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A running back can be good w/o a passing game

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A running back can be good w/o a passing game

Postby Shader » Fri Jul 16, 2004 12:53 am

One of the biggest jokes I see is people saying that a rb won't be good because his team doesn't have a passing game. No one can prove this, yet it is said like it is meaningful and has merit. The biggest example is Kevan Barlow. Here is a player that dominated in his games last year when Hearst was out. Yet because TO and Garcia left, (both of which had subpar years last year) people are considering DDavis, Rudi, Dillon and others ahead of him for no reason.

Let's look at last year to back this up. Here are some top backs with bad passing games:

Jamal Lewis. One of the worst passing offenses in the league. Oh by the way, he ran for over 2k yards.

Tomlinson: The amazing thing about him is that his offensive line stunk as well as his passing game.

Portis: Denver didn't have a great passing game last year. Just average.

T.Henry: Buffalo's passing game was horrible last year. Just horrible. It didn't seem to hurt Henry

Maybe you want to point to Ricky Williams as an example of someone who did poorly due to his offense. That happened because of his poor offensive line and the fact that he was over-used.

Kevan Barlow is a running back who I hope people in my league pass on. Because if they do, and I get him as my second rb, I'll win the league. He is a great rb, has nobody to steal carries OR TD's, and is young and healthy. He also has a very good run-blocking offensive line. That is all you need to be a stud. Brandon Lloyd, Rashaun Woods and Cedrick Wilson might not be scary threats at wr, but Woods and Lloyd are great talents.

Hope this helps anyone that is indecisive about selecting Barlow.
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Re: A running back can be good w/o a passing game

Postby KingGhidra » Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:41 am

Shader wrote:
Jamal Lewis. One of the worst passing offenses in the league. Oh by the way, he ran for over 2k yards.

Definitely not. He has an offensive line like KC though and a soft schedule. Helped a lot.

Tomlinson: The amazing thing about him is that his offensive line stunk as well as his passing game.

I still think it affected him. He was on his way to being a disappointment like Ricky until Flutie stepped in.

Portis: Denver didn't have a great passing game last year. Just average.

Yes they did. They may not have been on pace to put up Rams type passing numbers, but the threat of Plummer on a roll out plus the respect for Rod Smith and Shannon Sharpe helps a lot.

It varies a lot by situation. The poor passing game definitely affected Henry. If you happen to be on a team with massive offensive lineman and a powerful running back, the running game is going to be effective. However, San Fran has neither of those and that's why there are legitimate concerns for Barlow. As things stand, he looks to be wildly inconsistent. When the games are close and they can run the ball early and often, he should come up big. Any game that gets quickly out of hand and he could be ignored.

Usually a good offense is well balanced. There are extreme exceptions of course, but I don't see SF as an exception. A balanced proficient offense is on the field longer (usually). On the field longer means more opportunity for the RB and more red zone chances.
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Re: A running back can be good w/o a passing game

Postby Rodge » Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:42 am

Shader wrote:Kevan Barlow is a running back who I hope people in my league pass on. Because if they do, and I get him as my second rb, I'll win the league.


Just a reminder that it takes more than one player to win the league. You could have the #1 point getter and still come in last place.

I respectfully disagree with you on Barlow. Yes, a running back's success does not solely depend on how good the passing game is. But a good passing attack does help, or should I say a bad passing attack can hurt. Just ask Ricky Williams, who had to go up against 8 men in the box all year long.

Barlow may very well put up decent numbers, but I don't think that he will put up numbers that will put him in the top 10 RB's. When I look for a second tier RB (or third tier, depending on how you look at it), I look for someone that has good upside that could propel that guy into the top tier. I like Rudi Johnson this year and I definitely rank him above Barlow. Johnson has a chance to put up some huge numbers, like he did in at least 3 games last year. I just don't see the same potential there with Barlow. I would rather save the 3rd or 4th round pick that I would have to use to get Barlow and instead, draft someone who has more potential.
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Postby Flux » Fri Jul 16, 2004 7:40 am

Does a good passing game help a RB? Yes

Does a bad passing game hurt a RB? Absolutely

You still can be a decent RB if your team has no passing game, but you obviously wont put up the same type of numbers you would have if your team could pass the ball.

LT is obviously being hurt by a lack of a passing game among other things. This is why he puts up such inconsistent numbers.

The games you also speak of where Barlow blew up, were against some very mediocore at best run defenses. ARI, CIN, PHI, SEA - not exactly your all-star list against the run.
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Postby Shader » Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:36 am

Actually, Barlow performed very well whenever he started last year. I just think the average fantasy football fan has real trouble moving players who haven't done much fantasy-wise ahead of players that HAVE done alot. I don't think there is any question whatsoever that Barlow will have a bigger year than Johnson..I'd bet money on it.

