Running backs are dead. Long live running backs.
Fantasy footballers have long sought an indictment against the position. The grand jury convened after 2015 and came back with one.
Last season the running back position was an unmitigated disaster from a fantasy football perspective, running teams everywhere with a devastating combination of injury and underperformance. Few top-tier backs were left standing atop the fantasy rankings after 2015 got done with them. We are witnessing the aftermath of the carnage as the first round has become a wide receiver free-for-all.
But the position isn't dead. It was just knocked unconscious. It'll be back with a vengeance, and the fear permeating fantasy football circles will create plenty of values if you are looking in the right places.
So what are those places? You may recall the Fantasy Index series from a couple of season ago. Well, it's back, bringing you insights about player usage, effeciency and fantasy value this year. We can take a look back at last season to see what the numbers yielded us.
For the purposes of this article, all fantasy scoring is in points-per-reception (PPR) format.
- Att%/16: The percentage of rushing attempts prorated over 16 games.
- Tgt%/16: The percentage of targets prorated over 16 games.
- OvTD%: The overall touchdown rate for a player combining rushing attempts and targets.
- PPR: Points per reception
- PPG: PPR points per game
- PPO: Points per opportunity
- FPS/16: Fantasy points shares prorated over 16 games intended to show the amount of fantasy scoring a player garners compared to the rest of his team
- eFPS/16: A metric of FPS efficiecny based on the combined rushing and receiving averages for a player