Historically, I’ve looked primarily for three things:
1) A defense that can get to the passer
2) A team that is likely to win the game, and thus get opportunities to rush the passer
3) A QB who is likely to turn the ball over when pressured (takes sacks, forces the ball, etc)
I do this because I’ve found that pressure rate has been a much better predictor of future takeaways than past takeaways; fumbles and INTs are difficult to predict, but it’s made easier by ignoring how many a team has gotten in the past and instead focusing on how often they’ll be able to pressure the QB.
I’ve admittedly overlooked the ST aspect of D/ST (outside of a very simplistic look at the returner). What are some ways you analyze D/ST? Which important stats do you look for?