YOU SHOULD get a look at getting rid of your fantasy team's defense. This may seem like a bold statement as we’ve all grown up with it for years and years. We’ve seen times it stat corrects and ruins fantasy championships or weeks that are crucial for the playoffs. Let’s dive into it.
When it comes to fantasy defense, it always finds a way to be an issue. It could be because of the opponent’s defense scoring 31 and yours scoring 0, or a stat corrections causing a massive loss.
Defense always seems to be an issue. As I dug deeper into numbers, I’ve come to the conclusion that I just don’t find them to be that good.
Why is that? Because they aren’t a correlation of real life defense. Sure there is some truth, but there is a big difference between fantasy finish Defensive DVOA.
What is DVOA? DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value above Average) is a metric Football Outsiders uses to compare a team’s defensive performance to the league average based on situation.
Using this, San Francisco saw a massive drop from DVOA to Fantasy Finish going from 6th to 20th, and Kansas City and New England jumped, with going from 22nd and 24th to both having top 10 fantasy finishes.
Why is that the case? Well for this reason:
Wins are the 5th highest correlation of fantasy finishes, at .46 . A team like San Francisco while it graded out as a top 6 defense with their offensive struggles they experienced with Nick Mullens in 2020.
What this chart shows what is the closest correlation to Fantasy Points, with 1 being the strongest correlation. Turnovers and Sacks should be there, but Wins? Seems like a weird thing to be a massive effect, yet it’s huge.
Fantasy Points for Defenses score more in the 4th quarter as teams trying to come back can make mistakes that cost them the game, leading to a point increase.
The main reason however that I think you should consider getting rid of it is the variance is insane. On my studies (with a calculator) among the 14 teams (I did 14 because 10-14 all had 98 fantasy points):
• Average Fantasy Points = 7.21
• % of < 4 Fantasy Points = 34.76%
In Comparison, MVS the WR51 had a 7.4 average and had under 4 Fantasy Points 33% of the time. Just too much variance for it to be fun. Sure you can guess streams, but taking them out and adding another flex or an IDP spot is a lot more fun for your league.
For Example, the 14th highest scoring IDP player was Fred Warner, with 13.9 Fantasy Points Per Game who is also a player you can root for. To me IDP or adding another Flex is the way to go. You wait for Kickers and Defense till the final rounds anyways, why not make your draft more fun by adding a skill player?