Fantasy Breakdown: RBBC Review Week 6

Fantasy Football Running Back By Committee Breakdown

With running back by committees (RBBC) becoming all the rage in the NFL, it is becoming that much more vital to choose the correct running back for your fantasy team. Below you can find the most requested RBBC’s broken down statistically. The goal here is to go beyond who scored the most fantasy points last week and to delve into who was on the field more and who was a larger part of the offense.

Before we jump into it, a quick note on the data and terms used. All of the raw data is available at many free websites, but FantasyData is where I have collected the majority of data before analyzing it further. I will be looking at the percentage of a team’s total offensive plays that a player was the focal point of the play (either via handoff or passing target). This will be referred to as % of Offense. This stat was greater than 10% more correlated with PPR points than typical snap percentages through the first five weeks of 2019. I also used FantasyData’s Fantasy Points per 100 snaps to help compare running backs as if they had received the same number of snaps. This statistic helps to answer the question, “what if this secondary RB got as many snaps as the lead RB?”

Season Long Work Horses

Name Team GMS SNAP % SNAPS/GM % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Christian McCaffrey CAR 5 95.9% 65.6 43% 159.6 48.7
Le’Veon Bell NYJ 4 94.4% 59 41% 70.2 29.7
Dalvin Cook MIN 5 69.1% 43.4 37% 123.2 56.8
Leonard Fournette JAX 5 91.1% 63.4 36% 89.5 28.2
Nick Chubb CLE 5 74.7% 49.6 34% 98.6 39.8

These five are holding strong as Season Long Work Horses having shown up here every week so far. It shouldn’t be surprising that these guys are also topping the RB fantasy scoring charts. Even Bell with only 4 games is still RB17 in PPR points – imagine what he could do on a team with an actual offense! There were also a lot of honorable mentions this week with some players getting over 30% of offensive plays through the first five weeks. Alvin Kamara and Derrick Henry account for 32% of their teams’ offense. Chris Carson is next with 31% of his team’s offense. And, Ezekiel Elliot, Josh Jacobs and Marlon Mack all have contributed 30% of their teams’ offense.  Each one of these guys is on track to finish as at least a midlevel RB2. Bell is the lowest of all 11 of these RBs as the RB 17 – the other Season Long Work Horses are all top 10! So, if you can still make a play for any of these guys, now is the time to do it!

 

Week 5 Work Horses

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Christian McCaffrey CAR 86.2% 29 45% 47.7 85.2
Josh Jacobs OAK 68.5% 30 41% 29.3 58.6
Le’Veon Bell NYJ 88.1% 24 41% 15.8 30.4
Marlon Mack IND 66.7% 32 40% 17.8 33
Chris Carson SEA 83.8% 29 39% 19.3 31.1
Dalvin Cook MIN 66.2% 27 38% 25.8 54.9
Aaron Jones GB 67.6% 27 37% 49.2 98.4
Leonard Fournette JAX 91.7% 30 36% 23.7 30.8
Nick Chubb CLE 83.7% 17 35% 10.9 26.6

There are not a ton of surprises in the Week 5 Work Horses compared to the Season Long Work Horses except for Aaron “Four Touchdowns” Jones. Before the Jamaal Williams injury, I was saying give me Aaron Jones in this backfield. With Williams sidelined, this can’t be said anymore emphatically. With the exception of Nick Chubb, who still finished as a flex option despite the pathetic performance by his Browns Monday night, all of these guys finished as top 20 options in PPR scoring. Josh Jacobs is perhaps one of the most encouraging options here especially when you consider he is a rookie on a less than mediocre Raiders team. In redraft leagues, I’m taking a swing at all of these guys if I don’t already have them rostered.  That includes Chris Carson who many believed would start to lose touches due to his fumbling and recovery of Rashaad Penny – this just doesn’t seem to be the case.

New England Patriots

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Sony Michel NE 48.7% 19 24% 21.3 56.1
James White NE 39.7% 15 19% 13.2 42.6
Brandon Bolden NE 14.1% 6 8% 11.2 101.8
Jakob Johnson NE 41% 2 3% 1.5 4.7

So, the Patriots are here again because they continue to have fantasy success for their running backs despite the continuous ebb and flow of who is getting used in the offense. One thing remains clear though – New England running backs are good for fantasy football. Last week, I mentioned that Michel had a big week coming – he went for over 125 scrimmage yards and a touchdown with a big second-half push. James White still finished as an RB2 with six rushes for 26 yards and six of nine for 46 yards in the receiving game. It’s not a pretty stat-line but it was still serviceable. And Brandon Bolden is still a vulture! He pilfered another touchdown in Week 5. Rex Burkhead will cause issues in predicting this backfield when he recovers from his foot injury. Until then, feel confident starting Michel and White.

