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Analysis of the consensus top 6 RBs

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Analysis of the consensus top 6 RBs

Postby KingGhidra » Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:24 am

I gave some thought to what we really want out of a top fantasy RB. We want consistency. A guy who scores 30 points one game and has two sucessive games of 7 points is gonna cause us to lose more games than win. We want a home run hitter. A guy who scores 15 points a week, every week would be nice and consistent, but we have to account for the fact that we need our top guy to hit us a few 20-30 point homeruns to overcome some bad luck.

So I went back and compiled stats over the last two seasons for the consensus top RBs.

Consistency:

Total games under 10 points:
01: Priest Holmes: 2
02: Clinton Portis: 3*
03: Ahman Green: 6
04: Deuce McAllister: 6
05: LaDainian Tomlinson: 7
06: Shaun Alexander 7




Home run hitting:

Total games over 20 points:
01: Priest Holmes: 19
02: LaDainian Tomlinson: 16
03: Ahman Green: 12
04: Clinton Portis: 10*
05: Deuce McAllister: 8
06: Shaun Alexander: 7

So a few things we generally think are true. Priest Holmes is damn good and Shaun Alexander is streaky.

Something I noticed that I didn't realize before. Ahman Green is underrated. Perhaps very underrated. Eight of his twelve big games came in 2003 and four of the six bad games came in 2002. I think it's a good bet for him to repeat that in 2003 which would make him as good a homerun hitter as LT2, yet more consistent. Green Bay is considered to have shifted the focus of their offense from Brett Favre to Ahman Green last season and he delivered. Add in the fact that he never fumbled after the Philadelphia game (the infamous switching of the arm pads) and he may well deserve to be ranked #2 overall.

How does this affect my rankings?

#1 Priest Holmes: There is absolutely no valid argument against him being #1. None. He is old? He was old the last two years. He was never a RB that relied on tremendous speed anyway. He was never a RB that was a battering ram that wears down over the seasons like Jerome Bettis. KC uses the o-line and a good ole fashioned blocking fullback to be the battering ram and Priest is as smart a RB as there is when it comes to following blocks. The ONLY valid argument is that a huge portion of his points came from TDs. That's a very reasonable argument. So lets take away 14 of his TDs from last year (51%) and that he'd still only drop to 4th overall for 2003. His worst case scenario is 4th since there's no logical reason for the rushing and receiving yards to drop off. He is option #1 and #1A on his team for offense. Save a catastrophic injury, he should repeat as #1 and at the worst still finish top five.

#2 Ahman Green: Green Bay asked him to carry the load and he responsed with almost 1900 rushing yards. He was a lot more consistent than LT2 in 2003 and I see no reason for that not to change.

#3 LaDainian Tomlison: Has everything you'd want in your #1 RB except consistency. From the looks of things right now, the Chargers are no better than 2003 and possibly worse. This doesn't bode well for Tomlinson, especially since Flutie may not be able to step in and save the day (fantasy wise) again.

#4 Clinton Portis: Clearly the best of the remaining three. He may not have even hit his prime yet. Scary to think what he might do playing all 16 games. If anyone has some statistics about RBs who change teams who are of similar caliber and age to Portis I'd like to see them. The only guys I can think of off-hand (Faulk, Williams, C-Mart, Dickerson) seem to have suffered little if any negative effect from the switch.

#5 Deuce McAllister: Why rank Deuce over SA? They are clearly in a dead heat as far as statistics go right now. I now rank Deuce one spot higher for this reason. It seems unlikely to me that Alexander can improve on what seems to be his top off point of 1300 yards and 14 TDs. Even at his best, he was barely better than Deuce McAllister. Deuce probably has more upside. 1600 yards and 70 receptions is also very promising and if NO can get him more chances at some TDs, Deuce is in top 3 territory.

#6 Shaun Alexander: No further commenting needed I think.

