brycebrown

Earlier this summer Mr. Douche presented “The Shonn Greene All Stars.” He looked at RBs and on the same team with the biggest ADP gap between them. He found that the players with the biggest gap tended to outperform their ADP.

That got me thinking about handcuffs: which if any, make the most sense as draft targets? And does the ADP gap between a given RB and their handcuff tell us anything about the prospects of both?

I Like Big Gaps

I grabbed some 2012 ADP data from MyFantasyLeague, and figured out the average Gap (103 picks) between a team’s first and second-drafted RBs. This table shows the combos with larger than average differences between the first and second drafted RB. The final column shows the combo’s plus/minus vs. the average Gap.

Player

Team

Ave Pick

Player

Ave Pick

Gap

P/M Ave Gap

McCoy, LeSean PHI RB

PHI

3.8

Lewis, Dion PHI RB

216.98

213.18

110.18

Johnson, Chris TEN RB

TEN

8.5

Ringer, Javon TEN RB*

218.61

210.11

107.11

Rice, Ray BAL RB

BAL

2.95

Pierce, Bernard BAL RB

205.7

202.75

99.75

McFadden, Darren OAK RB

OAK

10.74

Goodson, Mike OAK RB

179.87

169.13

66.13

Richardson, Trent CLE RB

CLE

27.89

Hardesty, Montario CLE RB

193.76

165.87

62.87

Mathews, Ryan SDC RB*

SDC

23.05

Brown, Ronnie SDC RB

172.35

149.3

46.3

Lynch, Marshawn SEA RB

SEA

27.05

Turbin, Robert SEA RB

169.47

142.42

39.42

Greene, Shonn NYJ RB

NYJ

69.69

Powell, Bilal NYJ RB

208.35

138.66

35.66

Murray, DeMarco DAL RB

DAL

18.32

Jones, Felix DAL RB

156.72

138.4

35.4

Green-Ellis, BenJarvus CIN RB

CIN

69.19

Scott, Bernard CIN RB*

195.51

126.32

23.32

Jackson, Steven STL RB

STL

32.26

Pead, Isaiah STL RB

156.67

124.41

21.41

Jones-Drew, Maurice JAC RB*

JAC

16.48

Jennings, Rashad JAC RB*

132.29

115.81

12.81

Brown, Donald IND RB*

IND

84.53

Ballard, Vick IND RB

200.33

115.8

12.8

Gore, Frank SFO RB

SFO

46.51

Hunter, Kendall SFO RB*

156.56

110.05

7.05

Peterson, Adrian MIN RB

MIN

21.79

Gerhart, Toby MIN RB

128.14

106.35

3.35

Bush, Reggie MIA RB

MIA

50.84

Thomas, Daniel MIA RB*

156.4

105.56

2.56

 

Other than MJD (injury) and Donald Brown (suckage), the higher chosen players worked out well. The late-drafted handcuffs, other than Ronnie Brown and Vick Ballard, didn’t do much of anything.

Small Gaps

Here are the 2012 combos with smaller than average ADP gaps. The final column shows the plus/minus vs. the average Gap.

