Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Fantasy Playoffs Rushing Leaderboards: Next Gen Stats


Folks, it's time to put on your battle armor and get ready for war as we get ready for the all-important championship week. If you are still in the playoffs, that means you have been been able to stay alive and grind through 15 long weeks. Only one thing can beat you to the finish line: yourself. But hey, don't lose any bit of hope. I'm here for another week to show you how the league is looking entering the final round of the fantasy playoffs so you can make the final pinpoint decisions of the year and bring that championship home.

To gain the biggest edge in your fantasy football league, it's necessary to understand how to apply the advanced statistics being used in sports nowadays. Back in the day, it was all about wins and losses, passing yards, and touchdowns scored. It's not that those stats are now worthless, they just don't offer enough information to savvy analysts. While football is still in its infancy compared to baseball in terms of analytics, the evolution the sport has seen lately in those terms is notable.

Each week, I'll be tackling NFL's Next Gen Stats, bringing you data from the just-completed week's games with notable takeaways you should consider when assessing fantasy players for the upcoming week. In case you're new to the series, or Next Gen Stats altogether, I recommend you read our preseason primer. Now, let's get to the data!

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

The state of RBs After the Second Playoffs Round - NextGenStats

With the playoffs already started and fantasy owners fighting for that championship, it's time for the final round of statistical analysis based on NextGenStats data starting.

We covered receivers (WRs and TEs) last week, and we'll go through running backs here before finally covering quarterbacks next week after the fantasy season is over. Today I'll provide different updates on how the league's rushers are doing in the different metrics we've already tackled during the season.

As I did the last time, I will only focus on fantasy production as pure rushers, eliminating the pass-catching element from their game. This will concentrate entirely on their total rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns in terms of the fantasy points per game numbers shown (labeled ruFP/G). I will also include an extra column this time, "ruFP/15At", which is accounts for the fantasy points a rusher is getting per 15 rushing attempts, which would be considered an RB1 workload on average and allows us to know how different players in different roles would be doing if given the same opportunities.

Note: The cutoff is set at 75 rushing attempts.

 

Efficiency

Leaders and Trailers:

Leaderboard Notes:

  • While Kalen Ballage was last time's least-efficient rusher, he missed the attempt threshold (75 rushing attempts on the season) this time around leaving the honor to Damien Williams. He and Devonta Freeman are so close, yet Freeman (153) almost doubles Williams (83) in attempts, making him a much less efficient rusher in the long run (no pun intended).
  • As we'll see later, though, Freeman is seeing a fair amount of stacked boxes (in 19.6% of his runs) while Williams is not (7.2%) so that balances their outcomes a little bit, making Williams more of an "unreasonable" yard-waster. In any case, none of them is averaging even 6.0 ruFP per game, and even in a heavy workload (15 Att), they wouldn't reach 9.0 FP either.
  • Looking at EFF and ruFP/15Att, the correlation is negative-47%. That is quite high and lets us know that most efficient rushers would rack up some good fantasy points on heavy workloads. The table above makes it clear, with all but two players in the top half averaging 9-plus ruFP/15Att. On the other hand, just three players on the bottom half are over 9 ruFP/15Att.
  • Of the 46 qualified players, 14 rushers are averaging 10-plus ruFP/15Att. Of those, just four have EFF marks over 3.65 (Aaron Jones, Dalvin Cook, Todd Gurley, Tevin Coleman). Excluding Coleman, the other three are considered elite rushers. This proves that other than those top-tier rushers, most running backs either are efficient or have low fantasy point scores on average.
  • On the other hand, there are 14 players averaging fewer than 8 ruFP/15Att. Of those, only three (Leonard Fournette, Jamaal Williams, Frank Gore) have EFF marks under 3.9. This correlates perfectly with the last point. Once again, only great players or players in the right system (Jamaal Williams) are capable of over/underperforming out of the norm.

