Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Offensive Line Rankings Analysis: Week 12

Apologies for not making it out last week. I welcomed my daughter into the world, and while I would have loved the distraction of looking at the ability of offensive lines, that wasn't going to happen. Moving onto Week 12, the outcome of your season-long leagues is now taking shape and you know if you are in the playoff race or not. Therefore, who you can rely on becomes more and more important, with the games meaning much more with each passing week.

However, many fantasy owners completely overlook the importance of identifying the reasons behind a player's struggles. Is he being handicapped by the protection ahead of him and actually performing as well as possible given the situation, or is he struggling despite effective play from his offensive line? Using PFF's player grading tool, each week I will identify an offensive line that has been trending up and one trending down. More importantly, I will analyze how those trends might be affecting, or might be about to affect your fantasy roster over the next few weeks.

Please Note: When determining individual player ranks I will only be looking at players that have played over 400 snaps, as well as those on IR. If you want to look at the raw data and my applied method, feel free to message me on Twitter @RichKingFF. I'm happy to share!

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!


Offensive Line to Watch - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pass Blocking

The Buccaneers have long been a team that has needed to air it out, due to their poor defense. That has made them a fun team to watch pretty much every week

That need to pass has been combined with one of their teams biggest strengths this season, with the combined offensive line ranking at the top of the league in pass blocking. As with other teams that have been an effective unit, the strength starts at their tackles and center.

Tampa Bay has two tackles that are effective starters, even if they are not among the elite at the position. Donovan Smith ranks 17th amongst all tackles in the league, while Demar Dotson ranks 37th. That combined with their center Ryan Jensen who ranks second in the league in pass blocking gives a solid pocket for Winston to work within. That strength is backed up with the guard play the team is getting. Ali Marpet and Earl Watford each rank just outside of the top-ten guards in the league (Watford hasn't played enough snaps to be truly ranked that high, but he would rank 13th if he met the snaps criteria).

However, looking at the number of sacks that have been given up and interceptions thrown, two statistics that would generally indicate the strength of an offensive line doesn't stack up. Jameis Winston leads the league in both of those metrics, throwing 18 interceptions and having been sacked 36 times this season. Given the struggles that Winston has had this season, and based on the protection he has, his struggles are more to do with his play assopposed to the fault of his offensive line.


Run Blocking

The strength of the pass blocking on this line, however, does not translate to run blocking. Overall, Tampa ranks 20th in the league in run blocking. Again, the tackles are the strength of the line with Donovan Smith ranked 33rd in the league, but this time behind Demar Dotson who has been ranked 24th.

Unfortunately, that strength is not then carried into the interior of the line. Center Ryan Jensen is one of the worst starters in the league, ranked 30th at the position. Left guard Ali Marpet ranks a respectable 18th among guards, but Watford ranks a dismal 51st in the league.

These numbers can be seen perfectly in the running charts of Peyton Barber from Week 10, with the running back only able to find success on the ground when getting out wide, or through the left of the interior line. The running backs on the roster for Tampa aren't talented enough to overcome those problems, which is one of the reasons for the sporadic scoring that they have managed this season.


Fantasy Impact

Trust: Mike Evans & Chris Godwin

It's not common that you could have two receivers, and feel like you could start both of them in your lineup (if you happened to own both of them). However, that is the case with this duo.

Both receivers have each had over 90 targets in the offense, and they have combined for 121 receptions, 1,880 yards, and 14 touchdowns. With the protection given to Winston, they should continue to have value, even if he continues to struggle with mental errors.

Cause for Concern: Ronald Jones II & Peyton Barber

Jones looks to be the lead back currently, but that isn't worth too much with the struggles the team has with run blocking.  A lack of effectiveness from that unit, combined with a lack of running volume would make me consider moving on from the running backs altogether.


Offensive Line to Avoid - Jacksonville Jaguars

Pass Blocking

The Jacksonville Jaguars changed their passing blueprint this offseason, with the team choosing to move on from Blake Bortles to Nick Foles. While that plan had to change with the injury to Foles in the opening game, backup Gardner Minshew is a similar type of quarterback to Foles in the large part.

That style change has highlighted the struggles the team has in their protection, and while the team has been effective this season that is due to the skill players on the roster. Both quarterbacks have been able to mix up their passing targets, with Leonard Fournette becoming an effective pass-catcher out of the backfield this season.


Run Blocking

The Jaguars' struggles are even more stark when it comes to run blocking, with the tackles struggling even more than in pass blocking. Rookie Jawaan Taylor (52nd) leads Cam Robinson (57th) at the position, putting pressure on the interior of the line to block.

If there is a strength for the line, the interior us where it is found. Brandon Linder again gives a solid foundation in the middle of the line, ranked 12th in the league with Andrew Norwell (30th) and A.J. Cann (53rd) either side of him. That interior strength has forced running back Leonard Fournette to be limited to short gains unless he has been able to break a tackle.


