2019 Running Back Report

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Dynasty DeLorean
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2019 Running Back Report

Postby Dynasty DeLorean » Sat May 18, 2019 7:51 pm

This year on paper is one of the worst RB draft classes we’ve ever seen, yet in rookie drafts I’m constantly seeing Jacobs, Sanders, and Montgomery go very highly in drafts. Sometimes they all go top 3, and I think that could be a big mistake. Yes, many Rb’s have been good lately, but on paper we may have just witnessed the best 3 year stretch of prospects entering the NFL ever. Remember when WR’s were way better than RB’s as of only 4-5 years ago? It’s all about the quality of prospects entering the league, and I urge you to stay one step ahead of your competition. Even though he didn’t make the report, Jacobs 1st round draft capital does give him some extra stability, and imo it makes him a much safer choice than the other two.

The only RB’s that my report picked up on this year are Ryquell Armstead and Alex Barnes. They qualify for the Tier 3 list, although none seem to be in the draft capital range in which it’s highly likely that they will hit. Actually, with Armstead I am projecting a little bit since I don’t have concrete data on him in one area (his age), however based on my best guess and available information I feel good enough to put him here for now especially since the cost to acquire him is very low. Armstead kind of gives me a Jordan Howard vibe crossed with Jonathan Williams (strong yet impatient high motor runner), although the main issue with that is he’s likely stuck behind Fournette for the next 2 years. Barnes went undrafted so the odds are lower, and he too is stuck behind yet another lead back in Derrick Henry. Even so, I think both of them are worth a scoop up in the later 3rd and/or 4th rounds of your rookie drafts. The Jags don’t seem too enamored with Fournette, and Henry will be a FA after this year.

____________________________________________________________


Tier 3 – Replaceable Backs and UDFA Dart Throws

Year__Pick____Name
2019 – 5.02 – Ryquell Armstead ***
2018 - 3.07 - Royce Freeman
2017 - 3.22 - Kareem Hunt
2016 - 5.34 - Alex Collins
2016 - 4.36 - Kenneth Dixon
2016 - 5.11 - Jordan Howard
2015 - 5.13 - Jay Ajayi
2011 - 1.28 - Mark Ingram
2009 - 1.12 - Knowshon Moreno
2008 - 6.10 - Jalen Parmele

____Undrafted
2019 – Alex Barnes
2015 - Thomas Rawls
2015 - Zach Zenner
2014 - Isaiah Crowell
2014 - Terrance Cobb
2008 - BenJarvis Green-Ellis

*** = age dependent

More details near the bottom for this Tier and others…


____________________________________________________________



Continuing on with the news and notes…

Derrick Henry finally hit in his 3rd year, so his outlook is trending up. I was not a big fan of his college film which is why I’m grateful for my RB Report. Our eyes (or at least mine) will always deceive us whether we like it or not (turd lookin' kinda good last year!). I was not a fan of CMC either but I may be changing my tune on him as well, more on that below.

This is a big year for Foreman as it will be his 3rd year in the league as well. If he’s going to hit, odds are it will be this year. 4th year 1k season breakouts are possible (MJD is one example) but much rarer.

I thought Penny was a lot like DJ coming into the league (as a raw, small school but athletic and talented RB), and it kind of played out the way I thought in that he needs a lot of refinement but the raw playmaking ability is there. I didn’t foresee Carson being as big of an impediment as he was though, and I’m hoping that the situation will resolve itself within the next year or two.

I’m seeing a lot of pessimism on Guice and I would say that he seems like a strong buy right now. I understand the injury concerns, but if we go by talent/resume as a prospect he would be the clear RB1 in this class.