 

Percentage of Stacked Boxes Faced

Leaders and Trailers:

Leaderboard Notes:

  • There is a negative-41% correlation between stacked boxes and ruFP/15Att. This means that there is a good but not great inverse relation between facing a stacked box and rushing for more fantasy points: The more stacked boxes one faces, the fewer points he gets.
  • That might lead to confusion, though. Stacked boxes are deployed to contain certain types of players, so putting everyone on a leveled field (as the ruFP/15Att metric does) is not fair. If, say, Duke Johnson was an RB1 in his offense he probably would be seeing many more stacked boxes than his current 6.5%. That is why 8+D% is better compared to the whole ruFP/G metric, which only has an insignificant negative-4% correlation.
  • Don't throw away stacked boxes completely given that almost non-existent relation, but keep in mind that it is heavily related to the role a player has on his offense and to what teams expect from him.
  • Of the 11 players averaging more than 10 ruFP/G, only two (Nick Chubb and Marlon Mack) have 8+D% under 20%. That calls for a high correlation, right? Not so fast. At the other end, there are 10 players with five or fewer ruFP/G and five have 20-plus 8+D% while the other five have fewer than 20% 8+D%, rendering the relation null.
  • What Derrick Henry has been doing is rather amazing. He's putting up 15.1 ruFP/G while facing a stacked box almost 35% of the time he rushes the ball. That fantasy production is 6.1 ruFP/G over the second-best (Leonard Fournette) of a player facing at least 30% stacked boxes.

Average Time Behind The Line Of Scrimmage

Leaders and Trailers:

Leaderboard Notes:

  • You might think that TLOS and EFF are related, as a north-south rusher should spend less time behind the line of scrimmage. With three more weeks on the books since we last checked this out, the relation has gone from 29% to 39% this time. Good, but not great as an indicator.
  • The relation between TLOS and actual fantasy points is pretty much nonexistent, so this metric can be almost discarded when analyzing players in fantasy leagues.
  • Just look at the top or the bottom of the leaderboard. Marlon Mack (3.07) and Austin Ekeler (3.05) have virtually the same TLOS marks, though they're averaging fantasy points with a 6-FP variation. At the other end of the spectrum, something similar happens with Josh Jacobs (2.67) and Latavius Murray (2.67).
  • Another way of proving how unuseful this metric is for our purposes is looking at the top fantasy producers (Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey) and see how they are right in the middle of the leaderboard with "average" TLOS values ranging from 2.71 (CMC) to 2.90 (Cook) with Henry in the middle (2.78) of those.

ATT & YDS & Y/A & TD

Leaders and Trailers:

Leaderboard Notes:

  • The last time we checked, only three players (Mark Ingram, Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb) were averaging more than 5 YPC. That group now has seven members to it. That would include Ingram and Chubb plus Matt Breida, Duke Johnson, Gus Edwards, Devin Singletary, and Raheem Mostert. McCaffrey, believe it or not, has dropped to 4.9 but still has time to recover and get back to up 5.0 in the two games remaining in the season.
  • No matter the yards per carry, though, the fantasy production varies wildly. Only two (Chubb and Ingram) of those seven players with 5-plus YPC are averaging more than 8.0 ruFP per game, and only three (Chubb, Ingram, and Mostert) would be posting more than 10 ruFP per 15 attempts.
  • Obviously, the correlation between YPC and ruFP/15Att (59%) almost doubles that between YPC and ruFP/G (31%). On a leveled usage rate, those averaging more yards per carry are often going to get more fantasy points with only the extra addition of whether they are scoring touchdowns or not.
  • Speaking of touchdowns, some players have seen their fantasy production heavily helped by them. Aaron Jones has scored a league-leading 14 TDs and also leads the league with 13.3 ruFP/15Att. Raheem Mostert is second in ruFP/15Att (12.4) but only has five TDs. If we remove touchdowns from the equation, Mostert would be averaging 8.6 ruFP/15Att while Jones would drop all the way to 6.6 ruFP/15Att.
  • Todd Gurley has also been widely favored by his scoring (10 TDs), as his ruFP/15Att is at 10.7 factoring the TDs in, and just 5.9 without them. Nick Chubb, on the other hand, would be the player with at least eight TDs to have the smallest drop in fantasy production (from 10.5 ruFP/15Att accounting for TDs, to 7.8 without them).
  • Leonard Fournette (250 attempts), Joe Mixon (231), and Le'Veon Bell (204) keep making history, as even with that staggering amount of rushes they have each only scored three touchdowns on the year. We were expecting some positive regression but they're running out of time and would finish with disappointing seasons if this is how it ends.
  • It's not a lock, but three players are on track to reach 1,500 yards by the end of the season: Nick Chubb (1,408), Derrick Henry (1,329), and Christian McCaffrey (1,307). All of them, of course, are averaging more than 13 ruFP/G. Chubb has only scored eight TDs to Henry's 13 and CMC's 14, which makes Chubb the most valuable one as he's on par with the other two without the scoring bonus.
  • Peyton Barber's season has been rather mediocre. While he's averaging a middle-of-the-pack 8.5 ruFP/15Att, the six TDs he has scored are boosting his numbers a lot. He'd be at 4.7 ruFP/15Att without those scores, which would rank him as the worst player in the league and the only one with fewer than 5.0 ruFP/15Att.
  • Devin Singletary has spent the majority of the season limited by Frank Gore's role in Buffalo. Good for him going forward, though, is the fact that he's the second-best rusher in ruFP/15Att without taking TDs into account. He's averaging 8.0 points this year (Mostert is first with 8.6) while Gore is at a measly 5.4 points (sixth-worst in the NFL).

