Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Aug 2013

Mix-and-match defense strategy - Week 1 question

My league uses team defenses. Over the past few years I have used a mix-and-match strategy (spend $1 on a defense at the auction, drop them the first time they face a good offense, wash, rinse, repeat throughout the year.)

My research tells me that it is much easier to project who the bad offenses (that yield a lot of fantasy points for defenses) will be than it is to project who will have a good fantasy defense all year long. And the bad offenses are bad no matter who they are up against (whereas good fantasy defenses will still get lit up by the league's best offenses). This system obviously isn't for everyone. My league has small (5-player) benches, so teams rarely carry more than one defense at a time, giving me a good selection most weeks. It also requires keeping track of scoring every week so you always know what offenses are giving up the most fantasy points, but that's pretty easy using a spreadsheet.

Anyway, the hardest part of using this system is figuring out who to draft since we don't know who is going to be the worst offense heading into the season. Last year's most lucrative offense to face was Arizona, but they will presumably be improved by at least adequate QB play. The next few teams in the list for 2012 were KC, PHI, NYJ, and JAX.

Who do you guys think will have the most dreadful offense in the league in Week 1?

Here are the Week 1 match-ups (keep in mind I will only spend $1 on a defense at the auction, so I will not be able to get the traditionally higher-ranked defenses like the Bears, Ravens, etc.):

Week 1
THU, SEP 5
Baltimore at Denver
SUN, SEP 8
New England at Buffalo
Cincinnati at Chicago
Miami at Cleveland
Atlanta at New Orleans
Tampa Bay at NY Jets
Tennessee at Pittsburgh
Minnesota at Detroit
Oakland at Indianapolis
Seattle at Carolina
Kansas City at Jacksonville
Arizona at St. Louis
Green Bay at San Francisco
NY Giants at Dallas
MON, SEP 9
Philadelphia at Washington
Houston at San Diego

Posted by: bird jam on 27 Aug 2013

6 replies , Last at 27 Aug 2013, 3:49pm by bird jam

1
Re: Mix-and-match defense strategy - Week 1 question
by mrt1212 :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 2:21pm

Tampa Bay might be a strong contender with swaps for buffalo and miami. If you arent banking on the Jets/Miami/Buffalo being bad to really really bad on offense then avoid this but I think this is an undervalued opportunity. Nobody is taking Buffalo or Miami in any league but with these 3 teams in the mix you get

5 games against the jets (1 Tampa 2 Buff 2 Miami)
3 games against buffalo (1 Tampa 2 Miami)
3 games against miami (1 Tampa 2 Bufflo)
2 games against cleveland (1 Buffalo, 1 Miami)
2 games against jacksonville (1 Buffalo, 1 Miami)

Week 2 has bad matchups for all 3 teams
Week 9 has bad matchups for all 3 teams
Week 12 has bad matchups for all 3 teams.

2
Re: Mix-and-match defense strategy - Week 1 question
by bird jam :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 2:28pm

Interesting. Thanks for the input. I am mainly looking at who has the best Week 1 matchup and then going on a week-by-week basis after that. The more I think about it, the more I feel like I want to face either the Bills, Jets, or Jags in Week 1.

3
Re: Mix-and-match defense strategy - Week 1 question
by mrt1212 :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 3:16pm

I think when the offensive bright spot on your team is Chris Ivory, you are a solid distance from a good offense.

I am wrong about those matchups btw unless you play on week 17. The Jets face the Dolphines week 17.

5
Re: Mix-and-match defense strategy - Week 1 question
by bird jam :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 3:48pm

Ah, thanks. We do not - champ game is W16.

4
Re: Mix-and-match defense strategy - Week 1 question
by alien1rock :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 3:22pm

Pats have Bills and NYJ week 1 and 2. If you can get them for $1, that seems like the best starting place.

6
Re: Mix-and-match defense strategy - Week 1 question
by bird jam :: Tue, 08/27/2013 - 3:49pm

Yeah, I'm looking at them. I think they will be target #1 when the auction gets to dollar days.