Week 20
January 19, 2018
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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

Source: twitter.com


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

Source: twitter.com


Jay Ajayi

Philadelphia Eagles

It's A Trap


Jay Ajayi (knee) is practicing in full for the Divisional Round.

Fantasy Goo: Atlanta is 5th in fantasy points allowed to RB’s this year and they are more susceptible to pass-catching backs. Todd Gurley rushed 14 times for 101 yards in the Rams' Wild Card loss to the Falcons, adding four receptions for 10 additional yards. Ajayi might have been drafted before Gurley this year, but that was clearly a mistake. Ajayi has talent, but he’s far from a good option this week.


01/09/18, 07:16 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com


Chris Hogan

New England Patriots

Back in Action


Chris Hogan (shoulder) is expected to return for Saturday's Divisional Round game against the Titans.

Fantasy Goo: He’s going to take a couple of weeks to get in tune with the offense, I’m looking to save him until the Super Bowl if you’re in one of those one and done fantasy playoff tournaments.


01/09/18, 07:14 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com


Drew Brees

New Orleans Saints

Strength vs Strength


Saints RBs led NFL during regular season in receptions (9.0) and receiving yards (77.8) per game.
Vikings held opposing RBs to fewest yards per target (4.2) and 3rd-fewest yards per game (30.6).

Fantasy Goo: The Vikings have been absolutely sick in all aspects on defense this year. If the Saints are going to pull this one out it sounds like it’s going to have to be a Brees week, I’m not so sure he’s going to be the guy you want to start on the road this week.


01/09/18, 07:12 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


LeSean McCoy

Buffalo Bills

Not The Real McCoy


LeSean McCoy said if he plays Sunday, "I want to be able to cut well enough to where I don't have a lot of pain cutting. I just want to be close, or the best as far as 100 percent as I can get. The type of game like this, you got to lay it all on the line.”

Fantasy Goo: McCoy is a poor play against the Jags this week. The Jags strength on defense is against the pass (#1 in FP allowed), but they are still strong against the rush (11th). I’m not taking any Bills on fantasy playoff squads or in DFS this week.


01/04/18, 09:29 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Derrick Henry

Tennessee Titans

Arrow Pointing Down


DeMarco Murray (knee) didn't practice again Thursday. Derrick Henry show ready to go.

Fantasy Goo: The way to attack KC is through the air, they rank 9th in fantasy points allowed to RB’s. They will most likely be in negative game script. KC hasn’t allowed any team to score over 20 points in Arrowhead all year.


01/04/18, 09:27 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Julio Jones

Atlanta Falcons

No Fly Zone


Julio Jones finished 11th in NFL in red-zone targets but caught only 5 of 19. He finished 4th in targets inside 10 but only caught 4 of 11.

Fantasy Goo: The Rams have a strong pass defense, especially against outside receivers, but are second worst in fantasy points allowed to RB’s. Freeman and Coleman are the only Falcons I am considering this week.


01/04/18, 09:25 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Kenny Golladay

Detroit Lions

Under the Radar


In the first game with TJ Jones (shoulder) on IR last week, Kenny Golladay played 95% of snaps and led DET WRs with 8 targets.

Fantasy Goo: Marvin Jones has a history of shredding the Packers defense and is a solid play at $6500 on DK, but Golladay is half the price ($3300) and will probably see a similar number of targets. If Detroit had something to play for I’d be stacking the heck out of this game, but I still think it’s smart to have one of these guys in the line-up this week.


12/31/17, 09:46 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs

Rookie Debut


Patrick Mahomes was 2nd in PFF’s QB Rating when kept clean in preseason. He rushed for 744 yards, 22 TDs in his last two years at Texas Tech. Denver has allowed multiple passing TDs to six-straight QBs not named Petty or Brissett.

Fantasy Goo: The rookie was supposed to take over for Alex Smith much earlier this season, but Smith and the Chief’s came out firing on all cylinders and kept the rookie on the bench. Mahomes will get his chance this week as Smith gets a week off before the playoffs. Denver may be packing it in, but they still have one of the best defenses and I expect they will play more inspired this week against a division rival.


12/31/17, 09:32 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Wayne Gallman

New York Giants

Last Man Standing


Giants will be without Shepard (neck), Engram (ribs), and King (concussion) vs. WAS. Wayne Gallman has 9, 7, 8 target counts in last three weeks.

