New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders: Fantasy Impact of Bad Defenses

By Vincent Frank on Monday, October 1st 2012
New Orleans Saints and Oakland Raiders: Fantasy Impact of Bad Defenses
Photo: Courtesy of Gridiron Gab

A lot of us look at matchups, who is going up against who on a given week, when drawing a conclusion about who to start or sit in a given week. Utilizing advanced metrics, I will draw the conclusion that you MUST start every viable fantasy option against both the Oakland Raiders and New Orleans Saints for the remainder of the season. 

New Orleans Saints
PPG First Downs Pass Yards Rush Yards Total Yards Turnovers Positive Plays
32.5 25.5 276.5 186.8 463.3 6 12


Oakland Raiders
PPG First Downs Pass Yards Rush Yards Total Yards Turnovers Positive Plays
31.2 22.3 283.0 128.5 411.5 3 6


You can see here that the New Orleans Saints are probably the worst defense across the board in the National Football League. The reason that I have the Oakland Raiders here as a comparison is because they have to be considered the second worst defense in the league. 

While New Orleans has recorded 12 positive defensive plays (forced turnovers and sacks), Oakland has only recorded six in four games. As a unit, Oakland's defense is on pace for a total of 12 sacks and 12 forced turnovers in 2012. Those are simply mind-numbing numbers if you ask me. This is an indicator that Oakland's defense might actually be your worst fantasy option moving forward. It also indicates that you might just want to throw out every single viable fantasy option agianst them. 

Let's take a look at advanced metrics for a second. 


Saints: Fantasy Points Against
Quarterback Runing Back Tight End  Wide Receiver Total Fantasy Points
Robert Griffin III: 24 Alfred Morris: 21 Fred Davis: 3 Pierre Garcon: 16 65
Cam Newton: 25 Williams/Stewart:24 Greg Olsen: 1 Steve Smith: 10 60
Matt Cassel: 5 Jamaal Charles: 34 Tony Moeaki: 1 Dwayne Bowe: 7 47
Aaron Rodgers: 27 Cedric Benson: 10 Jermichael Finley: 5 Nelson/Jones: 32 74
AVG: 20.3 AVG: 22.3 AVG: 2.5 AVG: 16.3 AVG: 61.4


Raiders Fantasy Points Against
Quarterback Running Back Tight End Wide Receiver Total 
Philip Rivers: 13 Ronnie Brown: 2 Antonio Gates: 4 Malcom Floyd: 12 31
Ryan Tannehill: 19 Reggie Bush: 31 Anthony Fasano: 7 Brian Hartline: 11 68
Ben Roethlisberger: 31 Isaac Redman: 4 Heath Miller: 18 Brown/Wallace: 30 83
Peyton Manning: 25 Willis McGahee: 19 Joel Dreessen: 7 Decker/Thomas: 21 72
AVG: 22.0 AVG: 14.0 AVG: 9 AVG: 18.5 AVG: 63.5


So, if we are looking at pure fantasy numbers, Oakland is the worst defense in the National Football League. That 63.5 fantasy points against by possible starters is a stunning statistic. What makes this more interesting is the fact that both Oakland and New Orleans have gone up against a combination of good and average offenses. 

The Saints defense performed decently, fantasy-wise, in their easiest matchup of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs. Though, "success" is a bit skewed here. Just take a look at what Jamaal Charles did to them. Meanwhile, Oakland suffered through a disgusting performance against what is an improved Miami Dolphins offense.

Now let's take a look at some advanced statistics as they relate to Oakland and New Orelans 


Advanced Metrics
Team AVG Rush AVG-Pass OPP QB Rating TFL QB Hits Yards per Point
Oakland 4.2 7.4 113.4 15 9 12.9 
New Orleans  4.9 6.4 107.0 13 10 14.5


See a common theme here? Both Oakland and New Orleans lack the necessary push at the line of scrimmage to make up for what have to be considered weak secondaries. Give opposing quarterbacks time to pass the ball and they will eat apart these defenses. More imortantly, neither team has really been able to stop the run. New Orleans is most glaring in this category and are currently on pace to give up nearly 3,000 rushing yards this season. 

One thing that I noticed in doing research is the fact that opposing tight ends haven't really lit up the fantasy scoreboard against these two teams. Most of that has to do with their success on the outside against a lackluster group of cornerbacks. So, if you want one position to avoid when going up against a New Orleans or Oakland defense, it would have to be tight end. 

So, there you have it. My next article focusing on advanced statistics will look at the NFC West and what all four defenses in that division have done through the first quarter of the season. You will definitely be surprised.

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