WHY WE ARE HIGH ON AJAYI AND NOT LOW ON CROWELL

TOP KNOWLEDGE — WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

RUNNING BACK “TOUCHES” – HIGH ON AJAYI AND NOT LOW ON CROWELL

On Tuesday we looked at the strong connection between targets and Fantasy success. It wasn’t a big surprise that the most targeted receivers (at all positions, not just WR) were also the highest scoring. The lesson is “Pay Attention to Targets,” both in draft prep and in your in-season analysis.

Today we’re looking at running backs. We’re looking at the connection between attempts plus targets and Fantasy success.  We shied away from touches not to be different but to evaluate how many times a receiver gets the call, either through a carry or a target.

First we’ll look at the leaders in Attempts and Targets.  We eliminated any runner with fewer than 50 rushing attempts and ended up with 72 rushers – most teams had two and a few had three. We also looked at their total yardage and their rank among those 72 rushers.

 

Name RushAtt +RecTgt RushYds +RecYds Yardage Rank
Le’Veon Bell 28.47 129.73 2
Ezekiel Elliott 28 125.2 3
Todd Gurley 24.4 139.53 1
Leonard Fournette 24.31 103.23 6
Melvin Gordon 22.94 98.81 8
LeSean McCoy 22.75 99.13 7
Dalvin Cook 22.5 111 5
Kareem Hunt 20.94 111.38 4
Carlos Hyde 20.5 80.63 12
Jordan Howard 19.25 77.94 14
Mark Ingram 18.81 96.25 10
Frank Gore 18.69 75.38 18
CJ Anderson 17.81 76.94 16
Lamar Miller 17.69 75.94 17
Adrian Peterson 17.5 59.9 31
Devonta Freeman 17.36 84.43 11
Jay Ajayi 17.29 73.64 19
Alex Collins 16.53 77.33 15
Marshawn Lynch 15.87 69.47 20
Isaiah Crowell 15.5 64.69  25

 

The results are expected but shockingly similar too. Of these top 20, only Adrian Peterson and Isaiah Crowell are outside 20 total yardage ranks. Crowell was number 20, so that hardly counts. Peterson just isn’t very effective anymore, as evidenced by his current free agent status.  Everyone besides Peterson is within five spots of their Attempts/Targets rating.

Obviously, (mostly) the best players are going to receive the most chances at the NFL level, but these numbers show a strong correlation between touching the football and gaining yardage.  Like, duh, right?

We do have two “openings” in our top 20 yardage rankings, so it will be curious to note those names.  And in a related story, where is Alvin Kamara?

Let’s look at a much larger data set – all 72 of those rushers and several key numbers. We’ll comment about what jumps out to us below, but we’d love to know what you see in the numbers as well (e-mail us at bigmacfantasysports@gmail.com or leave a comment).

We’ve sorted these by teams so you can compare teammates across several statistical measures.

 