That's it for today. Until we meet again next week, I hope you can crush your waiver wire, set up the best possible lineup, and win the final game of the season to lift your league's fantasy cup!

More Fantasy Football Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

2020 Starting Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a very different strategy if you wish to truly compete. All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our points league rankings... Read More


Second-Half Improvements: Buy Into These Starting Pitchers

The second half of the season is always put under a microscope for starting pitchers. Fantasy players have a love for the second half of the season, as the belief is that pitchers who take a step forward could carry over that success the next season and perhaps even build upon it. But, as we... Read More


How to Attack RP in SV+HLD Leagues

No position has seen as much evolution in recent seasons as the relief pitcher. Gone are the days where starters were expected to go seven innings as most teams have embraced the idea of "super-bullpening" and try to fit as many pitchers that can throw 95+ MPH into their bullpen as they can. Many fantasy... Read More


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitch Info

One of the most fundamental questions in fantasy sports is if a player's current performance is sustainable. More than any other sport, baseball has a slew of statistical measures that can be dissected in numerous ways to analyze player performance. Pitch Info is a publicly-available pitch tracking system that provides a lot of different data to... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More


Mock Draft Review: Best Late-Round Targets

Last week, some members of the RotoBaller staff completed a 12-team mock draft for standard 5x5 format. After the draft, we each broke down our strategy and some of our favorite picks, which can be found here. However, I want to take a closer look at one portion of the draft in particular. Since we know that... Read More


Faster and Furious: Pitchers with Rising Velocity/Performance

Welcome fantasy baseball players! I’m sure that you, like me, are anxiously counting down the days until your drafts and Opening Day. While the fantasy season may not start for several weeks, there are plenty of things we can do to start preparing for a successful season. One of those things is to take a good... Read More


James Karinchak Is A Relief Pitcher To Know in 2020

One of the lesser-known players that intrigues me for the 2020 MLB season is Indians relief pitcher James Karinchak. The former Bryant Bulldog was drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round in the 2017 draft and went on to have one of the most outrageous statistical seasons in minor league baseball history. As someone who... Read More


2020 Relief Pitcher Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Often regarded as an inferior fantasy baseball format, points leagues offer a different style of boasting over your friends or coworkers similar to that of fantasy football. These setups are typically head-to-head formats for a one-week stretch where the player with the most points gets a win. Easy right? While it's true that roster construction... Read More


2019 Barrel Breakouts: Who's For Real and Who's Next?

As pitchers and catchers get even closer to reporting and most fantasy leagues prepare for their drafts, everybody is looking for a leg up on the competition - a way to get in on a guy before everybody else does. In this article, we're going to look for a way to identify hitters who improved... Read More


Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher BABIP

While FIP is a useful tool to predict a pitcher's future ERA performance, fantasy owners should remember that ERA, not FIP, is what really matters in most formats. This means that we are interested in the "luck" that separates the two statistics. While some of this luck is unpredictable, we can and should predict some... Read More


Second Year Player Preview: Fantasy Baseball 2020 ADP Analysis

Host Anthony Aniano of RotoBaller Radio discuss the 2020 fantasy baseball season and keeps you updated with all the latest news and analysis Be sure to tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210, XM 87) - every weekday morning between 6-7 AM ET, every weekday afternoon from 1-2 PM ET, Saturday nights from 9-11 PM ET... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Jorge Alfaro

