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Analysis of the consensus top 6 RBs

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Postby 9er Fan » Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:18 pm

Nice data. One suggestion I would make is that you have to account for injuries somehow. If a player has 3 sub-10 games, but only played in 10 games, that should be accounted for. Guys like Edge and Faulk who have both missed significant time over the past two years should not be rated that high in a ranking designed to test for consistency.
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Postby KingGhidra » Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:31 pm

awwchrist wrote:
but (TDs) are more luck than probably any other RB stat.


that made me laugh.

Touchdowns are the product of a proficient offense. Hardly worth crediting to LUCK.

For all the good you do around here KG..it's comments like these that make me take some of what you say with a grain of salt.


First off, I never said they were all luck, I said compared to their other stats it's more luck. Yes being part of a proficient offense helps, but the difference between getting 10 TDs or 15 TDs for the year is 5 plays. WR gets pushed out of bounds at the 3 and the RB runs it in. Pass interference downfield, RB runs it in. Fumble inside their own 20. RB gets a good block and runs it in. RB dives out of bounds at just barely touches the pylon. I'd be willing to bet if we went over game film for every RB last season, we'd be able to find at least 5-10 plays that if something slightly different had happened, the outcome would have been vastly different fantasy scoring wise.

Since I used 5 TDs (30) points, I'll use 300 yards (30 points). The difference between 1000 and 1300 yards definitely isn't five plays. It's more like 70-80 carries or 4-5 carries per game. The difference between RBs who get 15 or 20 carries a game is systematic and by design. Certainly not luck. Not nearly as much as rushing TDs.

Would you like salt with that?
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:37 pm

Even that argument suggests that RBs in proficient offenses who consistantly get the ball in the red zone or in short and goal situations should therefore have higher TD totals. Is that a negative against them or a positive? Id say its a positive KG.
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Postby awwchrist » Wed Jun 30, 2004 12:50 pm

fine. I'm sure on second thought that I'm making more out of it that would appear. But it's hardly worth the arguement. Wether that's the QB sneaking it in from the two or the offense going to the FB or what-have-you. Yes in that sense it's of course luck to get your RB the opportunity to score. But that's a variable that is applied to every back, and therefore should be a push across the board.
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Postby Kensat30 » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:31 pm

KingGhidra wrote:
maddog60 wrote:
KingGhidra wrote:Brian Westbrook is a suckers pick for 2004. His chances of repeating all those TDs is unlikely.


How so? Last year the offense had a terrible first half of the year. There was nobody at WR that was a threat. In fact, Duce and Westbrook were the top 2 WR threats. Any time Westbrook was in the backfield a defense had to key on him if anyone.

His situation is vastly improved. He's got no Duce in the backfield anymore, so you can expect 200+, or more like 250+ carries from him. At his ypc avg last year that's easily well over 1000 yards. Then add in TO, who makes defenses have to respect the passing game. Now some would argue that TO will steal a significant number of TDs, and true he will have many, but the offense will be much better, therefore there will be more TDs scored overall. Also, if using that logic, Duce's TDs from last year should be accounted for, meaning there's more up for grabs as well when projecting that kind of analysis.

Overall I think this was a great analysis of RBs using these statistics. However, I think even your own statistics contradict your assessment of Westbrook. The man only had about 120 carries, and had only 2 games below 10 points. That's a) consistent, and b) doing a lot with very little opportunity. Btw: were you counting the game in which he got injured in that analysis? Just curious.


How often does a guy come along that gets that many TDs on few carries that isn't a Zack Crockett or Moe Williams? It's foolish to think he'd even come close to that TD rate ever again. Two of the TDs came on kick returns which he won't be handling in 2004. Four of them came off receptions. Go over the stats of RBs and you'll see there's no rhyme or reason to their reception TDs. I throw receiving TDs out of the picture completely as being statistically insignificant. That leaves 7 TDs on 117 carries, or about 16.75 carries per TD. That makes him significantly better than any other top RB with the exception of Priest Holmes.