Player

Team

Ave Pick

Player

Ave Pick

Gap

P/M Ave Gap

Smith, Kevin DET RB

DET

110.28

Best, Jahvid DET RB

124.95

14.67

-88.33

Stewart, Jonathan CAR RB

CAR

77.58

Williams, DeAngelo CAR RB

104.01

26.43

-76.57

Wells, Beanie ARI RB

ARI

81.89

Williams, Ryan ARI RB*

111.3

29.41

-73.59

Benson, Cedric GBP RB*

GBP

108.06

Starks, James GBP RB

141.56

33.5

-69.5

Redman, Isaac PIT RB

PIT

92.02

Mendenhall, Rashard PIT RB

131.14

39.12

-63.88

Jackson, Fred BUF RB*

BUF

36.24

Spiller, C.J. BUF RB

84.69

48.45

-54.55

Bradshaw, Ahmad NYG RB

NYG

41.15

Wilson, David NYG RB

101.38

60.23

-42.77

Charles, Jamaal KCC RB

KCC

23.31

Hillis, Peyton KCC RB

86.74

63.43

-39.57

Sproles, Darren NOS RB

NOS

28.89

Ingram, Mark NOS RB

94.39

65.5

-37.5

Helu, Roy WAS RB*

WAS

86.68

Morris, Alfred WAS RB

156.8

70.12

-32.88

McGahee, Willis DEN RB*

DEN

71.66

Hillman, Ronnie DEN RB

142.45

70.79

-32.21

Ridley, Stevan NEP RB

NEP

88.63

Vereen, Shane NEP RB

160.94

72.31

-30.69

Turner, Michael ATL RB

ATL

45.9

Rodgers, Jacquizz ATL RB

129.05

83.15

-19.85

Foster, Arian HOU RB

HOU

1.99

Tate, Ben HOU RB

95.51

93.52

-9.48

Martin, Doug TBB RB

TBB

42.43

Blount, LeGarrette TBB RB

138.35

95.92

-7.08

Forte, Matt CHI RB

CHI

12.79

Bush, Michael CHI RB*

109.31

96.52

-6.48

 

This is much more of a mixed bag; many more misses on the higher-drafted side (Smith, Stewart, Wells, Benson, Redman, Jackson, Helu) and really only two hits on the handcuff side (Spiller and Morris), though both hit big.

Mind the Gap

Before we get carried away, I only looked at 2012, and I didn’t do any sort of testing to see if there are predictive relationships or even correlations in these tables. There are no hard and fast rules here. But I do think we can take a few lessons from this data:

  • Drafting a handcuff is overrated; most didn’t do much.

  • In general, you’re better off drafting a known starter than a handcuff.

  • When you do draft a backup, take the back with the best talent and potential opportunity, regardless of team.

  • Backfields with a smaller than average gap are more risky, whether you’re drafting the starter or the backup.

Bring it Back to 2013

Here are the RB combos for 2013, with their current ADP and Gaps, via Fantasy Pros. The average ADP gap is 118 spots.

 

Starter

Backup

Gap

Starter ADP

Backup ADP

P/M Ave Gap

B/U on Waivers?

Giovani Bernard

BenJarvis Green-Ellis

25

56

81

-93

No

Le’Veon Bell

Jonathan Dwyer

33

110

143

-85

No

Deangelo Williams

Jonathan Stewart

38

85

123

-80

No

Stevan Ridley

Shane Vereen

41

25

66

-77

No

Ahmad Bradshaw

Vick Ballard

41

64

105

-77

No

Montee Ball

Ronnie Hillman

42

58

100

-76

No

David Wilson

Andre Brown

50

33

83

-68

No

Darren Sproles

Mark Ingram

59

27

86

-59

No

Ryan Mathews

Danny Woodhead

64

50

114

-54

No

Arian Foster

Ben Tate

88

3

91

-30

No

Daryl Richardson

Isaiah Pead

88

65

153

-30

No

Chris Ivory

Bilal Powell

92

70

162

-26

No

Eddie Lacy

Jonathan Franklin

96

46

142

-22

No

Ray Rice

Bernard Pierce

99

8

107

-19

No

C.J. Spiller

Fred Jackson

104

5

109

-14

No

LeSean McCoy

Bryce Brown

105

7

112

-13

No

Reggie Bush

Mikel Leshoure

108

21

129

-10

No

Steven Jackson

Jacquizz Rodgers

112

16

128

-6

No

Frank Gore

Lamichael James

114

32

146

-4

No

Rashard Mendenhall

Ryan Williams

129

73

202

11

Yes

Lamar Miller

Daniel Thomas

130

39

169

12

Yes

Chris Johnson

Shonn Greene

142

12

154

24

No

Matt Forte

Michael Bush

146

11

157

28

No

DeMarco Murray

Joseph Randle

153

28

181

35

Yes

Marshawn Lynch

Christine Michael

164

11

175

46

Yes

Alfred Morris

Roy Helu

171

12

183

53

Yes

Maurice Jones-Drew

Denard Robinson

189

24

213

71

Yes

Darren McFadden

Rashad Jennings

207

36

243

89

Yes

Doug Martin

Brian Leonard

230

2

232

112

Yes

Jamaal Charles

Knile Davis

230

4

234

112

Yes

Adrian Peterson

Toby Gerhart

246

1

247

128

Yes

Trent Richardson

Brandon Jackson

251

9

260

133

Yes

First look at the starters (based on ADP) with the smallest ADP margin compared to their ADP-based backup. I see a whole lot of clusterfuckage. Given a choice, I’ll avoid all of these situations:

  • Gio vs. The Law Firm

  • Le’Veon’s Foot vs. Redman’s…whatever

  • DeGeriatric Williams vs. J-Stew’s broken feet

  • No-Catches Ridley vs. Zombie Vereen

At the bottom of the table we see the situations that presumably have the most clarity:

  • From Lacy down there’s no doubt about who’s the starter.

  • I wouldn’t bother with any of the backups from Robinson on down, in redraft.

Which Backups to Target

There are probably many lessons to be gleaned here, but remember that the biggest factor in RB success is opportunity, followed by talent. And of course we want the best value for our draft buck. That’s why I included the “On Waivers?” column: these backups have ADPs in the 14th round or later, so there’s a good chance they’re available for free.

Let’s look at the backups, sorted by ADP this time, with a comment for each.

Starter

Backup

Backup ADP

B/U on Waivers?

Backup Comments

Stevan Ridley

Shane Vereen

66

No

A zombie. Take Daryl Richardson instead. Starter Mendenhall is cheaper and has a clearer usage situation, if his knee is okay.

Giovani Bernard

BenJarvis Green-Ellis

81

No

Losing starter’s opportunity, but has value if CIN offense explodes. The only starting RBs going after him are Bell (Foot) and D-Willy (old). I like BJGE better than either, but would rather not take him.

David Wilson

Andre Brown

83

No

Andre is injured. Again. Avoid.

Darren Sproles

Mark Ingram

86

No

Ranks 25 in the RB Workshop, and could be a fantasy RB2. Similar outlook to BJGE. A potential target – but not for me. Don’t forget Pierre Thomas too.

Arian Foster

Ben Tate

91

No

It’s not too late for a breakout, but do you want to spend a 7th round pick to see if it happens? Potential target.

Montee Ball

Ronnie Hillman

100

No

A sleeper pick over Tate, his RB Lap projection puts him ahead of Deangelo Williams, among others. In an unclear situation, I’d rather have the cheaper Hillman. Target.

Ahmad Bradshaw

Vick Ballard

105

No

Ballard is a full-fledged sleeper whose closest comps include Montee Ball, but he’s 50 picks cheaper. He’s proven capable, and if Bradshaw misses time, he should be a top 30 RB. I’ll take him, despite the small ADP Gap.

Ray Rice

Bernard Pierce

107

No

Arguably the backup to own, likely to get increased usage, could put up top 15 RB numbers on just 10 carries/game. I’d put him ahead of all the other backups.

C.J. Spiller

Fred Jackson

109

No

Skip F-Jax. Possibly the worst comps ever. Old. I’d rather have Bryce Brown, being drafted right after him. Or a pair of sweat socks.

LeSean McCoy

Bryce Brown

112

No

Really great comps, capable of a top 30 season at just 12 carries/ game, huge usage potential if McCoy goes down. Great value at this ADP.

Ryan Mathews

Danny Woodhead

114

No

Fontaine likes him, but given the small ADP Gap, general state of SD’s offense, and Mathews’ great preseason, I’ll probably skip him. I think it’s more likely Mathews is undervalued than it is that Woodhead is a good value.

Deangelo Williams

Jonathan Stewart

123

No

Stewart may be finished. I think drafters are misreading the situation in CAR. D-Willy has some modest upside as the likely workhorse. I’d rather have neither.

Steven Jackson

Jacquizz Rodgers

128

No

Jacquizz is one of the head-liners in the How To Lose A League in 10 Picks Article. Nuff said.

Reggie Bush

Mikel Leshoure

129

No

This kills me. Joique Bell is the Reggie Bush backup, not Leshoure. Leshoure has little value right now. Bell not only has standalone value, but upside if Bush goes down.

Eddie Lacy

Jonathan Franklin

142

No

Franklin has no redraft value at this point.

Le’Veon Bell

Jonathan Dwyer

143

No

No, just, no. The small Gap and uncertain usage is a big problem. Dwyer sucking is another. There are better options later.

Frank Gore

Lamichael James

146

No

James is out 3-4 weeks, but he is LMJ, bitch! Like Brown, Pierce, and Joique, could have stand alone value. Much better choice than the five backups going ahead of him.

Daryl Richardson

Isaiah Pead

153

No

It’s time to buy on D-Rich, but not so much on Pead. Leave him be.

Chris Johnson

Shonn Greene

154

No

Greene managed to be productive last year in a horrible NYJ offense, so he could have value. Unless CJ?K goes down, I’m not sure what it is.

Matt Forte

Michael Bush

157

No

Bush could have some value if Forte misses time, but Forte has been pretty durable. Meh.

Chris Ivory

Bilal Powell

162

No

Ivory is an Injury risk which could make Powell useful. A mild target.

Lamar Miller

Daniel Thomas

169

Yes

Do I really need to say anything?

Marshawn Lynch

Christine Michael

175

Yes

Michael is definitely on my radar. Collectively we’re down on Lynch, and SEA’s offense offers a lot of RB opportunity if Michael gets playing time. More upside than the 5 backups ahead of him, and available on waivers. I like.

DeMarco Murray

Joseph Randle

181

Yes

Our 15th ranked ROOKIE RB. Move along. If healthy, Dunbar is probably the Murray backup, though neither seems worth a redraft roster spot.

Alfred Morris

Roy Helu

183

Yes

We’re probably sleeping too hard on Helu. May have standalone value and would have huge usage opportunity if Morris goes down. Look at Helu’s 2011, look at his profile, and explain why guys like Randle, Pead, Leshoure, etc. should be rostered ahead of him. Then go out and make a waiver claim for Helu.

Rashard Mendenhall

Ryan Williams

202

Yes

No thanks. On the trading block, or not, Williams is best left on the waiver wire, given ARI’s offensive line.

Maurice Jones-Drew

Denard Robinson

213

Yes

MJD ranks in the top 20 in the RB Workshop, and if healthy has a great projection. The Offensive Weapon might be a good prospect, but there’s no need to pick him up off waivers to find out.

Doug Martin

Brian Leonard

232

Yes

Leave. Leonard. On. The. Waiver. Wire.

Jamaal Charles

Knile Davis

234

Yes

Knile has shown some ability in the preseason, and also some ball control issues. Would probably be the #1 if Charles goes down, but leave him on waivers for now.

Darren McFadden

Rashad Jennings

243

Yes

No.

Adrian Peterson

Toby Gerhart

247

Yes

Try Zach Line instead.

Trent Richardson

Brandon Jackson

260

Yes

No.

Subscribe for a constant stream of league-beating articles available only with a Premium Pass.

1 comments
dontyouhatepants
dontyouhatepants

The best case for Bryce Brown, which I suppose you've alluded to, is that he has a real shot at 12 touches/game even with a healthy McCoy getting 25 touches/game.  The same goes for Fred Jackson, however.  I really like the FantasyPros ADP page (my drafts are all finished, but still)... gives ADPs on 6 different platforms followed by an average of the 6.  Jackson's ADP is all over the place, and he's probably being undervalued in plenty of drafts.  Jackson might be old and slow, but as much as CJ Spiller is going to get the ball until he vomits, someone else is going to have to take some carries in this offense, and Tashard Choice isn't an upgrade.  Unless they grab an extra RB off waivers (which would probably be a smart move), Jackson is probably going to get almost 10 touches/game.  I'm not saying I want him on my team (I have Bryce Brown on 2 teams), but if he were sitting there in the 12th round of a 12 team draft and I wanted another RB, and Christine Michael, Joique Bell and Knowshon Moreno were all off the board, I'd take a long look at Fred Jackson.