Which RBs were the most productive in 2010?

Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (20) gains 40 yards on a run against the Denver Broncos Perrish Cox and Jason Hunter (52) during the first quarter at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 24, 2010 in Denver. UPI/Gary C. Caskey

Other positions: QB | RB | WR | TE | DT

As I outlined in yesterday’s QB post, total points is not always the best way to judge a player’s season, especially when you’re trying to project how he’s going to play in the future. I prefer to look at per game numbers that are adjusted for strength of schedule. That way, I have a pretty good idea how each player would fare against neutral competition.

Here’s a look at the Top 50 RBs of 2010 in terms of adjusted fantasy points per game, which is calculated by dividing the player’s total points by the number of games he played and then adjusting the result by the average schedule bias for his team. Keep in mind these are points scored in a standard (non-PPR) scoring system. (The PPR table is further down.)

# Name PPG SOS Adj Adj PPG
1 Arian Foster 20.6 -0.38 21.0
2 Darren McFadden 17.4 0.19 17.2
3 Peyton Hillis 15.2 -1.14 16.4
4 Adrian Peterson 16.1 0.05 16.1
5 LeSean McCoy 14.7 -0.76 15.5
6 Chris Johnson 14.6 -0.09 14.6
7 Maurice Jones-Drew 14.7 0.44 14.3
8 Rashard Mendenhall 13.9 -0.23 14.1
9 Ray Rice 13.4 -0.19 13.5
10 Jamaal Charles 15.1 1.56 13.5
11 Matt Forte 13.5 0.12 13.4
12 BenJarvus Green-Ellis 11.7 -1.59 13.3
13 Michael Turner 13.6 0.56 13.0
14 Frank Gore 14.6 1.63 13.0
15 Knowshon Moreno 12.5 -0.37 12.9
16 Ryan Torain 12.3 -0.60 12.9
17 Cedric Benson 11.1 -1.40 12.5
18 Ahmad Bradshaw 12.7 0.48 12.2
19 Fred Jackson 9.8 -1.82 11.6
20 LaDainian Tomlinson 10.9 -0.02 11.0
21 Joseph Addai 10.7 0.37 10.4
22 Steven Jackson 12.4 2.19 10.2
23 Danny Woodhead 8.6 -1.59 10.2
24 LeGarrette Blount 10.6 0.55 10.1
25 Jahvid Best 8.8 -1.19 10.0
26 Pierre Thomas 9.8 0.08 9.8
27 Michael Bush 9.5 0.19 9.3
28 Mike Tolbert 10.7 1.65 9.1
29 Ronnie Brown 8.0 -0.83 8.8
30 Ryan Mathews 10.4 1.65 8.7
31 Clinton Portis 8.0 -0.60 8.6
32 Chris Ivory 8.6 0.08 8.5
33 Brandon Jackson 8.0 -0.47 8.5
34 DeAngelo Williams 8.0 -0.44 8.5
35 Brandon Jacobs 8.9 0.48 8.4
36 Felix Jones 8.6 0.28 8.3
37 Jonathan Stewart 7.5 -0.44 8.0
38 Thomas Jones 8.6 1.56 7.0
39 Ricky Williams 6.2 -0.83 7.0
40 Marshawn Lynch 7.8 0.79 7.0
41 Maurice Morris 5.8 -1.19 6.9
42 Kevin Faulk 5.4 -1.59 6.9
43 Tim Hightower 7.3 0.54 6.8
44 Shonn Greene 6.7 -0.02 6.7
45 Rashad Jennings 7.1 0.44 6.7
46 Keiland Williams 5.8 -0.60 6.4
47 Mike Goodson 5.9 -0.44 6.3
48 Jason Snelling 6.6 0.56 6.1
49 Donald Brown 6.3 0.37 5.9
50 Cadillac Williams 6.1 0.55 5.5

A few random thoughts:

— It might be a little surprising to see Darren McFadden at #2, but he was wickedly productive when he was healthy.

— Peyton Hillis had a great year, and did it against a relatively tough schedule. There are still concerns about his workload and potential timeshare, but if Hillis is the lead back and has an easier schedule in 2011, he should be a very solid RB2 at worst.

— Jamaal Charles was terrific in 2010, but he did it against a very easy schedule. It will be interesting to see what kind of draw he gets in 2011. The same goes for Steven Jackson, who had the easiest schedule of any fantasy RB last season.

