NFL Analytics: Positional Success Rates Allowed Through Week 10

Which teams grade out as the best units against each offensive skill position through Week 10?

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 10's games.

For defensive purposes, lower success rates and expected points numbers allowed are better. Tables are sorted as such.

Quarterback Pass Defense

Defense Passing NEP/
Drop Back
Rank Passing
Success Rate
Pittsburgh Steelers-0.05340.8%1
Chicago Bears0.05842.9%2
Los Angeles Rams-0.07144.8%3
Kansas City Chiefs-0.03444.8%4
Baltimore Ravens0.00644.9%5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers-0.01545.0%6
Los Angeles Chargers0.161845.2%7
Washington Football Team0.091045.4%8
San Francisco 49ers0.131445.6%9
Indianapolis Colts0.01746.4%10
Dallas Cowboys0.182146.6%11
Philadelphia Eagles0.08946.9%12
Arizona Cardinals0.101248.2%13
New Orleans Saints0.121348.4%14
Denver Broncos0.091148.4%14
Las Vegas Raiders0.232448.4%16
Miami Dolphins-0.06248.6%17
Cincinnati Bengals0.252650.0%18
Cleveland Browns0.182050.3%19
Minnesota Vikings0.232350.4%20
Buffalo Bills0.151750.6%21
Atlanta Falcons0.302951.0%22
Green Bay Packers0.141651.0%23
Detroit Lions0.262751.4%24
Carolina Panthers0.242552.5%25
Seattle Seahawks0.262852.8%26
New York Giants0.161953.4%27
Jacksonville Jaguars0.333153.7%28
Tennessee Titans0.212254.0%29
New England Patriots0.141554.3%30
Houston Texans0.313055.1%31
New York Jets0.333256.7%32
NFL Average0.14 49.0%

Running Back Rush Defense

Defense Rushing NEP/
Rank Rushing
Success Rate
Tampa Bay Buccaneers-0.14233.0%1
Pittsburgh Steelers-0.06533.7%2
Chicago Bears0.001134.6%3
Baltimore Ravens-0.10335.2%4
New York Jets0.001336.7%5
Philadelphia Eagles-0.05737.0%6
Denver Broncos-0.021037.0%7
New Orleans Saints-0.05837.6%8
Indianapolis Colts-0.06639.2%9
New York Giants0.052239.2%10
San Francisco 49ers-0.08439.4%11
Jacksonville Jaguars-0.03939.5%12
Arizona Cardinals0.011440.8%13
Atlanta Falcons-0.15140.9%14
Los Angeles Rams0.011543.2%15
Seattle Seahawks0.011643.3%16
Washington Football Team0.001243.5%17
Tennessee Titans0.041943.6%18
Dallas Cowboys0.082543.7%19
Green Bay Packers0.142944.4%20
Carolina Panthers0.102745.1%21
Los Angeles Chargers0.031745.8%22
Cincinnati Bengals0.122846.0%23
Las Vegas Raiders0.163046.3%24
Houston Texans0.183246.6%25
Kansas City Chiefs0.072347.4%26
Minnesota Vikings0.042048.1%27
Miami Dolphins0.041848.2%28
Cleveland Browns0.052148.9%29
Detroit Lions0.173149.2%30
Buffalo Bills0.102649.3%31
New England Patriots0.082451.7%32
NFL Average0.03 42.6%

Receiving Defense vs. Position

(This table is sorted by target success rate allowed to wide receivers.)

Defense RB Target
Success Rate
Rank WR Target
Success Rate
Rank TE Target
Success Rate
Kansas City Chiefs55.2%2847.6%153.6%13
Chicago Bears34.4%249.5%252.5%10
Washington Football Team52.4%2550.0%356.7%19
Pittsburgh Steelers34.1%151.9%440.0%1
Miami Dolphins61.0%3252.2%550.0%8
Baltimore Ravens35.6%352.3%662.9%29
Los Angeles Rams41.4%852.9%756.6%18
San Francisco 49ers44.6%1153.0%847.2%4
Atlanta Falcons49.3%1953.2%965.2%31
Indianapolis Colts55.1%2753.7%1043.1%2
Los Angeles Chargers36.5%454.5%1148.6%5
Green Bay Packers60.0%3155.0%1255.0%16
Las Vegas Raiders46.3%1655.1%1349.3%6
Philadelphia Eagles40.8%755.1%1360.6%27
Tampa Bay Buccaneers39.5%655.2%1552.8%12
Dallas Cowboys38.5%555.3%1658.5%24
Denver Broncos45.2%1355.4%1758.3%22
Buffalo Bills52.8%2655.5%1860.0%26
Carolina Panthers51.3%2355.9%1958.2%21
Cincinnati Bengals50.0%2056.1%2052.6%11
Arizona Cardinals41.9%956.2%2154.0%14
Cleveland Browns46.0%1556.7%2257.5%20
Minnesota Vikings47.8%1756.8%2365.5%32
Detroit Lions45.1%1258.1%2455.6%17
Tennessee Titans50.9%2259.2%2558.3%22
New Orleans Saints45.9%1459.4%2649.4%7
Jacksonville Jaguars51.4%2459.5%2754.4%15
New York Giants50.0%2060.5%2860.9%28
New England Patriots55.8%2961.3%2952.4%9
Seattle Seahawks48.6%1861.6%3047.1%3
New York Jets57.1%3062.0%3159.3%25
Houston Texans44.4%1063.4%3264.5%30
NFL Average47.1% 55.9% 55.0%