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Andy Richardson

Defenses and ADP

Jaguars, Eagles look like values

ADP data -- where players are being drafted in various leagues -- can be tricky, with results often merging different scoring systems, different league sizes and crossing various platforms. But it can also be a useful tool to look at, providing a sense of where values can be found.

Defenses are especially difficult, given the greater disparity from one scoring system to another. With players, the differences are usually limited to Standard versus PPR, or 4-point versus 6-point touchdown passes. With defenses, some score only sacks, takeaways and touchdowns, while others included points allowed components -- and usually different scoring for points allowed from one platform to another.

But ESPN defensive scoring is fairly close to the points allowed one we use, so a comparison of our rankings -- shown in the PPR defensive rankings on our Cheat Sheets -- versus ESPN's ADP has some value. That comparison with our latest rankings update is shown in the table below. Table is sorted by how many spots higher, or lower, our rankings are compared to ADP in ESPN leagues.

Two of the better values are the Jaguars (who we rank 15 spots higher than their ESPN ADP) and Eagles (7 spots higher). The Browns and Dolphins are going a lot higher according to ADP than we think they should.

INDEX DEFENSE VS ADP
DefenseESPNIndexDiff
Jacksonville2712+15
Atlanta2919+10
Tennessee3021+9
Philadelphia103+7
Houston3225+7
Baltimore126+6
N.Y. Giants2115+6
N.Y. Jets72+5
Kansas City1510+5
L.A. Chargers2520+5
Washington1411+3
Denver1714+3
New England97+2
Tampa Bay3129+2
Indianapolis2827+1
San Francisco110
Dallas550
Cincinnati13130
Seattle22220
Buffalo34-1
L.A. Rams2428-4
New Orleans49-5
Green Bay1116-5
Minnesota1924-5
Pittsburgh28-6
Arizona2632-6
Carolina1623-7
Detroit1826-8
Chicago2331-8
Cleveland818-10
Las Vegas2030-10
Miami617-11

There are other big disparities, but many of them aren't as meaningful. We're 9 spots higher on Tennessee and 7 spots higher on Houston, but neither makes it into our top 20 at the position. So unless you're an unfortunate soul in a fantasy league starting two defenses, who cares. Similarly, at the other end of the spectrum, we're 8-10 spots lower than ADP on both Chicago and Las Vegas. But ADP doesn't think you should be selecting either of those defenses either. We're 6 spots lower on Pittsburgh, but they're still a top-10 defense and recommended target.

In addition to Jacksonville and the Eagles, Atlanta is a defense I have some interest in. They've added a lot of talent in the offseason, and although they show up at just 19th in our rankings including a points-allowed component, they're borderline starters (15th) in the sack and takeaway-based scoring system. Baltimore and the Jets are two others that look a little underrated, both of whom have climbed the rankings some lately (the Ravens have added some players, while the Jets look poised to cause a lot of problems for opposing offenses this year, finally looking respectable themselves on offense).

At the bottom of the table, maybe I'm not giving the Dolphins enough credit. They were above-average in sacks last year, but next to last in takeaways, which accounts for my skepticism. Some improvement is likely, though I don't think they merit being selected where they are. Cleveland is another team I have some interest in, but believe they're being drafted too early.

A final note on Jacksonville. In a league where I drafted the Jets as my starting defense, I used a last-round pick on the Jaguars. That's because in Week 1 the Jets face Josh Allen and the Bills, while the Jaguars face Anthony Richardson making his first NFL start. I'm anticipating Richardson being a little more vulnerable to sacks and turnovers next week than Allen.

--Andy Richardson

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