Ok, now for the meat and potatoes…

For the past 5 years or so I’ve had an issue with putting LeVeon Bell onto the list in a straight forward and consistent way. It made enough sense to me to put him on the list but at the same time I was still not satisfied as I believe I pointed out various times in the RB report threads. In any event, since this class was so spectacularly bad, I had some time to reflect on this issue which has been nagging me and I believe I found a solution. It just required a very minor tweak to one setting but the result was significant. I was finally able to streamline Lev Bell along with Ray Rice the same way I’ve been able to streamline the rest of the players on the stud list, and even pave the way for LeSean McCoy to no longer be an outlier as well. The only caveat, Christian McCaffrey would have to be included too. Now if you’ve read my reports you know I’ve been down on CMC, so while I am very pleased with my new findings I realize it will also make me look a bit silly :doh: . Unfortunately, it’s just part of the process in starting something from scratch in which I had limited data. It's a tough call, but despite the smaller sample size, I believe the case is strong enough for CMC to be put on the studs list. I've also contended that Shady is someone who "should" have been on the list, so from that perspective it makes total sense to me as well. At this point I don't think i'm swaying anyone's opinion on CMC no matter where I put him so in that sense i'm glad in case i'm wrong, however I feel bad if i'm right about this and missed the boat on earlier reports. I’m going to separate the two sets of studs so that everyone is able to follow along better. Hopefully this doesn't come back to bite me :pray:

I totally understand that people don't like when I start changing up the lists (I don't like it either!), but I don't believe I've had to make any changes to the studs list due to a change in my model until now. I don't see any reason why I would make any significant changes in the future.

So that pretty much sums it up for this year. Armstead, Barnes ---> decent late round fliers. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Full tier list below. I’ll leave a link to last year’s thread in case I forgot anything.

viewtopic.php?p=1461313#p1461313



Oh, one more thing. I had someone ask me how I did the final rankings at the end of each rb report and it’s pretty simple. I just sort by which tier they fall into, and then sort by draft round. I don’t do it based on film or anything like that.

Wait, one more one more thing. I constantly see people saying this report is wrong because of what player X did year one or year two compared to other players based on what they did year one or year two. This is strictly a long-term thing, and it's only based on thousand yard rushing seasons (except for Tier 5). For studs, we are looking at a minimum of 2, ideally 3+ thousand yard rushing seasons. For the other tiers, we are looking from anywhere between 0-2 such seasons, details for that can be found in the write-up below each tier. So to say it works or doesn't work, was right or was wrong after just 1 year is a bit short sighted. If you go back and look at the really good RB's they don't always hit right away. Sometimes it takes 2, 3, or even 4 years. In contrast, many rb's start out hot for a year and then fall off precipitously. Just keep that in mind.

Also, many thanks to those who donated last year. It typically covers the cost of getting the data from the playerprofiler data analysis package. It’s a big help.




____________________________________________________________

Tier 1 – Long-Term Studs

2018 - Saquon Barkley
2018 - Rashaad Penny
2018 - Derrius Guice
2017 - Leonard Fournette
2017 - D'Onta Foreman
2016 - Ezekiel Elliott
2016 - Derrick Henry
2015 - David Johnson
2011 - DeMarco Murray
2010 - Ryan Mathews
2008 - Darren McFadden
2008 - Chris Johnson
2008 - Matt Forte
2008 - Jamaal Charles
2007 - Adrian Peterson
2007 - Marshawn Lynch
2006 - Maurice Jones-Drew
2004 - Steven Jackson
2001 - LaDainian Tomlinson


Tier 1 – Long-Term Studs [Elusive]

2017 – Christian McCaffrey
2013 – Le’Veon Bell
2009 – LeSean McCoy
2008 – Ray Rice
2006 - DeAngelo Williams

players on this list (at least the ones who were given ample time and opportunity so far) have produced a minimum of 2 1,000 yard rushing seasons. Most have 3+.

With the inclusion of CMC to the studs list, it makes the 2017 rb class even greater than it already was.

DeAngelo Williams added to the list after fixing incorrect data.

Arian Foster and Frank Gore continue to be complete outliers for this list and, unlike McCoy, I don't foresee any way that they will ever be put on.



