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RB Projection Help - Atlanta Falcons

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RB Projection Help - Atlanta Falcons

Postby mattb47 » Wed May 20, 2009 10:43 pm

Alright guys...I'm requesting the help of the great cafe members on this one. I am trying to put together as accurate a "projection" for all valid RB options for each team so that we can try to piece together an unbiased rankings based purely on how we think the carries for each team will be divided and how effective they will be with those carries.

The hardest parts to do, I think, will be to determine how many carries each guy will get out of the possible rushes his team will have on the season. I'm planning on doing this based on a percentage of carries for simplicities sake. The other hard part will be to determine TDs...these are always the hardest to predict.

What I'm asking of the Cafe members is to help me in determining both how many times we guesstimate the team in question running the ball on the season and also the percentages each RB on the team will carry the ball. Some discussion on TD output will be nice as well but I'm most concerned about trying to come up with some good numbers on those first two, mainly the carries between backs.

First team is the Atlanta Falcons.

Here is what they had last year:
Rushing attempts: 560 (#2 in NFL)

Rushing TDs: 23 (#3 in NFL)

Division of Carries:
Turner - 376 (67%)
Norwood - 95 (17%)
Other RB - 32 (6%)
QBs/WRs - 57 (10%)

Here are my initial projections that we can work off of:

Rushing attempts: 540

Rushing TDs: 18

Division of Carries:
Turner - 340 (63%)
Norwood - 108 (20%)
Other RB - 38 (7%)
QBs/WRs - 54 (10%)

Reasoning is mainly that I could see them passing a tad more than they did last year which would cut into the total carries...they would still probably be top 5 in the NFL in rushing attempts but I see them doing it a bit less than the huge amount of last season. I don't see them giving Turner 2/3 of the carries again, but I'm thinking somewhere in the 60-63% range but he could be higher...that's why I need you guys!

Thoughts on any of it? I'm trying to put this all together but it would be tough for me to come up with all of these all on my own.
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Re: RB Projection Help - Atlanta Falcons

Postby spodog » Thu May 21, 2009 2:55 pm

mattb47 wrote:
Reasoning is mainly that I could see them passing a tad more than they did last year which would cut into the total carries...they would still probably be top 5 in the NFL in rushing attempts but I see them doing it a bit less than the huge amount of last season. I don't see them giving Turner 2/3 of the carries again, but I'm thinking somewhere in the 60-63% range but he could be higher...that's why I need you guys!

Thoughts on any of it? I'm trying to put this all together but it would be tough for me to come up with all of these all on my own.


I'd cut the total rushing attempts even further, maybe by another 5%. I think you are likely to see a good % of their 3rd down plays that last year were screens to Norwood or Turner turn into short passes to their new All Pro TE, which will knock this attempt number down further.

I'd agree with the 60% or slightly higher workload for Turner.
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Re: RB Projection Help - Atlanta Falcons

Postby mattb47 » Thu May 21, 2009 4:31 pm

Thanks for the input...that's one thing I'm a little unsure about is how much more they are going to open up the passing game this year. I suppose I have Ryan bumping his numbers up a good deal as far as QBs go so I'm thinking that a further bump down in rushing attempts might be a good idea.
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Re: RB Projection Help - Atlanta Falcons

Postby Kareighuis » Thu May 21, 2009 10:35 pm

I think the whole "Gonzo brings down short-yardage rush attempts" makes sense. Something else that could- while Turner's attempts may be brought down by the increased potency Gonzo lends the passing game, it could reasonably free up space for Turner to increase his 4.5 ypc avg.
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Re: RB Projection Help - Atlanta Falcons

Postby mattb47 » Fri May 22, 2009 12:46 am

Kareighuis wrote:I think the whole "Gonzo brings down short-yardage rush attempts" makes sense. Something else that could- while Turner's attempts may be brought down by the increased potency Gonzo lends the passing game, it could reasonably free up space for Turner to increase his 4.5 ypc avg.


