March 22, 2018


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Cleveland Browns

Money Ball: The Sequel

Hate to start out the offseason with the Cleveland Browns, but they are makin’ moves!
Browns acquired: Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry, Damarious Randall
Browns gave up: 2018 3rd-round pick (No. 65), 2018 4th-round pick, 2019 7th-round pick, DeShone Kizer

Building with experienced quality performers that have something to prove, by selling inconsequential draft picks is exactly what Sashi Brown was building up for. It’s a shame he won’t be around to reap the rewards, but these are quality moves for a win-now mentality.

03/09/18, 09:37 PM CST by Wheeler


Tyrod Taylor

Buffalo Bills

Hue Looks To TyGoat

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, who's pondering his future, is a fan of Tyrod Taylor and has said so on the ThomaHawk Show podcast.

Tyrod is just one season removed (2016) from being the QB11 in average fantasy ppg, including seven 20+ point weeks and six 15+ point weeks. Given the current talent on the O-line and skill position weapons he could improve on those numbers. He has the potential to be this year’s Alex Smith, definitely heading my late-round (12+) QB picks now.

03/09/18, 09:32 PM CST by Wheeler


Deshone Kizer

Cleveland Browns

Packers Get In On The Fun

The Packers have traded for QB DeShone Kizer from the Browns to Green Bay.

This is the best possible scenario for Kizer, who was thrown into the fire last season. Getting the chance to develop and learn behind the best in the business is the best chance he has for longevity.

03/09/18, 09:30 PM CST by Wheeler


Torrey Smith

Philadelphia Eagles

On The Move Again

The Eagles trade WR Torrey Smith to the Panthers for CB Daryl Worley. Torrey Smith could fill the old Ted Ginn role which makes this fairly interesting. Stagg Party says it’s more of a boost for Cam than Torrey himself.

This is an absolute perfect fit, someone who isn’t going to demand the ball, but can take the top off a defense while McCaffrey, Olsen, and Cam work underneath. Torrey is looking like a great late-round flyer.

03/09/18, 09:28 PM CST by Wheeler


DeMarco Murray

Tennessee Titans

Henry Hype Train Has Clear Track

DeMarco Murray was released by the Titans.
No surprise here, expect Derick Henry to be a lead back with 250+ touches, but they will bring in someone that will play the third-down, pass-catching role out of the backfield. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sign someone like Jerick McKinnon or Rex Burkhead, or even Darren Sproles or Charles Sims. There are also plenty of options in the NFL draft, Henry won’t be a true “Bell Cow.”

03/09/18, 09:17 PM CST by Wheeler


Marquise Goodwin

San Francisco 49ers

The Name Says It All

Marquise Goodwin and the 49ers have agreed to a 3yr extension worth $20.3M & 10M guaranteed.

Shanahan has found his big-play threat at a reasonable price. Goodwin caught 56 balls for 962 yards last season, but only had two TD’s. None of his six longest plays (33+ yards) were from Garoppollo so it leads me to believe they will still be looking for a top of the line WR, even with Garcon coming back from injury.

03/09/18, 09:15 PM CST by Wheeler


Jonathan Stewart

Carolina Panthers

The Search Is On

Former Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart is visiting the Seahawks today, source says. Seattle is looking at all options to get that ground game going.

This would be an interesting landing spot for Stewart, but no RB available in free agency is going to do spit behind this Swiss-cheese O-line.

03/09/18, 09:13 PM CST by Wheeler


New York Giants

Building Blocks

NFL draft insider Tony Pauline says "belief" around the league is free agent OG Andrew Norwell signing with the Giants is "a done deal."
The top guard on the market, Norwell was one of ex-Panthers GM Dave Gettleman's most-prized discoveries as an undrafted free agent. Gettleman now runs the Giants, who have needs all over the line.

I like anything the Giants can do to repair this disheveled O-line. Building a line through free-agency is almost always a better option than through the draft, but I would still like to see them trade back in the draft and grab Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame.