Everything he did is something that is very rare and unlikely. Considering he hasn't gotten a full seasons worth of work, makes him a prime target for one-hit wonder in my book. The only thing impressive about him is his 5.2 rushing average and above average receptions rate. That makes him more Charlie Garner or Tiki Barber than Priest Holmes. If he gets 250-280 carries and 50-60 receptions, he'll be the man as your #2 RB. Third or fourth round is still too early. If it's the fifth round, we can talk business.


Ghidra did you even watch Westbrook play last year? Normally RBs as quick as Westbrook make terrific outside runners and their stats are skewed by very long runs. This is NOT true of Westbrook. He only had one run longer than 30 yards last season. Even if you take out ALL of this guy's 20+ yard runs from last year his ypc is still above 4.

Westbrook creates yardage through amazing lateral mobility rather than all out speed, more like a small Ahman Green rather than a Michael Bennett. He is not limited to only outside runs, or straight ahead dives, or screen passes to get his TDs, he is a very versatile player.

If you want to look at stats alone to make your judgements, absorb this stat: Westbrook scored 11 TDs over the course of the season on less than 150 touches. Westbrook scored in more than half of the games he played in. He also never had more than 18 touches in any game. I'm sorry but a fluke player does not put up that kind of consistency.

Now that Westbrook has been named the starter, and he is competing with 50% less RBs, I would think his touches should increase. His injury late in the season had nothing to do with his legs so I would imagine he still has the same speed and movements as well.

The only knock I have against Westbrook is that he is injury prone because of his size. And he will not be featured or see goalline carries with Buckhalter in the picture.
Last edited by Kensat30 on Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bottled Aggression » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:55 pm

Its nice to calculate probabilty of the fantasy points for the future, but I am a very mathematical person and football is so unpredictable and things change alot from year to year.
Maybe a new OL or a minor injury or a RBBC no longer exists. Maybe the team just does't do things like they did in previous years.
If I could throw a bunch of guys stats into an Excel spreadsheet and calculate the outcome of next years players, I would be a rich guy.
Thats why I am in fantasy football, for the competition and getting some of those players that other owner have no faith in, but could be a sleeper.

Have you used these calculations for previous years and predicted correctly for the following year?
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Postby Franchise Fan » Wed Jun 30, 2004 8:02 pm

KG THe STAT MASTA!!! I agree totally with your argument concerning westbrooks rare luck season.
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Postby Mercer Boy » Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:16 am

Cornbread Maxwell wrote:Even that argument suggests that RBs in proficient offenses who consistantly get the ball in the red zone or in short and goal situations should therefore have higher TD totals. Is that a negative against them or a positive? Id say its a positive KG.


That's why Holmes is a freaking monster. How many of his TD's were 1, 2, or 3 yard run-ins last year...at least 80% of them. The Chiefs chip away the yardage by running, short passes, throwing long to Tony G, and then pounding the Priest. Portis did the same thing with Denver (other than the game he got 5 TD's).
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Postby KingGhidra » Thu Jul 01, 2004 12:57 am

Kensat30 wrote:
Ghidra did you even watch Westbrook play last year? Normally RBs as quick as Westbrook make terrific outside runners and their stats are skewed by very long runs. This is NOT true of Westbrook. He only had one run longer than 30 yards last season. Even if you take out ALL of this guy's 20+ yard runs from last year his ypc is still above 4.


I live right outside Philly in NJ. I see more Jets and Eagles games then should be allowed by law. I will in no way deny that Westbrook looked pretty good last year.

If you want to look at stats alone to make your judgements, absorb this stat: Westbrook scored 11 TDs over the course of the season on less than 150 touches. Westbrook scored in more than half of the games he played in. He also never had more than 18 touches in any game. I'm sorry but a fluke player does not put up that kind of consistency.


Yes they do. That's why they are called fluke, flash in the pan or one year wonder. They do it once and never again. I'm not saying he is yet, he just looks like one. No one puts up that sort of TD/touch rate. Like I said before, let's just look at the rushing TDs which are somewhat consistent season to season.

7 TDs on 117 carries. or 16.7 carries per TD. Only Priest Holmes was better.

Using those stats for the other top RBs.

Ahman Green, 21 TDs.
LaDainian Tomlinson, 18 TDs.
Jamal Lewis, 23 TDs.
Clinton Portis, 17 TDs.
Shaun Alexander, 19 TDs.
Deuce McAllister, 21 TDs.
Ricky Williams, 23 TDs.

