NFL Offensive Line Overview: Enter The Crucible

From pass protection to run blocking, every aspect of the modern NFL offence runs through the O-line. Aside from skill position players themselves, nothing has a larger impact on the outcome of a play call than the battle up front. In the Offensive Line Overview series, we look at which of the league’s 32 offensive lines are trending up and down.

Entering Week 11 of the NFL season, a number of teams — including the Colts, Packers, Titans and Chargers — have entered the crucible. Their chances of salvaging the season hinge entirely on stellar performance going forward, with little room for error. The same holds true for many fantasy teams, with playoff standings close to being determined. Without further ado, let’s check in on which offensive lines are rising and falling around the league. . . and what that means for the playoffs, in fantasy and NFL realms.

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Week 11 Pre-Observations

I’m doing this in part as an excuse to create a Sporcle Quiz for the first time, stealing Liss’s inspiration to do so, and because I only have a few quick takes looking at this week’s slate.

Survivor

You should read Chris Liss’s weekly Survivor Article for real analysis, including the math underpinnings for each week, but I have a few of my own thoughts.

  • This is the most difficult Survivor slate in recent weeks. After the carnage of the first few weeks of the season, it’s been pretty easy to coast along until last week, when the Jets, Eagles, Patriots and Falcons knocked out a third of the remaining entries in one of my double-elimination pools. The Saints are the biggest favorite on the board, at -8.5 points in most places, followed by the Chargers at -7.5. Making matters worse, the Saints are up against the defending Super Bowl Champs in the Eagles, who are essentially in a “must-win” game after falling to 4-5 last Sunday night. There are no other teams favored by six points or higher. The next two highest favorites are Pittsburgh on the road at Jacksonville, and Arizona (!) at home against the Raiders.
  • I’ve decided to rule out Arizona, for a couple of reasons. One, I can’t escape the feeling that taking them is akin to taking the Jets last week against the Bills – merely taking a team because of their opponent is not sound enough, not in a season where there don’t appear to be “special bad” teams like the Browns were last year, though the Raiders lately have put that theory to the test. But the Cardinals are just 2-7 in their own right, have scored the fewest points in the NFL this season so far (though they have a game in hand over the Bills, who score at a lower rate per game, but only barely!), and have been outscored by 101 points in total this year. Moreover, in my double-elimination pool, not a single participant has used them yet, both eliminated and among the 27 still alive. Thus, I think that their ownership rate will skew higher than 11.9% rate that they’re being picked across all pools at OfficeFootballPool.com.

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Week 10 Observations

Barring significant new developments, you should not tinker with your lineups at the last minute. After all, why would the present version of you be any more competent than the one who already looked things over three days before? If anything, the current version, exposed to pre-game noise on Twitter or elsewhere, is likely more impulsive and more prone to overweighting whatever isolated factor is brought to your immediate attention.

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The Vampire (Football) Diaries: The End Is Near

With barely an hour to the Sunday kickoffs, we’re going stream of consciousness style with this edition of The Vampire (Football) Diaries. Considering my Count Chocula squad has taken over the league and built and unstoppable starting lineup, it seems pretty fitting to go this route. After all, there’s not much to say about strategy or player thoughts or anything around trying to win a league as a Vampire.

I’ve already won.

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2018 Rotowire FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship – Week 10

We’re down to the final week of the RotoWire FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship! One last chance to qualify for a shot at the big prize in next week’s championship round.

Or, if you’re into a different sort of fun, one more chance to play Nathan Peterman, who, at $5,500, comes in $500 cheaper than FanDuel’s typical minimum price for a quarterback. That suggests that he’s expected to score negative points, a feat he’s managed to perform once already this season. It looks like Peterman is unlikely to start, so he should lock in a solid zero points. If you’re the ultra-creative type who was already planning on taking a zero at quarterback in order to have more money to spend elsewhere, why not take Peterman for the extra $500 and to say you won a DFS contest with Peterman in your lineup? (Please don’t do this.)

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