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Fantasy Football Strategy Ideas from the Guru
Do team defenses tend to do better at home than on the road?
The quick answer is yes. After 13 weeks, the average team defense scores -420 SWP each game. But a defense at home averages only -387 SWP, while a road team averages -454, a differential of 67 SWP, or about the value of a touchdown. But that's not the real story here. You have to drill down a little deeper to find the interesting data.
Ten teams do more than 100 SWP better at home than on the road. Of these, six teams average more than 200 SWP better at home. And the Vikings are 367 SWP stronger in the Metrodome than they are on the road. In fact, of their first twelve games, their worst home week produced -355, while their best away week was over -390. What could cause such a disparity? Is it real, or just a statistical fluke? Consider these thoughts:
Who are the other five teams who are more than 200 SWP better at home than on the road? Here's the chart of the top teams:
Are there distinctive factors that might explain these teams? Indy is another dome team. Miami and Arizona may prefer warm weather. The Jets play on artificial turf at home. Kansas City - noise, perhaps? The Chiefs also had that one night game against Seattle played in a monsoon. (But even if Seattle had put up average offensive numbers that night, KC would still have a SWP differential greater than 200.)
How about the other end of the spectrum? Are there teams that do worse at home?
Yep. In fact, 10 teams (one-third of the league) do worse at home than on the road. The most proficient road warriors are the Ravens, who average -502 in Baltimore, but -366 on the road, for a road improvement of 136 SWP. The 49ers are almost on par with that, averaging -456 at home, and only -333 on the road, for a 123 SWP differential. I'm not sure what to make of these. The next four teams - Washington, San Diego, Philadelphia, and Chicago - are all only about a touchdown better on the road than at home.
So what to make of all this? As I've said before, beware of reading too much into statistical analysis when the number of games is so low. If you repeatedly flip a coin 12 times, you should expect to get 10 or more heads almost 2% of the time. But Minnesota's results sure look like more than a statistical anomaly. I'd say this is certainly a factor that warrants consideration when you're picking your defense for the week. Just not the only factor.
Here's the entire table through 12 weeks, sorted by differential:
Average SWP per Game Team Home Away Diff Minnesota -217 -584 367 Miami -143 -432 289 Kansas City -280 -532 252 Arizona -308 -531 223 Indianapolis -468 -671 203 New York J -242 -442 201 Detroit -353 -531 179 New Orleans -355 -502 147 Pittsburgh -298 -432 134 Cincinnati -516 -619 104 Oakland -302 -381 79 Jacksonville -392 -468 76 St. Louis -409 -476 67 New York G -414 -476 62 Buffalo -372 -421 49 Carolina -490 -537 47 Atlanta -332 -376 44 Tampa Bay -403 -438 35 Tennessee -444 -463 19 Green Bay -377 -383 6 Seattle -380 -368 -12 Denver -363 -343 -20 Dallas -406 -382 -24 New England -435 -408 -27 Chicago -479 -424 -55 Philadelphia -506 -450 -55 San Diego -400 -327 -73 Washington -586 -504 -82 San Francisco -456 -333 -123 Baltimore -502 -366 -136 30 team average -387 -454 66
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