NFL Analytics: Positional Success Rates Allowed Through Week 11

Which teams grade out as the best units against each offensive skill position through Week 11?

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 11'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-0.10139.5%1
Chicago Bears0.05942.9%2
Los Angeles Rams-0.08244.3%3
Los Angeles Chargers0.141644.4%4
Washington Football Team0.05844.8%5
San Francisco 49ers0.131445.6%6
Baltimore Ravens0.02646.1%7
New Orleans Saints0.081246.4%8
Philadelphia Eagles0.081146.7%9
Kansas City Chiefs0.02446.8%10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers0.03747.1%11
Indianapolis Colts0.02547.2%12
Denver Broncos0.071047.3%13
Dallas Cowboys0.182047.5%14
Miami Dolphins-0.03348.2%15
Arizona Cardinals0.121349.0%16
Cincinnati Bengals0.222449.0%17
Cleveland Browns0.141549.3%18
Buffalo Bills0.151750.6%19
Green Bay Packers0.151850.7%20
Las Vegas Raiders0.262850.8%21
Minnesota Vikings0.222550.8%22
Carolina Panthers0.192150.8%23
Atlanta Falcons0.292951.2%24
Detroit Lions0.242651.4%25
Jacksonville Jaguars0.303052.7%26
Seattle Seahawks0.262752.9%27
New York Giants0.161953.4%28
Tennessee Titans0.212353.4%29
Houston Texans0.313154.8%30
New York Jets0.323255.2%31
New England Patriots0.202255.3%32
NFL Average0.14 48.9%

Running Back Rush Defense

Defense Rushing NEP/
Rank Rushing
Success Rate
Tampa Bay Buccaneers-0.16132.3%1
Pittsburgh Steelers-0.04734.3%2
Chicago Bears0.001334.6%3
Baltimore Ravens-0.09335.1%4
New York Jets-0.03935.2%5
Philadelphia Eagles-0.08435.2%6
Denver Broncos-0.021036.5%7
New Orleans Saints-0.05637.2%8
Jacksonville Jaguars-0.021139.1%9
New York Giants0.052139.2%10
San Francisco 49ers-0.08539.4%11
Indianapolis Colts-0.04840.2%12
Atlanta Falcons-0.13242.4%13
Arizona Cardinals0.031942.4%14
Los Angeles Rams0.001442.5%15
Washington Football Team-0.011243.0%16
Tennessee Titans0.052043.2%17
Carolina Panthers0.082543.5%18
Green Bay Packers0.112843.5%19
Seattle Seahawks0.011643.5%19
Dallas Cowboys0.092644.4%21
Los Angeles Chargers0.031845.5%22
Kansas City Chiefs0.062346.0%23
Miami Dolphins0.011546.5%24
Houston Texans0.163146.5%25
Cincinnati Bengals0.122947.4%26
Las Vegas Raiders0.183247.5%27
Detroit Lions0.143047.5%28
New England Patriots0.052248.7%29
Minnesota Vikings0.072448.7%30
Buffalo Bills0.102749.3%31
Cleveland Browns0.031749.8%32
NFL Average0.02 42.3%

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
Washington Football Team53.1%2648.6%156.3%17
Kansas City Chiefs54.2%2949.2%260.0%24
Chicago Bears34.4%349.5%352.5%9
Pittsburgh Steelers33.3%150.5%439.2%1
Miami Dolphins61.0%3250.7%551.6%8
Los Angeles Rams40.0%751.3%655.8%16
San Francisco 49ers44.6%1153.0%747.2%3
Los Angeles Chargers36.1%453.0%849.3%6
Atlanta Falcons50.0%1853.4%966.2%32
Baltimore Ravens34.2%253.9%1063.5%29
Cleveland Browns46.6%1554.4%1160.5%26
Indianapolis Colts56.4%3054.6%1244.6%2
Denver Broncos44.0%1054.9%1357.6%22
Green Bay Packers59.5%3155.1%1453.1%10
Carolina Panthers50.0%1855.3%1555.7%15
Buffalo Bills52.8%2455.5%1660.0%24
Cincinnati Bengals50.0%1855.9%1749.4%7
Philadelphia Eagles42.0%856.1%1856.9%20
Dallas Cowboys37.8%556.1%1962.1%28
Arizona Cardinals44.8%1256.2%2056.5%18
Minnesota Vikings49.3%1756.8%2164.5%31
Las Vegas Raiders47.7%1657.1%2253.8%12
Tampa Bay Buccaneers39.5%657.3%2354.3%13
Jacksonville Jaguars50.7%2357.4%2453.1%11
Tennessee Titans53.3%2757.4%2559.7%23
Detroit Lions45.9%1457.4%2654.5%14
New Orleans Saints43.8%957.5%2747.5%5
New York Giants50.0%1860.5%2860.9%27
New York Jets53.0%2561.4%2957.4%21
New England Patriots54.0%2861.5%3056.6%19
Seattle Seahawks50.6%2261.6%3147.3%4
Houston Texans45.6%1363.5%3263.6%30
NFL Average47.1% 55.7% 55.3%