Fantasy Breakdown: RBBC Review Week 3

RBBC Review Week 3

Wouldn’t it be nice to statistically prove which running backs were actually the lead guy on their team? With running backs by committee (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. To help make that choice I’ve looked at more than just how many PPR fantasy points a player scores but also how involved in the offense the player has been. I will present the Workhorses thus far in the season – the running backs with the most involvement in their team’s offense – and detail the running backs in a few choice RBBCs to provide you insight into who to snag and who to cut.

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 Total Offense. This stat was greater than 10% more correlated with PPR points than typical snap percentages through the first two 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 number 1 RB?”

And now, for the first time in 2019…

The First two Week’s Workhorses

Name Team SNAP % #Plays Utilized % of Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Le’Veon Bell NYJ 95% 57 48.80% 44.1 33.2
Dalvin Cook MIN 70.30% 46 43.00% 54.1 65.2
Christian McCaffrey CAR 100% 52 39.70% 50.2 34.4
Marlon Mack IND 71.90% 48 39.40% 33.7 34.7
Leonard Fournette JAX 92% 40 38.90% 24.1 21
Nick Chubb CLE 65.50% 43 37.70% 31.3 33.7
Derrick Henry TEN 54.50% 39 37.50% 46.3 70.2
Austin Ekeler LAC 74% 42 36.20% 62.7 64.6
Aaron Jones GB 58.70% 43 36.10% 29.9 36.9
Chris Carson SEA 63.60% 40 35.40% 33.7 40.1

All of these guys made up over 35% of their team’s offensive plays. As mentioned above, a high number of PPR points are correlated with a high percentage of offensive plays. So much so that the top 5 RBs in PPR scoring are all guys on the list above. Even though Fournette has been struggling so far his sheer volume of involvement in the Jags offense is keeping him as a fantasy RB2 (currently 23rd).  All the others are top 15 running backs so far. It should go without saying that these guys should be auto-starts in your lineups and targets for trades to solidify your RB position.

Kansas City Chiefs

RBBC Review

Name Team SNAP % #Plays Utilized % of Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Damien Williams KC 58.30% 33 26.20% 27.1 32.3
LeSean McCoy KC 35.40% 25 19.80% 15.6 30.6
Anthony Sherman KC 11.10% 1 0.80% 2.5 15.6

I have not been a believer in the Damien Williams hype all offseason (and yes this could be a little confirmation bias) but seeing McCoy being utilized in a roughly 2/3rds split with Williams cannot bode well for the incumbent back. If you took McCoy late you could be rewarded even more as the season progresses and he becomes more accustom to the playbook. Just keep your fingers crossed that he stays healthy! And if you own Williams, you are starting him but my advice is go back to twitter circa August 2019 and look for a Damien Williams truther to sell him to.

Detriot Lions

RBBC Review

Name Team SNAP % #Plays Utilized % of Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Kerryon Johnson DET 55.70% 33 24.50% 25 30.1
Ty Johnson DET 14.10% 8 5.90% 6.2 29.5
CJ Anderson DET 25.50% 16 11.90% 4.3 11.3
Nick Bawden DET 21.50% 1 0.70% 1 3.1

This is a rough start for the Kerryon truthers out there (he says and slowly raises his own hand). Similar to the Chiefs, the split in the Lions’ backfield should give you pause but CJA was just released leaving only Kerryon and the rookie Ty Johnson. I still believe Kerryon has better games in his future but it might be true that he just won’t ever be a true workhorse back. Time will tell, also if the Lions go out and try to trade for or sign a big name RB will tell too.

 

Buffalo Bills

RBBC Review

Player Off Snaps Off Snap % Touches %Touches Looks % Total Offense Rush HOG % Usage/Ind Snap PPR % Owned
Frank Gore 19 28% 11 16% 11 16% 44% 58% 2 13%
Devin Singletary 48 70% 9 13% 10 15% 16% 21% 14.8 81%
Patrick DiMarco 33 48% 2 3% 2 3% 0% 6% 2.9 0%
T.J. Yeldon 2 3% 0 0% 0 0% 0% 0% 0 3%

Two things stand out here: Holy Cow! Frank Gore is IMMORTAL! And Singletary could be in line for a take over soon.  Singletary greatly out-snapped the rest of the backs (especially in week 1) but accounted for much fewer actual plays (even though those plays he did have were electric). There is next to no fantasy value with Frank Gore despite his heavy involvement in the offense. However, you should try to get Singletary now before his fantasy points scored start to match his snap % and he becomes too expensive.

New England Patriots

RBBC Review

Name Team SNAP % #Plays Utilized % of Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
James White NE 38.70% 18 13.90% 25.1 45.6
Rex Burkhead NE 34.50% 23 17.80% 22.3 45.5
Sony Michel NE 40.80% 36 27.90% 13.7 23.6
James Develin NE 41.50% 2 1.60% 0.3 0.5

This is the New England backfield that fantasy owners have feared for years. There is an almost even distribution of snaps among all of the backs. And although Sony is making up a significantly larger part of the offense is third on this in terms of PPR points scored. If you are hurting for RB, Rex Burkhead is a guy to snag if still on the waiver wire or get as a potential throw in to “even out” a trade. It will be tough to determine when to play him but his usage here demands some attention. Michel should be in for bigger games with his control of the rushing attempts but will have work harder to beat the PPR scores posted by more versatile backs James White and Rex Burkhead.

Philidelphia Eagles

RBBC Review

Name Team SNAP % #Plays Utilized % of Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Darren Sproles PHI 32.70% 15 10.80% 13.8 27.1
Jordan Howard PHI 22.40% 18 12.90% 11.1 31.7
Miles Sanders PHI 45.50% 27 19.40% 10.4 14.6

Worse than the Patriots, the Eagles have three main RBs that although Miles Sanders is starting to get more usage all three backs are within 4 PPR points of each other. Sander’s overall snap count has been encouraging even if his fantasy output hasn’t been. This could be an opportunity to buy Sanders cheap based off of a couple of bad outings. Sproles and Howard are going to continue to be just additions to Sanders’ main rushing attack making them less than attractive in fantasy.

Chicago Bears

RBBC Review

Name Team SNAP % #Plays Utilized % of OFF PPRpts PPRpts/100 Snaps
David Montgomery CHI 41 28 24.10% 19.3 35.1
Tarik Cohen CHI 55.2 19 16.40% 17.4 23.5
Mike Davis CHI 41.8 15 12.90% 9.7 17.3

David Montgomery was used ineffectively in the rookie’s first real game but it looks like he moves forward as the RB in Chicago. Mike Davis was involved in the way you would want as a Montgomery owner – basically, Davis is on the field a good amount but as a decoy since he isn’t getting the ball. Cohen, on the other hand, is a bit of an anomaly. I’m not sure if is Nagy having too much time to scheme and out-schemed himself or what but hopefully we get some consistency out of this backfield because right now it is had to start any of these guys with a lot of confidence.

That’s all for this week. If I didn’t include your team and you felt they should have been included, drop me a comment or hit me up on twitter!

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Seth Keller

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