It gets pretty ugly after this. Jamal's legal situation, Ricky seems to have topped out at the 1300 yard 9 TD mark, Faulk hasn't seen a healthy season since 1999. Might be time to reach slightly for an Edge or Taylor.

* Note: I didn't consider Portis's stats before week 3 in 2002 when he was named the starter through word and deed.
Last edited by KingGhidra on Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Wed Jun 30, 2004 4:39 am

Good analysis as always...

My #1 RB better be someone who can get me around 15 points almost every time out. I try to focus my teams around consistent players, so these are the type of guys I like. I count on 30 points from my RB's every game...if they do that, I rarely lose.

Having Portis and Henry last year was great when they were both healthy. Even if my other players had dud weeks, they carried me through the close wins. With Ahman figuring out his fumbling problem and keeping himself more healthy than Portis, he is at least #3 if not #2 as you said. This analysis may help me rethink my rankings since I am all about consistent players! ;-D
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Postby FeArMeNtL » Wed Jun 30, 2004 4:41 am

I love the post and now people should just read this and not post anymore about whos the top backs.......I think this posts explains it better than any I have seen this year Good Job ;-D
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Postby Pete123444 » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:36 am

Just using the figures you compiled, then subtracting the under 10 from the over 20, it comes out this way;

1) Priest 18
2) LT 9
3)Portis 7
4)Ahman 6
5)Shaun 2
6)Duece 1

Looks to me like Shaun and Duece are overrated. And Portis is 3rd ahead of Green.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:48 am

Pete123444 wrote:Just using the figures you compiled, then subtracting the under 10 from the over 20, it comes out this way;

1) Priest 18
2) LT 9
3)Portis 7
4)Ahman 6
5)Shaun 2
6)Duece 1

Looks to me like Shaun and Duece are overrated. And Portis is 3rd ahead of Green.


Sure, by raw data...but as KG explained, most of Ahman's bad games were in 2002 when he was fumbling 3 times a game. Last year he was very, very good. The person who had him made a late season charge into my league's playoffs (top 4 of 10) keyed mainly by Green's big games at the end of the year. I think that's why he ranked Ahman ahead of Portis for this year! ;-D
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Postby F00ballKing » Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:12 am

Great post KingGhidra

I agree with all of your points ;-D
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Postby KingGhidra » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:47 am

Pete123444 wrote:Just using the figures you compiled, then subtracting the under 10 from the over 20, it comes out this way;

1) Priest 18
2) LT 9
3) Portis 7
4) Ahman 6
5) Shaun 2
6) Deuce 1

Looks to me like Shaun and Duece are overrated. And Portis is 3rd ahead of Green.


Your comment made me want to take it a little further. Here's how they all stack up 1-20. I had to change a few numbers that I had down wrong. Priest is less studly by 1 and Deuce is more studly by 1.
;-D

Games over 20:

01: Priest Holmes: 19
02: LaDainian Tomlinson: 16
03: Ahman Green: 12
04: Clinton Portis: 10
05: Ricky Williams: 10
06: Travis Henry: 9
07: Deuce McAllister: 8
08: Edgerrin James: 8*
09: Jamal Lewis: 8
10: Shaun Alexander: 7
11: Fred Taylor: 7
12: Marshall Faulk: 6
13: Stephen Davis: 6
14: Domanick Davis: 6*
15: Rudi Johnson: 4*
16: Kevan Barlow: 4
17: Tiki Barber: 3
18: Michael Bennett: 1
19: Corey Dillon: 1
20: Brian Westbrook: 0*#

* Either didn't play the 2002 season or in the case of Edge was suffering an unusual circumstance. He tried to come back from ACL surgery in less than a year. I tossed that season out stat wise. I was curious how their numbers stacked up overall, so I just repeated their 2003 numbers for 2002.