03/09/18, 09:11 PM CST by Wheeler


Dion Lewis

New England Patriots

Pass Catching Backs Set To Dominate

On first downs this year, the Eagles allow a 65% success rate on RB-passes. That ranks 29th in the league. Dion Lewis averaged 6.5 YPA and a 59% success rate, and James White averaged 7.7 YPA and a 58% success rate on first down passes this season.

02/04/18, 10:36 AM CST by Wheeler


James White

New England Patriots

Pass Catching Backs Set To Dominate

On first downs this year, the Eagles allow a 65% success rate on RB-passes. That ranks 29th in the league. Dion Lewis averaged 6.5 YPA and a 59% success rate, and James White averaged 7.7 YPA and a 58% success rate on first down passes this season.

02/04/18, 10:36 AM CST by Wheeler


Philadelphia Eagles

Attack With 11

The Patriots defense is particularly susceptible to runs out of 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs), allowing a 61% success rate and 6.0 YPC to offenses when rushing from this formation. The Eagles are one of the most run heavy teams from 11 personnel, recording nearly 60% of their total rushes from 11 formation. The Patriots haven’t faced teams like this often, the teams the Pats faced in the playoffs, Tennessee and Jacksonville were last and 5th lowest respectively rushing from 11 formation. This is a massive advantage for the Eagles if they recognize it and use it.

02/04/18, 10:32 AM CST by Wheeler


Jay Ajayi

Philadelphia Eagles

To The Left, To The Left

New England started the season off with one of the worst rush defenses in the entire league, but things have really shifted over the second half of the year. Prior to their Week 9 bye, the Patriots had allowed a 44.70% Success Rate to opposing running backs, the third-worst in the league. That's dropped to about 38% since, and they've had the fifth-best rush defense by Success Rate since Week 12. New England's especially been good at stopping runs to the left side of the field, which just so happens to be where Jay Ajayi has really made a mark since joining the Eagles in Week 9.
I don’t look for Ajayi to make his mark in this game. I know it’s a lazy narrative, but a Blount revenge game seems to really be in the cards here.

02/04/18, 10:30 AM CST by Wheeler


Zach Ertz

Philadelphia Eagles

Pats Could Hit'em Where It Ertz

Zach Ertz leads the Eagles in targets (39) with Foles under center, drawing at least eight in three of their four full games together. Keyed by FS Devin McCourty and SS Patrick Chung, the Pats allowed the NFL’s tenth-fewest receiving yards to tight ends (720) this season, only four opposing tight ends have reached 50 yards through 18 Patriots games.
If Foles continues to pepper Ertz with targets we could see a big game for Chung or McCourty.

02/04/18, 10:25 AM CST by Wheeler


Nelson Agholor

Philadelphia Eagles

Plenty Of Fluids

The Eagles’ biggest pass-catcher personnel mismatch is Nelson Agholor against Patriots slot corner Eric Rowe. Rowe can struggle with quick change of direction, Agholor’s foremost strength. Agholor runs 87% of his routes in the slot, and New England allowed solid games to Eric Decker (6/85/0) in the Divisional Round, and Allen Hurns (6/80/0) in the AFC title game. Agholor still ranks second behind Ertz in Foles targets (29), but has had a surprisingly quiet playoffs with just 7 targets.
This will have to change if the Eagles plan on moving the ball, but Agholor has been sick with the flu for the past few days. He received intravenous fluids Saturday and will play, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be 100%.

02/04/18, 10:22 AM CST by Wheeler


Danny Amendola

New England Patriots

Danny Playoffs

The Eagles finished second worst this season in percentage of passing yards allowed coming after the catch. Philadelphia struggled on short and intermediate throws this season, specifically to the middle of the field, where they allowed the third-most yards per passing play in the league. Brady was a top-five player in passer rating on these types of tosses. Amendola's been a monster in this year's playoffs for New England, grabbing hold of 22 targets in just two contests, accounting for over 24% of New England's targets. He should continue to play a role on Super Bowl Sunday.