Miami Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro was a key piece in the J.T. Realmuto trade that was executed before the 2019 season. The Marlins have high hopes for Alfaro and he continued his development in 2019 by slashing .262/.312/.425 with 18 HR, 57 RBI, 44 R, and 22 BB. The overall numbers may not seem all that... Read More


2020 Shortstop Rankings - H2H Points Leagues

Points leagues may seem like a slight variation from traditional 5x5 category scoring leagues but you must approach draft day with a different strategy if you wish to truly compete. Rankings themselves are a different beast altogether, as category specialists like Mallex Smith and Dee Gordon (stolen bases), Kyle Schwarber and Franmil Reyes (home runs),... Read More


2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – Victor Reyes

With a 457 ADP in 2020 NFBC leagues, Detroit Tigers outfielder Victor Reyes is an afterthought in all but the deepest leagues.  Perhaps the 25-year-old shouldn't be, though, as Reyes was quietly solid in 2019, slashing .304/.336/.431 in 292 plate-appearances, with three home runs and nine stolen bases. Having made stops in Arizona and the... Read More


More Recent Articles

 

RB Opportunity Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

We roll on with coverage of each of the eight NFL divisions, discussing the teams that are part of them and the running backs that were part of those teams in 2019. To present those teams and players I use a set of easy-to-read charts: treemaps. The graphics will hold all of the players of... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Anthony Miller

Many of you have already begun planning and building your 2020 rosters. This includes best-ball owners who have assembled teams in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are inspecting the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued your process of relentless roster evaluation. As the... Read More


Is Lamar Jackson Worth a First Round Pick?

RotoBaller fantasy football analysts Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano discuss the idea of taking Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the first round of 2020 fantasy football redraft leagues. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure... Read More


Why Lamar Jackson Should Be a First-Round Pick in 2020

Sometimes I like to make noise and some headlines if I can. That is why I host shows six days a week on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio representing RotoBaller. If I can get people buzzing about a topic, calling in or responding on social media with passion and vigor, I am having fun. But whenever I... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Darren Waller

Many of you have already launched into the planning process for your 2020 rosters. This includes best-ball owners who have embraced the opportunity to draft in that popular format. A number of owners in redraft leagues are also monitoring the early rankings, while those of you who are involved in dynasty leagues have continued a pace of... Read More


Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Tight End

There were a lot of fantasy football busts at the tight end position in 2019, but there were also a lot of breakout stars. The 2018 season saw Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz break the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a tight end, while San Francisco’s George Kittle broke the record for most... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Courtland Sutton

With the conclusion of Super Bowl LIV, football season is over for many people. But for anyone that plays in a dynasty fantasy football league, the season is never over. For the fantasy addicts out there, now is the time to start preparing. In today's column, we will take a look at wide receiver Courtland... Read More


Dynasty Price Check - Josh Allen

The NFL offseason has arrived, which means that it's time for us to go all-in on dynasty mode. The time between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft is the time for dynasty players to make some moves and try to make their team better -- or worse, if you're rebuilding and looking for draft... Read More


RB Opportunity Share and Impact (NFC East & North)

With the season over and real-life free agency and April's NFL draft ahead of us, it's time to look at how each team split their targets and carries (both of them combined in what is called opportunities; sometimes it's receptions instead of targets, but I wanted to look at the overall volume and total chances instead)... Read More


Odell Beckham - Dynasty Buy or Sell?

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano discuss the dynasty value of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.. Will he bounce back in 2020 to return WR1 fantasy football value or is he no longer an elite receiver? Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us... Read More


David Johnson - Dynasty Buy or Sell?

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano discuss the fantasy football value of Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson in dynasty leagues. Is it best to get something in return for him while you can or try to buy-low in hopes of a rebound season? Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all... Read More


Super Futures: Early 2020 Fantasy Outlooks for Chiefs and 49ers

Now that the Super Bowl is over, fantasy football purists are already looking ahead to the NFL Draft and next season. The Chiefs proved that a high-flying offense that boosted many teams to fantasy championships could also win a Super Bowl of its own. The 49ers fell short, but earning an NFC Championship was an... Read More