Show Navigation
Show Menu

Dynasty

Free Agency: Offensive Line Risers and Fallers

By Jared Smola 11:03am EDT 3/31/20


Why did Todd Gurley’s yards per carry sink from 4.9 in 2018 to 3.8 last year?

The easy answer is that balky knee. But the truth is that the Rams’ offensive line was a big factor in Gurley’s decline.

After losing G Rodger Saffold and C John Sullivan last offseason, Los Angeles sunk from 5.49 Adjusted Line Yards created to 4.27, according to Football Outsiders. That 1.22-yard drop was even bigger than Gurley’s decline in yards per carry.

But you didn’t hear much about L.A.’s offensive line last year. O-line play continues to go overlooked by fantasy football players — and remains an avenue where we can gain an edge.

With 2020 free agency just about in the books, let’s run through the offensive lines that look better and those that look worse heading into the new season.


Risers

Los Angeles Chargers

It feels like the Chargers’ offensive line has been a problem forever. They made real strides toward fixing that this offseason.

First, Los Angeles got the better end of the Russell Okung for Trai Turner trade. The 31-year-old Okung appears to be a player in decline. He missed 10 games last season and graded out poorly in the other 6, especially in run blocking. Turner, on the other hand, is smack dab in his prime at 26. He’s ranked middle of the pack in Pro Football Focus’ grades the past 2 seasons but turned in a pair of top-15 finishes between 2015 and 2017.

The Chargers then filled the hole left by Okung’s departure by signing OT Bryan Bulaga. The long-time Packer has remained effective into his 30s, ranking 21st and then 13th among OTs in PFF’s overall grades the last 2 years.

With Bulaga and Turner joining C Mike Pouncey, the Chargers are at least solid at 3 of the 5 offensive line spots.

Cleveland Browns

Poor offensive line play was a big reason this offense was a disappointment last year. The new front office made fixing that a priority in free agency, handing OT Jack Conklin a 3-year, $42 million deal that makes him the league’s 8th highest paid tackle in average annual salary.

The 25-year-old was a big part of Tennessee’s success last year, finishing 5th in Pro Football Focus’ run-blocking grades among 60 qualifying OTs. Conklin ranked a solid 31st in PFF’s pass-blocking grades and 12th overall.

He projects as a big upgrade at RT over 2019 starter Chris Hubbard, who finished 58th among those 60 qualifying OTs in PFF’s overall grades.

Indianapolis Colts

After re-signing LT Anthony Castonzo, Indy will return all 5 offensive line starters from last year’s squad.

Continuity and individual talent are equally important on the O-line — and the Colts have both in spades now. They were 1 of 7 teams to finish top 12 in both Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards and Adjusted Sack Rate last season. PFF graded them 13th in pass blocking and 2nd in run blocking.

This unit could be even better in 2020.

New York Jets

It’s all relative with the Jets. They’ve improved from a pathetic offensive line to a potentially passable unit.

The best move New York made in free agency was snagging C Conner McGovern. The former Bronco finished 10th among 31 qualifying centers in PFF’s 2019 grades. He was especially dominant in pass protection, ranking 5th in that department. Good news for QB Sam Darnold.

The Jets made a couple of other minor moves, signing G Greg Van Roten and OT George Fant. Van Roten turned in a quietly solid 2019 for Carolina, finishing 21st among 64 qualifying Gs in PFF’s overall grades. He ranked 17th in pass blocking. Fant never emerged as a full-time starter in Seattle and was mediocre when he did get on the field. But it wouldn’t take much for him to be an upgrade over 2019 starter Brandon Shell.

The Jets still need to add another OT, which will hopefully happen in the draft. But they at least made some progress on the O-line in free agency.


Fallers

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore’s offensive line won’t look the same without G Marshal Yanda, who retired this offseason. The 13-year vet and 8-time Pro Bowler remained elite last year, ranking 4th among 64 qualifying Gs in PFF’s overall grades. He joined Philly’s Brandon Brooks and Dallas’ Zack Martin as the only 2 Gs to finish top 6 in both run and pass blocking.

Baltimore also dumped OT James Hurst after February’s PED suspension. He was important depth for the Ravens, playing 194 snaps as the team’s #3 OT this past season.

Don’t be surprised if last year’s #3 O-line in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Line Yards takes a step back in 2020. Of course, QB Lamar Jackson can help mask any decline.

Green Bay Packers

OT Bryan Bulaga has been protecting QB Aaron Rodgers since 2010. But he’s off to Los Angeles now, set to be replaced by Rick Wagner, who was dumped by the Lions in early March.

That looks like a significant downgrade for Green Bay. While Bulaga ranked 27th in PFF’s pass-blocking grades and 6th in run-blocking last year, Wagner was down at 52nd and 48th. We’ll see if he can at least bounce back to 2018 levels that saw him finish 29th and 42nd. But the Packers are rolling the dice on the protection in front of a 36-year-old QB.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have a hole in the middle of their O-line after C Travis Frederick surprisingly announced his retirement in mid-March. The 29-year-old missed the entire 2018 campaign with his Guillain-Barre Syndrome and wasn’t quite his dominant self last year. But Frederick still ranked a solid 12th among 31 qualifying Cs in PFF’s overall grades. He was a top-6 C in each of his first 5 NFL seasons. He’s set to be replaced by Joe Looney, who finished 22nd in PFF’s overall grades in place of Frederick back in 2018.

Dallas also lost a couple of depth guys in G Xavier Su’a-Filo and OT Cameron Fleming, who combined to play 565 snaps last season.

Tennessee Titans

Jack Conklin was a key cog in the Titans’ strong offensive line last year — especially in the running game, where he ranked 5th in PFF’s grades among 60 qualifying OTs. But he bolted for Cleveland in free agency.

Now, Tennessee did soften the blow a bit by re-signing OT Dennis Kelly. He’s been solid as a backup for the Titans over the past 4 years but hasn’t reached 400 snaps in any of those seasons. (For reference, Conklin played 1,108 last year.)

So Kelly is still largely unknown and is more likely than not to be a tangible downgrade from Conklin.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers will have at least 3 new starters on the offensive line this season after losing OT Daryl Williams, G Trai Turner and G Greg Van Roten over the past month.

Carolina acquired OT Russell Okung in the Turner trade with the Chargers, so Williams’ departure isn’t a concern. In fact, a healthy Okung should be an upgrade.

But Turner and Van Roten are significant losses on the interior. Both guys ranked top 30 in PFF’s overall grades out of 64 qualifying Gs last year. The only addition the Panthers made in free agency was John Miller, who’s been subpar across 5 seasons with the Bills and Bengals.

This will be a unit to monitor closely this summer — especially with a new coaching staff and QB in Carolina.


Related Fantasy Football

Premium Content Premium ContentDFS Showdown Tips: Colts-49ers

DFS Showdown Tips: Colts-49ers

6:15pm EDT 10/24/21

It's Carson Wentz! It's Jimmy Garoppolo! It's ... OK, it's not an exciting fantasy football slate for Sunday night ...

Read More »
Podcast: Week 7 FanDuel 10-22-21

Podcast: Week 7 FanDuel 10-22-21

8:15am EDT 10/23/21

Derrick Henry's gonna cost you quite a bit on FanDuel this week. Can you really fade him on a compact Week 7 DFS slate, though?

Read More »
Podcast: Week 7 DraftKings 10-22-21

Podcast: Week 7 DraftKings 10-22-21

7:50am EDT 10/23/21

Where can we find the value to let us pay up for the top-shelf QBs on the Week 7 fantasy football slate?

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentDFS Showdown Tips: Bills-Titans

DFS Showdown Tips: Bills-Titans

11:25pm EDT 10/17/21

Can Stefon Diggs and the Bills hang big numbers on the Titans to avenge their lopsided 2020 loss in Tennessee?

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentDFS Showdown Tips: Colts-Ravens

DFS Showdown Tips: Colts-Ravens

7:05am EDT 10/11/21

Is the Monday Night showdown slate ripe with low-dollar options or rife with cheap fool's gold? Let's seek out the best fantasy football values for this slate ...

Read More »
Podcast: Week 5 FanDuel 10-8-21

Podcast: Week 5 FanDuel 10-8-21

8:20am EDT 10/9/21

What do A.J. Brown, Davante Adams and Saquon Barkley have in common this week?

Read More »
Podcast: Week 5 DraftKings 10-8-21

Podcast: Week 5 DraftKings 10-8-21

8:00am EDT 10/9/21

This looks like a good week to chase ceiling at RB and value at WR. Let's get to the names ...

Read More »
Winning Your League Starts Here Trophy

Why Wouldn’t You Invest
$36 to Win Your League?

Check out thisleague-winning info

2021 Draft Package Now - Sept 15th

$39

Get Instant Access
2021 In-Season Package Sept 5th - Mar 7th

$39

Get Access Sept. 5th
2021 DFS Package Sept 5th - Mar 7th

$49

Get Access Sept. 5th
Best Value – All Access Pass
DS Insider Membership All 3 Packages

$127 $36

Semi-annual auto-renew
Get Instant Access
Draft War Room Included Draft War Room Draft War Room Draft War Room Included Draft War Room
Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings
3D Projections Included 3D Projections 3D Projections 3D Projections Included 3D Projections
Live-Draft Sync Included Live-Draft Sync Live-Draft Sync Live-Draft Sync Included Live-Draft Sync
In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles
Mock Draft Tool Included Mock Draft Tool Mock Draft Tool Mock Draft Tool Included Mock Draft Tool
Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Included Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Included Round-by-Round Draft Strategies
Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts
Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring
Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor
In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings
“Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool
“My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications
Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder
Trade Partner Navigator Trade Partner Navigator Included Trade Partner Navigator Trade Partner Navigator Included Trade Partner Navigator
Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares
In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems
Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice
Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data
DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder
DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks
High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews
DFS Independent DFS Independent DFS Independent Included DFS Independent Included DFS Independent
Daily Fantasy Advice Daily Fantasy Advice Daily Fantasy Advice Included Daily Fantasy Advice Included Daily Fantasy Advice
Personalized Email Advice Personalized Email Advice Personalized Email Advice Included Personalized Email Advice Included Personalized Email Advice
Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles
Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates
Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates
To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives
All-Access
Draft Sharks App
All–Access Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Get Instant Access Get Access Sept. 5th Get Access Sept. 5th Get Instant Access

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play