02/04/18, 10:20 AM CST by Wheeler


Rex Burkhead

New England Patriots

Rex Back

Despite being listed as questionable for Sunday’s AFC Championship game vs. Jaguars, it appears as though Patriots’ RB Rex Burkhead will play.
This will cut into the 13 targets Amendola saw last week.

01/20/18, 10:49 PM CST by Wheeler


Adam Thielen

Minnesota Vikings

Making The Wright Move?

Adam Thielen (back) is questionable for Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Eagles.
He's fully expected to play after limited practices the last two days. He probably won’t be 100 percent so if you’re putting in a line-up you might want to pivot to Diggs or save some money and drop down to Jarius Wright who grabbed three-of-six targets for 56 yards Sunday and has established himself as the number three WR in this offense.

01/20/18, 10:31 PM CST by Wheeler


Leonard Fournette

Jacksonville Jaguars

Ankle In Question Again

Fournette aggravated his ankle in the Divisional Round and was limited early in the week. He was left off the injury report for Sunday's AFC Championship game. Fournette saw a heavy workload last week getting 27 touches in Jacksonville's upset of the Steelers. T.J. Yeldon rushed five times for 20 yards and a touchdown and caught 3-of-3 targets for 57 yards. If you’re looking for a cheaper option I expect we see Yeldon to be used to keep Fournette from aggravating the injury early.

01/20/18, 10:23 PM CST by Wheeler


Tom Brady

New England Patriots

Give Him A Hand

Reports are that Tom Brady threw the ball "incredibly well" during Friday's practice. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's AFC Championship game against Jacksonville, but I don’t think there was any real doubt that he’d play. Keep in mind what D-Rex spoke about on the Pyro Podcast 303 andScott Barrett tweeted about Brady last week:
Weeks 1-10: 21.2 fantasy points per game, 110.9 passer rating
Weeks 11-17: 14.2 fantasy points per game, 87.3 passer rating
The hand injury on top of his achilles injury, as well as going against the Jags #1 rated pass defense could keep the Patriots attack grounded this week. Lewis is the obvious play, but if Burkhead (Q) comes back it could be he or White that steals the show.

01/20/18, 10:22 PM CST by Wheeler


Tom Brady

New England Patriots

Tom Still Terrific?

Tom Brady was first listed on the team's injury report with an Achilles injury heading in to Week 11.
Weeks 1-10: 21.2 fantasy points per game, 110.9 passer rating
Weeks 11-17: 14.2 fantasy points per game, 87.3 passer rating

Fantasy Goo: This should line up for a good week for Brady, Tennessee is 8th in fantasy points allowed to RB’s, but just below average against QB’s. The Patriots are 13 point favorites on Saturday Night, if Brady doesn’t do it at home in prime-time then something is wrong.

01/09/18, 07:30 PM CST by Wheeler


Alvin Kamara

New Orleans Saints

Primary Role Shifting

Saints have run 5 times at/inside opponent's 5-yard line over last 4 weeks (including playoffs):
Alvin Kamara 3 carries, Zach Line 1, Mark Ingram 1. Kamara was in on all 3 Saints run plays at/inside 5 vs. Panthers last week, including Line's 1-yard TD run.

Fantasy Goo: If you’re trying to decide between Kamara and Ingram for the playoff run, Kamara looks to be the much better play.

01/09/18, 07:20 PM CST by Wheeler


Designing The Perfect Fantasy Running Back

Designing The Perfect Fantasy Running Back

Posted by d-Rx on 12/12/12

by   The Archer


More Articals


designing the perfect fantasy RB



Designing the Perfect Fantasy Running Back

Have you ever wished you could be a mad scientist and create a football team of mutated supermen?  What if through some breakthrough in genetic engineering we were able to make the perfect player, for fantasy domination. This guy would be the unquestioned number one player at his position.  Every player in the league has strengths and weaknesses, and it is up to me to harness these strengths and put together a player, mutating the best features of each into the perfect Fantasy stud, albeit mutated.  Here we are, back at the lab again for another experiment in genetic engineering this time to design the perfect fantasy running back.

The running back mutation will be built on 10 different criteria blended together to make the perfect player at the position.  These 10 genetic mutations are: Size, Speed, Vision, Hands, Elusiveness, Touchdown Prowess, Open Field Ability, Will, Versatility, and Ball Security. He will also be surrounded with an offensive line that will make him impossible to stop. We must choose one player at his position to take an attribute from, and each player can only be “harvested” once. Let us begin our experiment.  


Size – There are many different opinions on the perfect size for a running back, whether it be a short thick bowling ball like Maurice Jones Drew (5’8” 215 pounds) or a Scat back the size of C.J. Spiller (5’11” 200 pounds), it all depends on the scheme that the offense will typically run. No matter the scheme I know there is one guy every team would love to have on their team and that is Adrian Peterson. His size is remarkable at 6’1” 220 pounds, he is as big as some linebackers and no one wants to meet him one on one in the hole. Peterson isn’t the battering ram of Brandon Jacobs but at his size he can do all things well and that is why he is the perfect candidate to start with. 


Speed – Speed is relative when it comes to running backs at the NFL level. You can be one of the fastest to ever wear a jersey, but that will not make you the most effective. You must use your speed to your advantage and once there is space you must explode through the hole. Chris Johnson is one of the fastest players in the NFL without a doubt and the fact that he has a 2,000 yard rushing season under his belt shows that he can use his speed effectively. Johnson is so fast he ran a 4.24 forty at the NFL combine and absolutely wowed scouts, jumping himself to be selected in the first round. Chris Johnson can absolutely fly down the sideline and might have the best straight-line speed of anyone not named Usain Bolt. If you ask Johnson however he believes he could beat bolt in the forty.


Vision – Vision is an underrated aspect of a running backs game, but without it even the top guys would fail to average 4 yards a carry. A running play is always designed to hit one gap, offenses and defenses both know this, sometimes it is executed to perfection opening a seem any running back could go through. Other times the main hole is filled but a cutback lane is wide open, those with great vision find this lane and explode through it. Matt Forte isn’t the fastest or most elusive back in the league but he has great vision and finds seams in the defense. Forte can see a hole two lineman over, make a move and explode through the hole. Forte’s vision makes him fun to watch as he can consistently gash defenses for 10 yard chunks. With an offensive line as bad as the Bears it is a must for a back to have good vision, without it 2 yard gains would be the norm.  


Hands – Having good hands for a running back just used to be an added bonus for some of the best running backs in the league now it is a must in today’s pass heavy NFL. Ray Rice has a great set of hands for a running back in the NFL and constantly seems to be catching 70 passes year after year. His 70 catches would make for an adequate third receiver but this is on top of what he does running the ball, not to mention that he averages 10 yards a catch and add in a few scores in it is hard not to love the receiving element Rice’s hands bring to our players game. In today’s NFL it is super important for a back to be not only able to catch passes but to gain yardage after the catch. Last season there were 12 backs with over 400 yards receiving and as this league becomes ever more skewed toward the pass we can only expect this number to rise in future seasons.  


Elusiveness - Elusiveness is a big part of an NFL backs game; it is something that allows them to turn a 5 yard run into a 64 yard score. Most scat back types in the NFL are very elusive constantly breaking defenders ankles. C.J. Spiller is one of the most elusive runners in the game with quick hips and ability to shift his hips and leave defenders in the dust. CJ’s ability to make moves make him effective in tight areas, slide through small holes, and explode for long gainers. Most of the truly elusive backs in the NFL are used as change of pace backs as their size has been questioned as their ability to carry a full load of carries, given the chance I have no doubt in my mind that he could be a 25+ touch a game type of back because his elusiveness will keep him from being hit.  Spiller is currently 2nd in the league with 10 runs for 20 yards or more, while being slowed by injury, trailing only Adrian Peterson.  


Touchdown Prowess – One of the biggest things NFL backs are asked to do is find the endzone when the team is in the red-zone, some vultures (Tommy Vardell Brandon Jacobs, Michael Bush, and Mike Tolbert just to name a few) have made an NFL and fantasy career out of being able to do just that. There are a few runners today that have a knack for finding the endzone, but the best candidate to harvest would have to be Arian Foster. In his 43 career games he has scored 44 total touchdowns, hard to complain about a running back that is going to score once a game. Arian Foster is a threat to score from anywhere on the field but he excels at punching it in within the five yard line. Scores are always a big if for players today, but with Arian they are almost guaranteed, which makes him the most sought after commodity in Fantasy today.  


Open Field Ability – A back who is deadly out in space is a great resource because he can score from anywhere on the field. Whether it is a handoff, a screen, or a simple dump off, no one wants to see a guy like Jamaal Charles sprinting towards them. Charles has an array of moves that can leave defenders in the dust. He can use speed, jukes, spin, stiff arms and other moves to take it to the house and that is a great thing. You can check your stats all game long and then suddenly you see one rush for 80 yards and a TD, that is a good day for most backs but guys who can do it on one carry in this league are truly special.  


Will Power – There are some running backs out there that just refuse to be denied, whether it is fighting for an extra yard or leaving his body exposed to try and get in the endzone. Maurice Jones-Drew has always been doubted as a running back because he is no taller than I (5’6”) and this is an impressive feat in itself, and yet he uses this as motivation. This guy has been under-recruited, under-drafted, and under-paid for mush of his career and he just uses that as fire to keep the train that is MJD rolling through ball carriers. If I has to choose one ball carrier in the league to get me one yard, MJD would be my first choice because he will never quit fighting for it, and that is all one can ask for. The Jags offense is so atrocious that it feels like MJD must fight for every yard on every play or this team would be 3 and out every series. As they say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog.   


Versatility - Sometimes versatile backs can get pigeonholed into being a 3rd down guy, a slot receiver or a return specialist, but versatility can be a huge asset when used properly. Reggie Bush is one of the most versatile backs out there when healthy. For starters, in a collegiate game against Fresno State he posted over 500 total yards, an absolutely insane number for someone other than a quarterback. In his rookie year, he was lined up in so many different spots and he caught 88 passes, which was top 10 in the league. Not to mention he has 4 career punt returns for touchdowns, and also had a 1,000 yard rushing season. With the NFL game ever evolving it is important that we can use our back in a multitude of roles including splitting him out side and letting him dominate those who try to cover him down the field. With the versatility of Reggie Bush our back would also be able to do anything we need him to do and play ever skill position on the field and special teams.  


Ball Security – The Lawfirm of BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the obvious choice for ball security. Before this season he had never fumbled once in his 4 year NFL career, this is unique as he has had 400+ carries over the last two seasons. Feature Backs are just prone to fumbling, even the best in the league through their careers average about 3 a season. The Lawfirm has three this season, but if you average those out, it is still 1 fumble every 20 games, a number any back in this league will gladly take. Ball security will be a huge asset to our back as he can be trusted for almost never giving it to the opposing defense, and with his array of skills we can’t get our back into the doghouse with fumbling issues.


Our experiment is now complete, we have just created the perfect fantasy running back by fusing the Size of Adrian Peterson, Speed of Chris Johnson, Vision of Matt Forte, Hands of Ray Rice, Elusiveness of C.J. Spiller, Touchdown Prowess of Arian Foster, Open Field Ability of Jamaal Charles, Will Power of Maurice Jones-Drew, Versatility of Reggie Bush, and the Ball Security of BenJarvus Green-Ellis.


To put our player in the best situation we will put him in a Rex Ryan offense, give him the workload of Trent Richardson, and line him up behind the zone blocking scheme of the Houston Texans offensive line. With a great back like ours Rex will allow him to run all day, with his ground and pound style. The workload will give him a great mix of running plays as well as opportunities in the passing game. The zone scheme of the Texans O-Line will open up holes for him to exploit.

A projected stat line: 350 Attempts for 2,200 Yards 20 Touchdowns. 100 catches for 800 yards and 10 Touchdowns. Total Fantasy Points: 480 Fantasy Points. Fantasy Points per Game: 30.0

Next Up: The Perfect Fantasy Receiver


by: Stagg Party