____________________________________________________________




Tier 2 – Fake Bellcows

2018 - Nick Chubb
2017 - Joe Mixon
2012 - Lamar Miller
2008 - Jonathan Stewart

The players on this list are often good football players but just never really seem to live up to expectations. Seems to be a near certainty they will rush for 1-2 thousand yard seasons but none have 3 or more.

____________________________________________________________


Tier 3 – Replaceable Backs and UDFA Dart Throws

Year__Pick____Name
2019 – 5.02 – Ryquell Armstead
2018 - 3.07 - Royce Freeman
2017 - 3.22 - Kareem Hunt
2016 - 5.34 - Alex Collins
2016 - 4.36 - Kenneth Dixon
2016 - 5.11 - Jordan Howard
2015 - 5.13 - Jay Ajayi
2011 - 1.28 - Mark Ingram
2009 - 1.12 - Knowshon Moreno
2008 - 6.10 - Jalen Parmele

____Undrafted
2019 – Alex Barnes
2015 - Thomas Rawls
2015 - Zach Zenner
2014 - Isaiah Crowell
2014 - Terrance Cobb
2008 - BenJarvis Green-Ellis


I separated the list into drafted and undrafted players because as you can see the drafted players have a much better hit rate and also a much higher ceiling overall. Drafted players on this list are likely to get at least 1k rushing season under the belt but none have more than 2.

____________________________________________________________


Tier 4 – Flash In The Pan

2014 - Carlos Hyde
2013 - Eddie Lacy
2012 - Trent Richardson
2012 - Doug Martin

These are running backs that start off red hot but then cool quickly. Great potential for at least 1 1k yard season but maximum of 2. No additions this year.

____________________________________________________________


Tier 5 – Pass Catchers

Year__Pick____Name
2015 - 3.13 - Duke Johnson
2014 - 2.22 - Bishop Sankey
2013 - 2.05 - Giovani Bernard
2011 - 2.24 - Shane Vereen
2008 - UDFA - Danny Woodhead
2005 - 4.29 - Darren Sproles

Test Cases
Year__Pick____Name
2018 - 4.34 - Chase Edmonds
2017 - 5.39 - Aaron Jones


This tier is composed of players that likely won’t be 3-down RB’s (none have had a 1,000 yard rushing season) but may be valuable pass catchers (most have had multiple years of 40 or even 50+ receptions) and carry good value in PPR leagues. They have good longevity, as you can see the list is composed of players stretching from over a decade ago that are still active in the league.

I might take off the test cases next year.

____________________________________________________________


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Last edited by Dynasty DeLorean on Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:13 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby Cult of Dionysus » Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 pm

So it would be fair to say that your 2019 RB Report predicts that none of Jacobs, Sanders or Montgomery will have multiple 1,000 yard rushing seasons.

That's bold, man!

:clap:

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby FantasyFreak » Sat May 18, 2019 8:19 pm

I would basically count Chubb's year 1 as a success, at least in my books. 996 (he actually hit 1000 and lost it on his final carry), considering he didn't start for a lot of the year. This class is weak, and I agree Jacobs is the best bet due to draft capital, and opportunity, combined with a 3 down skill set. The question is whether he can handle the work load, because he has not had it since High School. Barnes not going drafted is interesting since he produced and was an elite athlete at his size. I'm curious what the NFL did not like about him enough for him to go undrafted.

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby SteveMaddensShoes » Sat May 18, 2019 8:46 pm

Thanks for all your work!
12 man Superflex deep starting requirements with even scoring among positions

11 starters - QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, Superflex, Flex, Flex, Flex.

1 PPR, 1 points every 10 yards rushing/receiving, 4 points per 100 passing, 4 point passing TDs, -2 INT.

TE premium 1.5 PPR and 1 point per 8.5 yards receiving.