Fantasy Impact

Trust: Leonard Fournette

Fournette has to be trusted, due to his big part in the offense. In previous seasons his work was limited to rushing attempts, but he has become an effective pass-catcher this season.

That cannot be overlooked, even with the lack of protection for the team, anyone that is given that many touches will be valuable for fantasy owners. He may not have the highest ceiling every week, but is floor is among the best running backs in the league.

Cause for Concern: D.J. Chark/ Dede Westbrook

My concern for the team is their downfield threat. The team have an effective quarterback duo, but the inability of the team to protect them means that downfield threats will be inconsistent for fantasy purposes.


Top Five Offensive Lines

1) Philadelphia Eagles
2) Indianapolis Colts
3) Dallas Cowboys
4) New Orleans Saints
5) Baltimore Ravens


Bottom Five Offensive Lines

32) Los Angeles Rams
31) Miami Dolphins
30) New York Jets
29) Los Angeles Chargers
28) Cincinnati Bengals

More Fantasy Football Analysis

More Recent Articles


ADP Cost Analysis – Robbie Ray vs Trevor Bauer

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More

2020 Keeper Value Rankings - Second Base

Keeper Value Rankings are intended for Keeper Leagues in which a fantasy owner must forfeit a designated draft pick in order to keep a player into the upcoming season. These rankings are based on Keeper "Values". In the marketing world, Value can be defined as "the extent to which a good or service (player) is... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – C.J. Cron

As another fantasy baseball season approaches, we once again have the chance to discuss C.J. Cron as a fantasy sleeper. Cron will be playing for his third team in three seasons. It is tough to wrap one's head around the idea that a player of Cron's talent continues to be undervalued by professional and fantasy... Read More

2020 Starting Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a very different strategy if you wish to truly compete. All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our points league rankings... Read More

Second-Half Improvements: Buy Into These Starting Pitchers

The second half of the season is always put under a microscope for starting pitchers. Fantasy players have a love for the second half of the season, as the belief is that pitchers who take a step forward could carry over that success the next season and perhaps even build upon it. But, as we... Read More

How to Attack RP in SV+HLD Leagues

No position has seen as much evolution in recent seasons as the relief pitcher. Gone are the days where starters were expected to go seven innings as most teams have embraced the idea of "super-bullpening" and try to fit as many pitchers that can throw 95+ MPH into their bullpen as they can. Many fantasy... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitch Info

One of the most fundamental questions in fantasy sports is if a player's current performance is sustainable. More than any other sport, baseball has a slew of statistical measures that can be dissected in numerous ways to analyze player performance. Pitch Info is a publicly-available pitch tracking system that provides a lot of different data to... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More

Mock Draft Review: Best Late-Round Targets

Last week, some members of the RotoBaller staff completed a 12-team mock draft for standard 5x5 format. After the draft, we each broke down our strategy and some of our favorite picks, which can be found here. However, I want to take a closer look at one portion of the draft in particular. Since we know that... Read More

Faster and Furious: Pitchers with Rising Velocity/Performance

Welcome fantasy baseball players! I’m sure that you, like me, are anxiously counting down the days until your drafts and Opening Day. While the fantasy season may not start for several weeks, there are plenty of things we can do to start preparing for a successful season. One of those things is to take a good... Read More

James Karinchak Is A Relief Pitcher To Know in 2020

One of the lesser-known players that intrigues me for the 2020 MLB season is Indians relief pitcher James Karinchak. The former Bryant Bulldog was drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round in the 2017 draft and went on to have one of the most outrageous statistical seasons in minor league baseball history. As someone who... Read More

2020 Relief Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Often regarded as an inferior fantasy baseball format, points leagues offer a different style of boasting over your friends or coworkers similar to that of fantasy football. These setups are typically head-to-head formats for a one-week stretch where the player with the most points gets a win. Easy right? While it's true that roster construction... Read More

2019 Barrel Breakouts: Who's For Real and Who's Next?

As pitchers and catchers get even closer to reporting and most fantasy leagues prepare for their drafts, everybody is looking for a leg up on the competition - a way to get in on a guy before everybody else does. In this article, we're going to look for a way to identify hitters who improved... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher BABIP

While FIP is a useful tool to predict a pitcher's future ERA performance, fantasy owners should remember that ERA, not FIP, is what really matters in most formats. This means that we are interested in the "luck" that separates the two statistics. While some of this luck is unpredictable, we can and should predict some... Read More

Second Year Player Preview: Fantasy Baseball 2020 ADP Analysis

Host Anthony Aniano of RotoBaller Radio discuss the 2020 fantasy baseball season and keeps you updated with all the latest news and analysis Be sure to tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, every weekday afternoon from 1-2 PM ET, Saturday nights from 9-11 PM ET... Read More