I find it unlikely that he increases it much more if at all personally...we've all seen also in the past how a very heavy workload in one season can have some effects for the following season. I mean LT only has a career ypc average of 4.4 so I wouldn't say it's a given by any means that he will have a higher ypc than 4.5 which is pretty good for a RB getting the kind of workload that Turner had and will be expected to carry this year.
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Re: RB Projection Help - Atlanta Falcons

Postby Kensat30 » Fri May 22, 2009 1:11 pm

I think the development of Matt Ryan this year is going to change the entire look of the Atlanta offense. Using last season as a base is going to be extremely difficult to project numbers IMO. Roddy White put stud numbers last year with a rookie QB (granted that rookie didn't LOOK like a rookie). I think this guy is a top5 WR going forward, similar to and yet slightly better than Chad Johnson circa 2005. Tony Gonzalez gives Ryan a threat at TE that most guys will never have. Even having to learn a new system, I think Gonzalez has a shot at 1,000 and maybe even double digit TDS. Just look at the types of plays Gonzalez can make with unfamiliar QBs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUEGgi-xUME

Matt Ryan can make that play all day long. And even a marginal like Michael Jenkins can get open on a route like that on most plays. The difficult in completing those passes is putting it on the money past the defender but in reach of the receiver. You're going to see a lot of Tony Gonzalez running down the field and then either cutting out or continuing up. It's very tough to double a versatile guy like Tony Gonzalez on those types of routes where he doesn't even choose the route until after the ball is snapped.

To put it simply, I think Matt Ryan is going to pass the ball more and do a lot more with it in yardage and touchdowns. A lot of that has to do with Tony Gonzalez and a lot of it will be his maturity at a QB and the coaching staff willing to put the ball in the guys hands. Contrary to popular opinion, Michael Turner is a boom and bust runner that is going to go down for a lot of 2-3 yard gains, and it is difficult for Atlanta to move the ball even in his talented hands if all they want to do is run it. I think we will see Turner fall down into the 320-340 range of carries and see more of Norwood on the field as a pass receiver as they expand the playbook and let Ryan take more control. At the same time, even with less touches, the quality of the touches are going to be that much better for Michael Turner. I would look for increased YPC from both Turner and Norwood and similar opportunities at TDs for both of them (More overall opportunities with a smaller percentage going to RBs). Think the New York Jets last year and how much their RBs improved with Favre at the QB position versus Clemens from the year before. The touches were down, but the touches were much higher quality touches.

I see Turner at somewhere close to 1600/14 total production (lack of receptions keeps his yardage down) and Norwood at maybe 1000/5. I think Turner is being picked at the top of the draft for his relative stability and predictability rather than his pure upside. It's very tough to predict this guy at true stud numbers like 2000/20, but solid RB#1 numbers for him almost look like a floor. His range is small, but it is at a very good level of production. Think a much more talented and productive Rudi Johnson.
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Re: RB Projection Help - Atlanta Falcons

Postby LS2throwed » Fri May 22, 2009 5:35 pm

It's really tough to gauge and get an 'exact' figure because I also firmly believe the offense will be more wide open and Matt Ryan's passing attempts will go up so Turner shouldn't come close to 400 again, but 330 looks like a solid bet because they are still going to get him going like last year.


It's really alarming to me just seeing again he got 370+ carries and didn't miss one game, I put his shelf life at one more season at a high level in 09 before he falls off a cliff...Every dynasty I was in starting 2008 I wanted him but I traded him in about all, the history just doesn't look good for guys who get that many carries one or two seasons in a row.


Larry Johnson was a guy who shared time with Priest Holmes his first two years and got to preserve his body...He had one year over 330 carries and another over 400 and he hasn't been able to stay healthy since then, going into the 2007 season he was a top 5 back, only 27 years old, coming off two seasons reaching 20 TD's, now look at his value today.


Doesn't take long to go south, Steven Jackson also had 340 carries a few years ago and in the 2 years since has barely cracked 1000 yards and has been hurt both of those years


In other words, I think Turner has very little time left to be a dominant producer, I'm expecting him to miss some games this year...But barring a serious injury, 330 looks like a solid bet to put him at IMHO.
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