QB- Jared Goff, Russel Wilson, Sam Darnold, Geno Smith, Andrew Luck

RB -Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, Raashad Penny, Dare Ogunbowale, Spencer Ware

WR - Davante Adams, Mike Evans, JuJu, Keenan Allen, Tyler Boyd, Antonio Callaway, Chad Beebe, Damion Willis, Javon Wims

TE - Evan Engram, Chris Herndon, Noah Fant, Gerald Everett, Jordan Thomas


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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby Bot101 » Sat May 18, 2019 8:52 pm

Gonna be more hurt feelings than usual this year. Hahahaha.

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby Dynasty DeLorean » Sat May 18, 2019 8:53 pm

Cult of Dionysus wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 pm
So it would be fair to say that your 2019 RB Report predicts that none of Jacobs, Sanders or Montgomery will have multiple 1,000 yard rushing seasons.

That's bold, man!

:clap:
It would predict that none of them will have more than 2. I guess I didn't make that very clear. Getting 3+ is pretty rare (probably a lot more rare than most people realize) and is typically reserved for those on the "studs" list. Getting 1-2 is more common.

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby Dynasty DeLorean » Sat May 18, 2019 9:14 pm

Bot101 wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:52 pm
Gonna be more hurt feelings than usual this year. Hahahaha.
To help compensate for that, and, maybe as an apology for moving CMC around, I'll post what I have for WR and TE.

So while RB is pretty straight forward, WR and TE is a lot more complicated.

For WR I can only do 6'2" or taller. They seem to all be very similar. Under that height and you have a much more diverse profile. Anyway, for the tall WR's I have N'Keal Harry this year that should be a "hit". DK is a bit puzzling, because while he fits the athletic and production profile he does raise a few red flags. One red flag is agility. Really poor agility is just rarely seen with studs. Now of course some stud Wr's didn't test in this area (such as Megatron, DT, etc) so you can't really use it to rule him out, but nobody that did test has tested as poorly. 2nd red flag is his college yards per reception. Most big athletic Wr's like DK who went on to be studs posted a regular YPR (say like 13-17 or something). DK's is nearly 22. Now if he was drafted highly it wouldn't be such a big deal, Mike Evans, DT, etc had very high YPR. But they were all drafted early-mid 1st round. DK was drafted late-2nd and so it becomes a big red flag as again, with the agility testing, nobody with that high a YPR drafted outside the mid-1st or so has become a stud. Or, if they have it's because they were an outlier. All in all, I can't find anything to say that DK probably won't be a stud, but I also can't find anything to say that he probably will either. High variance player, maybe the highest we've ever seen. But I think most people already understand that with DK.

For TE's, I have Hock, Fant and Warring as TE's that should "hit". Although there are players such as Eifert and ASJ who make the list as well and so far have not hit.

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby Cameron Giles » Sat May 18, 2019 9:40 pm

Dynasty DeLorean wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 9:14 pm
Bot101 wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:52 pm
Gonna be more hurt feelings than usual this year. Hahahaha.
To help compensate for that, and, maybe as an apology for moving CMC around, I'll post what I have for WR and TE.

So while RB is pretty straight forward, WR and TE is a lot more complicated.

For WR I can only do 6'2" or taller. They seem to all be very similar. Under that height and you have a much more diverse profile. Anyway, for the tall WR's I have N'Keal Harry this year that should be a "hit". DK is a bit puzzling, because while he fits the athletic and production profile he does raise a few red flags. One red flag is agility. Really poor agility is just rarely seen with studs. Now of course some stud Wr's didn't test in this area (such as Megatron, DT, etc) so you can't really use it to rule him out, but nobody that did test has tested as poorly. 2nd red flag is his college yards per reception. Most big athletic Wr's like DK who went on to be studs posted a regular YPR (say like 13-17 or something). DK's is nearly 22. Now if he was drafted highly it wouldn't be such a big deal, Mike Evans, DT, etc had very high YPR. But they were all drafted early-mid 1st round. DK was drafted late-2nd and so it becomes a big red flag as again, with the agility testing, nobody with that high a YPR drafted outside the mid-1st or so has become a stud. Or, if they have it's because they were an outlier. All in all, I can't find anything to say that DK probably won't be a stud, but I also can't find anything to say that he probably will either. High variance player, maybe the highest we've ever seen. But I think most people already understand that with DK.