— Part-timers who may go full-time (like LeGarrette Blount, Ryan Matthews and Jonathan Stewart) are tough to gauge with this method. One has to look at specific games where they received a certain number of carries and try to project that way.

— If Bill Belichick doesn’t make any changes to the pecking order in the backfield, both BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead could be starting-caliber RBs in most formats.

Here’s a look at the PPR numbers:

# Name PPG SOS Adj Adj PPG
1 Arian Foster 24.8 -0.49 25.2
2 Darren McFadden 21.0 0.35 20.7
3 LeSean McCoy 19.9 -0.55 20.5
4 Peyton Hillis 19.0 -1.30 20.3
5 Adrian Peterson 18.5 -0.02 18.5
6 Ray Rice 17.3 -0.37 17.7
7 Chris Johnson 17.3 -0.20 17.5
8 Frank Gore 18.8 1.48 17.3
9 Matt Forte 16.7 0.07 16.6
10 Maurice Jones-Drew 17.2 0.63 16.5
11 Jamaal Charles 17.9 1.51 16.4
12 Knowshon Moreno 15.4 -0.33 15.7
13 Rashard Mendenhall 15.3 -0.36 15.7
14 Ahmad Bradshaw 15.6 0.59 15.0
15 Ryan Torain 14.1 -0.71 14.8
16 Pierre Thomas 14.7 0.04 14.6
17 LaDainian Tomlinson 14.4 0.12 14.3
18 BenJarvus Green-Ellis 12.5 -1.80 14.3
19 Cedric Benson 12.8 -1.37 14.2
20 Michael Turner 14.4 0.50 13.8
21 Jahvid Best 12.4 -1.34 13.7
22 Fred Jackson 11.7 -1.90 13.6
23 Steven Jackson 15.3 2.34 12.9
24 Joseph Addai 13.1 0.29 12.8
25 Danny Woodhead 10.8 -1.80 12.6
26 Felix Jones 11.6 0.31 11.3
27 Brandon Jackson 10.7 -0.38 11.1
28 Ronnie Brown 10.0 -0.85 10.9
29 Mike Tolbert 12.4 1.82 10.6
30 Michael Bush 10.8 0.35 10.4
31 Ryan Mathews 12.2 1.82 10.4
32 LeGarrette Blount 11.0 0.76 10.2
33 DeAngelo Williams 9.9 -0.37 10.2
34 Kevin Faulk 8.4 -1.80 10.1
35 Clinton Portis 9.0 -0.71 9.7
36 Reggie Bush 9.5 0.04 9.4
37 Jason Snelling 9.8 0.50 9.3
38 Keiland Williams 8.4 -0.71 9.1
39 Maurice Morris 7.5 -1.34 8.9
40 Mike Goodson 8.4 -0.37 8.8
41 Brandon Jacobs 9.3 0.59 8.7
42 Chris Ivory 8.7 0.04 8.7
43 Jonathan Stewart 8.1 -0.37 8.5
44 Rashad Jennings 9.1 0.63 8.5
45 Marshawn Lynch 9.1 0.76 8.4
46 Ricky Williams 7.4 -0.85 8.2
47 Cadillac Williams 9.0 0.76 8.2
48 Thomas Jones 9.5 1.51 8.0
49 Ladell Betts 8.0 0.04 8.0
50 Tim Hightower 8.6 0.73 7.9

— LeSean McCoy might be undervalued in PPR leagues this fall. I got him at 1.06 in a Draftmaster league and that seems a little late for a soon-to-be 23 year-old who posted 19.9 points a game against a pretty tough schedule. This kid is explosive and he catches passes like they’re going out of style. I wouldn’t take him over Foster, but he might be my #2 since he plays in a more potent offense than Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles and Ray Rice do.

— Some pundits left Matt Forte for dead, but Mike Martz used him as promised, and he started finding the endzone again. He looks like a late 1st/early 2nd round pick in 2011.

— Keep an eye out for Mike Goodson in PPR leagues if DeAngelo Williams does leave Carolina. Jonathan Stewart is not terribly adept at catching passes out of the backfield and Goodson could rack up Woodhead-like numbers as the Panthers abandon the run early and often next season.

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