One Trick to Finding RB1s in the NFL Draft

With the NFL regular season over, and all but the National Championship completed in college football, it is time to start diving into the 2018 NFL Draft. The draft is easily my favorite event of the year — not even the Super Bowl surpasses it. With the turn of the New Year, now is the time to look through the college landscape and find tomorrow’s stars. I’m going to show you one easy trick to finding RB1s in the NFL Draft, and then identify some candidates from the 2018 NFL Draft that fit the billing. What if I told you this trick is a simple filter that you can put college running backs through that has historically produced an RB1 40 percent of the time? That’s something you would probably be interested in, right? I’m going to talk about that, along with some additional filters to improve our odds of success even more.

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By Anthony Amico | @amicsta | Archive

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  1. McG says:

    Really appreciated this article, @amicsta .

    One thought that has kind of stuck with me this morning was whether there is a way to filter that allows us to separate those who may have had one RB1 season from those who have had at least 2 RB1 seasons.

    I suspect we'd probably run into some small # problems, but if it's easy for you to investigate I'd be interested to read a follow up article.


  2. Appreciate the kind words. I have not looked into any potential filter, but I do have the list. There were 13 total RB1s in the sample, 6 were repeat performers:

    Reggie Bush
    Mark Ingram
    Jamaal Charles
    Doug Martin
    DeAngelo Williams
    Chris Johnson

    One-timers were:

    Willis McGahee
    Steve Slaton
    Leonard Fournette
    Jeremy Hill
    Duke Johnson
    Darren Sproles
    Christian McCaffrey

    Something that stands out to me right away is obviously draft position, particularly when we consider that Fournette and CMC will most likely be repeat producers at some point. That would leave Charles as the only repeat performer who isn't a first rounder, and McGahee the only first rounder not to repeat.

    Of course, this is just RB1 total points. There are other splits to consider (RB1 PPG, RB2, RB2 PPG).

  3. At the risk of sounding dumb, what is the difference between RB1 PPR and RB1 PPG? Is PPG just standard scoring?

  4. McG says:

    @Badger - that was my assumption as well.

    @amicsta - thanks for the quick and thoughtful response!

  5. @Badger @McG

    It's all PPR scoring, but RB1 PPR is total points, and RB1 PPG is points per game (minimum 6 games played)

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