Need another reason to like Mark Andrews this season?
No? Well, I’ve got one anyway. It looks like his schedule could be pretty favorable. Thank matchups with Cincinnati, Cleveland and the NFC East.
But before we get any further, let’s back it up a bit.
I looked back at each of the past 10 seasons to find the annual median for PPR points allowed to TEs, and then compared each ranking spot for that year to the season’s median. After doing that for each season back through 2010, I got the median percentage for each spot in the points-allowed rankings.
The “Diff” column represents the difference (in percentage points) between each 2 spots in the rankings. As we’ve seen at other positions, the gaps grow toward the top and bottom of the rankings, indicating a greater impact on TE scoring from the best and worst defensive matchups.
We also see that the 9 most favorable matchups add 10+ percentage points to TE scoring. The 9 toughest matchups sap 10+ percentage points. So we’ll use those ranges for applying our scoring factors later.
The tested range of seasons here also revealed that about 6 defenses from the top 9 and bottom 9 tend to carry over year to year as finishers in the same half of the league. To put it more clearly, we can expect about 6 of last year’s 9 worst TE defenses to rank among the bottom half in 2020. Same thing at the other end.
This year, I also checked the correlation between Football Outsiders DVOA in TE coverage and a defense’s points allowed. I found a stronger correlation between DVOA and points allowed per target than for total points allowed. That indicates points per target ties more closely to strong defensive performance, which makes sense.
Last season, for example, Seattle allowed the 2nd most PPR points to TEs, while Carolina allowed the 4th-fewest. But the Seahawks saw 138 TE targets vs. just 83 for the Panthers. The defense that sees 55 more targets is far more likely to allow more fantasy points.
If we break it down by target, though, Carolina allowed the 9th most. Seattle ranked just 18th.
Now let’s try to predict 6 teams that will present tougher TE matchups in 2020, and then 6 who will be favorable to your TEs ...