What seems more likely? Westbrook is better than all the RBs I just named and would score 20 TDs on 330 carries, or he has an inflated average? I'm not saying it's impossible. Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk and Priest Holmes prove that. I'm just saying it's very unlikely. The upper limit for rushing TDs in a season is usually around 16-17. Going into the 20s is very rare. I can't base my opinion on him based on what is probably a fluke. His yards/carry and receptions are impressive and make me think he'd be a Garner/Barber type if given 250-300 carries a year, which isn't something to laugh at.

Now that Westbrook has been named the starter, and he is competing with 50% less RBs, I would think his touches should increase. His injury late in the season had nothing to do with his legs so I would imagine he still has the same speed and movements as well.


Using the number "50%" makes it seem like there was more competition than there was. He has less competition by 1 RB who had 90 carries. Correll Buckhalter had more carries than Duce and is still on the team. He lost the least of his competition. Some are drafting him on what look like very biased stats in his favor. Reaching for a player like him in the third, in general, is a mistake . Reaching for him in particular? Who knows. It'll be interesting and that's why we play the game.
Last edited by KingGhidra on Thu Jul 01, 2004 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kensat30 » Thu Jul 01, 2004 1:33 am

kensat30 wrote:
KingGhidra wrote:
If you want to look at stats alone to make your judgements, absorb this stat: Westbrook scored 11 TDs over the course of the season on less than 150 touches. Westbrook scored in more than half of the games he played in. He also never had more than 18 touches in any game. I'm sorry but a fluke player does not put up that kind of consistency.


Yes they do. That's why they are called fluke, flash in the pan or one year wonder. They do it once and never again. I'm not saying he is yet, he just looks like one. No one puts up that sort of TD/touch rate. Like I said before, let's just look at the rushing TDs which are somewhat consistent season to season.

7 TDs on 117 carries. or 16.7 carries per TD. Only Priest Holmes was better.

Using those stats for the other top RBs.

Ahman Green, 21 TDs.
LaDainian Tomlinson, 18 TDs.
Jamal Lewis, 23 TDs.
Clinton Portis, 17 TDs.
Shaun Alexander, 19 TDs.
Deuce McAllister, 21 TDs.
Ricky Williams, 23 TDs.

What seems more likely? Westbrook is better than all the RBs I just named and would score 20 TDs on 330 carries, or he has an inflated average? I'm not saying it's impossible. Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk and Priest Holmes prove that. I'm just saying it's very unlikely. The upper limit for rushing TDs in a season is usually around 16-17. Going into the 20s is very rare. I can't base my opinion on him based on what is probably a fluke. His yards/carry and receptions are impressive and make me think he'd be a Garner/Barber type if given 250-300 carries a year, which isn't something to laugh at.


I think Westbrook had that kind of success because of the fact that he saw less playing time and touches than all of those guys.
I don't see that changing much this year. Westbrook should still see his touches limited with Buckhalter in the picture. In fact I'm counting on that, and that's why I rank Westbrook as #2 RB at best.

Here's how Westbrook was able to produce and why he will continue to produce:

1) All of the guys on that list cannot possibly perform at their highest level on every play of the game. They play on every series and virtually every down. Westbrook sees the field less than all of those guys, so he stays fresher longer. (If you argue that NFL RBs can stay fresh all game, imagine running 5 miles of windsprints with a 40 pound weight on your chest, not easy.)

2)It is difficult for a defense to adjust from a Buckhalter type to a Westbrook type on any given series. In a successful RBBC, guys that could be starting on other teams all share the plays. So anytime a certain RB sees the field you know the play will be tailored specifically to his strength. Change of pace is a very effective tool.

3) Westbrook is also able to create matchup problems that a lot of those backs can't. His pass catching ability and speed are just begging for a 1 on 1 matchup against a linebacker. Westbrook wins big here 9 out of 10 times.

4) Westbrook can score from anywhere on the field. That Homerun ability is vital to him scoring a lot of tds. If you need evidence of this just think back to that week early in the season where Westbrook broke open that 60 yarder to win it. Can't ignore Special Teams TDs either.
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