Instead of just looking at specific players that can take your fantasy teams to the top of the leaderboard this year, it’s also important to know the ins and outs of the teams those players are playing for or against. In this series, we’ll take a look at some of the top units around the NFL.
Be sure to check out the rest of the series by following the links below:
NFL: Top 5 Offensive Lines
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have done a nice job building this offensive line. It’s a young line and filled with talent. Kevin Beachum, Marcus Gilbert and David DeCastro have all done their part and lived up to expectations, maybe even exceeded it to some level, to solidify the line which had been an issue for the Steelers in previous years. They protected the pass well and also made plenty of room for Le’Veon Bell, which had the second most yards from scrimmage of all backs. Center Marukice Pouncey has also done a great job at being the anchor of the line. The Steelers averaged the second most yards per game and were tied for the lead for most passing yards. The only concern about this unit is that it isn’t very deep. Any major injury could cause serious problems to the line, and the Steelers didn’t do much in this year’s draft to address that.
4. Green Bay Packers
This offensive line did an excellent job protecting Aaron Rodgers last season. They allowed just 30 sacks and also made huge holes for running back Eddie Lacy. The Packers drafted center Corey Linsley in last year’s draft, and he played really well. This unit finished as the best pass blocking line in the league, but also did a great job in the run block as they finished 11th in rushing yards. The interior of the line is where the strength really lies. If left tackle David Bakhtiari improves this season, this line could do much better than what it did last season. Their job is to make sure they keep their franchise quarterback off his back and make sure he has time to throw, and that’s exactly what they did and will do this season.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles had the best run blocking offensive line in 2014, despite dealing with a significant amount of injuries throughout the season. Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce, two of the key components to this offensive line last season, missed some time with injuries. However, they still managed to gel and be productive. The reason, this line falls a spot down from where they were last season is because they no longer have Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans. Granted, Herremans didn’t quite play that well last season, but the fact of the matter is that the Eagles lost a veteran lineman in him. That being said, they did solid without some of their studs last season, so I think they have plenty of options in this depth charts to make it work. This revamped O-line should be just fine. I’m excited to see DeMarco Murray run behind this unit.
2. Baltimore Ravens
This unit played really well in 2014 and the good news is that the starting five are returning this season. The biggest strength for this line are their guards Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osmele. However, the rest of the line is a force to be reckoned with as well, especially Ricky Wagner who had an excellent sophomore season in 2014. This line allowed the second fewest sacks last year (19). Running back Justin Forsett had his best season of his career and he owes it to this line. I’m not sure how the departure of Gary Kubiak will affect the line, but I do know there’s plenty of talent on it to do just fine. Hopefully Eugene Monroe can avoid injuries this season. Overall, this unit should continue to dominate.
1. Dallas Cowboys
There is no debate here! The Cowboys are hands down, the best offensive line in football. If you don’t believe me, just ask DeMarco Murray. Dallas has been building their line through the draft for several years now, but last season their line went from really good to just about elite when they drafted Zach Martin. Some of the other previous selections were: left tackle Tyron Smith (2011) and center Travis Frederick (2013). DeMarco Murray had the best season of his career in 2014 running behind this line. He rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns, while averaging 115 yards per game. Let’s not forget, they also snagged undrafted guard La’el Collins this season, who is a first round talent, but off the field issues kept him off all draft boards. In addition, they selected two other offensive linemen to add some depth. This is a line with plenty of bodies and talent, and they should remain atop the rankings come season end.