Fantasy Goo: Washington ranks 24th in fantasy points allowed to RB’s and Gallman is $4200 on DK. Feels like a great way to save and pay up at other positions.


12/31/17, 09:21 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Alex Collins

Baltimore Ravens

Burfict Situation


Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict ruled out for game Sunday at Baltimore because of shoulder injury.

Fantasy Goo: Collins becomes a solid RB1 this week. Cincinnati’s run defense is a sieve with Burfict out.


12/31/17, 09:19 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Akeem Hunt

Houston Texans

Akeem No Dream


Charcandrick West is out Sunday vs Denver with an illness. Akeem Hunt and Kareem Hunt only RBs on active roster for KC. It would be a surprise to see Kareem play much. That means a ton of Akeem Hunt and likely some De'Anthony Thomas on passing downs.

Fantasy Goo: Akeem is min price ($3000) on DK so the definition of a free-square, but there’s a reason he’s bounced around the NFL and never earned a starting role. Denver is 5th in fantasy points allowed to RB’s, I’m not rostering Akeem when there are so many other options this week.


12/31/17, 09:17 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


DeAndre Hopkins

Houston Texans

Milestone Not Worth The Risk


Bill O'Brien on DeAndre Hopkins' status: 'Probably won't know up until game time'. Typically, we might classify this as coach-speak, but Hopkins has never missed a game, and is four catches away from 100 for the season. He's probably pushing hard to play.

Fantasy Goo: This is an awesome match-up for the Houston WR’s going against a very weak Indy pass defense, but there is really no reason for Hopkins to play, especially with the calf injury. At $8400 on DK he’s just way too pricey given this news. A sneaky start might be Will Fuller at $4300, he has 5 targets in each of the past three games and is coming off some difficult match-ups. Earlier in the season he was a superstar with Watson throwing the ball, but he has always had the big play in his arsenal no matter who the QB is.


12/29/17, 10:03 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


Dion Lewis

New England Patriots

Vultures Are Always Flying


James White (ankle) remained limited at Thursday's practice. White was absent for last week's win over Buffalo but should be out there against the Jets in Week 17. He ranks eighth among running backs with 56 catches this year.

Fantasy Goo: Lewis dominated last week with White and Burkhead out, even though Gillislee vultured a TD. I would imagine that White playing will take away the five receptions Lewis had last week and the Jets actually have a better rush defense than the Pats week 16 opponent (Buf). The Pats will be looking to lock-up home field advantage and won’t be resting their starters, but they will probably be looking to get everyone some work as they prep for the playoffs. Gillislee appears to be nursing a hammy and is not expected to play, but let’s not forget how White performed last year in the Super Bowl.


12/29/17, 09:47 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com

Pittsburgh Steelers

Stars Sitting


The Steelers Marcus Gilbert tells reporter Tim Benz that the Steelers won't play Ben Roethlisberger or Le'Veon Bell in finale vs. Cleveland. Landry Jones will be under center for Pittsburgh and Fitzgerald Toussaint and Stevan Ridley will form a thoroughly underwhelming RB committee against the Browns.

Fantasy Goo: Underwhelming is an understatement for these two backs, a highly respected fantasy website hasn’t even updated the news on these two since the pre-season and doesn’t even recognize them as being on the team. The one player of note in this is Martavis Bryant, The Alien averages over 17 ppr points per game with Landry at the helm as opposed to 8.4 ppg with other QB’s. He also has 5 TD’s in 5 home games with Landry. Granted most of this production comes from 2015 when they worked together often in the preseason, but Bryant could be a very sneaky GPP play this week.


12/29/17, 09:23 AM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Jacksonville Jaguars

Play To Win The Game


Despite already being locked into the AFC's No. 3 seed, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone has no plans to rest starters in Sunday's game against the Titans. "Make no mistake about it, just so there is not a lot of talk during the week: When the players come in (Wednesday), we are talking about how we are going to play to win and do everything we possibly can to win this game, period," Marrone said. "I am not even thinking about what happens beyond that, and that is the way we are going to go about our business this week."

