Statistical Nuances from the Nomad: Running Backs by Michael Pichan the Fantasy Nomad Welcome into the realm of Fantasy Football analysis where the focus is on unearthing information that will help your Fantasy Football team gain an advantage over of the competition. Each week, I will dig through the data, so you don't have to, to provide a deeper explanation of what happened, uncover why those things happened, and whether we should expect those things to continue to happen. And, this week I am adding some new statistical reports, which will appear in bold print below.   [caption id="attachment_15549" align="alignleft" width="194"] Falcon's RB Michael Turner led all running backs in Fantasy Points in Week 4[/caption] Running Backs
  • Ray Rice was head and shoulders above all RB’s in snaps with 76 followed at a distance by Cedric Benson (59), Ahmad Bradshaw (who returned from injury to play 58 snaps), followed by both BenJarvus Green-Ellis and LeSean McCoy (54)
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis topped all backs in carries (26), Chris Johnson (25, was firs time CJ2K had 20+ attempts since Week 13 of last season), Arian Foster (24, six more carries then Ray Rice despite seeing thirty less snaps then Rice), LeSean McCoy (23), and Stevan Ridley (22).
  • Rushing Yardage Leaders:
  • The top targeted backs were Ray Rice (10), Joique Bell, DeMarco Murrary, and Darren Sproles (7), then Willis McGahee (6).
  • The top pass catching running back was Ray Rice (8), followed by DeMarco Murray (7), Willis McGahee and Joique Bell (6), then Marurice Jones-Drew and Darren Sproles (5).
  • Yards/Route Run leaders were Jackie Battle (5.25), Ronnie Brown (4.55), Michael Turner (3.58), Joique Bell (3.27), and Marcel Reece (one of my sleeper FLEX plays in Week 4
  • Top targeted backs in the Red Zone (RZ) were Ray Rice, Darren Sproles, and Steven Jackson each with two targets in the RZ.
  • Elusive Rating: 1) Michael Turner (top 5 elusive rating on the season), 2) Brandon Bolden,  3) Kendall Hunter (a guy you should be stashing on your teams), 4) Marshawan Lynch (third most elusive back thus far), then 5) Adrian Peterson (first top finish in this category this season).
  Stats that Stand Out at the RB Position:
  • Chargers RB Jackie Battle: 15 carries, 39 yds, 1 TD rushing and 4 rec. for 42 yds., and a TD The Data= 208 carries without a fumble in his career, averaging only 2.3 yds a carry in 32 attempts on the season. What to Make of It: Jackie Battle has been named the number one running back in Charger Land despite possessing a Shonn Greene-sque 2.3 yds/att. this season. Battle's ascension atop San Diego's depth chart has come more from a lack of production on Ryan Mathews part, due to injury and some overblown concerns of Mathews lack of ability to hold on to the football, then anything Jackie Battle has really done. In this same game versus the Chiefs, Mathews had 14 carries for 61 yds. putting his yds/att. at about a yard and a half more then Battle's average. It's no surprise that Mathews is a more explosive back then Battle, but the question is can Mathews overcome the perception that he has a fumbling problem? I say yes! Mathews had five fumbles last season, but two came in a Week 11 match up with the Bears. After that poor performance, Mathews fumbled just one time the remainder of the 2011 season, proving that he can over come not only a bad game, but also Mathews track record shows he doesn't have a reoccurring fumbling problem. Granted, Jackie Battle didn’t fumble one time last year in about 150 attempts, but Battle only caused the defense to miss a tackle 11 times (nine of those coming in the first 10 weeks). Mathews is the more elusive back, then Battle, and the Chargers offense runs smoother and is more dangerous with Mathews on the field. I see this time share playing out similar to the Bears running back situation where Battle plays the Michael Bush role of vulturing a touchdown here and there. The good thing to come out of Battle winning the running back job is two-fold: One, a lesser workload may help Mathews stay healthy and on the field going forward. Secondly, Mathews may be a player that you can acquire for less then original market value.
  • Patroits RB Brandon Bolden: 16 carries for 137 yds., 1 TD and 1 rec., 11 yds., and 0 TD The Data= 26 snaps (21 more then week 3). What to Make of It: Bolden's 26 snaps were only eight fewer then Stevan Ridley. In addition, Danny Woodhead saw only 10 snaps ( 40 fewer snaps then Woodhead saw in week 3) and Shane Vereen got on the field for only eight snaps. As promising as this performance was by Bolden, who has a scored a touchdown in each of the last two weeks, I don't see him getting double digit attempts on a regular basis, especially the closer Shane Vereen gets to 100% healthy. Is Bolden rosterable? Yes. But, is he playable each week? Probably not, except maybe in standard leagues where he may get you a few yards and a goal line score a week here, a week there.
Running Back Leaders Through Week Four
  • LeSean McCoy leads all RB's in snaps (255), followed by Ray Rice (239), Darren McFadden (211), Arian Foster (209), then Marshawn Lynch (203)
  • Despite seeing 30 less snaps then Ray Rice and about 50 less snaps then league leader LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster leads the league in attempts (103), followed by Marshawn Lynche (92), Alfred Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (82), then LeSean McCoy (81)
  • Rushing Yardage Leaders: Marshawn Lynch (423 yds./4.6 yds/att.), Jamaal Charles (422/5.9), LeSean McCoy (384/4.7), Arian Foster (380/3.7), then Alfred Morris (376/4.6)
  • Alfred Morris and Arian Foster lead the league in rushing touchdowns with four followed by an eight players who have three touchdowns a piece.
  • Yards/att. leaders: C.J. Spiller (8.3), Darren Sproles (6.8 in just 12 attempts),  Jamaal Charles (5.9), Shaun Draughn (5.7 only 22 carries), then Reggie Bush (5.5)
  • The top targeted backs are Ray Rice and Darren Sproles (28),  Darren McFadden (26), Trent Richardson (19), then LeSean McCoy(18)
  • The top pass catching running backs: Darren Sporles (23), Ray Rice (22), Darren McFadden (18), DeMarco Murray (16), then Trent Richardson (15).
  • Elusive Rating: C.J Spiller (163.2), Pierre Thomas (142.9), Marshawn Lynch (70.8), followed by possibly two surpirsing RB's Donald Brown (64.5), and Michael Turner (60.1, heavily weighted by a week four performance where Turner caused 11 missed tackles).
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