NFL Analytics: Positional Success Rates Allowed Through Week 15

Which teams grade out as the best units against each offensive skill position through Week 15?

As fantasy football players, we need to study matchups each and every week.

How exactly to determine the best matchups can be tricky, but rather than look just at yards per carry or passing yards per game allowed, I like to lean on numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP) metric in various ways. NEP indicates expected points gained for a team's offense -- or denied by a team's defense.

Here's a good example of why it matters. A 15-yard catch looks great on paper, especially compared to a 5-yard catch. But if the 15-yarder comes on 3rd-and-20, it's not very impactful. If the shorter gain comes on 3rd-and-2, it's a significant play and boosts the offense's scoring expectation. It was a success.

Adding this context can show us which teams defend positions well and which teams may have their traditional stats inflated by plays that don't matter as much as others.

You can view our overall, opponent-adjusted passing and rushing defense numbers on our team rankings page, but here's a breakdown of Success Rates allowed to the various positions across the NFL through Week 15's games.

Numbers shaded with green indicate good defensive metrics -- and poor offensive matchups. Red cells indicate weak defensive performance and promising offensive matchups.

Quarterback Pass Defense

QB Defense

Best and Worst Since Week 8

RankTeamSuccess Rate
RankTeamSuccess Rate
1Tampa Bay 39.9%32Arizona 54.1%
2Baltimore 40.1%31Detroit 53.5%
3Philadelphia 40.1%30Seattle 52.3%
4Pittsburgh 40.4%29Jacksonville 51.4%
5Buffalo 41.0%28Tennessee 51.0%
6LA Rams 41.2%27Atlanta 49.8%
7Kansas City 41.2%26Denver 49.0%
8New Orleans 43.1%25NY Giants 48.9%

Running Back Rush Defense

RB Rushing

Best and Worst Since Week 8

RankTeamSuccess Rate
Rate Allowed
1NY Jets 27.0%32Atlanta 50.0%
2NY Giants 32.7%31Minnesota 48.7%
3Indianapolis 33.9%30Green Bay 48.4%
4Philadelphia 34.7%29Carolina 47.5%
5New Orleans 35.7%28Baltimore 45.5%
6Chicago 36.0%27Miami 45.0%
7Tampa Bay 37.0%26Jacksonville 44.8%
8Seattle 37.3%25Oakland 44.6%

Receiving Defense

Receiving Defense

Best and Worst Since Week 8

RB RankTeamSuccess Rate
RB RankTeamSuccess Rate
1Tampa Bay 27.9%32Seattle 66.0%
2Philadelphia 31.4%31Detroit 60.8%
3San Francisco 34.6%30Arizona 59.7%
4Chicago 36.6%29Oakland 57.1%
5Pittsburgh 37.0%28Jacksonville 54.8%
6Baltimore 37.5%27Tennessee 54.7%
7Buffalo 38.3%26Cleveland 53.5%
8LA Chargers 40.6%25Cincinnati 52.9%

WR RankTeamSuccess Rate
WR RankTeamSuccess Rate
1Kansas City 42.9%32Jacksonville 61.0%
2Baltimore 48.4%31Minnesota 59.9%
3Cincinnati 46.2%30Detroit 59.5%
4Chicago 46.5%29Tennessee 59.3%
5Houston 47.2%28Arizona 57.9%
6Buffalo 48.0%27Carolina 57.5%
7Tampa Bay 48.3%26Atlanta 57.0%
8Pittsburgh 48.4%25Washington 56.2%

TE RankTeamSuccess Rate
TE RankTeamSuccess Rate
1Baltimore 41.2%32Jacksonville 69.2%
2Minnesota 45.3%31Denver 64.5%
3LA Rams 46.5%30Atlanta 59.3%
4NY Jets 48.0%29Cincinnati 59.1%
5Tampa Bay 48.1%28Dallas 58.6%
6Oakland 48.3%27Washington 57.7%
7Philadelphia 50.0%26San Francisco 57.4%
8Indianapolis 50.9%25New England 56.7%