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NFL Passing Indexes: Quarterbacks and pass defense rankings through Week 11

I use my ROPE & ROPED Indexes to rank quarterbacks and pass defenses through week 11.

New England Patriots v Oakland Raiders Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The ROPE (Quarterbacks) and ROPED (Pass Defense) Indexes are my self-developed passing efficiency metrics, analyzing both the offense and defense. Based loosely on the passer rating formula, I have taken it further by analyzing data that looks at receiving, blocking and pass rushing to give a more rounded view of the passing offense. In total there are six metrics that are measured to give a ROPE/ROPED Index score; completion percentage, yards per attempt, yards per completion, touchdown percentage, interception percentage and adjusted sack rate. For a full breakdown of the way the ROPE and ROPED Indexes are put together, including the thresholds for achieving a ‘perfect’ game, you can find my original posts explaining them here(ROPE) and here (ROPED).

In addition, I’ve added the average fantasy values of both the quarterbacks (including rushing points), and pass defenses for comparison between the metric and the relative fantasy value.

ROPE Index - Week 11

Season to date the average ROPE Index rating remains at 49.9%, with week 11 delivering an average rating of 49.6%. This means the 2017 season still running at more than 2% behind any of the previous three seasons.

Drew Brees remains the top QB in the rankings as he came to the fore in the 4th quarter against the Redskins. Brees posted his 4th rating of over 70% in 2017 as he improved his season rating to 67.4%, which is just 1.4% behind Matt Ryan’s 2016 MVP rating through week 11. Brees remains a solid fantasy starter with the 11th most fantasy points per game at 17.44, though he’s 9th in active players.

Tom Brady makes it an old man 1-2 at top as he posted his joint highest rating of the season and the best of week 11 with an 86.4% rating. Brady has improved to 4th in fantasy scoring (2nd in active players) from 7th last week, with an average of 20.86 points per game.

Alex Smith clings onto third place despite his worst rating of 2017 of 37.9% as the Chiefs lost in a very windy Metlife Stadium. Smith had his lowest yards per attempt of the season with 5.8 and it was the first game of the season where he failed to throw a touchdown pass. The two interceptions were his first multiple pick game since week 17 of the 2015 season and the 7.9 fantasy points were also his lowest of the season.

Kirk Cousins continues his quest to be the highest paid quarterback in the league next off-season as he posted the second highest ROPE rating of week 11 with 81.8% in the narrow defeat to the Saints. Cousins has finished 12th, 4th and 5th over the last three seasons in ROPE rating, showing his efficiency as a passer is up there with the very best in the league. Cousins is a top 10 fantasy quarterback, moving up two places this week to 7th this week with 19.39 points per game average.

The quarterback that improved the most on last week was Philip Rivers, who moved up four places from 16th to 12th. Rivers had his second highest ROPE rating of 2017 with a 66.7% rating. Rivers remains 18th in fantasy scoring with 15.26 ppg average. Dak Prescott dropped the most places this week, down 5 places to 13th as he posted the lowest ROPE rating (10.6%) and fantasy scoring (-1.2 points) of his career.

Russell Wilson was the highest fantasy scorer of week 11, posting 30.92 points as he nearly pulled off another 4th quarter comeback. Wilson ran for a season high 86 yards and a touchdown, alongside two touchdown passes and 258 yards through the air. Wilson remains the top fantasy option among active quarterbacks, with an average points per game of 22.76.

Not a shocker, but Nathan Peterman was the lowest fantasy scorer of the week, as his five first half interceptions om his NFL debut meant he totaled -6.96 points, the lowest of the season so far. Oof. And he’s back on the bench this week as Tyrod Taylor has been named starter for week 12 against the Chiefs. Tom Savage makes his first appearance in the RODS rankings now he’s attempted 100 passes in the league, but is currently ranked as the worst fantasy quarterback, with an average points per game of just 6.9 in four qualifying appearances.

ROPE Index: 2017 Season to Date (min 100 attempts)

ROPED Index - Week 11

The Jaguars remain the top pass defense in the NFL after they posted their second highest rating of the season with an 84.8% showing against the Browns. The Jaguars season to date rating of 67.9% has them on the trajectory to have the second best pass defense ever recorded by the ROPED Index (2010 Steelers, 68.6%). They remain the top fantasy passing defense as well, allowing receivers an average of just 16.44 points per game, almost 5 points better than the second placed team (Ravens, 21.04 ppg allowed).

If the Jaguars are pacing towards the best pass defense I’ve ever measured, the Raiders are favorites to post the worst. Through week 11, the Raiders have a 32.3% rating, with the previous worst I’ve recorded being the 2010 Bills, who had a season rating of 36.7%. They have allowed a criminal 72.4% completion rate, and remain the only team in the NFL without an interception this season. The Patriots remain the team who have given up the most fantasy points to receivers with 36.82 points per game, though this has dropped from 45 ppg in their first five games, to under 30 in their last 5,

ROPED Index: 2017 Season to Date