Fantasy Goo: I think it’s crazy of him to do, but I’m sure he has Tom Coughlin in his ear feeding him that old-school philosophy. Looks like Bortles, Fournette, Westbrook and Cole will be safe plays against a Titan’s team hoping to hold on to the sixth seed in the AFC.


12/26/17, 10:00 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: www.rotoworld.com

Los Angeles Rams

Resting Starters


McVay hints that there will be Rams starters “who won’t play at all” on Sunday. The Rams are already locked into either the No. 3 or 4 seed in the NFC and will host a Wild Card round playoff game.

Fantasy Goo: Gurley, Goff, Woods, all sitting this week? That’s going to destroy so many hopes and dreams for teams that rode Gurley all year.


12/26/17, 09:58 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com


DeMarco Murray

Tennessee Titans

Grind It Out


Mike Mularkey said he's not ruling DeMarco Murray out just yet. He's day-to-day. The Titans are holding out hope to have him in limited role.

Fantasy Goo: They are really grinding him into the dirt if they play him this week. I didn’t see the injury, but it sounded pretty ugly from sources in the know. Keep away from him in whatever format you are playing this week, I’m giving Derick Henry a solid upgrade as the Titans are trying to hold on to the final playoff spot in the AFC.


12/26/17, 05:17 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Philadelphia Eagles

All Locked Up


Pederson on playing Foles vs. Cowboys: “I’ve got to get him as many reps as he can and then be smart about it. Obviously, we have a lot of football left. Our season is really just beginning, quite honestly. We’ll be smart.”

Fantasy Goo: This is why you don’t play a championship game in week 17. I’m staying away from the Eagles regular starters, pretty much across the board, as they have a first round bye all locked up. Guys like Blount, Clement, and Nelson Agholor might have some DFS appeal, but we have to get closer to Sunday to see what they plan on doing.


12/26/17, 05:15 PM CST by Wheeler

Source: twitter.com

Quick hitting fantasy football intel to help you win your league - this is volume 1 of the running backs

Pyro Gold Diggers - FF Outlook Nuggets for Running Backs Vol. 1

Posted by d-Rx on 07/15/17

by   The Archer


@TheArcher


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Since 2012 the Running Back position has been the most volatile position in fantasy football. If we look at the top 12 rushers each season since 2012, only 8 running backs have followed up their season with more yards than the prior year, that’s only 16.7% of the time (not to mention one of those was Adrian Peterson after having to sit out the majority of the 2014 season on the commissioners exempt list). With this volatility and high market price for Running Backs on draft day, we did a deep dive on the position to help you realize market inefficiencies and dominate another fantasy season! Let’s get started:

 

Le'Veon Bell – Based on Avg. Yds. From Scrimmage, had Bell played 16 games he would have had 2,512 well ahead of 2nd. He is as good as advertised.

 

Ezekiel Elliott – Elliott led the league with rushes of 20 yards or more with 14. Always a homerun threat. The cloud of uncertainty still hangs over him. The league has yet to rule out disciplinary action for the 2017, something to keep an eye on.

 

David Johnson - Johnson led all RBs in receptions with 80. This put him in the top 20 including WRs. With reports coming from Cardinals, they plan to use him even more. He could approach 100. Johnson was PFF’s 2016 Receiver of the Year, yeah…WR!

 

LeSean McCoy – McCoy finished the year 4th in total TD’s with 14. This while having 10 vultured by his backups. Mike Gillislee and his 9 has moved on to the Patriots leaving 2017 open for positive regression.

 

Melvin Gordon – Gordon is a member of a shrinking minority in the league, a true bell cow back. He finished the 2016 season with 1,416 combined yards and 12 TD’s. The Chargers let Woodhead go to Baltimore and did not bring in a replacement. Expect these numbers to increase in 2017. The Chargers head coach is Anthony Lynn, please see the Bills 24 RB rushing TDs above.

 

Devonta Freeman – Freeman ended 2016 6th in scrimmage yards with 1,541. 2017 is a contract year and it looks as though the Falcons plan to see how the year unfolds before offering an extension.

 

Jordan Howard – Howard busted onto the scene in 2016 and ended as the second leading rusher with 1,313 yards, he also lost 15 pounds in the offseason. As a bigger back, this has lead other players to continued success, cough cough Le’Veon.

 

Jay Ajayi – Jay-Train last call! Ajayi led the NFL in forced missed tackles with 58 and put up 3.46 yards after contact. Thus Ajayi was had the best elusive rating from PFF. Adam Gase sees it too and said Ajayi could see 350 carries this year. But tread lightly, Ajayi has bone-on-bone in his knee, lets enjoy him while we can.

 

DeMarco Murray – Wait, it’s not an Exotic Smash mouth? Murray was a workhorse in 2016 ranking third in rush attempts and sixth in receptions. They say they’ll get Henry more work, but can they get DeMarco off the field?

 

Lamar Miller – Our Lamar Miller experiment didn’t play out how many saw, he did in fact set career highs with 714 snaps and 268 rushes. So that’s why the Dolphins never gave Miller the big workload, but expect Miller to see a huge increase of work in the passing game as he was literally the only RB to not drop a target in the NFL last year.

 

Leonard Fournette – Fournette’s 2015 season at LSU was rated as the best RB season in the last decade. Why is he so great? At his 235 pound playing weight, Fournette recorded a 22.9 MPH during a game. For comparison purposes, Tyreek Hill’s top speed was recorded at 23.2 MPH, he’s really big and he’s really freaking fast.

 

Todd Gurley – New HC, Sean McVay has never coached a team that ranked lower than 11th in rushing. It’s safe to say that Gurley is going to be a much more fun tool to play with than ‘Fat Rob’, Matt Jones and the ghost of Alf Morris.

 

Jonathan Stewart – The Panthers added Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel in the draft so many think J-Stew is on the way out. Think again, since 2015 no player has more broken tackles on runs between the tackles than Stewart. In fact, he is sitting at 96 and the next closest player is down at 78. J-Stew ain't going nowhere.

 

Mark Ingram – The AP signing had us all questioning Ingram’s status in New Orleans. Pump the break, Ingram in 2016 outplayed Peterson in 2015 by trumping his elusive rating by 21 points (6th overall to AP’s 25th) and he averaged 0.8 yards after contact more than Peterson those respective years.

 

Duke Johnson – Isaiah Crowell is getting all of the Brown’s RB hype this off-season, but don’t forget about Duke. He was incredible in 2016 with 21 broken tackles after the catch. This was second to only the other D. Johnson, 2016’s fantasy sweetheart.

 

Mike Gillislee – Gillislee ranks favorable to Blount, if he only carries the ball 75% of what Blount did he should finish the year with 1,281 yards and 17 TDs extrapolated from his incredibly impressive yards per carry in Buffalo.

 

LeGarrette Blount – LGB shocked the fantasy world in 2016 with 18 TDs, in the three years prior Blount totaled 18 TDs. Not to mention the Blount has shown an affinity for getting caught smoking weed in Pennsylvania.

 

Ty Montgomery –With the exception of the game at Chicago, he failed to surpass 100 yards and did not get double digit carries in any of the regular season games. In the playoffs he had 25 attempts and 91 rushing yards over their 3 games.

 

Jalen Richard – Jalen Richard just might be the next big thing for the NFL. We saw David Johnson burst onto the scene in 2015 as he took his first two NFL touches to the house. Jalen Richard’s first touch was a 75-yard Touchdown run. Also, Jalen had the second highest yards after contact (3.6) and rushes per missed tackle (4.1) averages. We’re not saying Richard is going to be the next David Johnson, but he just might be.

 

Isaiah Crowell – Cleveland added some big bodies to their offensive line which earned them PFF’s 2nd rated O-Line heading into 2017. Crowell is not a sure thing to reap the benefits of the line, he had the second lowest Success Rate among RB’s with over 100 carries last season as he finished with just 39% successful plays.

 

Doug Martin – Doug Martin has finished as RB3 twice in his career, in his other three seasons he finished no higher than 45th. What can be extrapolated from this? When he does not play all 16 games, Martin has never surpassed 500 yards rushing. With Martin’s suspension, we know he will not play all 16. Exo-facto draft Martin with caution this year.

 

Christian McCaffrey – McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders collegiate record with 2,659 yards from scrimmage. How did this stat translate to the pros? Barry ran for 1,470 yard and 14 touchdowns and added 282 in the air. If we project this out to 175 rushes vs Sanders 280, CMC is looking at 900 yards and 8 TDs, plus we can all agree that he’s looking at about 40 catches to Barry’s 24.

