Advanced Defense

Data from Pro Football Reference

Last Updated Feb 22nd, 2024 12:43 EST

What is the Advanced Defense data table?

The Advanced Defense data table allows you to view the most pertinent defensive statistics, on a per-player basis. The defensive table tracks rushing metrics like missed tackles and yards after the catch (YAC) allowed, as well as pass rushing statistics and pass coverage efficiency stats. 

The table breaks down the specific production of a player in many formats. For cornerbacks, we can see how often a QB targets them (TGT) but also how many completions (CMP) they allow – and the completion percentage (CPM%) that an opposing passer is achieving against them as well. 

For pass rushers, we can track hurries, knockdown pressures and sacks achieved. The defensive table allows you to see individual performance and is customizable, allowing you to filter based on targets against and pressures. 
This makes it similar to the advanced passing and advanced rushing tables which track individual offensive performance.

What is this table used for?

This table is important as knowing which players excel in which categories can be useful for dissecting future matchups that are taking place on the schedule. When used in tandem with the advanced rushing and receiving tables, you can use the Advanced Defensive tables to highlight positive (and negative) upcoming matchups for your players. 

The table can also just be used to highlight important players or cogs in a team's defense. Injuries happen a lot in the NFL, and if an important defensive player is missing, that can drastically change a game’s outlook– affecting both the betting line and fantasy projections. 

Why is the Advanced Defense data table so important for Fantasy Football and sports betting?

IDP (individual defensive position) fantasy football leagues are growing in popularity and have even been sighted in NFL DFS lobbies of late. IDP leagues allow you to roster at least one defensive player and award points based on turnovers created, sacks, tackles and TDs. The Advanced Defensive table can help identify high-volume tacklers and elite pass rushers who would be great producers in this format. 

Additionally, in traditional redraft leagues, you can use the Advanced Defensive table to research upcoming matchups. If you’re in need of a bye week replacement or simply have a tough sit/start decision, the table can highlight defensive players who may be tasked with guarding your player either in the run or passing game. 

From a betting perspective, the Advanced Defensive table has many of the same merits. When betting on player props, it can be used to highlight good and bad contests for an opposing WR. If a WR is matched up against a cornerback who allows a low completion rate, that player will likely be a good under target in the upcoming week. 

Term Definitions

TM (Team) 

  • The current NFL team a player suits up for. Free agents will have no designated team. 

Pos (position)

  • Denotes the player’s assigned position when on the field.

G (games)

  • The number of games a player participated in during the season. A player is deemed to have played in a game once he takes a single snap. Playing in a game does not mean that a player played the entire game or even played on the majority of the snaps. 

Int (interceptions) 

  • The number of times a defensive player caught a legal forward pass thrown by a member of the opposing offense. 

Tgt (Targets)

  • The number of times that a pass was thrown in the direction of a defensive player. If a receiver who the defensive player was covering receives a target, this will generally count as a target toward the defensive player as well.

Cmp (completions)

  • The number of completed passes ceded by the defense. A completion will count towards a defensive player's stat if the receiver whom the defensive player was covering at the time makes a completed catch. 

Cmp% (completion %) 

  • The completion rate that was achieved by opposing passers. For individual stats, the completion percentage is what the opposing passer achieved when they threw the ball in the direction of that specific defensive player. 

Yds (yards)

  • The number of passing yards an opposing team gains. For individual stats, yards refer to the number of passing yards gained when the ball was thrown in the general direction of a specific defensive player.

Yds_Cmp (yards per completion)

  • The number of yards per completion that is achieved by the offensive team. For individual stats, yards per completion refers to the yards per completion that were gained when throwing toward a specific defensive player. 

Yds_Tgt (yards per target)

  • The number of yards, on a per-target basis, that a defensive player cedes to the offensive side when he is being targeted. 

TD (Touchdowns)

  • The total number of receiving TDs scored by the opposition when targeting a specific defensive player. If a receiver whom the defensive player is covering scores a TD, that counts towards the defensive player's stat line. 

Rat (passer rating)

  • The passer rating achieved by the opposing passer when he throws the ball in the direction of a specific defender. A higher passer rating achieved by the quarterback would generally mean poor coverage by the defender. 

DADOT (defensive aDOT)

  • Defensive aDOT is the average depth of target on all passes thrown against a team. For specific defensive players, DADOT represents the average depth of target that another team achieves when throwing toward a specific player. The larger the DADOT is, the more that defensive player is being targeted on downfield routes. 

Air (air yards)

  • The number of yards through the air that the offense achieves while playing against a defense or targeting a specific defensive player. The stat includes complete and incomplete passes. Air yards account for all of the yards that the football travels while in the air from the line of scrimmage to the intended receiver on a forward pass.  

YAC (yards after catch allowed)

  • The total number of yards after the catch achieved by the opposing offensive players.

Bltz (Blitzes)

  • A play where five or more rushers attempt to sack the quarterback. When the defense sends more defenders than there are blockers.

Hrry (hurries)

  • A defensive player achieves a hurry when he forces the quarterback to release the ball earlier than intended or forces the quarterback outside of the pocket through pressure before throwing.  

QBKD (QB knockdowns)

  • The number of times a quarterback is knocked down (aka, knocked off his feet) on a play by a member of the opposition. A defensive player achieves a knockdown when he brings down the quarterback through contact. A knockdown can still occur even if the quarterback is able to release his intended pass. 

Sk (sacks)

  • The number of times a defensive player is able to sack the quarterback. A sack is defined as anytime the defender is able to bring down or stop the quarterback (and have the play called dead), before the quarterback is able to turn himself into a runner or pass the line of scrimmage.  

Prss (pressures)

  • When a quarterback is forced to move outside his initial drop back to avoid contact. When the quarterback is hit in the act of throwing or sacked before throwing. A pressure for a defensive player is awarded when he is able to sack the opposing passer, hurry the opposing passer, or knockdown the opposing passer. 
    • The pressure statistic is a good way to search for quality pass rushers. Only one QB Pressure per play may be awarded to the defense. 

Comb (combination)

  • A stat that tracks a defensive player's number of tackles and assisted tackles on the season. 

MTkl (missed tackles)

  • When a defensive player is in position to stop an opposing offensive player’s forward progress but fails to stop the advancement of the player or bring him to the ground. When a defensive player had a reasonable chance to stop the forward progress of an opposing offensive player and failed to do so. 

MTkl% (missed tackle %)

  • The number of times, expressed on a percentage basis, that a defensive player fails to execute a tackle when he is determined to be in a reasonable position to make one.
  • A missed tackle percentage can be achieved by adding a player’s missed tackles to their tackles and then dividing the number of missed tackles by the total number of tackle opportunities. 

Check out our Advanced ReceivingAdvanced Rushing tables here.