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Matthew Betz
AFC North Line Health

Matthew Betz lets you know how the health of each team’s offensive line will impact your fantasy players.

Jun 6th

AFC North Offensive Line Injury Data

For the purposes of this article series, the positional players listed below are the team’s top scoring fantasy players from the QB, RB, and pass catcher position (WR/TE).

Pittsburgh Steelers

Team Record: 9-6-1

BYE: Week 7

Injuries to starting Offensive Linemen:

  • Matt Feiler missed Week 12 with a pectoral injury
  • David DeCastro missed Weeks 2 and 3 with a hand injury

In games where all 5 starting offensive linemen played (Weeks 1, 3-6, 8-11, 13-17) → 13 games

Player Stats

  • Ben Roethlisberger was a top 12 QB seven times, averaging 20.0 fantasy points/game.
  • James Conner missed Weeks 14-16 with a high ankle sprain. He was a top 12 RB six times, averaging 23.4 fantasy points/game.
  • Antonio Brown was a top 12 WR eight times, averaging 22.9 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 290.7
  • Total Rush yards/game: 96.8

In games where at least one starting lineman was out (Weeks 2-3, 12) → 3 games

Player Stats

  • Ben Roethlisberger was a top 12 QB two times, averaging 27.4 fantasy points/game.
  • James Conner was a top 12 RB one time, averaging 14.5 fantasy points/game.
  • Antonio Brown was a top 12 WR zero times, averaging 15.5 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 409.7
  • Total Rush yards/game: 62.0

*Conclusion: The Steelers’ offensive line remained healthy for the majority of the year, but in games where one of their five was hurt, the passing attack flourished. Big Ben put up more than 7 fantasy points per game in weeks where an offensive lineman was out. James Conner produced much more when all five of the big uglies were active, putting up 6 RB1 weeks in that span, averaging a whopping 23.4 fantasy points compared to just 14.5 when a starter was injured.

Baltimore Ravens

Team Record: 10-6

BYE: Week 10

Injuries to starting Offensive Linemen:

  • Ronnie Staley missed Week 9 with an ankle injury.
  • Alex Lewis missed Weeks 7-8 with a neck injury and Weeks 14-17 with a shoulder injury.

In games where all 5 starting offensive linemen played (Weeks 1-6, 11-13) → 9 games

Player Stats

  • Joe Flacco started the year as the team’s QB1 but was replaced by Lamar Jackson as the starter in Week 10. From Weeks 1-6, he was a top 12 QB three times, averaging 17.5 fantasy points/game.
  • Alex Collins was placed on IR with a foot sprain in Week 12. From Weeks 1-6, he was a top 12 RB one time, averaging 12.0 fantasy points/game.
  • John Brown was a top 12 WR zero times, averaging 9.8 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 248
  • Total Rush yards/game: 145.7

In games where at least one starting lineman was out (Weeks 7-9, 14-17) → 7 games

Player Stats

  • Lamar Jackson was a top 12 QB three times, averaging 19.5 fantasy points/game.
  • Gus Edwards took over as the starter when Alex Collins was sent to IR in Week 12. From Weeks 14-17, he was a top 12 RB zero times, averaging 10.55 fantasy points/game.
  • John Brown was a top 12 WR one times, averaging 7.9 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 189.4
  • Total Rush yards/game: 161.4

*Conclusion: The Ravens’ offensive line data is difficult to utilize for predicting how the offense will perform in 2019 because they saw a big turnover in their roster, moving from Joe Flacco to Lamar Jackson midway through the year. Once that happened, the team’s offensive philosophy completely switched, and the team relied heavily on the rushing attack. Naturally, even with a starting offensive lineman out, the team still put up almost 20 more rush yards/game thanks in part to the all out ground and pound approach.

Cleveland Browns

Team Record: 7-8-1

BYE: Week 11

Injuries to starting Offensive Linemen:

  • Desmond Harrison missed Weeks 9 and 10 with illness.

In games where all 5 starting offensive linemen played (Weeks 1-8, 12-17) → 14 games

Player Stats

  • Baker Mayfield was a top 12 QB five times, averaging 17.6 fantasy points/game.
  • Carlos Hyde was the lead back until being traded to Jacksonville after Week 6. Nick Chubb took over as the starter the rest of the season. Collectively, the starting RB was a top 12 RB five times, averaging 15.5 fantasy points/game.
  • Jarvis Landry was a top 12 WR three times, averaging 13.7 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 254.1
  • Total Rush yards/game: 122.6

In games where at least one starting lineman was out (Weeks 9-10) → 2 games

Player Stats

  • Baker Mayfield was a top 12 QB zero times, averaging 16.5 fantasy points/game.
  • Nick Chubb was a top 12 RB zero times, averaging 12.8 fantasy points/game.
  • Jarvis Landry was a top 12 WR zero times, averaging 11.5 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 224.5
  • Total Rush yards/game: 88.0

*Conclusion: The Browns were a very healthy offensive line in 2018. It’s a smaller sample size to compare (just 2 games), but when one lineman was out, the rushing attack suffered greatly. In these weeks, the team averaged 88 yards per game compared to 122.6 when all five of the lineman were healthy. The passing attack and fantasy production from Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry didn’t seem to be affected.

Cincinnati Bengals

Team Record: 6-10

BYE: Week 9

Injuries to starting Offensive Linemen:

  • Billy Price missed Weeks 3-8 with a foot injury.
  • Cordy Glenn missed Weeks 12-14 with a back injury.

In games where all 5 starting offensive linemen played (Weeks 1-2, 10-11, 15-17) → 7 games

Player Stats

  • Andy Dalton was sent to IR with a UCL injury in his thumb in Week 13. He was a top 12 QB two times, averaging 17.6 fantasy points/game.
  • Joe Mixon was a top 12 RB two times, averaging 15.5 fantasy points/game.
  • Tyler Boyd missed Weeks 16 and 17 with a sprained MCL. He was a top 12 WR zero times, averaging 12.2 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 168.0
  • Total Rush yards/game: 109.2

In games where at least one starting lineman was out (Weeks 3-8, 12-14) → 9 games

Player Stats

  • Andy Dalton missed Weeks 12-14. In Weeks 3-8, he was a top 12 QB two times, averaging 17.4 fantasy points/game.
  • Joe Mixon missed 3-4 with a knee injury. He was a top 12 RB four times, averaging 19.2 fantasy points/game.
  • Tyler Boyd was a top 12 WR three times, averaging 17.8 fantasy points/game.

Team Stats

  • Total Pass yards/game: 234.9
  • Total Rush yards/game: 101.9

*Conclusion: The Bengals moved the ball much more effectively through the air in 2018 when the offensive line was banged up. The rushing attack didn’t seem to be affected at all, with Joe Mixon actually averaging more fantasy points per game when there was an offensive lineman out. In those weeks, Mixon accounted for 27 receptions on 35 targets. In weeks with all linemen healthy, Mixon only caught 16 balls on 20 targets. When the offensive line was banged up, Joe Mixon was valuable in the passing game.

Insight by
Matthew Betz
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