of these rankings is in DFS. I put together a sheet for every upcoming game for the week with projected rushing and passing totals. These totals are based off the rankings. The rankings will adjust for injuries but the projections do not. You will need to adjust on your own. If you need help with that feel free to contact me in my DFS Army Sports Book coaches room on Slack.
I do not use these in handicapping the games but it should give you an idea in DFS where you might find some value.
Some notes on the above chart
Pittsburgh looks good in these projections for passing yardage but you need to temper the expectations a bit as most of the games being taken into account were with Big Ben at QB.
Minnesota and the NY Giants could be a stack situation that is undervalued
Winston Evans and Godwin could see higher ownership than usual this week coming off a 55 point performance. The numbers show they should perform well against New Orleans. If you go with Tampa the hope is people shy away because the New Orleans defense looked so good on Sunday night.
Atlanta against Houston could potentially be the underplayed stack that wins someone a lot of money this week. Houston is not projected to do much in the air but they do have a high rush number. Much of that could come from Deshaun WatsonP. While the pass numbers do not look good there is always the potential for Hopkins to catch 10 balls for 120 yards and 2 TDs. The Atlanta side of this game looks good both rushing and passing. Do not overlook this one when making your lineups.
Green Bay at Dallas is another game with some low ownership possibilities. Devante Adams is likely out this week which is going to leave a bunch of cheap Green Bay pass-catchers to put into stacks.
With Kansas City playing the Sunday Night game there will be some interesting options this week for offensive stacks. We also have Miami on the bye so the trend of using the DST playing Miami will not be in play.