Andrew’s Shuffling Defense Strategy

I know I’m not the first to use this strategy. But this is my blog. So I will write about it like it is the most groundbreaking idea in Fantasy Football since PPR. I am a visionary.

I’m in 4 leagues, this is mostly due to my lack of a social life and inability to fall asleep before 4am. I’ve never been much into video games, so I instead opt to spend my time gambling on how successfully large men will perform their jobs one week at a time. I first employed the shuffling defense strategy (SDS) 3 years ago in one of my leagues. The results were less than spectacular, but I knew I was on to something. Since becoming far nerdier in my interpretation of football statistics, the outcome of SDS has improved drastically and I have adopted it into 3 of my current leagues.

The premise is simple.

  1. You are in a 10 team league, therefore there are 9 starting defenses (excluding your own).
  2. There are inevitably at least 3 shitty owners who hold more than one defense, meaning 12 NFL teams are off the board, leaving 20 in Free Agency.
  3. Any given year, there are at least 10 teams, usually up to 15,  with offenses that are suspect at best.
  4. Meaning that in all likelihood, it is safe to assume that an unowned FA defense will be playing against a team with a questionable offense.

The conventional defensive strategy is to draft a defense that you think will succeed all year long. Fantasy owners rarely shop around for a defense, because it is not a large point contributor like QB, RB, or WR. Their defense will likely sit dormant on their roster until bye week, when they grab a one-week filler. Last season, the top 12 defenses averaged 139 points over the span of 16 games, 8.7 points per game.

By accurately using the SDS, you can potentially double the points per game. For example, in week one Seattle, Arizona, Detroit Washington and Carolina (2, 29, 2, 7, 13 % owned, respectively) were in the top 7 point scoring defenses, each scoring over 12 points. Week 2 saw Miami, San Diego, Indy, Cincy, Atlanta and Kansas City (all under 50% owned) scoring over 12 points. The common theme among these top scoring defenses is their opponent.

Using SDS gives your the opportunity to pump your defensive Points Per game from 8 to 13+ by simply doing a little research and finding the best matchup sitting unused in Free Agency. With a little practice, and expert advice from the greatest fantasy football blog on the planet, you can increase your weekly score by 5 points. Its that easy. Also, youre welcome.




Filed under General Rambling, Gloating, Start 'Em & Sit 'Em

10 responses to “Andrew’s Shuffling Defense Strategy

  1. Zach

    This has worked for me for a while as well. What defensive matchups do you like next week? I already have NO defense who plays Carolina next week. Indi is available and is playing Jacksonvile next week. I’ll prolly stick with NO due to Carolinas poor offense.

  2. NO is a good start.

    Good defensive matchup this week that might be available in your league…

    San Diego (vs. ARI, 55% owned)
    Indianapolis (vs. JAX, 41%)
    Seattle (vs. STL, 10%)
    Atlanta (vs. SF, 10%)
    Buffalo (vs. NYJ, 4%)
    Chicago (vs. NYG, 33%)

    I’ll likely be dropping for SD or Indy in my league.

  3. Zach

    Very nice. Things for the heads up.

  4. I’ve seen this work for Andrew for a long, long time. I love it.

    Also, I love that Andrew and I are 1 AND 2 in the league that we’re in together, respectively. Both undefeated.

    You’re listening to the right guys, folks.


  5. Sox

    Good tip..strategy I might try out…

    Debating between CIN (vs CLE), NO (vs CAR), or SEA (vs StL) next week.

    • All three are great pickups. the Bengals have 5 INTs on the season (but 4 of them came in a single game) and theyve given up the least amount of points out of the three.
      NO always has the potential to get turnovers and return them of TDs. They did a ton of that last season. Its been a mild first 3 games for them. but against a rookie QB with 0 TDs and 2 picks, they could break out this week.
      Seattle gives up a lot of passing yardage per game, but only about 19 points per. Theyve got 4 INTs, 4 Fumble Recoveries and 2 TDs already this year, and the most sacks of the three.

      Damn. This has been taking me a while. I think all three are guaranteeing you a 10+ point week. I’m leaning toward N.O. They are at home after an embarrassing loss, and have something to prove. I think they turn up the heat against the Panthers


  6. cgi

    This is what my plan has been while keeping PIT on my roster (who I’ve played the past 2 weeks – ARI week one)

    TRADE ADVICE: In need of another running back.

    Santonio Holmes for McCoy or Tomlinson?

    My current backs are

    • With the PIT defense, this strategy isnt really necessary. You can expect great points every week from them the way they are playing so far. Also, I’d hate to drop them for a defense with a good matchup and lose them permanently to another team.

      You’d give up Holmes? How deep are you at WR?

      McCoy would be my pick. LT is having a great season, but the future is Greene. So I expect them to lean on him more as the year progresses.


      • cgi

        So, what – forget the trade and keep ’em? Could also possibly trade Holmes for Turner or Forte…thanks for all the responses by the way.



      • Alright. Holmes is a complete unknown at this point. You can try to get McCoy or LT for him, but I doubt that will work.

        You are deep enough at WR to make this trade, but I would hold off on it until Holmes has proven himself to be the #1 target for the Jets. If he plays well, his value will be 4 or 5 times higher than it is right now, and you will be able to trade for someone better that what you’d get now.


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