Name Team Games Played Rush Yds/Gm Rush Att/Gm Rush Yds Rush Yds/Att Rec Tgt/Gm RushAtt +RecTgt Recs Rec Yds Rec Yds/Gm RushYds +RecYds
Adrian Peterson ARI 10 52.9 15.6 529 3.39 1.9 17.5 11 70 7 59.9
Kerwynn Williams ARI 16 26.63 7.5 426 3.55 0.94 8.44 10 93 5.81 32.44
Devonta Freeman ATL 14 61.79 14 865 4.41 3.36 17.36 36 317 22.64 84.43
Tevin Coleman ATL 15 41.87 10.4 628 4.03 2.6 13 27 299 19.93 61.8
Alex Collins BAL 15 64.87 14.13 973 4.59 2.4 16.53 23 187 12.47 77.33
Javorius Allen BAL 16 36.94 9.56 591 3.86 3.75 13.31 46 250 15.63 52.56
LeSean McCoy BUF 16 71.13 17.94 1138 3.97 4.81 22.75 59 448 28 99.13
Mike Tolbert BUF 12 20.58 5.5 247 3.74 1.42 6.92 14 78 6.5 27.08
Christian McCaffrey CAR 16 27.19 7.31 435 3.72 7.06 14.38 80 651 40.69 67.88
Jonathan Stewart CAR 15 45.33 13.2 680 3.43 1 14.2 8 52 3.47 48.8
Jordan Howard CHI 16 70.13 17.25 1122 4.07 2 19.25 23 125 7.81 77.94
Tarik Cohen CHI 16 23.13 5.44 370 4.25 4.44 9.88 53 353 22.06 45.19
Joe Mixon CIN 14 44.71 12.71 626 3.52 2.43 15.14 30 287 20.5 65.21
Giovani Bernard CIN 16 28.63 6.56 458 4.36 3.75 10.31 43 389 24.31 52.94
Isaiah Crowell CLE 16 53.31 12.88 853 4.14 2.63 15.5 28 182 11.38 64.69
Duke Johnson CLE 16 21.75 5.13 348 4.24 5.81 10.94 74 693 43.31 65.06
Ezekiel Elliott DAL 10 98.3 24.2 983 4.06 3.8 28 26 269 26.9 125.2
Alfred Morris DAL 14 39.07 8.21 547 4.76 0.64 8.86 7 45 3.21 42.29
Rod Smith DAL 15 15.47 3.67 232 4.22 1.53 5.2 19 202 13.47 28.93
CJ Anderson DEN 16 62.94 15.31 1007 4.11 2.5 17.81 28 224 14 76.94
Devontae Booker DEN 13 23 6.08 299 3.78 2.92 9 30 275 21.15 44.15
Jamaal Charles DEN 14 21.14 4.93 296 4.29 2 6.93 23 129 9.21 30.36
Ameer Abdullah DET 14 39.43 11.79 552 3.35 2.5 14.29 25 162 11.57 51
Theo Riddick DET 16 17.88 5.25 286 3.4 4.44 9.69 53 444 27.75 45.63
Ty Montgomery GB 8 34.13 8.88 273 3.85 3.88 12.75 23 173 21.63 55.75
Jamaal Williams GB 16 34.75 9.56 556 3.63 2.13 11.69 25 262 16.38 51.13
Aaron Jones GB 12 37.33 6.75 448 5.53 1.5 8.25 9 22 1.83 39.17
Lamar Miller HOU 16 55.5 14.88 888 3.73 2.81 17.69 36 327 20.44 75.94
D’Onta Foreman HOU 10 32.7 7.8 327 4.19 0.8 8.6 6 83 8.3 41
Alfred Blue HOU 11 23.82 6.45 262 3.69 0.82 7.27 7 54 4.91 28.73
Frank Gore IND 16 60.06 16.31 961 3.68 2.38 18.69 29 245 15.31 75.38
Marlon Mack IND 14 25.57 6.64 358 3.85 2.36 9 21 225 16.07 41.64
Leonard Fournette JAX 13 80 20.62 1040 3.88 3.69 24.31 36 302 23.23 103.23
Chris Ivory JAX 14 27.29 8 382 3.41 2 10 21 175 12.5 39.79
Kareem Hunt KC 16 82.94 17 1327 4.88 3.94 20.94 53 455 28.44 111.38