For TE's, I have Hock, Fant and Warring as TE's that should "hit". Although there are players such as Eifert and ASJ who make the list as well and so far have not hit.
Yeah, I think long-term you'll find that WR and TE are nearly impossible to do like RB. It just requires a lot more game tape.

There's too much that goes into the position that aren't picked up by stats (releases, route running, separation, alignment, coverages faced, illegal contact, etc.). Matt Harmon's Reception Perception is the best thing I've seen that picks up on these things, but he doesn't do it for college since the NCAA doesn't release All-22 to the public. Then with TE's you have to factor in offensive line calls, since they're going to be doing a lot of blocking.

As far as the RB's go, I'm not surprised. This class has the potential to have some really, really strange results in a few years. Like you said, it's really odd that players like Miles Sanders, Josh Jacobs and David Montgomery are being drafted so high. None of them are big time talents, though they're not bad football players by any means either.

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby lukkynumber13 » Sat May 18, 2019 11:23 pm

Thanks DD! I really appreciate the work you put into this project every year.

Not gonna lie, I’m very curious how Sanders didn’t end up on your stud list (or at least fake bellcow).
RIVERS, Mayfield, Jimmy G, Dalton
GURLEY/MIXON/GORDON, Jacobs, Shady, Gio, Gallman, Scarlett, Ajayi, B Hill, Ollison, Foreman, D Martin, Ware, Rodney A
NUK/EVANS/JUJU/DIGGS/GOLLADAY, Sammy, Edelman, Landry, Pettis, Crabtree, Dez, D Slayton, Terry G
KITTLE, Herndon, Knox, Eifert, Witten
-
DL: J BOSA/BUCKNER/C JORDAN/DUNLAP/GRIFFEN, N Bosa, Quinnen, Houston, B Graham
LB: MCKINNEY/VAN NOY/TAVAI, Okereke, KJW, Barron, Jewell, Kiser
DB: JOHNSON III/ABRAM/GEATHERS, Tartt, M Blair, Burnett, W Harris, Q Diggs

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby Phaded » Sun May 19, 2019 5:07 am

As expected; thanks as usual for the work you put in.
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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby Dynos » Sun May 19, 2019 5:45 am

Thanks for the report again.
Team 1: Superflex, Start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 flex WR/TE,1 Sflex

QB: J. Garoppolo,P. Mahomes, Alex Smith, Baker Mayfield
RB: E.Elliott, L.Fournette,Dont'a Foreman, Chris Carson, Corey Clement,A.Morris, Yeldon, P.Barber
WR: M. Thomas, C.Davis, T.Lockett, G.Tate, D.Parker, M.Lee , W.Snead, L.Treadwell, M.Mitchell,J.Reynolds,A.Callaway, R.Foster
TE: E.Engram, A.Hooper, R. Seals Jones, C.Herndon

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby nathanq42 » Sun May 19, 2019 7:17 am

This seems like the perfect year to buy some of the studs that haven't quite popped off yet
12 Team 20 man roster 4 reserve slots 1 ppr .2 points per carry
Air Force IV
1QB 2RB 3WR 1TE 1WR/RB/TE 1K 1DEF
QB Ben Roethlisberger, Jared Goff
RB David Johnson, Rashaad Penny, Chris Carson, Royce Freeman, Kalen Ballage, Jerrick McKinnon, Justin Jackson
WR Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Junior, Arob, Dede Westbrook, Parris Campbell, Marvin Jones, Tyrell Williams
TE TJ Hockenson Kyle Rudolph
K Ka'imi Fairbairn
DEF Jets

