Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football RBBC Breakdown: Week 13

Phillip Lindsay

Fantasy Football RBBC Breakdown: Week 13

Thanksgiving has come and gone. In that time we have seen more players go down with injuries, more teams get exposed as pretenders, and, one positive, the return of a top back like he never missed any time.  All year has been fraught with tough choices and this week is no different. The data below can provide valuable insights into which RB should be used in fantasy lineups and which ones are best left for the waiver wire.

Before we jump into the numbers a quick note about the data: The data that I use is populated by the Snap Counts page from FantasyData.com. I then take this raw data and calculate not just whether an RB was on the field but if they were being used and what percentage of the offense did their usage make up. Looking back at the entire season of 2019 (you can find old RBBC Reviews on my profile page), the two stats that I include and lean on heavily, % of Offense and Plays Used, were more correlated with season-long PPR points than Snaps and Snap %. For example, 93% of end of year fantasy points can be explained by the number of plays that a player is used – the more plays a player is actually used on results in more fantasy points. So, if a player is being used on a lot of plays but isn’t producing fantasy points yet, there is a likelihood that he will regress to the mean in the future and produce more fantasy points.

Season-Long Workhorses

NameTeamGMSSNAPSSNAPS/GMSNAP %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Derrick HenryTEN1148343.965.322145.828238.14
Dalvin CookMIN1044744.763.9251.556.325336.17
James RobinsonJAX1150545.970.420139.824133.58
Josh JacobsLV1146542.364172.737.124033.02

This list of season-long workhorses has dwindled from eight in Week 4 to only four this week. Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, and Josh Jacobs have been staples of the list. James Robinson is the fantasy superstar who came out of almost nowhere to be the RB4 on the season. All of these backs are top-6 RBs on the year and it shouldn’t come as a surprise as they are all so valuable to their offenses. If you are making a playoff run, chances are you have one of these guys on your team.

RBBC Rewind: Week 12

Detriot Lions

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Kerryon JohnsonHOU3947.638.511.830.31518.33
Adrian PetersonHOU2226.868.217.579.51518.28
Jonathan WilliamsHOU2125.623.84.621.956.09

With Swift out with a concussion in Week 12, Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson spit the usage equally with 15 plays each. Houston was winning from the first quarter on in this game so it is actually a little surprising that the Lions ran the ball more than the Texans. Adrian Peterson had himself a nice fantasy day, despite the loss, with two touchdowns but only 55 yards on the ground. Kerryon Johnson had 11 carries for 46 yards but made his fantasy day tying for the third-most receptions on the team (4) with the second-most receiving yards (52). The concern here is what happens when Swift returns (it looks probable that he will play in Week 13)? Swift had been gaining a lot of fantasy steam before the concussion and anyone who owns him will be hoping that he can get back on track. Roll Swift out with caution if you must in Week 13, not for fear of the matchup against Green Bay but because this could now be a three-headed backfield. There is hope that interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell will feed the rookie over the remainder of the season if only to garner more experience for next year. Fantasy players need to hope for the latter.

Denver Broncos

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Melvin Gordon IIINO3581.434.33.18.91227.92
Phillip LindsayNO1432.664.3214.3920.96
Royce FreemanNO1330.261.5538.5818.57

The Dever Broncos made it abundantly clear why the NFL invests, both in contracts and in the draft, in quarterbacks. With none of the four rostered QBs able to play Week 12, the Broncos looked to practice squad WR Kendall Hinton to take over play-calling duties. The experiment failed miserably as Hinton completed more passes to the other team (2) than he did his own team (1).  Drew Lock and the rest of the QB room should be back for Week 13 but the reason the Broncos are in this article is because of the headaches caused by trying to start either Gordon or Lindsay. Over the last four weeks, Dever rushers have earned only one fantasy output in the double digits (Gordon – Week 11 – 18.4 points). Aside from an 8 point game by Lindsay in the same week, all other games were 5 points or less! In a tough matchup next week, all Bronco RBs are unstartable.

Los Angeles Chargers

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Austin EkelerBUF6072.35023.939.83036.15
Joshua KelleyBUF1922.936.89.55078.43
Troymaine PopeBUF67.233.31.118.322.40
Gabe NabersBUF78.400000.00

Hello, Austin Ekeler! Fantasy players are rejoicing to have Ekeler back in their lineups (if they were brave enough to start him after missing nearly two months). Despite poor efficiency rushing the ball (only 3.1 yards per attempt), Ekeler more than answered the question, “Will Herbert check down to Ekeler?” 11 receptions on 16 targets was the response from Herbert and Ekeler in Week 12. It will be hard to replicate that level of involvement consistently moving forward but it does pave the way for Ekeler to be started with confidence in fantasy lineups for the foreseeable future. This was Kelley’s most efficient day on the ground in months and he earned the only touchdown for the backfield. The real indicator moving forward is the % of Offense that Ekeler saw compared to what Kelley saw in Week 12. Ekeler is the lead dog and Kelley may poach an occasional score – start them accordingly.

Miami Dolphins

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
DeAndre WashingtonNYJ3447.952.9823.51825.34
Matt BreidaNYJ2332.443.55.3231014.09
Patrick LairdNYJ1014.110-1.1-1111.41

The injury bug has bitten Miami, but it is a shock to see DeAndre Washington as the lead back in Week 12. Breida earned the start while Gaskin and Ahmed still nursed injuries. But Washington outplayed him by nearly double to offensive plays. Unfortunately, Washington tweaked his hamstring and there is hope that either Gaskin or Ahmed will be back in Week 13, all but guaranteeing that this is a one-week outlier for Washington. The real question is who can be healthy for Week 13. Gaskin should have the lead role if both he and Ahmed are healthy. If Gaskin cannot go but Ahmed can, Ahmed could be a nice RB2 play this week as Miami takes on the hapless Bengals.

Las Vegas Raiders

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Josh JacobsATL3860.326.35.414.21015.86
Devontae BookerATL2234.940.91.56.8914.27
Alec IngoldATL1117.500000.00

There couldn’t have been a more disappointing team effort this week than the Oakland Raiders traveling to Atlanta. With such a pitiful offensive display, it is common to see a back struggle – even a back that is top-6 on the year. But to struggle this badly and to have Devontae Booker work almost as much in the offense is embarrassing. (Yes, I may have started one too many Raiders this past week.) The reality is Jacobs sprained his ankle and left the game in the third quarter. It is not a major sprain so he could be back in Week 13. If Jacobs can play he is an autostart. Either way, Booker should be a pick up from the waivers as he is clearly the back up behind Jacobs.

That is all for this edition of the RBBC Breakdown! With most leagues starting the playoffs next week this will be the last weekly version of this series for the year. Next week will be the playoff push article that will look at RBs over the next three weeks. So, be sure to check back next week and follow me on Twitter for extra data on these backfields and much more. Till next time, catch you on the flip side…

 

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