A large part of fantasy production has to do with a team’s offense as a whole, and while you won’t be drafting any offensive linemen for your upcoming fantasy season, offensive lines certainly have a massive impact on that – a line can revive a career (Darren McFadden behind Dallas’ line in 2015), or tank a team’s entire offense (Minnesota and Carolina last year). While most lines won’t have that much of an impact, it’s important to know what teams will have the most attractive group of “Big Uglies” up front (oxymoron?).
The metrics referenced from FootballOutsiders include “adjusted line yards” and “adjusted sack rate.” Both of these metrics capture down/distance and opponent strength before they are adjusted to the league average.
The offensive line metrics are from STATS, LLC and incorporate QB Pressures Allowed (any hit, hurry or sack of a passer) and Run Stuffs Allowed (a percentage of carries that gained zero yards or less). The NFL average for Pressures Allowed is 59.2 while offensive lines allow a “stuffed run” on 18.4% of running back carries.
Grades from ProFootballFocus (PFF) are also referenced.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
Tackles: Alejandro Villanueva (28), Marcus Gilbert (29)
Guards: Ramon Foster (31), David DeCastro (27)
Center: Maurkice Pouncey (27)
Personnel Overview: The Steelers have gradually built one of the best O-lines in the league, a stark departure from several years ago when Ben Roethlisberger was a younger man scrambling for his life. The one area for concern entering last season was at LT, but former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva was quite the revelation. He really turned it on in the second half of the season, which helped pave the way for RB Le’Veon Bell’s strong finishing kick. Villanueva has since earned a four-year extension. The Steelers no longer have any weak links along their O-line, with RT Marcus Gilbert anchoring the right side of the line. The interior group is one of the best in the league, as LG Ramon Foster is one of...