# I didn't count any return points.

Games under 10:

01: Priest Holmes: 2
02: Brian Westbrook: 2
03: Clinton Portis: 3
04: Marshall Faulk: 4
05: Ahman Green: 6
06: Deuce McAllister: 6
07: Edgerrin James: 6
08: Michael Bennett: 6
09: LaDainian Tomlinson: 7
10: Jamal Lewis: 7
11: Shaun Alexander: 7
12: Fred Taylor: 8
13: Rudi Johnson: 8
14: Corey Dillon: 8
15: Ricky Williams: 9
16: Travis Henry: 10
17: Stephen Davis: 10
18: Domanick Davis: 10
19: Kevan Barlow: 10
20: Tiki Barber: 11

Net studliness:

01: Priest Holmes: 17
02: LaDainian Tomlinson: 9
03: Clinton Portis: 7
04: Ahman Green: 6
05: Deuce McAllister: 2
06: Edgerrin James: 2
07: Marshall Faulk: 2
08: Ricky Williams: 1
09: Jamal Lewis: 1
10: Shaun Alexander: 0
11: Travis Henry: -1
12: Fred Taylor: -1
13: Brian Westbrook: -2
14: Stephen Davis: -4
15: Domanick Davis: -4
16: Rudi Johnson: -4
17: Michael Bennett: -5
18: Kevan Barlow: -6
19: Corey Dillon: -7
20: Tiki Barber: -8

A few comments and observations... I tossed any game when a player didn't get at least 10 carries. I was looking for what players were doing when given the chance, so 3 carries for 12 yards doesn't help me much. This seemed to help Marshall Faulk the most since he has the most missed games and 9 carry games. It may have helped Bennett and Dillon somewhat also.

For a guy who has only gotten 20+ carries once in two seasons, Barlow did pretty well in the home run department. It's a shame he's gonna be stuck on a really bad team in 2004. He can crack the top 10 easily, but it would take a miracle to crack the top five.

Looking at the data in my spreadsheet, Jamal Lewis reminds me of Ricky Williams. Even if he plays all 16 games this season, he might be about to fall off a cliff fantasy point wise.

Marshall Faulk is still pretty good when he plays. He'd probably be in the +4/+5 studliness range if he could finish even 14 games. I might officially consider him a very good choice in the 2.04+ range in a 12 team draft.

Stephen Davis is +0 if you ignore his slightly underused 2002 season. Even with only 15-18 carries again he's still a solid #2 RB, just hard to justify in round two.

Shaun Alexander is starting to look overrated to me. Sure he puts up a lot of TDs, but those are more luck than probably any other RB stat. Considering that TDs like to vary by about 5-6 any given season and anything higher than a #6 pick on him might be asking for it.

Fred Taylor is a good team away from a top six finish. The defense looks to be solid for 2004. It's up to Leftwich and Williams to develop ahead of the curve, since Taylor is running out of years.

Brian Westbrook is a suckers pick for 2004. His chances of repeating all those TDs is unlikely.

For those of you who are interested in the stats, here they are:

http://kingghidorah.is-a-geek.net/Fantasy/studs.htm
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Postby Pete123444 » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:52 am

wow, this is awesome KG! Great piece of work!!
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:54 am

I disagree with your points KG.

I disagree that one should look at prior statistics alone to determine projections.

Simply put - no one knows how the change in teams will affect Portis right now. You simply cant discredit that.

I agree that the top 3 are locked up with Holmes, LT, and Green, but after that it gets pretty hazy IMO.

Personally, I really dont care which of the 3 I get between Portis, SA, and Deuce. I think there is an equal amount of risk and reward between them. IF I had the 4th pick and had to choose one - right now I think Id take Deuce. If you ask me tomorow Id probably change my mind - thats how close all 3 are.

Ideally, give me the 6th pick for value reasons.
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Postby CKY_ROX » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:59 am

i would quote the post but i dont want to make this thread longer than it is. I really liek these stats and i agree that the top 2 are the top 2( although i will still draft LDT 1st) but i would put portis ahead of Green ( which you proved in the net studlyness) and i would put shawn up a lil from the net studlyness.

This is a great article and it has changed my view on a coulpe of runners. thanks KG
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