Offensive lines don’t get much love. But they often make or break key fantasy players. If you’re struggling to decide between 2 guys on draft day, consider the blockers in front of them as a tie-breaker. Offensive line quality is, of course, baked into the rankings and projections that fuel your MVP Board.
Here’s how we rank all 32 units …
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Previous Rank: 2
2018 Projected Lineup: LT Jason Peters, LG Stefen Wisniewski, C Jason Kelce, RG Brandon Brooks, RT Lane Johnson
Kelce and Johnson — a pair of 2017 All-Pros — paved the way for the Super Bowl champs. Pro Football Focus graded them 1st and 7th, respectively, at their positions. Brooks received strong marks as well.
Peters is the one to keep an eye on. The 36-year-old suffered a torn ACL and MCL in October, although he was a limited participant in OTAs. Perhaps we see some decline this fall, but Peters’ play remained at a high level in 2017. As long as he returns to close to pre-injury form, this unit should thrive yet again.
The Eagles are also flush with rock-solid depth.
2. Dallas Cowboys
Previous Rank: 1
2018 Projected Lineup: LT Tyron Smith, LG Connor Williams, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, RT La’el Collins
Smith, Frederick and Martin are among the top performers at their respective positions.
Frederick and Martin have 9 combined seasons of pro experience — and neither guy has missed a start. Remarkable.
The same can’t be said for Smith, who turns just 28 in December despite entering his 8th year. He’s missed 3 games in each of the past 2 seasons with back, knee and groin injuries. Healthy entering the summer, there’s optimism he’ll get back to playing a full slate.
Williams was a college tackle but will kick inside in Dallas. While he’ll bear watching because of the position switch, the former Longhorn carries the size and athleticism to thrive in year 1.
Collins, previously a guard, played RT for the first time in his career in 2017. He didn’t miss a snap and improved down the stretch. At just 25, there’s certainly a ceiling here.
UPDATE: Dallas drops 1 spot because of injury issues. Martin suffered a left knee bruise and a hyperextension on August 18. Frederick is dealing with neck stingers. Both guys are slated to play Week 1, but it's still not an ideal situation for 2 of Dallas' top linemen.
3. New Orleans Saints
Former Rank: 3
2018 Projected Lineup: LT Terron Armstead, LG Andrus Peat, C Max Unger, RG Larry Warford, RT Ryan Ramczyk
Per Football Outsiders, the Saints ranked 2nd in adjusted line yards in 2017; 2nd in adjusted sack rate. No surprise that they’re strong in both phases, as veteran talent litters the line. There is one exception — 2nd-year man Ramczyk — although he played 100% of the snaps in 2017 and earned the top overall grade from Pro Football Focus among rookie OTs.
If there’s a concern, it’s the health of Armstead. He’s missed 15 games over the past 2 years and has never made more than 14 appearances in a single season.