 

Joe Mixon – The number we are looking at is 4.5. Nope, this wasn’t Mixon’s 40 time, it was Jay Ajayi’s rushes per missed tackle, in which he led the league. Mixon’s college production is favorable to this number, Mixon forced a missed tackle on every 3.9 touches. Don’t be surprised if we see Mixon going for 200 yards in games this year like we saw from Ajayi in 2016.

 

Adrian Peterson – The last time we saw a healthy Peterson he was All-World, after a meniscus tear and with age concerns AP is coming at a discount for the first time since his rookie year. In 2015 Peterson had a production premium of -1.3 which shows that he was less efficient with his work than the norm. Despite this, his normalize fantasy points per game were 3rd in the league when adjusted for his supporting cast. New Orleans is certainly a more efficient offense than Minnesota, we should see this reflected despite projecting a lesser workload.

 

Frank Gore – This may be the biggest question in fantasy football, when will Frank Gore be done? Gore leads the NFL in career touches with 609 more than the next closest player. Fun fact is that he has more than 2x touches than Jamaal Charles. Frank Gore is currently 8th all-time at 13,065 yards, trailing the great Eric Dickerson by 194. The number he is shooting for is 1,037 yards this year as it will put Gore above Curtis Martin and into 4th overall. Can he stay healthy and effective enough to hit that mark? Maybe not, we may have seen the cliff last year without noticing it. Gore dropped from 10th most elusive runner to last among 25 qualified RBs. If Gore can't make people miss the Colts will likely move on from the future HOFer.

 

James Conner – The PIT Panther has one of the most inspiring stories in all of sports as he beat cancer, and still was able to show up for practices during his treatment. He is stepping into De’Angelo William’s role as Le’Veon Bell’s backup. If Bell goes down the Steelers have shown that they will use the backup as a workhorse. James Conner prior to cancer in 2014 had the second most broken tackles over the past 3 years at 88. He automatically becomes a top-12 RB if Bell goes down.

 

Kenneth Dixon – Dixon will miss the first 4 games for violating the PED policy. When he comes back you still might not want to own him, Dixon only faced a stacked front 3.4% of his carries, but on those plays he failed to average positive yards. As for being used in the pass game, remember that the Ravens went out and got receiving specialist Danny Woodhead.

 

Carlos Hyde – Carlos Hyde will be the feature back in a Kyle Shanahan offense, this is a position we hold near and dear to our heart in fantasy football. Shanahan has produced a top 5 rushing offense three times in the past five seasons. This is not an outlier, his father, Mike worked for 26 years in the NFL, 22 of those seasons he had a top 12 rushing offense. Running is in the Shanahan blood, and this year Carlos Hyde will be the main beneficiary.

 

Ameer Abdullah – Ameer is the ultimate risk in fantasy football, Jim Bob Cooter has made Detroit a passing haven that involves RBs in the pass attack more than on the ground. Ameer is in the 98th percentile on his SPARQ-x score which is a measure for explosiveness. With all that explosiveness sometimes we get duds. In fact, Ameer is the most volatile fantasy player on a weekly basis. Due to this, it’s in your best interest to not rely on Abdullah on a week-in-week-out basis.

 

C.J. Anderson – The Broncos have brought new RBs on board in consecutive seasons with Booker and Charles joining Anderson in the back field. Anderson saw 74% of the RB snaps when active in 2016, that good for 7th among RBs. As long as he is healthy the Broncos will feed him the rock. Oh and his fantasy playoff matchup is composed of the Jets, Colts and Redskins, yummy.

 

Jamaal Charles – Jamaal Charles is well known for his NFL record 5.45 yards per carry. Being in Denver now, that number doesn’t matter as he needs to work his way up the depth chart. How is he going to do that? His last healthy season, Jamaal was the 6th most elusive RB with a 55.8 score, the start C.J. Anderson dropped to a career low of 34.2 last year. If Jamaal can make plays like a shell of himself, he will find himself getting work in the Mile High City.

 

Devontae Booker – When Anderson went down last season, the fantasy community was thirsty for some Booker. He fell flat on his face with a Red Zone success rate of 41% that put him at 84th in the NFL. The Broncos clearly showed their frustration with the addition of Jamaal Charles.

 

Samaje Perine – Samaje Perine worked in Joe Mixon’s shadow for much of this year’s draft season, although Mixon got more hype, Perine was actually the starter in Washington. Perine’s only completion in Washington this year is ‘Fat Rob’ Kelley. Somehow people have forgotten that Perine, not Mixon is the single game record holder for rush yards in a single game when we went for 427 against Kansas in 2014. Perine may have the best situation of any rookie RB this season.

 

Darren McFadden – The Dallas offense runs through Zeke Elliott, but Jerry Jones will always have an affinity for DMC as he is a Razorback. That being said, the Cowboys run the most plays on the ground, hitting an extraordinary 499 in 2016. With a top tier offensive line and DMC clocking in the 98th percentile on his Speed Score, he has the ability to step in and produce RB1 numbers if Zeke is suspended or injured. Remember there was concern with Zeke and his hamstring injury prior to 2016, soft tissue injuries seem to never go away.

 

Joe Williams – Kyle Shanahan banging his hands on the table to draft Joe Williams is the story that resonates in everyone’s mind. Williams had some good, tape but the numbers that really stand out are 7 and 5. Williams fumbled the ball 7 times last year, and added 5 drops on catchable balls. Rookies don’t get many opportunities in the NFL, and if Williams doesn’t avoid these mistakes in the NFL the 49ers fans will be banging the tables for Matt Breida.

 

Jamaal Williams – Jamaal Williams reminds me of a player in a similar situation, a high potent offense with a glaring hole at RB. The 2010 Patriots were a high octane offense with a 33-year-old QB (cough cough Aaron) and an uninspiring running game. The Lawfirm, BenJarvis Green Ellis toted 509 carries without recording a fumble. Jamaal Williams is of the same fabric, Williams was PFF’s top pass blocking RB in the draft class and his big frame and large hands led to only two fumbles over 786 carries. He won’t blow you away, but if he gets the job you can plug him in as a safe RB2.

 

Theo Riddick – Theo Riddick if playing in average situations was RB8 last year on a points per game basis, however from Week 8 on Riddick consistently saw his touches drop from 19 to an average of 10 in weeks 11-13. Riddick will also be fighting for playing time with Ameer Abdullah back healthy. To keep the trend of 8’s going, the Lions had 8 Fourth Quarter comeback. Riddick saw a lot of opportunities in those games whereas he is not as valuable if you flip the game script.

 

Eddie Lacy – We have gotten to a point with Lacy where we assume if he is not overweight that he is going to be able to provide fantasy value. However, Lacy had a production premium grade of -26.1 which compares Lacy to the other RBs and measures efficiency and smooths out garbage time and other non-standard situations. This makes Lacy the #76 RB in smoothed efficiency. Lacy was healthy in 2015 but he failed to break into the positives that year as well finishing as the #54 RB. C.J. Prosise on the other hand was #4 in the NFL with a score of +37.1. Prosise may just beat out Lacy as the rushing downs back and passing.

 

Dalvin Cook – Dalvin Cook fell to Minnesota in the second round of this year’s rookie draft due to off-the field concerns as many advanced metrics supported Cook being the best back in the draft class. Cook finished second in the nation with 4.6 yards after contact and first in the nation with 88 forced missed tackles. Unfortunately, he is going to the third worst rushing team in the NFL as the Vikings were only able to create 0.93 yards before contact. Even if Cook gets the lion share of work, it’ll be tough to get in space and make guys miss when he’s constantly being met in the backfield.

 

Matt Forte – This will more than likely be Forte’s final season in the NFL as he has gone on record multiple times stating that his goal has always been to play 10 years in the NFL. When we think of players who get more effective when their workload lessens, we likely think of the smaller backs like Lamar Miller who are more impacted by the grind of being an NFL running back. Interestingly Matt Forte sees a significant inverted increase in effectiveness when his carries drop. Actually looking at it, each season Forte’s snaps decrease his PFF grade increases. Without a doubt we expect the 31-year-old back to see less work, but he still will provide value in his limited work.

