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. For additional Waiver Wire insight view my contributions to Fantasy Pros Week 9 Wavier Wire Rankings article. Top Running Backs Week Eight [caption id="attachment_15708" align="alignleft" width="276"] "Stop! Don't trade me. You will regret it."[/caption]
  • In his first full game as a starter Jaguars RB Rashad Jennings led all backs in snaps with 72 followed by Shonn Greene (66), Felix Jones (63), Darren McFadden (57), then Doug Martin (55).
  • Doug Martin and Darren McFadden topped all backs in carries with 29 followed by a three tie between Ryan Mathews, Michael Turner, and Trent Richardson (24).
  • Rushing Yardage Leaders: Doug Martin (135 yds. his first 100+ rushing game of the season & has scored a rushing TD in back-to-back weeks), Stevan Ridley (127, Ridley's fourth 100+ rushing game, Ridley also had four runs of 15+ yds), Adrian Peterson (123, both Ridley and AP accomplished this on only 15 carries), and Trent Richardson and Willis McGahee tied for fourth most rushing yards one shy of AP
  • Elusive Rating: Another top finish for Adrian Peterson (189.6 ER,/5 missed tackles rushing), Jonathan Dwyer (95.4,/3), Trent Richardson (90.7/7), Doug Martin (52.3/5), then LeSean McCoy (49.3/4).
  • The top targeted backs were Darren Sproles (9), Ronnie Brown and Rashad Jennings (8), followed by Darren McFadden, Dough Martin, Danny Woodhead, and Alex Green each with six targets.
  • The top pass catching running backs were Darren Sproles and Ronnie Brown (8), followed by Rashad Jennings (6), then Jacquizz Rodgers, Danny Woodhead, and Matt Forte each with five receptions.
  Some Other Interesting RB Stats from Week Eight:
  • Cowboys: RB Felix Jones saw 40 more snaps and 11 more attempts then Phillip Tanner a week after they practically had a 50/50 split of carries and snaps.
  • Falcons: Michael Turner was on the field for 37 snaps (24 running plays, 9 pass), Jacquizz Rodgers saw just eight less snaps then Turner at 29 (9 running plays, 20 passing plays). Some Fantasy players may see this as a lean towards  a changing of the guard in the Falcons backfield, but sorry folks who keep hating on Michael Turner, it is not. Turner had 24 carries to Rodgers eight, granted Rodgers gained 2 more yards on 16 less carries, but 42 of those 60 yds came on one run by Rodgers. I would actually use this as a chance to buy low on Turner  and use the increased buzz for Jacquizzy and trade him in standard leagues formats. Rodgers main value now, and going forward, will come in PPR formats, but even then he is just a fill-in FLEX play.
  • Colts: In his return, RB Donald Brown saw 30 snaps (14 rushes for 80 yards) and Vick Ballard saw 31 snaps (12 carries for 55 yards). Both Vick Ballard and Donald Brown have run the ball well in their last two games, but unfortunately if they are going to share carries it will be tough to start either one, especially this week against a solid Miami Dolphins run defense, which is allowing the fewest yds/att in the league.
  • Dolphins: Daniel Thomas saw the most snaps of any Miami RB and his second highest total of the season with 43 (16 run,14 pass, 13 blocking), Reggie Bush, due in part to the blow out win, saw only 20 snaps (14 run, 6 pass). I wouldn't read too much into this time share other then the fact that the Dolphins saw an opportunity to rest Bush.
  • Titans: Chris Johnson again had around 20 carries and around 100 yards rushing for the fourth time in five weeks. It looks like the Titans coaching staff has finally caught on to what I've been saying all season, "Give him the dam ball!" The next three weeks will be tough for Chris Johnson owners though, as the Titans face the Bears (fewest pts. to RB's) this week, then go on the road to Miami (allowing 6th fewest pts to RB's), and have a bye in Week 11.
  • Raiders: Darren McFadden is averaging 25 carries a game the last three weeks after roughly averaging just 14 attempts in the first four games of the season. The future is bright for McFadden as the Raiders play some mediocre, to bad, rush defenses in the league the next few weeks in the Bucs, Ravens, Saints, and Bengals.