San Fransico 49ers

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Tevin Coleman SF 34.2% 16 21% 15.7 60.4
Matt Breida SF 34.2% 14 18% 27.9 107.3
Raheem Mostert SF 31.6% 7 9% 3.4 14.2
Kyle Juszczyk SF 44.7% 3 4% 4 11.8

It was the first week back for Tevin Coleman and fans of rushing the ball got a treat Monday night. Coach Shanahan got creative with the runs and gashed the Browns repeatedly. Just for reference, the 49ers rushed for 275 yards! That was more than both teams’ combined passing yards and more than the Browns total offensive yards! Coleman and Matt Breida had a perfect split in snaps with Coleman getting the slight edge in plays utilized but Breida getting the official start. This appears to be one of those RBBCs where you can confidently start both backs on a weekly basis. It will be interesting to see who Coach Shanahan goes with more in a game that is not a complete blowout.  But, I’m still good with rolling both of these guys out in Week 6 against the Rams. Raheem Mostert will be the odd man out barring an injury and, if you haven’t already, cut Jeff Wilson.

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Los Angeles Chargers

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Austin Ekeler LAC 65.7% 19 27% 22.3 48.5
Melvin Gordon LAC 45.7% 18 26% 7.8 24.4
Derek Watt LAC 11.4% 1 1% 1.8 22.5

Similar to the 49ers, this was the first week back for an RB the backfield however it did not have the same outcome. Melvin Gordon made his first appearance against the Denver Broncos after holding out the beginning of the season. Unfortunately, the Chargers were down 14-0 within the first ten minutes and two seconds of the game and would never be able to recover. This led to a gameplan that suited pass-catching back Austin Ekeler more than Gordon. Ekeler finished with a whooping 15 receptions four of which came from check-downs on the Chargers final, ultimately useless, drive. I went on record on my podcast (Fantasy FAQS) last week claiming that Gordon would smash this week – I was wrong. Watching the game again, I still think that Gordon will be a fine fantasy play most weeks but he will end up more gameplan dependent. And, although I hate to say it, Ekeler appears to be the less volatile option.  The Chargers take on the Steelers in Week 6 and I would start both Gordon and Ekeler.

Denver Broncos

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Phillip Lindsay DEN 45.9% 19 31% 24.7 88.2
Royce Freeman DEN 54.1% 15 25% 8.7 26.4
Andy Janovich DEN 31.1% 0 0% 0 0

We go from the Chargers to their competitors in Week 5, the Denver Broncos. Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman continue the season-long trend of being almost a completely even split in both snaps and touches. Lindsay is proving two points. One, I was wrong for doubting him because he was an undrafted free agent. Two, he is still the best option the Broncos have for moving the ball. He is more explosive in all facets of the game despite Coach Fangio’s push for keeping both backs on the field an equal amount. Lindsay is a start moving forward even against a stout run defense like the Titans. Freeman is a hold if you are thin at RB but he could prove to be a roster-clogger if Lindsay never gets injured or takes a step back in 2019.

Atlanta Falcons

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Devonta Freeman ATL 54.1% 16 22% 18 45
Ito Smith ATL 47.3% 11 15% 12.4 35.4
Keith Smith ATL 10.8% 0 0% 0 0

This one is for me more than you (sorry, sometimes I get to be selfish, I still love you though). I have been talking up Ito Smith all off-season and waiting for him to surpass Devonta Freeman each week. It hasn’t happened yet but it is getting hard to deny that Smith is cutting into Freeman’s work. In a blowout loss to the Texans, the Falcons gave an almost equal amount of touches to both RBs. Once again, Smith did more with the ball than Freeman did. On the year, Smith is averaging a full two yards more per carry than Freeman and Smith has the only rushing touchdown between the two. Smith is a spot start against a very porus Cardinals defense in Week 6, but so is Freeman. I will just have to keep patiently waiting for “Judge” Ito to fully and completely take over. Fingers crossed, I hope it’s not too much longer.

There it is Week 6’s RBBC Review! If you enjoyed, it let me know! If you thought it could be better, let me know! Leave a comment or hit me up on twitter @FFTheAtHomeDad

 

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Seth Keller

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