You won't find names like Carl Nicks, Eric Winston, or Jared Veldheer anywhere on your cheat sheet. But how those those guys play will directly impact guys you will be drafting--specifically the likes of Doug Martin, Jamaal Charles, and Carson Palmer.
No worries, you won't be tested on those names. We've done all the heavy lifting for you, breaking down offensive lines and providing a bite-sized capsule as to how the big fellas up front affect the fantasy players you draft--or avoid. So when the best run-blocking guard in football lands in Tampa Bay, when a top zone-scheme tackle swaps Houston blue for Kansas City red, or when a small-school left tackle develops into a solid pass-protector the ramifications will be covered here--and reflected in our cheat sheets.
With that in mind, here’s a capsule look at each offensive line in the league. Keep in mind these rankings are subjective, taking into account past performance, continuity, scheme, and personnel. They also draw from an emerging trove of statistical data from sources like the Football Outsiders (FO), the Football Scientist (FS), and Pro Football Focus (PFF), all of whom endeavor to quantify just how much of a team’s offensive performance can be directly attributed to line play.
This article will reference stats from these sources, so here’s a quick primer on what those numbers measure:
Adjusted Line Yards — an FO stat that assigns responsibility for rushing yards to the offensive line based on where those yards were gained in proximity to the line of scrimmage
Power Success — an FO stat that tracks the percentage of runs on third or fourth down with two yards or less to go (or first or second down and goal to go from two yards and in) that resulted in a first-down or touchdown
Stuffed — an FO stat measuring the percentage of rushing attempts where the back is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage
Adjusted Sack Rate – an FO stat measuring sacks per pass attempt tweaked for down, distance, and opponent