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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby dlf_mikeh » Sun May 19, 2019 7:20 am

Dynasty DeLorean wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:53 pm
Cult of Dionysus wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 pm
So it would be fair to say that your 2019 RB Report predicts that none of Jacobs, Sanders or Montgomery will have multiple 1,000 yard rushing seasons. --- That's bold, man!
It would predict that none of them will have more than 2. I guess I didn't make that very clear. Getting 3+ is pretty rare (probably a lot more rare than most people realize) and is typically reserved for those on the "studs" list. Getting 1-2 is more common.
I agree that this is a bold statement.

I had to look this part up. Rushing for 1,000 or more yards for 3 seasons has been done by 87 players. Since 2000, when fantasy football was starting to take of, it's been done by 38 players. (SOURCE). That's less than 2 new RBs per year. Not what I would have guessed.

For 1000 or more TOTAL yards since 2000, 64 RBs have achieved this feat. (SOURCE). That's over 3 new RBs per year, and I may have guessed that.

NFL offenses have changed. It used to be a running league that passed. Then it became a passing league that ran. I think we're starting to see another shift towards the running game again, but more RBBC than a bell cow. RBs have to be able to contribute in the passing game to be relevant.
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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby SteveMaddensShoes » Sun May 19, 2019 7:44 am

Do you think Jacobs and Sanders would have made the top tier if you added another identical season to their resume? Can you input that hypothetically? We know Sanders didn't get a chance to play multiple seasons because he was behind Barkley. I'm just curious if a tweak like that would put them in the top tier category?
12 man Superflex deep starting requirements with even scoring among positions

11 starters - QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, Superflex, Flex, Flex, Flex.

1 PPR, 1 points every 10 yards rushing/receiving, 4 points per 100 passing, 4 point passing TDs, -2 INT.

TE premium 1.5 PPR and 1 point per 8.5 yards receiving.

QB- Jared Goff, Russel Wilson, Sam Darnold, Geno Smith, Andrew Luck

RB -Dalvin Cook, Devonta Freeman, Raashad Penny, Dare Ogunbowale, Spencer Ware

WR - Davante Adams, Mike Evans, JuJu, Keenan Allen, Tyler Boyd, Antonio Callaway, Chad Beebe, Damion Willis, Javon Wims

TE - Evan Engram, Chris Herndon, Noah Fant, Gerald Everett, Jordan Thomas


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Re: 2019 Running Back Report

Postby Farley » Sun May 19, 2019 7:54 am

dlf_mikeh wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 7:20 am
Dynasty DeLorean wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:53 pm
Cult of Dionysus wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 8:11 pm
So it would be fair to say that your 2019 RB Report predicts that none of Jacobs, Sanders or Montgomery will have multiple 1,000 yard rushing seasons. --- That's bold, man!
It would predict that none of them will have more than 2. I guess I didn't make that very clear. Getting 3+ is pretty rare (probably a lot more rare than most people realize) and is typically reserved for those on the "studs" list. Getting 1-2 is more common.
I agree that this is a bold statement.

I had to look this part up. Rushing for 1,000 or more yards for 3 seasons has been done by 87 players. Since 2000, when fantasy football was starting to take of, it's been done by 38 players. (SOURCE). That's less than 2 new RBs per year. Not what I would have guessed.

For 1000 or more TOTAL yards since 2000, 64 RBs have achieved this feat. (SOURCE). That's over 3 new RBs per year, and I may have guessed that.

NFL offenses have changed. It used to be a running league that passed. Then it became a passing league that ran. I think we're starting to see another shift towards the running game again, but more RBBC than a bell cow. RBs have to be able to contribute in the passing game to be relevant.
Agreed.

So maybe it's time we stop looking at the arbitrary and antiquated milestone of 1000 yards in a season as the end all and be all. At the very least, focusing on yards from scrimmage for running backs would allow us to better evaluate the position in a modern NFL.


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