Also, I don't see Tomlinson as being inconsistent last year...Whoever said he didn't perform until Flutie played last year just didn't do their research. Tomlinson had three poor games last year, the rest were either solid-to-spectacular. Flutie played weeks 10 to 14 last year, and Tomlinson did play well, but had one very poor game during that time. Also the last three games of the year, when Flutie didn't start, Tomlinson had huge games.

Basically I can agree to disagree with you all, but I've seen Barlow get very low rankings on this board, and I can't figure out why. Good OL, soft schedule, gets all the TD looks, focus of offense. His ypc was around 5 last year, and he was a 1000 yard gainer even though he split time most of the year.

Finally, the three games against ARI, CIN, PHI happened to be the only games he had more than 15 carries. I'm pretty sure these coincided with Hearst being out of the game.

I look for Barlow to end the year being a top ten rb easily. He has alot of soft games on his schedule, although his final two aren't great, so I might look to trade him toward the end of the year.
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Re: A running back can be good w/o a passing game

Postby Free Bagel » Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:30 am

KingGhidra wrote:
Shader wrote:
Jamal Lewis. One of the worst passing offenses in the league. Oh by the way, he ran for over 2k yards.

Definitely not. He has an offensive line like KC though and a soft schedule. Helped a lot.


Eh, that's a bit of a stretch. He has a left side like KC's oline, but Balti's C, RG, and RT are pretty mediocre.
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Postby zippydayglow » Fri Jul 16, 2004 9:35 am

Lots of items impact the value at RB. A good QB (some say) is better for a running game then a great QB, because the great ones throw (Dan Marino) more...however, throw TALENT in there, and it destroys that arguement. If Marino had Ricky Williams as an RB, who knows what would have happened.

O-line, QB, WRs who will block, schedule, coaching scheme, LUCK (as in not getting injured), fitness, injuries to other teams on schedule.

There are just too many intangables to make the statement a bad QB hurst the running game. Jamal Lewis didn't have the best QB in the world last year...but is that because the rookie was bad, or just didn't have any WRs who could get open.

Team game. The special RBs (E Smith, Payton, OJ, Brown, LT2, etc...) can only benefit by having talent surrounding them.

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Postby Rodge » Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:34 am

Shader wrote:I don't think there is any question whatsoever that Barlow will have a bigger year than Johnson..I'd bet money on it.


Most people pay money to get into a Fantasy Football league and play in part to win the pot at the end, so you may already be betting on it.

We all have our favorite players. It seems that yours is Kevan Barlow. The key is to play FF with your brain, and not your heart. If you only picked players you liked, or if you picked your favorite player(s) too high (i.e. picking Kevan Barlow over Ricky Williams), your team probably would not be too good.

One guy that I think is ranked too low everywhere on this site is Jamal Lewis. I think this legal mess will be put behind him and will be fuel for his fire within and he will have another stellar season. But for me to rank him above Tomlinson or Holmes would be foolish. No matter how much I like Lewis, I realize that there are RB's that should be ranked above him.
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Postby FeArMeNtL » Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:58 am

All of the points made by Shader in the first part are funny. Oh by the way he got 2k. NO WAY when did this happen. I think Barlow won't do that good because now he will have to take on the full load which he had to do what 3 games so ya. I also don't think he can handle all of them hits and be a workload like LT and Jmal, so I see his season being mediocore at best and a bust at where he is going :-t
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Postby 9er Fan » Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:59 pm

Hearst + Barlow for the past three years:

2003: 1792 rsh, 518 rec, 11 TDs
2002: 1647 rsh, 453 rec, 14 TDs
2001: 1718 rsh, 594 rec, 10 TDs

Garcia rushing TDs for the past three years:

2003: 7
2002: 3
2001: 5

Rattay/Dorsey are not mobile QBs like Garcia. RBs will get the vast majority of goal-line carries in 2004. Lets throw that out of the equation and assume the offense struggles and the SF running game performs 25% worse in 2004 than they have in the past. Averaging production for 2003-2001 and subtracting 25% (a huge dropoff) still yields:

2004: 1289 rsh, 391 rec, 9 TDs

This is essentially what Ricky Williams did last year. In my league he was the 9th overall RB.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is the following: Barlow will be THE RB for SF next year (barring injury)... How many NFL teams have one sure-fire go-to guy at RB? 10? How bad can Barlow be?
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