In the penultimate week of the fantasy football season, Goal-Line Guide Week 16 can help you advance to the final round.
The Goal-Line Guide series takes a look at touchdown production from inside the 5-yard line. With an equal emphasis placed on both offensive and defensive efficiency, the goal of the guide is meant to determine which teams are most likely to score touchdowns on a weekly basis, and also how they will score. As you will notice in the table below, I divide my Goal-Line Grades into separate Rushing and Passing scores.
The method for which I use to create these Goal-line Grades is as follows. First, I look at each offenses’ touchdown production inside their opponent’s 5-yard line. An important facet is the fact that I split these numbers into rushing and passing touchdowns.
Next, I look at each team’s defenses. Specifically, how often those units allow touchdowns inside their own 5-yard line. Again, this is divided into rushing and passing plays. Then I pair the matchups, with each team’s offense alongside their opponent’s defense for that week.
After that, I add in each offense’s implied total set by the oddsmakers. The logic there is the teams with the highest projected point totals are most likely to be in the red zone more often, and naturally more likely to score more touchdowns.
Finally, next to each team’s grades, I created a column indicating the disparity between each offense’s running and passing scores. I also showcase which phase has the better chance of producing touchdowns. All of those steps combined create the Goal-Line Grades that you are about see.
Goal-Line Guide Week 16
|Team||Rushing GLG||Passing GLG||Difference|
|Arizona Cardinals||61.75||51.75||Run + 10|
|Atlanta Falcons||72||54||Run + 18|
|Baltimore Ravens||77||59||Run + 18|
|Buffalo Bills||70.5||82||Pass + 11.5|
|Carolina Panthers||64||54||Run + 10|
|Chicago Bears||51.5||47.5||Run + 4|
|Cincinnati Bengals||50.75||67.25||Pass + 16.5|
|Cleveland Browns||79.75||47.75||Run + 32|
|Dallas Cowboys||58||80.5||Pass + 22.5|
|Denver Broncos||57.75||48.25||Run + 9.5|
|Detroit Lions||67||80.5||Pass + 13.5|
|Green Bay Packers||51||69||Pass + 18|
|Houston Texans||54.75||48.75||Run + 6|
|Indianapolis Colts||58.25||44.25||Run + 14|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||59||60.5||Pass + 1.5|
|Kansas City Chiefs||65.25||75.75||Pass + 10.5|
|Las Vegas Raiders||53.5||59||Pass + 5.5|
|Los Angeles Chargers||64.75||66.25||Pass + 1.5|
|Los Angeles Rams||65.75||52.25||Run + 13.5|
|Miami Dolphins||66||68||Pass + 2|
|Minnesota Vikings||81.25||65.25||Run + 16|
|New England Patriots||61.75||48.25||Run + 13.5|
|New Orleans Saints||64.25||61.75||Run + 2.5|
|New York Giants||73.75||61.25||Run + 12.5|
|New York Jets||67||63.5||Run + 3.5|
|Philadelphia Eagles||70.5||65.5||Run + 5|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||85.5||52.5||Run + 33|
|San Francisco 49ers||50.75||53.25||Pass + 2.5|
|Seattle Seahawks||64.75||72.75||Pass + 8|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||58.25||80.25||Pass + 22|
|Tennessee Titans||76.25||54.75||Run + 21.5|
|Washington Commanders||55.25||35.25||Run + 20|
AFC North Rushing
Rushing Goal-Line Grade: 85.5
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Passing Goal-Line Grade: 52.5
The Steelers get two distinctions in the Goal-Line Guide Week 16. Right off the bat, their ground game has the best overall Goal-Line Grade of the week with a score of 85.5. And because their passing grade is below average, it actually leads to Pittsburgh owning the largest differential between scores. Especially given the back-and-forth nature of the Steelers QB situation, it is no surprise that the team has been much more efficient scoring goal-line touchdowns on the ground as opposed to in the air. However, a 63% touchdown rate on Pittsburgh carries inside the 5-yard line is significantly better than their 29% on passing plays.
