On Monday, I gave a detailed analysis of True Fantasy Points (TFP) for 2015 starting quarterbacks that were on the same team in 2014. Loyal Footballguys readers requested that, in addition to the passing game, I also include quarterback TFP for the rushing game. As a faithful servant, this post is in obligation of said request.
But before I give the details, let me first explain why I left quarterback rushing projections out of the previous post. The reason is three-fold:
- I've found that "box score stats" related to the running game are pretty random. Namely, yards per carry takes 1,978 carries to "stabilize" and touchdowns per carry (RuTD%) takes 667 carries to stabilize.
- None of the projected starting quarterbacks in 2015 have had at least 667 rushing attempts with their current team, let alone 1,978.
- Outside of a handful of "runners by design" (e.g., Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, etc.), the vast majority of quarterback rush attempts are either kneel-downs or scrambles.
True YPC and Rush TD%
The table below displays actual and "true" rushing stats (sorted by "True YPC") for the projected starting quarterbacks in 2015 that were on the same team in 2014:
|Player||Tm||Prev RuAtt||Prev RuYds||Prev RuTDs||True YPC||Rk||True RuTD%||Rk|
true fantasy projections for 2015 (Passing & rushing)
Monday's article elucidated quarterback TFP projections for 2015 based on "true" passing stats. Below are projections based on the full combination of quarterback passing (Pa) stats and quarterback rushing (Ru) stats. For readers' convenience, the table is sorted by the "Diff" column, i.e., the difference between Dodds' points projection and TFP's points projection:
Because the vast majority of quarterback fantasy points come from the passing game, today's table isn't much different than the pass-only version I presented on Monday: Luck, Stafford, and Eli Manning are still among the most over-projected, while Carr, Palmer, and Brees are still among the most under-projected. That said, there's one quarterback whose divergent rushing projections has shot him to the top of the list.
Dodds projects Wilson to score 31.5 more rushing points than TFP does. To put +31.5 into perspective, that's nearly twice as much as the No. 2 rushing difference (Colin Kaepernick at +17.7) and nearly three times as large as the No. 3 difference (Cam Newton at +12.2).
The reason for Wilson being such an outlier is that Dodds projects him to have a 6.30 YPC in 2015, whereas Wilson's True YPC based on 308 previous runs with the Seahawks is only 3.98. Spread out over 97 projected rushes this season, that YPC difference translates to a Dodds projection of 225 more rushing yards, or 22.5 more fantasy points -- and that's before even considering rushing touchdowns.
Of course, as I alluded to in the introduction, there's a problem with taking TFP at face value here. On one hand, Wilson's a runner by design often enough that the stabilization point of YPC for running backs (i.e., 1,978 carries) applies to him more than it would a quarterback, like say Ben Roethlisberger, whose rush attempts are mostly of the kneel-down or scramble variety. On the other hand, if the running back YPC stabilization point does apply to Wilson for this reason, then 308 carries isn't even 20 percent of the way towards reaching it, and so his actual 6.09 YPC with the Seahawks should decrease towards the league average; not increase to 6.30 as Dodds projects.
Perhaps, then, the solution amid all this uncertainty is to split the difference, and make an educated guess that Wilson's YPC in 2015 will end up somewhere near the midpoint between his 3.98 True YPC projection and Dodds' 6.30 YPC projection -- say, 5.14. That's not as statistically rigorous as I'd like, but blindly following a stat that's obviously wrong isn't the correct path either.
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