Melvin Gordon LAC 16 69.06 17.75 1105 3.89 5.19 22.94 58 476 29.75 98.81
Todd Gurley LAR 15 87 18.6 1305 4.68 5.8 24.4 64 788 52.53 139.53
Malcolm Brown LAR 11 22.36 5.73 246 3.9 1 6.73 9 53 4.82 27.18
Kenyan Drake MIA 16 40.25 8.31 644 4.84 3 11.31 32 239 14.94 55.19
Dalvin Cook MIN 4 88.5 18.5 354 4.78 4 22.5 11 90 22.5 111
Latavius Murray MIN 16 52.63 13.5 842 3.9 1.06 14.56 15 103 6.44 59.06
Jerick McKinnon MIN 16 35.63 9.38 570 3.8 4.25 13.63 51 421 26.31 61.94
Dion Lewis NE 16 56 11.25 896 4.98 2.25 13.5 32 214 13.38 69.38
Mike Gillislee NE 9 42.56 11.56 383 3.68 0.11 11.67 1 15 1.67 44.22
Rex Burkhead NE 10 26.4 6.4 264 4.13 3.6 10 30 254 25.4 51.8
Mark Ingram NO 16 70.25 14.38 1124 4.89 4.44 18.81 58 416 26 96.25
Alvin Kamara NO 16 45.5 7.5 728 6.07 6.25 13.75 81 826 51.63 97.13
Orleans Darkwa NYG 15 50.07 11.4 751 4.39 1.87 13.27 19 116 7.73 57.8
Wayne Gallman NYG 13 36.62 8.54 476 4.29 3.69 12.23 34 193 14.85 51.46
Bilal Powell NYJ 15 51.47 11.87 772 4.34 2.2 14.07 23 170 11.33 62.8
Matt Forte NYJ 12 31.75 8.58 381 3.7 3.75 12.33 37 293 24.42 56.17
Elijah McGuire NYJ 16 19.69 5.5 315 3.58 1.63 7.13 17 177 11.06 30.75
Marshawn Lynch OAK 15 59.4 13.8 891 4.3 2.07 15.87 20 151 10.07 69.47
Deandre Washington OAK 15 10.2 3.8 153 2.68 3 6.8 34 197 13.13 23.33
Jalen Richard OAK 16 17.19 3.5 275 4.91 2.25 5.75 27 256 16 33.19
Jay Ajayi PHI 14 62.36 14.86 873 4.2 2.43 17.29 24 158 11.29 73.64
LeGarrette Blount PHI 16 47.88 10.81 766 4.43 0.5 11.31 8 50 3.13 51
Corey Clement PHI 16 20.06 4.63 321 4.34 0.94 5.56 10 123 7.69 27.75
Le’Veon Bell PIT 15 86.07 21.4 1291 4.02 7.07 28.47 85 655 43.67 129.73
Mike Davis SEA 6 40 11.33 240 3.53 3 14.33 15 131 21.83 61.83
Eddie Lacy SEA 9 19.89 7.67 179 2.59 0.67 8.33 6 47 5.22 25.11
Thomas Rawls SEA 12 13.08 4.83 157 2.71 1.08 5.92 9 94 7.83 20.92
Carlos Hyde SF 16 58.75 15 940 3.92 5.5 20.5 59 350 21.88 80.63
Matt Breida SF 16 29.06 6.56 465 4.43 2.25 8.81 21 180 11.25 40.31
Doug Martin TB 11 36.91 12.55 406 2.94 1.64 14.18 9 84 7.64 44.55
Peyton Barber TB 16 26.44 6.75 423 3.92 1.19 7.94 16 114 7.13 33.56
Jacquizz Rodgers TB 16 15.25 4 244 3.81 0.69 4.69 9 74 4.63 19.88
DeMarco Murray TEN 15 43.93 12.27 659 3.58 3.13 15.4 39 266 17.73 61.67
Derrick Henry TEN 16 46.5 11 744 4.23 1.06 12.06 11 136 8.5 55
Samaje Perine WAS 16 37.69 10.94 603 3.45 1.5 12.44 22 182 11.38 49.06
Chris Thompson WAS 10 29.4 6.4 294 4.59 5.4 11.8 39 510 51 80.4
Rob Kelley WAS 7 27.71 8.86 194 3.13 1 9.86 4 18 2.57 30.29

