Ten IDP Fantasy Football Stats You Need to Know after Week Four

Tom Kislingbury

Week four is in the books. We are nearly a quarter of the way through the regular season. Here are some numbers and analysis to help you make smart decisions.

1. The Bills have played just 213 defensive snaps in four games

That’s an average of just 53 and change per game, where the league average (this year and every year) hovers around 66.5 snaps.

This stat has been in this column more than once this season, but it’s a huge red flag and unless it shows signs of clearing up, it needs to be considered.

Note that they played 65 snaps this week. That’s their highest yet for the season and it was still under league average, against the high-powered, lightning-speed Dolphins offense.

2. Jerry Jacobs and DaRon Bland both hauled in two interceptions in week four

This is great news for both of them, and they probably scored big. But you know what’s coming: do not assume that big weeks like that are in any way repeatable. Let your league-mates chase around looking for the place lightning struck last week. And put your faith in cornerback volume.

Bland leads all corners this season with three picks now from 123 coverage snaps.

No other corner has more than two of them for the season. In the last five years, the top corner has reeled in six, eleven, ten, six and seven picks. It’s just foolish to try and build IDP rosters around such an unpredictable stat.

3. Jevon Holland’s tackles have declined each week

He managed thirteen total tackles in week one, ten in week two, eight in week three, then seven in week four. That’s not a trustworthy trend at all, it’s not going to continue to drop down into nothingness. But it does show the folly of looking at counting stats in week one, and how long those takeouts can stay with us.

Plenty of people saw Holland’s big numbers in week one and are still thinking of him as having a brilliant season. He’s still second among all safeties in tackles, but this is safety. Don’t expect any sort of consistency.

4. No other edge has more sacks for the season than Khalil Mack had last week

Mack managed six last week against his old employers the Raiders. And as a result, leads the position with seven for the season (depending on the data source. Pro Football Focus credit him with a sack against the Titans, which the Titans stat crew did not acknowledge).

It was an absolutely amazing week, and I’ve heard from so many people he was sitting on their bench after not scoring well beforehand.

After all these years, with all the modern understanding, the IDP world still looks at average scores so far and makes start/sit decisions based on them. Be better.

5. Jalen Carter is creating pressure on over 19% of his pass rush snaps

To put that into context here are a few other interior linemen as comparisons:

  • Aaron Donald. 136 pass rush snaps, 22 pressures. 16.1% pressure rate.
  • Quinnen Williams. 121 pass rush snaps, 18 pressures. 15.6% pressure rate.
  • Javon Hargrave. 128 pass rush snaps, 17 pressures. 13.7% pressure rate.
  • Chris Jones. 73 pass rush snaps, 10 pressures. 13.2% pressure rate.
  • Jeffrey Simmons. 146 pass rush snaps, 16 pressures. 10.9% pressure rate.
  • Dexter Lawrence. 102 pass rush snaps, 17 pressures. 17.1% pressure rate.

The company Carter has kept so far as a rookie is incredible. His win rate is a tad over 23%. Donald is on 25%. Anything over 20% is elite.

It’s early days, and he will no doubt have some rookie issues. But so far Carter is looking like he will become the next great interior pass rusher in the NFL.

6. Alontae Taylor leads the NFL with 38 targets

That’s the most in the NFL. At any position. Taylor has been targeted on just under 23% of his coverage snaps. Think about that for a second. The opposition quarterback is throwing at him one in every four snaps he drops back. That’s a huge indictment of his coverage ability.

There are 172 defenders who have played 100 or more coverage snaps this season. The average target % for them all is 11.5%. Taylor is over double that rate. QBs are going after him.

To visualize that, here’s a chart showing how much all corners are getting targeted in this year’s NFL. Taylor is the red dot.

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7. The London stat crew gave out just half as many assists as PFF did

They are notoriously stingy when it comes to assists, perhaps because the concept of a shared tackle doesn’t really exist in English sports culture.

Whatever the reason, there is a stark difference. The stat crew logged just 23 assists for the whole game of 124 defensive snaps. That is an assist on under 19% of snaps.

PFF, with their double-blind checking process and standardized data collection, recorded 46 assists. About 37% of snaps had an assist.

London games tend to be less productive for IDPs because of the stat crew in place. Be careful of starting players in them.

8. Tuli Tuipulotu has five sacks from 14 pressures. Nick Bosa has just one sack from 19 pressures

And yet Tuipulotu has been a popular waiver target.

Over time pressure/sacks even out. But now, in the early season, most of your league-mates are still desperately scouring free agents sorted by points scored and going after those guys.

You’re smarter than that.

9. Maxx Crosby leads all edges with 258 snaps

Crosby has shown us before that he has an exception motor, and the Raiders are happy to let him use it.

The Raiders have played 269 defensive snaps, so Crosby has been on the field for an absurd 96% of them. The average for the top 30 edges (in snap volume) is 77%.

Crosby is playing nearly 65 snaps per game while the average for other high-volume edges is closer to 51.

So, Crosby is currently seeing about an extra 14 snaps each and every game against his peers. He’s creating pressure on 19% of snaps and records a tackle on 7%. That’s an additional two or three pressures and an extra tackle against all his peers.

Volume is the key driver of IDP scoring, and Crosby has a remarkable ability to stay on the field and perform at a high level.

10. Alex Anzalone has recorded a tackle on just 7.2% of snaps in 2023

The average for a top-36 linebacker is just under 13%. 7% is in line with tackle efficiency for cornerbacks.

He’s playing better than he has in years in NFL terms, and certainly better than rookie Jack Campbell who is experiencing normal rookie problems. Namely, he’s just not ready for NFL coverage responsibilities yet.

But for whatever reason, Anzalone is the least efficient tackler of all LBs with major snap volume so far in 2023.

Until that changes, he’s a hard player to start. You still go with full-time LBs (he’s averaging 62 snaps per game, with Derrick Barnes on 39, and Campbell on just 30) but among all the full-time LBs in the NFL, he’s right down at the bottom.

tom kislingbury