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.


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.

RankPlayer (Age)Scr YdsSeasonsYds/Season
1Steven Jackson (29)13,45991495.44
2Frank Gore (29)11,47081433.75
3Adrian Peterson (27)10,37561729.17
4Maurice Jones-Drew (27)9,82771403.86
5Willis McGahee (31)9,41691046.22
6Chris Johnson (27)8,54651709.20
7Ray Rice (25)8,23351646.60
8Michael Turner (30)7,8669874.00
9Matt Forte (27)7,65251530.40
10Marshawn Lynch (26)7,34861224.67
11Ronnie Brown (31)7,0338879.13
12DeAngelo Williams (29)7,02871004.00
13Reggie Bush (27)6,8927984.57
14Cedric Benson (30)6,8508856.25
15Arian Foster (26)6,05241513.00
16Fred Jackson (31)5,9836997.17
17Jamaal Charles (26)5,81851163.60
18Brandon Jacobs (30)5,5868698.25
19LeSean McCoy (24)5,45441363.50
20Ahmad Bradshaw (26)5,3196886.50

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.)

PlayerBTRunsRecTouchesBT/Touch2011 BT
LeSean McCoy441995525417.30%50
C.J. Spiller342074325013.60%17
DeMarco Murray261623519713.20%14
Adrian Peterson443484038811.30%26
Doug Martin413194936811.10%
Trent Richardson31267513189.70%
Vick Ballard22211172289.60%
Frank Gore27258282869.40%12
Reggie Bush24227352629.20%29
Ray Rice27257613188.50%29
Marshawn Lynch26315233387.70%34
Alfred Morris26335113467.50%
Arian Foster28351403917.20%32
Steven Jackson21257382957.10%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.

McCoyStandardHalf PPRPPR
Year N+1 Ave25.6212.812.213574.370.32.721.80.12

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.

Frank Gore2008SF252171417.0773.794.320.433.0726.640.14
Edgerrin James2003IND252141323.8596.384.040.853.9222.460.00
Tiki Barber2004NYG292001620.0694.564.710.813.2536.120.12
Kevin Smith2010DET2421765.6720.503.620.001.8320.500.00
Matt Forte2010CHI252181614.8166.814.510.383.1934.190.19
Knowshon Moreno2011DEN2421075.2925.574.840.001.5714.430.14
Tshimanga Biakabutuka2001CAR27215510.6046.004.340.202.4024.200.00
Lee Suggs2005CLE2520561.332.501.880.001.004.330.00
Ray Rice2011BAL242121618.0684.504.680.754.7544.000.19
Frank Gore2009SF262171416.3680.004.890.713.7129.000.21
James Allen2001CHI26212168.4429.313.470.061.8812.250.06
Matt Forte2011CHI262181217.0083.254.900.254.3340.830.08
Thomas Jones2005CHI272201520.9389.004.250.601.739.530.00
Kevin Faulk2001NE25202152.7311.
DeShaun Foster2006CAR262221416.2164.073.950.212.2911.360.00
Ricky Williams2002MIA252261623.94114.564.791.002.9422.690.06
Reuben Droughns2006CLE282071415.7154.143.450.291.9312.070.00
Reggie Bush2008NO232031010.6040.403.810.205.1043.900.40
Jamaal Charles2011KC2519926.0041.506.920.002.504.500.50
Ladell Betts2007WAS28222165.8120.943.600.061.3110.880.06

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


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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