Over the back half of the season, Najee Harris has seen a resurgence in production. Recently the second-year back has been matching the pre-season expectations, after disappointing during the early portions of 2022. Perhaps the bye week gave him the rest he needed. Regardless, this elevated Goal-Line Grade only solidifies Harris as a top 10 running back this week.
Rushing Goal-Line Grade: 79.75
Passing Goal-Line Grade: 47.75
With a Goal-Line Grade differential of +32 favoring the rushing attack, the Browns are right behind their division rivals in that regard. Cleveland has the fortune of hosting the Saints. Their defense has surrendered touchdowns on 69% of runs inside their own 5-yard line. That is the highest rate in the entire league.
Unfortunately for Nick Chubb managers, they may not get the benefit of this great matchup. Chubb is questionable to play this week. Should his miss this Week 16 contest, then Kareem Hunt would likely see an superior role in the Browns offense.
Rushing Goal-Line Grade: 58
Passing Goal-Line Grade: 80.5
There are two potent passing offenses that have Goal-Line Grade differentials of around 22 that favor their passing attacks. Starting with the Cowboys, this should come as little surprise since their Passing Goal-Line Grade has been elevated all season. Dallas has scored touchdowns on 70% of their throws inside opponents’ 5-yard line. There are only two teams producing a goal-line passing touchdown rate above 60%.
The Eagles defense has a significant impact of this Goal-Line Grade, specifically with how well they have performed as a run defense. Philadelphia has only allowed a 20% touchdown rate on carries inside their own 5-yard line. I trust the Cowboys trio of Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and Dalton Schultz as starters in fantasy football this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rushing Goal-Line Grade: 58.25
Passing Goal-Line Grade: 80.25
A mainstay in the 2021 edition of the Goal-Line Guide, the 2022 season has not gone nearly as planned for the Buccaneers. After some production struggles early in the year, Tampa Bay has turned it around. They now sit with a 55% touchdown rate on passing attempts inside opponents’ 5-yard line. The matchup factors heavily in the Buccaneers Passing Goal-Line Grade of 80.25. Looking at the Cardinals defense, they have surrendered touchdowns of 61% of throws inside their own 5-yard line. That is the 4th highest rate on passing plays.
This elevated Goal-Line Grade should be good news for several players, but of course it always start with the quarterback. I expect Tom Brady to have decent week, at least compared to most of 2022. The big winner for me is Chris Godwin, who I have ranked as a top 12 wide receiver this week.
Highs & Lows
Passing Goal-Line Grade: 82
The Bills sit behind only the Steelers Rushing Goal-Line Grade for the Week 16 overall lead. However, Buffalo does possess the best passing score of the week. They face the Bears defense which has allowed touchdowns on 70% of passing attempts inside their own 5-yard line. That is the highest rate in the NFL.
As a result of this, in my Week 16 Rankings, I have Josh Allen as the #1 QB and Stefon Diggs as the WR # 2. Furthermore, Gabriel Davis and Dawson Knox can be trusted in lineups, but I do not view them as must-start players.
Passing Goal-Line Grade: 35.25
In Goal-Line Guide Week 16, the lowest overall score goes to the Commanders, and by a commanding amount. With a passing grade of 35.25, Washington is 10 points below any other team. In fact, 35.25 is the worst Goal-Line Grade since Week 12. Frankly, the Commanders have themselves to blame most of all. The football team has only produced touchdowns on 14% of throws inside opponent’s 5-yard line. That is the lowest rate in the entire NFL.
Typically, Week 17 is the fantasy football semi-finals. I think it would be very difficult to trust any Washington player going against the stout 49ers defense. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin may be viable mostly because of volume. But with such a low Passing Goal-Line Grade, it is difficult to envision as high ceiling game for McLaurin.
Thank you for reading Goal-Line Guide Week 16. Be sure to check out all of the great NFL content available on Full Press Coverage.
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