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AFC North Backfield Study - Footballguys

A look at AFC North backfield productivity, volume, and efficiency numbers in 2017 and how to use that data in 2018 drafts.

Last summer’s deep dive into backfield stats focused on Top 10 PPR running back weeks produced by backfields, ranked by team. This made the Saints stand out, tied for third with only Pittsburgh (LeVeon Bell) and Arizona (David Johnson) ahead of them despite not having a Bell/Johnson talent and an RBBC approach. While we may revisit that exercise later, I decided to take a different angle this year, spurred by the realization that ranking running games by rushing statistics that include quarterbacks doesn’t give a clear picture of the potential of the backfield to produce fantasy points. So I stripped away quarterback statistics from aggregate running game totals and also totaled passing game statistics produced by running backs to give a clearer picture of how effective and efficient backfields were at producing fantasy points in 2017. What did this exercise reveal? I’ll share what I found division-by-division.

Links to other divisions: AFC East--AFC South--AFC West--NFC East--NFC North--NFC South--NFC West


AFC North

  Rush yds ypc TD tgt comp% rec yd ypr TD FP PPRFP rushFP recFP recPPRFP rushFP/T recFP/T
BAL 419 1760 4.20 12 146 0.75 109 678 6.22 2 327.80 436.80 248.00 79.80 188.80 0.59 0.73
CIN 331 1237 3.74 6 101 0.78 79 728 9.22 2 244.50 323.50 159.70 84.80 163.80 0.48 1.07
CLE 293 1214 4.14 6 146 0.75 109 923 8.47 3 267.70 376.70 157.40 110.30 219.30 0.54 1.01
PIT 390 1576 4.04 10 110 0.79 87 664 7.63 2 296.00 383.00 217.60 78.40 165.40 0.56 0.90


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