Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football RBBC Breakdown: Week 9

Jordan Wilkins

Fantasy Football RBBC Breakdown: Week 9

We’ve rounded the corner on the half-way point of the year with Week 8 behind us. Your fantasy teams are either licking their wounds (oh, there have been so many wounds!) or are gearing up for a push into the fantasy playoffs. As you plan for the playoffs or plan for next year, the data below will help you establish who is actually being used the most by their offense. This information is crucial because the more a player is used on offense typically leads to more fantasy success.

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 %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Derrick HenryTEN73154565.956.8143.645.617937.43
Christian McCaffreyCAR2112568044.653.347.65035.68
Josh JacobsLV731244.664.655.1110.435.417235.59
Dalvin CookMIN62524258.356161.964.214132.65
Alvin KamaraNO734148.771.244.9195.757.415331.97
Myles GaskinMIA730443.468.944.498.532.413530.59
James RobinsonJAX729842.664.646.6133.644.813930.10

Above, is the list of RBs who over the course of the season have accounted for over 30% of their team’s offense. Derrick Henry once again sits atop the list with almost a 40% share of his team’s offensive plays. King Henry once again put out an RB1 performance and should continue to be an auto-start. I was a bit too hopeful last week including CMC on this list but HC Matt Rhule has come out and said that he is hopeful that CMC will play Week 9 versus the Cheifs. Let’s all be hopeful together! Despite a pedestrian performance on Sunday Josh Jacobs still handled over 40% of this team’s offensive plays and continues to be a season-long workhorse. Holy cow, Dalvin Cook! He made up 63.5% of Minnesota’s offensive plays Sunday versus the Packers who just had no answers for Cook. Yes, start Cook for the rest of the season regardless of the defense he is playing! Kamara proved why catching the ball is so important for the runningback position both in real and fantasy football. Kamara’s 13 targets in Week 8 were third-most of all skilled position players behind only Cooper Kupp (21) and DK Metcalf (15). James Robinson was on a bye and will look to maintain his workload and possibly see an uptick with Minshew not playing. Welcome to the list Myles Gaskin! Unfortunately, his stay will be short-lived as he was just diagnosed with an MCL sprain and will be out for approximately 3 weeks. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ezekiel Elliott, and David Johnson are all within 1% point of making the list but fall slightly below the 30% cut off. I would expect all three of them to either make the list next week or be close again.

RBBC Rewind: Week 8

Baltimore Ravens

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
J.K. DobbinsPIT5465.931.513.124.31720.76
Gus EdwardsPIT2631.765.414.756.51720.73
Patrick RicardPIT1720.700000.00
Justice HillPIT22.400000.00

Baltimore might be the most frustrating RBBC of 2020 based on the number of times they have been in this column. This week gave us another example of why that is with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards getting an even number of offensive plays used. Despite being out-snapped by almost double, Edwards outscored Dobbins slightly in terms of fantasy points. Against a formidable Pittsburg defense, the pair of runners put up 200 yards rushing and a touchdown. The Gus Bus was able to punch in the touchdown which, when added to his 87 yards rushing, surpassed Dobbins 113 yard but scoreless outing. Dobbins showed the flashes you wanted to see in the young back but Edwards continued to show a consistent ability to move the ball forward and pick up an occasional chunk play. As long as Mark Ingram is sidelined I am ok with starting both of these backs as flex options with Dobbins holding more value because of the potential for a big play. Ian Rappaport suggested before the contest against the Steelers that Ingram might be out Week 9 as well.

 

Buffalo Bills

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Devin SingletaryNE2848.353.610.236.41525.89
Zack MossNE3153.448.420.164.81525.85

I have enjoyed watching Singletary play. He always seemed like the underdog and I wanted him to be successful. With that said, we might be witnessing a changing of the guard in Buffalo. Despite being used on the same number of offensive plays, Moss practically doubled Singletary’s fantasy output. Moss and Singletary had the same number of attempts and both ran for over 80 yards. What separated them was the two touchdowns that Moss powered in. The most telling stat from Week 8 was that Singletary did not have a single play called for him inside the 10 – Moss had four with two scores. I still believe Singletary can be an effective back in the NFL. However, I am leaning on Moss in fantasy to score more fantasy points throughout the season if things continue as they played out in Week 8.

