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It was recently noted that RotoViz had not a single article dedicated to LeSean McCoy. Since I drafted him in the RotoViz Dynasty League, hosted by Fleaflicker, I took it on myself to write this article.

LeSean McCoy is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

He’s also a heckuva football player, and a great building block for your Dynasty team.

History Lesson

Let’s briefly highlight LeSean’s career.

Year Age G Att Yds TD Y/A Y/G A/G Rec Yds Y/R TD R/G Y/G
09 21 16 155 637 4 4.1 39.8 9.7 40 308 7.7 0 2.5 19.3
010 22 15 207 1080 7 5.2 72 13.8 78 592 7.6 2 5.2 39.5
11 23 15 273 1309 17 4.8 87.3 18.2 48 315 6.6 3 3.2 21
12 24 12 200 840 2 4.2 70 16.7 54 373 6.9 3 4.5 31.1
Tot 58 835 3866 30 4.6 66.7 14.4 220 1588 7.2 8 3.8 27.4

OK, that’s impressive. Much has been made of his missed time last year. Certainly something to consider. But for his career, he’s played 58 of a possible 64 games, or 90%. Arian Foster has played in only 80% of possible games over his career. Jamaal Charles? 85%. A few things to note:

  • His career average YPA of 4.6 is very good. Also good is that he hasn’t deviated by more than a ½ yard in any single season. Pretty consistent.
  • His numbers get a nice boost from some consistent pass-catching, something that bodes well for his future production.
  • Still young. He’ll only be 25 this year.
  • Low mileage. Despite putting up RB1 numbers, McCoy hasn’t needed the number of carries typically associated with a RB1.

Let’s put his production to date in a broader context. Here are the active career RB leaders, courtesy Pro Football Reference.

Rank Player (Age) Scr Yds Seasons Yds/Season
1 Steven Jackson (29) 13,459 9 1495.44
2 Frank Gore (29) 11,470 8 1433.75
3 Adrian Peterson (27) 10,375 6 1729.17
4 Maurice Jones-Drew (27) 9,827 7 1403.86
5 Willis McGahee (31) 9,416 9 1046.22
6 Chris Johnson (27) 8,546 5 1709.20
7 Ray Rice (25) 8,233 5 1646.60
8 Michael Turner (30) 7,866 9 874.00
9 Matt Forte (27) 7,652 5 1530.40
10 Marshawn Lynch (26) 7,348 6 1224.67
11 Ronnie Brown (31) 7,033 8 879.13
12 DeAngelo Williams (29) 7,028 7 1004.00
13 Reggie Bush (27) 6,892 7 984.57
14 Cedric Benson (30) 6,850 8 856.25
15 Arian Foster (26) 6,052 4 1513.00
16 Fred Jackson (31) 5,983 6 997.17
17 Jamaal Charles (26) 5,818 5 1163.60
18 Brandon Jacobs (30) 5,586 8 698.25
19 LeSean McCoy (24) 5,454 4 1363.50
20 Ahmad Bradshaw (26) 5,319 6 886.50

McCoy comes in at 19th, but notice that he’s the youngest player on the list, and there’s only one other player who made the top twenty in 4 seasons: Arian Foster. Foster is only 150 yards ahead of McCoy over 4 seasons. Obviously McCoy and Foster are different players, but I think this is still revealing.

The Skill Set

Everybody’s seen plenty of McCoy, so I won’t spend a lot of time here. He’s fast, he’s agile, he’s explosive. But one table from Football Outsiders puts his ability in perspective. These are the top RBs from 2012, as measured by Broken Tackle Rate. I included only RBs with at least 200 touches (and DeMarco Murray because dammit, 197 is close, and we just wrote this article.)

Player BT Runs Rec Touches BT/Touch 2011 BT
LeSean McCoy 44 199 55 254 17.30% 50
C.J. Spiller 34 207 43 250 13.60% 17
DeMarco Murray 26 162 35 197 13.20% 14
Adrian Peterson 44 348 40 388 11.30% 26
Doug Martin 41 319 49 368 11.10%
Trent Richardson 31 267 51 318 9.70%
Vick Ballard 22 211 17 228 9.60%
Frank Gore 27 258 28 286 9.40% 12
Reggie Bush 24 227 35 262 9.20% 29
Ray Rice 27 257 61 318 8.50% 29
Marshawn Lynch 26 315 23 338 7.70% 34
Alfred Morris 26 335 11 346 7.50%
Arian Foster 28 351 40 391 7.20% 32
Steven Jackson 21 257 38 295 7.10% 20

McCoy has as many broken tackles as Adrian Peterson, on 134 fewer touches. Oh, and he finished first in the NFL in BT/Touch in 2011 as well.

