Fantasy Breakdown: RBBC Review Week 5

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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 four 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 Games SNAP % Snaps / Game % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Christian McCaffrey CAR 4 98.20% 68 42% 111.9 41.1
Le’Veon Bell NYJ 3 96.30% 61.3 41% 54.4 29.6
Dalvin Cook MIN 4 70% 42.5 37% 97.4 57.3
Leonard Fournette JAX 4 90.90% 60 36% 65.8 27.4
Nick Chubb CLE 4 73.10% 51.8 34% 87.7 42.4

And then there were five. All five of these guys were workhorses last week – only Alvin Kamara wasn’t able to make a repeat appearance on this list. If you haven’t been paying attention, these guys are good for your fantasy team. Even Leonard Fournette, who I called out last week for lackluster performances so far, was able to put up good numbers in Week 4.  There are four honorable mentions this week who are all above 30% of their teams’ offense: Derrick Henry, Ezekiel Elliot, Alvin Kamara (all 32%), and Austin Ekeler (30%). In season-long scoring every one of these guys, even the honorable mentions, are in the top-20, and if not for Bell, who has only 3 games worth of points, all of them would be top-10 in PPR points.  “Start your studs.” These guys are your studs.

Week 4 Work Horses

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Christian McCaffrey CAR 100% 37 54% 33.9 49.9
Derrick Henry TEN 75% 29 45% 11.8 24.6
Ezekiel Elliott DAL 96.60% 25 43% 16.5 29.5
Chris Carson SEA 76.20% 26 41% 18.5 38.5
Leonard Fournette JAX 83.50% 32 38% 26.5 37.3
Kerryon Johnson DET 70.10% 29 38% 15.7 29.1
David Montgomery CHI 69.40% 26 36% 9.7 19.4
Jaylen Samuels PIT 45.80% 21 36% 23.54 87.2
Dalvin Cook MIN 79% 22 35% 19 38.8
David Johnson ARI 85.70% 22 35% 21.9 40.6
Nick Chubb CLE 63.80% 24 35% 39.3 89.3

Week 4 saw more running backs involved in greater than 35% of their teams’ offense than any other week so far. There are some anomalies in here. For instance, Jaylen Samuels who got extra work due to an injury to James Conner and also a handful of passing attempts. There are also a few duds, see David Montgomery and his paltry 9.7 points despite 36% of his team’s offense.  And then there are a bunch of familiar faces, McCaffrey, Elliott, Carson, Fournette, Chubb, to name a few. These are guys that are worth exploring as trade-for options.

 

 

New England Patriots

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
James White NE 52.30% 11 17% 13.8 40.6
Brandon Bolden NE 7.70% 1 2% 6.4 128
Sony Michel NE 44.60% 17 26% 6.3 21.7
Rex Burkhead NE 18.50% 1 2% 1.7 14.2

I feel like the Pats will be on this (by popular demand on twitter too) for the entire season.  New England ran into the Buffalo Bills defense in Week 4 and were not able to do much actual running.  This will probably be one of the worst rushing outputs for the Patriots in the foreseeable future (their next two games are against the hapless Redskins and Giants).  I think Rex Burkhead bounces back in these next two games if he can overcome a minor foot injury that possibly hampered him in Week 4. But the game against the Bills shows that the Pats are fine moving forward with a split between James White and Sony Michel. Unfortunately, Michel has been unable to do much with the carries he has been given. At some point, you have to figure Michel puts it together and has a big game given the amount of work he is getting.  White should still see significant fantasy output despite the need to pass to win in the next two weeks. Oh, and, Brandon Bolden is just a vulture!

Pittsburgh Steelers

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
James Conner PIT 64.40% 18 31% 26.5 69.7
Jaylen Samuels PIT 45.80% 21 36% 23.54 87.2
Benny Snell Jr. PIT 11.90% 3 5% 0.1 1.4

James Conner FantasyJames Conner got a significant amount of work before leaving with an injury. However, people are wondering what the deal is with Jaylen Samuels. The converted tight end is a jack of all trades and proved as much in the Monday Night Football beatdown of the Cincinnati Bengals.  Conner doesn’t seem like he is going to miss much time, if any and I would expect the Steelers to return to the approximately 60-40 split between Conner and Samuels. I do like the idea of grabbing Samuels if you have space on your bench or if you are in a league where you start a lot of players due primarily to the creativity that the Steelers can employ with Samuels.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Ronald Jones II TB 48.60% 20 27% 15.2 42.2
Peyton Barber TB 25.70% 10 14% 7.9 41.6
Dare Ogunbowale TB 28.40% 5 7% 4.6 21.9
TJ Logan TB 1.40% 0 0% 0 0

So, the Bucs are coming off one of the most unexpected wins I think we will see in 2019, beating the Rams 55 – 40.  A lot of that was due to the passing of Jameis Winston but it was also an interesting game for the running backs down in Tampa. Over the past couple weeks, Ronald Jones has been increasing his snaps and involvement in the offense while Peyton Barber has been decreasing in these categories. Jones is definitely the speculative play here but in all honesty, I am trying to avoid the Bucs running game at the moment. There are other places that I would rather look for RB help.  But if desperate times call for desperate measures, take a run at Jones and see if he can continue to become the Bruce Arians RB that everyone wants him to be.

 

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Denver Broncos

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Royce Freeman DEN 61.80% 12 22% 9 26.5
Phillip Lindsay DEN 45.50% 10 18% 7 28
Andy Janovich DEN 16.40% 0 0% 0 0

The Royce Freeman versus Phillip Lindsay narrative has been one that I haven’t touched on yet in this section but is worth bringing up after the Broncos took on the Jaguars in Week 4.  Lindsay had a great week in Week 3, but the tables turned in Week 4. Lindsay has been the main producer of fantasy points and looks the best on the field. However, Freeman has been at an almost even split in terms of Snap % through the season and in Week 4 took the edge in Snap % as well as % of Offense.  The Broncos are similar to the Bucs in my avoidance of their running backs at the current moment. However, if you have roster space for a speculative add trying to get Freeman on the cheap or off the waivers isn’t a lousy lotto ticket to have in your pocket. Unfortunately, you are probably not trading for or trading away Lindsay and getting a good return, so he will continue holding a spot on your roster and leave hoping you play him in the “right spot.”

Kansas City Chiefs

RBBC Breakdown

Name Team SNAP % # Plays Utilized % Offense PPRpts PPRpts / 100 Snaps
Darrel Williams KC 51.40% 12 17% 18.6 51.7
LeSean McCoy KC 45.70% 15 21% 16.9 52.8
Darwin Thompson KC 4.30% 0 0% 0 0
Anthony Sherman KC 2.90% 0 0% 0 0

I’ll finish out with the Chiefs and bookend the article with two teams that will probably be on everyone’s mind in regards to RBBC. The Chiefs are what you want for your fantasy running backs. All you need is a guy getting snaps in this high powered offense, and you’re going to be happy.  Again we see Darrel Williams leading in Snap % but getting used less usage in % Offense. It is nice to see the young man bring up his fantasy production, though. Unfortunately, with Damien Williams returning to practice and possibly being back in the fold for Week 5, Darrel Williams will most likely be the odd man out and will lose his share of the 50 – 50 split the Chiefs seem to prefer. I would NOT cut Darrel Williams unless necessary. Neither McCoy nor Damien Williams has proven to be the most durable, and this backfield could easily be turned over to the next man up if McCoy or Damien begins to falter.

Follow me on twitter @fftheathomedad to get updates to the RBBC Review and be part of the conversation for next week’s review!

 

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