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Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby TheMaizeAndBlue » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:38 pm

As I'm sure all of you are aware by now, there has been a good bit of concern about Michael Turner's workload, namely that he reached the magical 370 carry mark last season. For those of you unfamiliar with "the curse" there's a pretty decent ESPN article on it

http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/football/ffl/story?page=nfldk2k9curseof370

Now, I took that data and cropped it off at 1998, because I disagree with the writer in thinking that advances in conditioning wouldn't affect the data. With modern training techniques, athletes' bodies can be much better conditioned to take a beating than in years past. With that in mind, my sample size was now woefully small, so I also included any RB that reached 365 carries. I'm not quite sure how to paste the entire excel table, so I'll just point out some highlights.

Many players get injured the season following, but only if they will be 28 or over for the upcoming season, Michael Turner will be 27.

Curtis Martin should be his own special case, he has 4 seasons that qualified, and only saw a drastic decline in his last one, when he was 32 years old.

LT and Edgerrin James were the only two backs on the list to actually see an increase in fantasy points in the season following a 365+ carry campaign. They were also the only two to see an increase in YPC.

The strongest correlation is between age and change in fantasy points. Nobody 28 or over saw their fantasy total decrease by any less than 147 points based on standard league settings.

The only 2 backs to turn in significantly worse seasons that were under 27 were Edge (after 2 consecutive 365+ carry seasons) and Jamal Lewis (2 seasons removed from his second knee reconstruction) Michael Turner has neither extenuating circumstance.

Career carries doesn't play as much of a role as age, Larry Johnson only had 989 career carries and yet dropped 226 fantasy points from one season to the next. Turner has only 604 and the rest of the field had a pretty positive correlation between career carries and point difference.

So what does this mean? It means that while you shouldn't expect Turner to increase his point totals from last year (both Edge and LT were under 25 at the time they increased their totals following a 365+ carry season) he also shouldn't drop more than 92 points from last season. Realistically, you should expect from 190 points to 282 points in standard leagues. Averaged out that's 236 points. In other words, 3 points more than Adrian Peterson scored last year. Those in standard leagues should take The Burner in the top 3 with confidence.
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Re: Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby My team is injured » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:24 pm

I agree with your analysis and conclusion regarding expected production from Turner this year. Too many times, articles like the one linked overlook the situational aspects of each individual case and generalize based on what should be logically deduced anyway. If a RB has 370+ carries in a season, it's virtually a lock that the player is going to produce less fantasy points the next season as they likely won't get as many touches and won't be much if any more productive with the decreased amount of touches (there's probably a reason they were given the ball 370 times in the first place).

Due to Turner's age, the makeup of Atlanta's offense, his low number of career carries, and no heavy workloads in a single season prior to last year, I don't expect much of a dropoff this year as you indicated. He'll probably have about 2 carries less per game and might average slightly less than his YPC last year, but I'd expect him to still finish with 1500+ rushing yards and 12+ TDs, barring injury (and I don't see him as any higher an injury risk than the other top backs in the draft).
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Re: Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby TheMaizeAndBlue » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:35 pm

My team is injured wrote:I agree with your analysis and conclusion regarding expected production from Turner this year. Too many times, articles like the one linked overlook the situational aspects of each individual case and generalize based on what should be logically deduced anyway. If a RB has 370+ carries in a season, it's virtually a lock that the player is going to produce less fantasy points the next season as they likely won't get as many touches and won't be much if any more productive with the decreased amount of touches (there's probably a reason they were given the ball 370 times in the first place).

Due to Turner's age, the makeup of Atlanta's offense, his low number of career carries, and no heavy workloads in a single season prior to last year, I don't expect much of a dropoff this year as you indicated. He'll probably have about 2 carries less per game and might average slightly less than his YPC last year, but I'd expect him to still finish with 1500+ rushing yards and 12+ TDs, barring injury (and I don't see him as any higher an injury risk than the other top backs in the draft).


That's something I had forgotten to mention there, good point. 370 carries is alot, most of the time it's a career high, so in order for a player NOT to decrease point totals from one season to the next, said player would most likely have to put in a career best performance. Not likely two years in a row.
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Re: Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby Kensat30 » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:54 pm

I think Turner will be fine. The guy is not the typical 210 pound RB, the guy is a fullback with RB speed. Last year he never took big hits, because if you try to pop the guy you just bounce off. He got tackled a lot, but he didn't seem to feel the punishment a bit. I watched a few Falcons replays and the guy gets up off the turf the same way after 1 carry or 30 carries. Rudi Johnson was another guy that played the same way and he had a string of 330-350 carry seasons for several years in a row. I look for Turner to be the same type of guy. Turner is a big guy, but he doesn't attack people with reckless abandon when he runs like say Brandon Jacobs. And it's not like Turner has a long history of punishing seasons under his belt, the guy is relatively fresh after a long stretch of mop-up duty against tired defenses.
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Re: Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby deacon » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:09 pm

In thread after thread after thread I see many different posters express concern about Michael Turner and his value based on the amount of carries he had last year. Now I understand the concern with the amount of carries but I also see what I perceive as a double standard.

Last season Turner had 376 rushes. Comparatively Adrian Peterson had 363 rushes.

That's a difference of 13 carries!

So why is the amount of carries such a concern for Turner and not Peterson?

Also Peterson had 21 receptions compared to Turner's 6. So in reality Peterson had 2 more touches than Turner yet I have never seen anyone state workload as a cause for concern with Peterson while it is the number one reason why some doubt Turner's upcoming production potential.