The Future’s So Bright…

In an upcoming piece I’ll talk about how the Chip Kelly/Pat Shurmur offense could be very good for McCoy. In this article, let’s use the RotoViz RB Similarity App to look at McCoy’s estimated production for this season.

Here’s the projection summary and per-game projections for McCoy. Pretty damn good.

McCoy Standard Half PPR PPR
Low 4.9 5.8 6.7
Median 10.4 12.1 13.2
High 14.9 17 19.1
NAME AGE WT GMS CARS YDS YPC TDS recs recYDS recTDS
Year N+1 Ave 25.6 212.8 12.2 13 57 4.37 0.3 2.7 21.8 0.12

Notice that the app projects McCoy to play just 12 games? Even if that’s true, if he hits his High projection of 19.1 PPR Points/Game, he’ll score 229 points, which was RB11 last year. Even his Median projection over 12 games would put him right about RB22. But if he’s healthy for 16 games at his High projection? He’d have 305 PPR Points- more than Arian Foster last year, and just behind Doug Martin and Adrian Peterson.

Here’s the 20 best comparable N+1 seasons for McCoy.

NAME SEAS OFF AGE WT GMS CARS YDS YPC TDS recs recYDS recTDS
Frank Gore 2008 SF 25 217 14 17.07 73.79 4.32 0.43 3.07 26.64 0.14
Edgerrin James 2003 IND 25 214 13 23.85 96.38 4.04 0.85 3.92 22.46 0.00
Tiki Barber 2004 NYG 29 200 16 20.06 94.56 4.71 0.81 3.25 36.12 0.12
Kevin Smith 2010 DET 24 217 6 5.67 20.50 3.62 0.00 1.83 20.50 0.00
Matt Forte 2010 CHI 25 218 16 14.81 66.81 4.51 0.38 3.19 34.19 0.19
Knowshon Moreno 2011 DEN 24 210 7 5.29 25.57 4.84 0.00 1.57 14.43 0.14
Tshimanga Biakabutuka 2001 CAR 27 215 5 10.60 46.00 4.34 0.20 2.40 24.20 0.00
Lee Suggs 2005 CLE 25 205 6 1.33 2.50 1.88 0.00 1.00 4.33 0.00
Ray Rice 2011 BAL 24 212 16 18.06 84.50 4.68 0.75 4.75 44.00 0.19
Frank Gore 2009 SF 26 217 14 16.36 80.00 4.89 0.71 3.71 29.00 0.21
James Allen 2001 CHI 26 212 16 8.44 29.31 3.47 0.06 1.88 12.25 0.06
Matt Forte 2011 CHI 26 218 12 17.00 83.25 4.90 0.25 4.33 40.83 0.08
Thomas Jones 2005 CHI 27 220 15 20.93 89.00 4.25 0.60 1.73 9.53 0.00
Kevin Faulk 2001 NE 25 202 15 2.73 11.27 4.12 0.07 2.00 12.60 0.13
DeShaun Foster 2006 CAR 26 222 14 16.21 64.07 3.95 0.21 2.29 11.36 0.00
Ricky Williams 2002 MIA 25 226 16 23.94 114.56 4.79 1.00 2.94 22.69 0.06
Reuben Droughns 2006 CLE 28 207 14 15.71 54.14 3.45 0.29 1.93 12.07 0.00
Reggie Bush 2008 NO 23 203 10 10.60 40.40 3.81 0.20 5.10 43.90 0.40
Jamaal Charles 2011 KC 25 199 2 6.00 41.50 6.92 0.00 2.50 4.50 0.50
Ladell Betts 2007 WAS 28 222 16 5.81 20.94 3.60 0.06 1.31 10.88 0.06

Good company. Here’s the Plot of Year over Year Percent Change in Fantasy Points/Game.

download

Some thoughts about this plot.

  • Some really good names on this list. McCoy is in some really good comparable company
  • Don’t let the right side of the plot, showing players whose N+1 season saw a drop in production, worry you too much. Most of those drops can be explained by injury – Suggs, Smith, Moreno, Charles – their team’s acquisition of a superior player – Betts (Portis), Faulk (A.Smith), Allen (A.Thomas), or age (Droughns was 28 in 2006).

What Does It All Mean?

Don’t hesitate to take McCoy as your RB1 in either redraft or fantasy formats. He’s young, productive, and worthy of the pick.

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