Draft Strategy

Game Flow: Which Running Backs Were Used In Which Game Situations

This article is an extension of a piece from two years ago about the concept of game flow, and how it affects running back opportunity.  In the spring of 2014, Rich Hribar wrote two articles about the concept of game flow, and how it affects wide receivers and running backs. In 2013 positive game flow, used to describe when a team is winning, was far likelier to produce rushing than passing. Inversely, negative game flow, used to describe when a team is losing, is far likelier to produce passing than rushing. Hribar found that, outside of a few exceptions, running back targets were heavily dependent on neutral (when a team is tied) or negative (when a team is losing) game flow, while rushing attempts were heavily dependent on positive game flow. When we look at last season, we see largely the same thing, although there are a few notable exceptions that stick out. For the 45 running backs who had at least seventy rushing attempts and twenty targets last year, here’s how their work was split out based on game flow. I also added a few names that are relevant to the conversation, but didn’t quite hit those thresholds:

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By 14Team Mocker | @14TeamMocker | Archive

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  1. Jason says:

    For Duke Johnson, I think he will be fine even though he was targeted so heavily when trailing for a few reasons.

    1. The Browns sucked last year and were often trailing. Should be a similar situation this season.
    2. Gio was targeted even when leading. With Hue in town, I would look for Duke to be targeted a healthy amount.
  2. I really think if Crowell is healthy it limits Duke's upside near his ADP, but he should have an incredibly high floor which helps offset that concern.

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