Blocking has an enormous impact on fantasy player value. According to many years of my research, running backs score four to five times as many fantasy points on plays with good run blocking (generally defined as not allowing the defense to disrupt a rush attempt) as they do on plays with bad run blocking.
It also has significant impact on fantasy scoring in the passing game, as quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends post roughly 60 percent more points per play on dropbacks where the quarterback has a clean passing pocket versus plays when the quarterback is under some form of pass-rush pressure.
The fantasy football world has lagged behind when it comes to effectively measuring the impact blocking has on fantasy production, so last year I devised a blocking grading system that uses multiple advanced metrics to project season-long offensive line performance for all 32 teams, along with notes of how those grades could affect the fantasy value of players on those clubs (the 2018 season preview edition can be found here).
That type of information was very useful during fantasy drafts, but how can fantasy managers use it to help determine which players they should start or sit on a weekly basis?
To assist in this effort, I apply a similar methodology to measure the strength of the defensive front sevens of every team and give each defense an A-to-F grade in pass rushing, rush defense and consistency/stability, all of which result in an overall front-seven grade.
Those grades are then compared against the offensive blocking grades to find out the relative blocking strength of every weekly matchup.
The relative portion of this system is the main factor here, as it is designed to ignore the overall strength of an offense and instead give higher grades to teams with better matchups. For example, a team with an "A" overall blocking grade facing a "A" front seven will rate lower on the scale than a "B" blocking club facing a "C" defensive front seven.
The entire list of the relative blocking favorability grades is posted below, so let's now take a closer look at some of the teams that have the most and least favorable blocking matchups in Week 1.
Most favorable blocking matchups