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PPR RB By Committee, Update

Finding a Stud Running Back in PPR Leagues by Committee for 2017

This year's series of "By Committee" articles sparked a few great questions from the readers, and that led to a recent article where I discussed using a few different approaches (such as Ben Roethlisberger only at home plus another quarterback).  At the end of the article, a table was presented to show several options at quarterback for committee pairs that involved quarterbacks that were higher than the cutoff line that I had drawn (QB13+ on the ADP list).  The readers asked why the line was drawn at QB12, and I felt that it was a good question and a different answer (and article) was needed.  Further investigation of this seemlingly arbitrary line led me to ask the question for running back - should the line be drawn higher, and could better pairs result?  

So with this in mind, I revisited the arguments I made about the committee approach, and then I explored raising the line (and the bar) for better pairs.  Below are the results, which I hope help you on your fantasy draft day: 

ELIGIBLE RUNNING BACKS

I mentioned this the first time - defenses and quarterbacks are relatively easy to "committee" together. There's usually only one QB and certainly only one team defense per NFL club, so the approach is pretty simple as far as picking out which players / teams to try and pair up. When it comes to running backs, the line is not quite so easy to draw, but I needed some basis to pick which players it made sense to try and combine for a decent committee. This time I decided that I would use the following criteria to decide which players to start with for evaluating:

CRITERIA #1 - RB11 AND BEYOND

This seems pretty simple. If we want to have a duo that puts up elite numbers, that means we want RB10 or better production - else we would just draft a Top 10 option and forget the whole idea. So here is the list of players with which I started, based on their Average Draft Position (ADP):

ADP Player ADP Player
RB11 Lamar Miller RB20 Carlos Hyde
RB12 Leonard Fournette RB21 Tevin Coleman
RB13 Isaiah Crowell RB22 Spencer Ware
RB14 Dalvin Cook RB23 Ameer Abdullah
RB15 Bilal Powell RB24 Danny Woodhead
RB16 Marshawn Lynch RB25 Joe Mixon
RB17 Christian McCaffrey RB26 Theo Riddick
RB18 Mark Ingram RB27 Terrance West
RB19 Ty Montgomery    

Table 1: Running Backs RB11-RB27 Based on ADP

Now we have 17 guys to pair up and see how they do. That makes 136 potential committees, so there had better be a decent one (or several, we hope) out of all of those couplets. Now, before I go over the method of how to pair them up and the results, we need one more rule:

CRITERIA #2 - NO MORE THAN ONE RB FROM ROUND 5 AND ONE FROM ROUND 6

Rather than keep Criteria #2 from the original article, I am allowing for more flexibility in your draft.  Let us let the results speak for themselves and then decide which pairs are the correct ones to select as the draft progresses.

So what do we do now to figure out some RB pairs?

CRITERIA #3 - USE FOOTBALLGUYS' RB STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE

This sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Just take the RB Strength of Schedule to figure out when certain players are more likely to score well. What I did is similar to what the Projections Dominator and Draft Dominator do for you - take the projected fantasy points and slice them up over 17 weeks based on the strength of schedule. I call this result the "distributed fantasy points" for each receiver.

After I had all 17 running backs with distributed fantasy points on a weekly basis, I just compared all of the possible RB pairs to find the best duos for an elite RBBC. So here we are - time for some results:

Rank Running Back 1 Running Back 2 Value
1 Leonard Fournette Isaiah Crowell 257.26
2 Lamar Miller Leonard Fournette 253.82
3 Lamar Miller Isaiah Crowell 251.96
4 Isaiah Crowell Christian McCaffrey 247.11
5 Lamar Miller Dalvin Cook 245.89
6 Isaiah Crowell Bilal Powell 245.18
7 Leonard Fournette Bilal Powell 242.97
8 Leonard Fournette Marshawn Lynch 242.76
9 Leonard Fournette Dalvin Cook 241.94
10 Isaiah Crowell Ty Montgomery 241.04
11 Lamar Miller Christian McCaffrey 240.7
12 Leonard Fournette Christian McCaffrey 240.51
13 Isaiah Crowell Marshawn Lynch 240.06
14 Isaiah Crowell Mark Ingram 237.89
15 Leonard Fournette Tevin Coleman 237.51
16 Isaiah Crowell Spencer Ware 237.35
17 Isaiah Crowell Joe Mixon 237.05
18 Isaiah Crowell Carlos Hyde 236
19 Dalvin Cook Bilal Powell 235.61
20 Lamar Miller Marshawn Lynch 234.93
21 Isaiah Crowell Dalvin Cook 234.57
22 Isaiah Crowell Danny Woodhead 234.4
23 Lamar Miller Bilal Powell 234.23
24 Isaiah Crowell Tevin Coleman 234.16
25 Isaiah Crowell Terrance West 233.83
26 Leonard Fournette Mark Ingram 233.32
27 Isaiah Crowell Ameer Abdullah 233.23
28 Lamar Miller Ty Montgomery 232.64
29 Lamar Miller Joe Mixon 232.45
30 Lamar Miller Mark Ingram 231.71
31 Isaiah Crowell Theo Riddick 231.51
32 Leonard Fournette Spencer Ware 231.47
33 Lamar Miller Spencer Ware 230.71
34 Dalvin Cook Christian McCaffrey 230.7
35 Dalvin Cook Ty Montgomery 230.55
36 Leonard Fournette Ameer Abdullah 230.35
37 Leonard Fournette Carlos Hyde 230.15
38 Leonard Fournette Joe Mixon 230.02
39 Lamar Miller Carlos Hyde 228.87
40 Leonard Fournette Danny Woodhead 228.57
41 Dalvin Cook Marshawn Lynch 228.12
42 Leonard Fournette Terrance West 228.04
43 Dalvin Cook Mark Ingram 227.93
44 Leonard Fournette Theo Riddick 227.27
45 Dalvin Cook Tevin Coleman 226.34
46 Christian McCaffrey Mark Ingram 225.94
47 Bilal Powell Marshawn Lynch 225.84
48 Lamar Miller Tevin Coleman 225.65
49 Leonard Fournette Ty Montgomery 225.19
50 Lamar Miller Danny Woodhead 223.22
51 Lamar Miller Terrance West 223.02
52 Christian McCaffrey Tevin Coleman 222.64
53 Marshawn Lynch Christian McCaffrey 222.4
54 Christian McCaffrey Ty Montgomery 222.12
55 Dalvin Cook Joe Mixon 221.71
56 Dalvin Cook Spencer Ware 221.18
57 Bilal Powell Ty Montgomery 220.98
58 Dalvin Cook Danny Woodhead 220.95
59 Dalvin Cook Carlos Hyde 220.52
60 Marshawn Lynch Mark Ingram 220.44
61 Dalvin Cook Ameer Abdullah 220.35
62 Dalvin Cook Terrance West 220.29
63 Bilal Powell Christian McCaffrey 220.18
64 Bilal Powell Mark Ingram 219.42
65 Lamar Miller Ameer Abdullah 218.8
66 Dalvin Cook Theo Riddick 218.58
67 Christian McCaffrey Ameer Abdullah 218.15
68 Bilal Powell Ameer Abdullah 217.85
69 Bilal Powell Spencer Ware 217.83
70 Marshawn Lynch Ty Montgomery 217.47
71 Christian McCaffrey Joe Mixon 217.37
72 Lamar Miller Theo Riddick 216.34
73 Christian McCaffrey Danny Woodhead 216.06
74 Marshawn Lynch Tevin Coleman 215.85
75 Bilal Powell Joe Mixon 215.43
76 Mark Ingram Ty Montgomery 215.36
77 Christian McCaffrey Terrance West 215.05
78 Marshawn Lynch Carlos Hyde 214.67
79 Christian McCaffrey Theo Riddick 214.62
80 Bilal Powell Theo Riddick 214.1
81 Christian McCaffrey Spencer Ware 213.66
82 Lamar Miller n/a 213.6

Table 2: Elite Running Back Committee Pairs

Okay, that is a really big table, but I wanted to be thorough.  As you can see, we have some very good pairs to select from for an elite RBBC. So digging in, there are 64 pairs ot Table 2 to consider, so there are a number of options.  Rather than looking at the frequency of appearances, let's just jump right into the comparison to the original table for our Top 12+ running backs from the original article:  

ADP RB Rank Player Team FPs
1 1 David Johnson ARI 401.92
2 2 LeVeon Bell PIT 350.68
3 3 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 323.36
8 5 Melvin Gordon LAC 267.32
10 6 LeSean McCoy BUF 264.6
11 4 Devonta Freeman ATL 269.87
14 9 Jay Ajayi MIA 235.32
16 8 Jordan Howard CHI 238.56
17 7 DeMarco Murray TEN 247.33
22 12 Todd Gurley LAR 214.56
27 11 Leonard Fournette JAX 218.51
28 10 Lamar Miller HOU 218.84

Table 3: Projected Fantasy Points for Elite Running Backs

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Based on Tables 2 and 3, we see that some combinations of running backs can provide elite production at a reduced price.  Taking two running backs in the RB15-24 range with the right combined schedule gives 240+ fantasy points, which is equivalent to Jay Ajayi (RB8/RB9) along with 10 points for a bye week filler. Not all of the pairings may fall into place in each draft, but having a chart like Table 2 can give you a leg up on the competition.  

The committee approach is not a perfect one, but having this knowledge prior to your fantasy draft can prove to be invaluable if you decide to adopt this approach.  If all the players on your starter list are gone, goiong with a committee can save your team and help you deal with the loss of bigger names.  The method is also a big help in "Best Ball" leagues, where lineup decisions are not necessary every week.  That's exactly where a committee can do the best, as either player can count for you each week.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com.