 

Indianapolis Colts

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Jordan WilkinsDET3950.653.820.352.12127.22
Jonathan TaylorDET2633.853.85.119.61418.18
Nyheim HinesDET1620.862.521.2132.51013.00

I expected the Colts to beat the Lions – but, not like this! It’s like everyone scored…except for Jonathan Taylor. Philip Rivers provided some insight after the game that JT’s ankle was “nicked up”. The usage suggests this as JT had 8 plays in the first quarter compared to Wilkins three but in the second half, when Wilkins piled on points, Wilkins had 15 plays to Taylor’s two. Taylor has had some rookie growing pains mostly around missing some reads but I feel that this is still his backfield to lose if he is healthy. Hines remains as a high risk-high reward receiving back that showed once again that he can be explosive. I don’t expect these numbers to continue for him but I do see him having at least another high-scoring week or two through the remainder of the season. Wilkins is a waiver wire add to me as an insurance policy but reminds me of D’Ernest Johnson from a couple of weeks ago.

Kansas City Chiefs

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Clyde Edwards-HelaireNYJ335027.36.118.5913.65
Le’Veon BellNYJ1725.852.96.840913.65
Darwin ThompsonNYJ710.671.40.34.357.57
Darrel WilliamsNYJ812.1503.64546.05

It has been difficult for me to express my thoughts on Clyde Edwards-Helaire throughout the season. I thought he was a top 5-7 rookie RB pre-draft and wasn’t on board with people who immediately jumped him to the number one rookie RB post-draft. He has been good in his role with the powerhouse offense that is the Chiefs to the tune of 572 yards rushing (third among RBs) and 204 yards passing (sixth among RBs). Yet, he has only found the endzone a total of twice! That is less than guys like Rex Burkhead, Jordan Howard, Malcolm Brown, and the aforementioned Zack Moss.  This week we saw new addition Le’Veon Bell score almost as many points as CEH and that is with Bell losing two points for his fumble. We saw Bell was able to match CEH with 3 receptions on 3 targets yet Bell took his catches for 31 yards compared to only 10 for CEH. But we also Bell and CEH have the same number of rushing attempts (6) and Bell look absolutely horrible with them averaging only 1.2 yards per attempt (CEH was at 3.5). I still believe the jury is out on how Bell will be used in this offense because there is little to be taken from a game against the historically bad New York Jets. CEH should remain in all fantasy lineups as of right now and Bell should be owned but not started until we get some more clarity. For fantasy football’s sake, I hope Bell’s role is teaching and mentoring CEH on pass protection and goalline work.

Los Angeles Rams

RBBC Breakdown

NameOPPSNAPSSNAP %UTIL %FPtsFPts/100 SnapsPlays Used% Offense
Malcolm BrownMIA576021.17.713.51212.66
Cam AkersMIA2021.1506.4321010.55
Darrell Henderson Jr.MIA1818.955.66.837.81010.51

This is what fantasy managers were worried about when HC McVay said that the Rams would use a “hot hand” approach to the RB position. What we got from the Rams runners were three unstartable guys. Malcolm Brown was the leader in snaps by a huge margin but only saw two more plays which resulted in only a point or so more fantasy points. The Dolphins, by the way, looked amazing defensively, stunned the Rams with multiple turnovers and defensive scores. I believe this led to much of the uncertainty in the backfield. Malcolm Brown has been a snap leader for the team in previous weeks without having many plays go his way – I would say because of this pass protection. The real question for fantasy powers is what to do with Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson. I believe these two will be the fantasy options in this backfield and currently, the job is Henderson’s with Akers slowly gaining ground. The Rams are one bye in Week 9 and could look for ways to get either Henderson or Akers more involved in Week 10 when they face the porous Seattle D. I am starting Henderson that week as a flex with some upside and holding Akers on my bench hoping he can secure more work moving forward.

Other Backfields to Watch

A new addition this week – here are some additional backfields to look out for.

Denver – With the return of Phillip Lindsay, and him showing his big-play ability, we might see Melvin Gordon losing his hold on the lead back role in Denver. The offensive struggles for the mile-high team don’t bode well for either back if they cannot maintain a lead back amount of volume.

Atlanta – Todd Gurley was “benched” (or something?) for a  little while in the last game and Brian Hill came in and made a claim for getting more touches moving forward going 11 for 55 (9 fewer touches but 9 greater yards than Gurley). I don’t think Gurley loses much ground, he is currently a top-10 RB on the season, but keep your eyes on the situation in Georgia.

Seattle and San Fran – Both of these teams have been riddled by the injury bug. And both of them have a chance to have a fantasy viable RB as long as you know who the RB will actually be for the week! Stay up to date on the injuries and I think it’s ok to roll with whoever gets the start for either west coast team.

That is all for this edition of the RBBC Breakdown! I hope you all got out to vote and this provided some much need repose from Election Overload! 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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