Is 13 more carries that much of a difference to base concern for one over the other?

Or is the number of carries the only reason some can come up with to validate their doubt about Turner?


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Re: Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby Free Bagel » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:36 pm

I worry about Turner next year not because of the number of carries he had last year, but just because of the way he got his points last year.

He's a guy who won't catch passes and relied heavily on a very high number of TDs last year. The receptions will limit him bigtime, and mean that unlike other top RBs he HAS to score a ton of TDs to be worthwhile. I only like to rely on guys with that stipulation if they are either extreme talents or come from a team that has a history of producing huge rushing TD numbers. I don't think Turner falls into either of these two categories.

I don't see Turner getting as many touches next year or as many TDs per touch. It is rare, and usually reserved for the most elite of the elite to repeat TD seasons of that magnitude.

If Turner drops off 100-200 yards with fewer attempts and his TDs end up being more normal at around 10-12 that would leave him at around 1500/10 or 1500/12. That's in 16 games mind you, and consider that most people considered Steven Jackson a bust last year for putting up 1400/9 in only 11 games. There's all those hidden yards that Jackson got in the passing game that Turner will never have on his side.
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Re: Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby Free Bagel » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:38 pm

deacon wrote:In thread after thread after thread I see many different posters express concern about Michael Turner and his value based on the amount of carries he had last year. Now I understand the concern with the amount of carries but I also see what I perceive as a double standard.

Last season Turner had 376 rushes. Comparatively Adrian Peterson had 363 rushes.

That's a difference of 13 carries!

So why is the amount of carries such a concern for Turner and not Peterson?

Also Peterson had 21 receptions compared to Turner's 6. So in reality Peterson had 2 more touches than Turner yet I have never seen anyone state workload as a cause for concern with Peterson while it is the number one reason why some doubt Turner's upcoming production potential.

Is 13 more carries that much of a difference to base concern for one over the other?

Or is the number of carries the only reason some can come up with to validate their doubt about Turner?


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FWIW, many of the posts I've seen about high carry totals have included both Turner and Peterson.

Though, the 370 mark is significant to many people because 370 is the number that was used in that big study that had a huge correlation of injury the following year. What you've said about Peterson only having 13 fewer carries is really the biggest hole in that entire theory, because 368-369 carry RBs have traditionally done phenomenal in the following year, whereas 370-375 carry RBs have traditionally done horribly in the following year. Is there some magical thing that happens when you get that 370th carry that doesn't happen if you stop at 369? Unlikely.
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Re: Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby smackthefirst » Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:03 am

I'm with Bagel here that I really can't believe that this "curse of 370" thing continues to rear it's ugly head season after season. I think I may have posted this link in previous years but I don't think I've pulled it out this year and this is as good a spot as any. Before jumping to the article though, a little background. It basically debunks the entire theory of the curse built around exactly what deacon started off on and Bagel continued on. However, I will warn everyone that the article is very statistics heavy and it might not be an enjoyable read for everyone, but it is the most concise argument from a logic stand point to explain where the curse came from and why it just isn't valid. As per the best quote in the article:

"Beware of those who use statistics like a drunkard uses a light post, for support rather than illumination."


Curse of 370 Debunked!!!

Enjoy.
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Re: Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby benb18a » Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:29 am

Yeah I just don't see the logical reasoning behind this curse. It is like the Madden curse, it just tends to happen a lot, but there is no correlation, really. If the football season was 52 weeks long, then yes I could see avoiding a certain player who gets a very heavy workload, and I do understand that certain players will be overvalued because people don't realize that it is very likely that their touches will go down the subsequent season, along with their statistics(therefore fantasy points obviously). However I just can't see how a young running back, who spent his first several years in the league riding the pine behind arguably the best running back of the decade, is suddenly going to disintegrate and suffer some injury as a RESULT of last season. The guy has been keeping in shape during this long offseason, and obviously at this level, he and the team are taking every measurement and precaution to ensure that he enters this upcoming season at 100% health, so it's not like he's a pitcher coming out of the bullpen in 17 consecutive days, he will start over with a clean slate.

Will he put out 1700 yards and 17 TDs next season? Highly unlikely. I would worry more about overvaluing him because of last year's numbers, then fear him breaking a bone in his foot, or tearing an ACL, etc. If anything, the maturing passing game with the addition of Gonzo will both hurt his TD numbers and carries, while also keeping him more fresh. That is what I expect going into 2009. He is going #2 overall in most non-PPR ADP mocks and Yahoo leagues etc. currently. I don't think I'd take him #2, although there is no clear cut top tier this year. There is AP, and then the rest is kind of convoluted because of their situations, age etc.
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Re: Michael Turner and 370 carries

Postby TheMaizeAndBlue » Sat Jul 18, 2009 10:50 am

smackthefirst wrote:I'm with Bagel here that I really can't believe that this "curse of 370" thing continues to rear it's ugly head season after season. I think I may have posted this link in previous years but I don't think I've pulled it out this year and this is as good a spot as any. Before jumping to the article though, a little background. It basically debunks the entire theory of the curse built around exactly what deacon started off on and Bagel continued on. However, I will warn everyone that the article is very statistics heavy and it might not be an enjoyable read for everyone, but it is the most concise argument from a logic stand point to explain where the curse came from and why it just isn't valid. As per the best quote in the article:

"Beware of those who use statistics like a drunkard uses a light post, for support rather than illumination."


Curse of 370 Debunked!!!

Enjoy.


Great article, also explains why I came to a different conclusion than ESPN, since I used 365+ carries.
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