Popular Features

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  • DYNASTY FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE RANKINGS
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    Final Pre-Draft Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Running Backs

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  • 2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Post-Combine
    April 4, 2019
    2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Post-Combine

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  • First Round Rookie Mock Draft
    February 18, 2019
    First Round Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft

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  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings premium
    April 11, 2019
    Pre-Draft Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update

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  • 2019 NFL Season Win Totals
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  • Sportradar Partnership Announcement 1
    April 18, 2019
    Sportradar Partnership Announcement

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  • 2019 NFL Futures
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  • David Sills V, Greg Jennings and Will Grier: Determining What Is Real
    April 16, 2019
    David Sills V, Gary Jennings and Will Grier: Determining What Is Real

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  • 2019 NFL Draft Betting
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Advanced NFL Playoffs Matchups: Conference Championship Weekend

Advanced NFL Playoffs Matchups: Conference Championship Weekend
Davis Mattek January 17, 2019 3:40PM EDT

Advanced Matchup Stats For Conference Championship Weekend

As we move further into the age of advanced analytics in the NFL, we get ever more granular data to help properly prognosticate the outcome of games. For the Wild Card Weekend round of the NFL playoffs, we used the NFL Next Gen Stats engine to point out some interesting metrics that could have impacted the outcomes of the games. During the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, we used Pro Football Focus’ WR/CB matchup tools to have a closer look at potential ways the games could go.

This week, I will use both the NFL Next Gen Stats and the WR/CB matchup chart from Pro Football Focus to take a closer look at the games.

Michael Thomas vs Marcus Peters

The first time that the Saints and Rams played each other, the New Orleans coaching staff made it known that their plan was to actively target the overrated Marcus Peters. Thomas had one of his best games of the season with 15 targets, 211 yards and a touchdown while mostly being covered by Peters. The Rams do have Aqib Talib back for this game. He was inactive for the first meeting between the two teams, and should make a difference. Talib has a much higher Pro Football Focus grade than Peters (76.9 to 58.1) despite being targeted at a higher clip. It is unlikely that Peters will shadow Thomas in this game, but on the snaps where Peters does cover Thomas, the Rams could bleed Expected Points, as Thomas is simply better than Peters.

Julian Edelman vs Kendall Fuller

Kansas City does not have a very good defense. They exhibit some of the worst safety play in the league and their strength really comes from their defensive line. Tom Brady is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in terms of getting the ball out quickly, which should aid him against the weak K.C secondary. However, the Chiefs’ best cornerback is their slot CB, Kendall Fuller. Fuller earned a 70.2 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus this season and allowed only 1.45 yards per route ran against. If Fuller has one of his better games of the season and makes Julian Edelman’s life difficult in the intermediate areas of the field, the Chiefs defense could theoretically stymie the Patriots uber-efficient short passing offense.

Expected Completion Percentage In Kansas City

Given what we know about Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, their individual Expected Completion numbers should not be surprising. One of the greatest NFL Next Gen stats is Expected Completion Percentage. This is measured by, according to the Next Gen glossary, “The probability of a pass completion, based on numerous factors such as receiver separation from the nearest defender, where the receiver is on the field, the separation the passer had at time of throw from the nearest pass rusher, and more.” Using that metric, the site is able to create a metric called “Completion Percentage Above Expectation” which is a passer’s actual completion percentage compared to their Expected Completion Percentage. Tom Brady is actually below his Expected Completion Percentage, while Patrick Mahomes is above his expectation. This makes intuitive sense, as Mahomes is probably the most talented thrower in all of the NFL, while Father Time has robbed Tom Brady of a little bit of his magic now that he is 41 years old. If Mahomes continues to run above expectation in the playoffs, Kansas City should be able to deliver a thorough victory on Sunday.

Eight Man Boxes In The Big Easy

The biggest indicator of run success is how many opposing defenders there are in “the box” or roughly the five yards beyond the line of scrimmage. Much of what we are coming to learn about running in the NFL is that it really and truly just a numbers game. With less defenders to beat immediately, running backs have better success. Todd Gurley faced one of the lowest percentages of eight men or more in the box of any rusher in the league with only 8.2% of his rushes facing that scenario. Alvin Kamara, on the other hand, faced eight or more men in the box on 22.16% of his rushing attempts. Those attempts, on average, are likely to be less successful. If the Saints do run Kamara into a ton of eight man fronts in this game, I would be more bullish on the Rams’ chance of pulling an upset on the road in the Superdome, and it would be something to monitor for live wagering.

Popular Features

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings
    March 28, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft: Post-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings

    Davis Mattek’s 2019 NFL Draft Post-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings Right before the NFL Scouting Combine, I posted my Pre-Combine dynasty fantasy football rookie rankings with the caveat that things would certainly change. There are a few very significant changes from those rankings as I tend to value athleticism more than the average dynasty fantasy football…

  • DYNASTY FANTASY FOOTBALL ROOKIE RANKINGS
    April 17, 2019
    Final Pre-Draft Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Running Backs

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  • 2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Post-Combine
    April 4, 2019
    2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Post-Combine

    Davis Mattek 2019 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 The 2019 NFL Draft is over 20 days away and the anticipation is killing most of us. While the NFL Draft is one of the most unpredictable events in all of the sporting world, NFL Mock Drafts are one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire process. I…

  • First Round Rookie Mock Draft
    February 18, 2019
    First Round Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft

    With the Combine only a couple of weeks away, now seems like a good time to start evaluating not just who to target in dynasty rookie drafts, but where those targets may go in your league. I got together with Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek) to do a first round rookie mock draft. Our objective in this…

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings premium
    April 11, 2019
    Pre-Draft Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update

    Pre-Draft Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update Dynasty fantasy football rankings are bound to get shaken up in two weeks when the 2019 NFL Draft happens but there is plenty of league business to handle now. I actually just finished up the startup draft for the #DFBInvitational myself and will be looking to improve my roster…

  • 2019 NFL Season Win Totals
    April 18, 2019
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    2019 NFL Season Win Totals Betting Analysis SportsGrid’s own full-time sports statistician used the 2019 NFL schedule released on April 17th to run several simulations of the 2019 NFL season and correspond to the Fanduel Sportsbook 2019 NFL Season Win Totals. We’ve already looked at some futures bets for the 2019 season but now that we have the…

  • Sportradar Partnership Announcement 1
    April 18, 2019
    Sportradar Partnership Announcement

    SPORTRADAR AND SPORTSGRID ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP TO LAUNCH THE FIRST FREE, 24-HOUR SPORTS BETTING NETWORK NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 18, 2019 – Sportradar, the global leader in analyzing and leveraging the power of sports data, and SportsGrid, the leader in original programming for both daily fantasy and sports betting, today announced an exclusive partnership to launch the first…

  • 2019 NFL Futures
    April 17, 2019
    The 2019 NFL Futures Betting Market: Is There Any Value?

    An Early Look At The 2019 NFL Futures Betting Market Hitting a futures bet is one of the absolute best feelings in sports. The cost associated is one that some people don’t necessarily realize though. While the prices might seem good eight months out, you’re paying a tax by keeping your money locked up in…

  • David Sills V, Greg Jennings and Will Grier: Determining What Is Real
    April 16, 2019
    David Sills V, Gary Jennings and Will Grier: Determining What Is Real

    What Mattered Most? David Sills V, Gary Jennings and Will Grier at West Virginia It is endlessly fascinating to me when a quarterback prospect and two or more of his wide receivers are all draft-eligible at the same time. Zach Mettenberger, Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry is the most famous case of this situation but…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Betting
    April 16, 2019
    2019 NFL Draft Prop Betting: Early Look

    Prop Betting For The 2019 NFL Draft Every sporting event is made better by wagering on it, especially if there is some edge in a newer market. The Fanduel Sportsbook (and several others) have begun to post possible wagers for the 2019 NFL Draft. There are odds posted on where Kyler Murray will be drafted,…