 

We’ll assume your eyes went right to the NO rows, and look at that balance. Ingram and Kamara within a single yard per game.  That’s remarkable.

Some observations:

  • We see some teams (the Falcons, Vikings and Jets) employ the split-load model that is assumed to be the trend in the NFL. In the case of the Jets, neither player was significantly above average enough to make him a bell cow, but mixing up the touches is a clear trend.
  • Pass catching running backs are just a good bet. If a quarterback trust his RBs hands and route running, he will get the ball. Looking at Kamara, Chris Thompson, and Duke Johnson show us that prolific pass catchers are not just a PPR option.  You touch the ball, you score points – easy peasey, right?
  • Think Seattle didn’t know who to give the ball to in the backfield? That’s a pretty good indication of the big year Russell Wilson had.
  • We are hugely optimistic about Jay Ajayi this year. (Pardon us if you’ve heard that before). We’re not saying that someone can’t take the role that LeGarrette Blount played for the Eagles, and we’d like to see more than 2.4 targets per game for Ajayi, but if he can manage even 18-20 carries, he’ll have a huge jump in production.
  • In a similar fashion, we are high on Isaiah Crowell, now with the Jets. Bilal Powell is a nice back but he can’t be the featured back and if Crowell can exceed 15 carries in New York, we think he’ll be successful. Also, a young QB (Sam Darnold) and/or an old QB (Josh McCown) often rely on their RBs for receptions when they don’t have a lot of time and the Jets line is, well, not good.
  • Le’Veon Bell was the only back in Pittsburgh to exceed 50 rushes. Call him Le’Veon Bell Cow.
  • The two RBs who snuck into the top 20 total yardage? Obviously Kamara (he was 9th) and Chris Thompson checked in at number 13. They were number 30 and number 41 in total Attempts/Targets, demonstrating huge efficiency.

We will study this chart and dozens of others before our Fantasy drafts. You should too, but if you’re too busy (or too lazy) check back with Big Mac frequently or sign up below for the Knowledge Drop, delivered straight to your inbox at least three times a week.

 

 


A THOUSAND WORDS

Today @BatFlipCrazy is confused by Nick Pivetta’s approach:

Nick Pivetta changed his pitch mix recently and it’s been disastrous. FA (.375 BABIP career): 60.6% last 5 / 53.0% first 13 CU (.364): 27.0% / 22.4% SL (.242): 9.6% / 15.9% BABIP: .392 / .312

Nick Pivetta has pitched 4 games this year where he kept his fourseam under 50% of pitches. The results: 26 IP, 5 ER, 15 H, 4 BB, 32 K (1.73 ERA, 0.73 WHIP). Yes, small sample, but he should try it more often.

 


RIDDLE ME THIS

A man went into a party and drank some of the punch. He then left early. Everyone at the party who drunk the punch subsequently died of poisoning. Why did the man not die? (And he didn’t poison the punch)

Email your guess to BigMacFantasySports@gmail.com

 

Thursday’s riddle:You had 10lbs of cucumbers, each of which consisted of 99% water. After leaving them in the sun, some of the water in the cucumbers evaporated. If the cucumbers ended up with 98% water in them, how much of their weight did they lose?

Nobody correctly guessed this one.  It was tough:  

The cucumbers lost half of their weight. If the water was 99% of the total weight, the remaining substance must have weighed 0.1lbs. If, after the evaporation, the substance comprises 2% = 1/50 of the cucumbers, the total weight must be 50×0.1lbs = 5lbs.

 

 

 

 

 


DAD JOKE OF THE DAY

A man hurt his foot while driving.  Who did he call for help?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A toe truck


Like what you see? Sign up to have the Knowledge Drop sent DIRECTLY to your inbox at least 3x a Week!

 


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Big Mac Fantasy Sports, 14218 Windsor Street, Cedar Lake, IN, 46303, http://bigmacfantasysports.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

 

1 thought on “WHY WE ARE HIGH ON AJAYI AND NOT LOW ON CROWELL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *