Draft Strategy

Not All Running Back Touches Are Created Equal

Not all touches are created equal. You’ve probably heard this before if you have played fantasy football for any length of time. For running backs in particular, there are two situations fantasy owners keep track of: third downs and in the red-zone. Just how important are those touches, and can it tell us anything for 2015? That’s precisely what I set out to discover.

Subscribe to the best value in fantasy sports

You're all out of free reads for now and subscribing is the only way to make sure you don't ever miss an article.

By Anthony Amico | @amicsta | Archive

Comments   Add comment

  1. Awesome article.

    Bishop Sankey jumps out to me as a player who was really hurt by his role. I could see an argument for his role changing this year, but then again the Titans may use Cobb in the RZ and keep using Dexter McCluster on 3rd downs. At the very least this hurts the "Bishop Sankey sucks" narrative, but if his role stays the same in 2015 that narrative will seem to be the right one. As always... blame Ken Whisenhunt.

  2. What's interesting to me is that most 3rd down backs don't profile as goal line vultures, and prototype goal line backs don't catch well. It seems like the rare back who performs both of these roles has standalone value even as a role player. (This message was paid for by a 2014 Ahmad Bradshaw owner.)

  3. Very interesting information. Looking at the data may help find some undervalued running backs. Looking at say Rashad Jennings if you do a rough estimate he would extrapolate to 77 situational touches last year. Also looking at this chart makes me more inclined to target forsett with seeing forte's situational touches from last year.

  4. Anthony-

    On pro football reference they have splits for opponents 1-10. Did you also look at that? It might really help narrow the situational touches to the most likely scoring opportunities, rather than the larger red zone. A RB scoring for the 15 is much less likely than the 5.

  5. There's probably a high correlation between red zone and OPP 1-10, so it might not help much. Just thinking it could be more useful.

Discuss this article on the RotoViz Forums

8 more replies