 

Derrick Henry – The word on the street is that DeMarco Murray will remain as the workhorse back in Tennessee and Henry will have to sit back and wait his turn. We talk about Murray’s receiving skills as a main reason why he won’t come off the field, however Derrick Henry excelled in the pass game. Henry had the third highest pass blocking efficiency allowing only one total pressure last season. Henry will see more action in his sophomore season, and his value will sky rocket if Murray suffers an injury.

 

Danny Woodhead – A lot of people are buying into Woodhead in Baltimore. I’m not. Woodhead is on the wrong side of 30 as he will turn 33 in January. Woodhead has a career high of 106 rush attempts, and outside that 2013 season he has never topped 100. There have been 66 other instances of 32-year-old RBs with under 100 rush attempts, only 2 of them produced over 10 fantasy points per game in PPR scoring and only 5 have produced over 100 PPR points over the course of the season. In a crowded backfield, it is a good practice to fade 30+ year old running backs with limited upside.

 

Terrance West – T-West has been named Baltimore’s starting RB, partially due to Kenneth Dixon’s suspension. West is being vastly overlooked due to the perception that Dixon will win that job when he returns, however West was a surprisingly strong player. Last season he was the 13th rated RB due to his 12 runs of over 15 yards which was good for eighth in the league. Dixon is perceived as a better pass catcher, however West’s 1.54 yards per route run was good for 0.25 better than the aforementioned Dixon.

 

Paul Perkins – The New York Giants are “all-in” on Perkins this year. But if we look at Ben McAdoo who comes from the Mike McCarthy phylum as he was with the Packers from 2006-2013. Since 2009 with McAdoo a Ryan Grant was the only RB to receive over 50% of the shares of carries. The next highest market share was 47%, pump the breaks on Perkins as there has been a strong influence of RBBC in McAdoo’s offenses.

 

Charles Sims – Sims produced a rushing NEP of -9.9 on his 51 carries in 2016. NEP is a measure of how many expected points a player added or lost on an individual play. This led Sims to just a 27.5% success rate on his runs. He was vastly outperformed by Jacquizz Rodgers with a success rate of 46.5%. Don’t expect to see Sims get a substantial workload especially considering the Doug Martin hype coming out of Tampa Bay this off-season.

 

Kareem Hunt – PFF rated Hunt as the number one overall running back in the draft class, after generating 986 rushing yards after contact over his career and getting the third highest FBS elusive rating of 112.1. Hunt may have trouble supplanting Spencer Ware, but this will depend on Ware’s health. If we see the post-concussion Hunt of last season, the job is Hunt’s to lose.

 

Marlon Mack – Frank Gore and Robert Turbin combined to break off 15 yard runs on only 11% of their carries. Mack on the other hand produced 15+ yard runs on 52% of his carries, fifth highest among this draft class. Mack got the workload to support a consistent fantasy output, but he is the most likely RB to mirror Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington who both averaged over 5 yards per carry backing up Latavius Murray.

 

Thomas Rawls – The Seahawks who we remember being a power running team fueled by Marshawn Lynch couldn’t be further from how they played in 2016. The percentage of power scheme rushing plays that the Seahawks ran in 2016 was dead last at 1.5%. Rawls is a power runner and was since supplanted by Eddie Lacy, Rawls has more obstacles of any starting RB from last year to regain his starting role.

 

Tevin Coleman – Coleman saw the ninth largest increase in play based on PFF’s overall grades among second year players across all positions, he improved in almost every metric as he cut down his fumbles, increased his yards after contact and tripled his rush attempt totals. Coleman really thrived in the passing game as he dropped only 2 passes of his 45 targets and averages 11.2 yards after contact. Coleman led all RBs in yards per route at 2.44 and has claimed his role as Atlanta’s pass catching back. Coleman also could be primed for elite status next year as Devonta Freeman seeks to be paid as an elite RB next year, which Atlanta may not be willing to pay up.

 

Bilal Powell – From Week 10 on last year, Bilal Powell can say one thing that no other man can say. Powell was the only running back to force more missed tackles than Le’Veon Bell with 9 on his 29 catches. In the same time period Powell average 3.24 yards after contact, and despite his limited workload he forced 4 more missed tackles than the Cowboys workhorse Zeke Elliott. He also beat out teammate Matt Forte with the eighth best overall ranking and sixth best running grade compared to Forte’s 22nd and 18th respectively. 

 

 

 

 

By The Hartbeat & Pop's

 

 

 

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