  • Chiefs: Jamaal Charles led KC backs in snaps with 32 (7 run, 22 pass), Shaun Draughn saw 18 snaps (2 run, 13 pass), and in his return Peyton Hillis saw 13 snaps (4 run, 7 pass). Charles had a very disappointing day, but it was due to multiple plays that got erased due to penalties and because the Chiefs turned the ball over four times and were playing from behind for the majority of the game, not due to any time share concerns.
  • Panthers: Jonathan Stewart led CAR RB's with 53 snaps (18 run, 25 pass), Mike Tolbert saw 34 snaps (3 rush, 14 pass), and DeAngelo Williams saw eight more snaps then last week at 13 (11 rush, 2 pass). As expected, the Panthers running game was less then impressive, especially Stewart. Stewart lead the way with 42 yards rushing, but he didn't run the ball well. Stewart was slow to hit the hole and he did not run with much explosiveness. Williams finished with 33 yards rushing, but he didn't look any better then Stewart even though he averaged 3.0 yds/att to Stewart's 2.5 yds/att. You can attribute some of Stewart and Williams low rushing totals to the stout Bears defense and poor blocking by the banged up offensive line. Based on Stewart and Williams performance, coupled with the Panthers poor offensive line, and the fact that both Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton will frequently vulture touchdowns in red zone, the prospects of either one of them having much Fantasy value going forward will definitely be hit or miss.
  • Looking for a deep league PPR running back besides Jacquizz Rodgers? In his last four games, Chargers RB Ronnie Brown has averaged about five targets, five receptions, and 51 yards receiving highlighted by his Week 8 performance of seven receptions and 85 yards receiving.
  • The stash of the week should be Rams RB Daryl Richardson in the long shot that the Rams trade Steven Jackson. Even if SJax doesn't get traded Richardson will still have some value as the two backs are splitting snaps and attempts. Richardson had just one less carry then SJax in Week 8, but out-gained him by 27 yards. Richardson is averaging over 6 yds/att the last three weeks compared to SJax's 4 yds/att.
Running Back Leaders Through Week Eight
  • LeSean McCoy still leads all RB’s in snaps (421), followed by Chris Johnson (403), new to the top five is Darren McFadden (403), Ray Rice (390), then Adrian Peterson (378)
  • Despite being out on a bye Arian Foster still leads the league in attempts (168), followed by Marshawn Lynch (159), Adrian Peterson and Alfred Morris are tied for third most attmepts (151), then Stevan Ridley (150)
  • Rushing Yardage Leaders: Adrian Peterson (775yds., 5.1 yds/att), Marshawn Lynch (762/4.8), Stevan Ridley (718/4.8), Alfred Morris (717/4.7) then Arian Foster (659/but a low 3.9 avg.).
  •  Arian Foster still leads the league in rushing touchdowns with nine followed by a six way tie for second with five rushing touchdowns: Alfred Morris, Ray Rice,, Stevan Ridley, Shonn Greene, Trent Richardson, and Andre Brown.
  • Yards/att. (50% of workload comes from rushing): Frank Gore (5.5), Adrian Peterson (5.1), Jamaal Charles (5.0), Ray Rice (4.9), followed by a three way tie between Stevan Ridley, Maurice Jones-Drew and Marshawn Lynch (4.8)
  • Lowest Yards/att. (50% of workload comes from rushing): BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, and Darren McFadden (3.4), followed by Shonn Greene and Stevan Jackson (3.7)
  • Elusive Rating: Doug Martin (63.6 ER,/25 missed tackles rushing), Adrian Peterson (62.0/28), Marshawn Lynch (48.6/28. Lynch & AP lead the NFL in missed tackles caused by RB's), Alfred Morris (45.8/23), then Frank Gore (48.6/13).
  • The top targeted backs are Darren Sproles (46),  Darren McFadden (42), Ray Rice (39), LeSean McCoy (34), then Trent Richardson (30)
  • The top pass catching running backs: Darren Sporles (39), Darren McFadden and Ray Rice (29), LeSean McCoy (28), then Ronnie Brown (27)
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