FanDuel Week 7 Slate Breakdown with Cash and GPP Picks
The "funnel defense" was a term initially coined by Adam Levitan and is a popular buzzword in DFS circles nowadays. It essentially means that a defense is disproportionally allowing production in one area at the expense of another. I set out to quantify just how much of a funnel each defense is, and where exactly each defense funnels production. I came up with funnel ratings, which measure what proportion of a defense's schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) go to one position versus another.
- Pass funnel rating: The percentage of combined QB+RB aFPA that QBs account for. A high rating in this metric indicates a defense that is funneling production to QBs and the passing game at the expense of RBs and the running game and vice-versa.
- Tight end funnel rating: The percentage of combined WR+TE aFPA that TEs account for. A high rating in this metric indicates a defense that is funneling production to TEs at the expense of WRs and vice-versa.
- Naked quarterback funnel rating: The percentage of combined QB+WR+TE aFPA that QBs account for. A high rating in this metric indicates a defense that is funneling production to the QB at the expense of WRs, i.e., it would be more advantageous to play an unstacked QB against the defense, and vice-versa. Allowing a disproportionate amount of points to a QB relative to his receivers usually happens because the defense has either allowed more rushing production than usual to opposing QBs, or because the defense allows a high level of passing efficiency, i.e., it takes fewer receptions for the offense to rack up yards and TDs.
Below are funnel ratings through Week 6:
|Team||Rk||PASS FUN||Rk||TE FUN||Rk||NAK QB FUN|
These ratings have implications in regards to player floors—we know all players on a given offense will generally be positively correlated, but in the event the offense underperforms expectation, the players at the positions the defense is likely to give up the largest proportion of production to would be the safest.
Take the Giants, for example: they rank 18th in QB aFPA, meaning the opponent's passing game could go either way, but 45% of the production they give up to WRs and TEs is accounted for TEs; even if the Giants defense generally shuts down the pass, opposing TEs are likely to still post decent numbers.
Another example of how these ratings can be of use relates to something I noted in Raybon's Review this week: though Kirk Cousins was the QB1 in Week 6, he wasn't in as many winning lineups as you would expect because most lineups containing him contained one of his top receivers, none of which had strong fantasy games. Looking at the opposing 49ers' Naked QB Funnel Rating of No. 4 tells us San Francisco is one of the best teams to go naked QB against. Same thing for Deshaun Watson against the Browns, who have the No. 1 naked QB ranking—how many Watson lineups were killed by DeAndre Hopkins last week? (It should go without saying that these ratings are influenced by last week's results; San Francisco and Cleveland undoubtedly moved up the list in Naked QB Funnel Rating after last week.)
I'll reference these funnel ratings where relevant going forward.
Games to Target
Falcons (26.5) at Patriots (30.0): O/U 56.5
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