Cleat Geeks

Football Fantasy Strategy; RB’s

I am a numbers guy when it comes to sports in general. I am more of a saber-metrics guy when I watch sports. I love the numbers, and I love to research the numbers. If you like the same, keep reading and look at fantasy football not by the teams they play for or the numbers on their back, but the real numbers they produce.NFLrunningBacks

Running Backs Overall– Simply put, running backs are extremely devalued in the current brand of football. Almost every team has a “change of pace back” or a “3rd down back” or a “goal line back.” Therefore, no one back is the “workhorse” back anymore. The “gold standard” for a running back use to be 300 carries. Ten years ago, 10 different running back ascended to that “gold standard.” Five years ago, the number of 300 carry backs was still a respectable seven. Last season, only one running back carried the rock 300+ times, Adrian Peterson. The role of the running back has changed, last season running backs, as a collective group, set records for targets, catches, yards and touchdowns as receivers. Of the top ten running backs drafted last season, only three of them gave their owners top ten numbers. In fact, only half of those top ten backs even ended up in the top twenty at seasons end.

I Don’t Really Pay Attention To Rankings Per Say. I react and adapt to the draft and the other people in the draft. Hence the name of this article is draft strategy, not best, worst, or top 10 rankings. I look at each position and rank them by the way the draft is going. In other words, I react and adapt to the other people I am drafting with. But what I do pay attention to are certain facts and numbers with every position. That is why I divided this article up in a series by positions. The other thing you need to pay attention to is how your league is scored by position. Now, let me show you what I mean by giving you 10 running backs and ten facts about them, some good, some bad to consider when you draft them.GiovaniBernardInAir

Giovani Bernard– Possibly the one back people will point to when looking as running backs as receivers is Bernard. Over his 3 NFL seasons he has averaged 702 yards on the ground and 445 yards threw the air.


Devonta Freeman– It is the tale of two halves for this Falcon. In the first 8 games he scored 10 touchdowns and 700 rushing yards. But after that he scored only 4 touchdowns and ran for only 347 yards. Which half is the real man?


Frank Gore– He very quietly put up respectable numbers last season. He ran for 967 yards with 6 touchdowns. And he added another 267 yards through the air with another touchdown. And remember, Andrew Luck only played 7 of those games. He may not run as much, but he should catch more passes.Melvin-Gordon-Fantasy-2015


Melvin Gordon– Gordon has a lot of buzz around him for some unknown reason to me. He only averaged 3.5 yards per attempt, and he scored 0 touchdowns last year. 641 total rushing yards is nothing to be excited about.


Todd Gurley– As a rookie in 13 games Gurley rushed for 1,106 yards on the ground. He also scored 10 rushing touchdowns. He did this with an average of only 20 touches per game. But, unlike most running backs in the current NFL he only had 188 yards as a receiver with 0 touchdowns.


Carlos Hyde– If he can keep on the field, he can be productive. Remember who is running the now up tempo offense in San Francisco Chip Kelly will want Hyde to run. When he did he averaged 4.1 yards per rush and he can also catch the ball like he did in Ohio State.


David Johnson– In only 125 rushes and 36 catches Johnson found the end zone 12 times. As the rushes and catches everyone is assuming the touchdowns will also increase. It sounds nice, but Arizona also has a plethora of running backs and Carson Palmer also had 9 games where he threw for over 300 yards. Arizona is the ultimate pass first, and second and sometimes third team. How often will they run the MattJones2ball?


Matt Jones– This is a guy that has tons of upside. Even though he did suffer a shoulder injury the team is still saying that he will be ready week one. He did loose five fumbles last year, but he also has an improved line in front of him to help him.


Eddie Lacy– He struggled with his weight last year, this off-season he started a new fitness regiment. There is no one else there to really take carries away from him that was not on the team last year and did not prove themselves worthy. He gets the carries and the opportunities. He may run with them.

Doug Martin– Last year was a contract year, and he dominated. This year is not. Will he continue to dominate? Sims is there as well, so don’t expect last year. But even if he drops off 400 yards, you will still get a 1,000 yard rusher.

My Deciding Statistic- I believe every “numbers person” must have a deciding statistic. A statistic that use use as a tie breaker. For me that stat for running backs is number of 100+ yard games. A running back who had 5 or more games in a season with over 100 yards is consistently getting it done for their team. Therefore, if I am on the fence about which running back I should draft at a certain position in my draft, this is my tie breaking stat. Last year there were only 2 pure running backs in the NFL that took the ball in the backfield and ran at a defense for over 100 yards in 5 or more games. They were Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley. But, taking a closer look at some 3 year stats, I also have to bring up two additional names, and remember this stat does not take into effect catches, only runs. Over the past 3 years Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has had 14 games where he has rushed for 100+ yards. And in 2014 alone, with the Dallas Cowboys, Demarco Murray rushed for over 100 yards a mind-blowing 11 times. He was not happy last year in Phily, if his new home in Tennessee makes him happy, then he could make his owners very happy.



Leave a Reply


If you like this site or just simply want to school your friends because you got the information first.  

Join us on the field! Click on any of the links below.

%d bloggers like this: