To RB, Or Not To RB?

The most difficult thing about a fantasy football draft is deciding where to invest your 1st round pick; it sets the course for how you build your team. So, what position do you target?

While QB’s and WR’s are unusually deep this year, unchallenged #1 RB’s are very limited.

If you’ve got a pick in the top half of the first round, you can mindlessly pick an RB who will get the majority of carries, with no running back by committee situation to be leery of.

But, all the undisputed #1 RB’s are gone by the middle of the third round, at the absolute latest.

Choose wisely, young Skywalker.

Paul Eide can be heard dispensing fantasy football advice every Friday AM during the NFL season on Jacksonville’s 930 AM “The Fox” at 8:00 EST. Listen live here. Email Paul at paul@pauleide.com

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Rein“Vick”erated in 2012; Don’t Forget About Michael Vick

A year ago right now, Michael Vick was being considered as a top five overall fantasy football draft pick.

Now, he is not even being considered amongst the top five overall fantasy quarterbacks; his overall current ADP is just a remarkable 45th overall.

2011 was a step back for the entire Eagles franchise, not just Vick.

Still, he set a career high in passing attempts (423), yards (3,303), and third highest passing TD total (18). Vick’s 76 carries were his lowest season total as a starter, yet his 7.8 ypc was his 2nd highest.

589 yards from your QB on the ground? That’s 45 YPG, son, as good as many a RB #3.

Sure, w/Vick you’re always going to worry about him missing games. That’s why you grab a QB like Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh Freeman to use in Vick’s week 7 bye or for general use, post-injury, should one occur.

Wake up– Don’t sleep on Mike Vick in 2012.

 

Paul Eide can be heard dispensing fantasy football advice every Friday AM during the NFL season on Jacksonville’s 930 AM “The Fox” at 8:00 EST. Listen live here. Email Paul at paul@pauleide.com

Fantasy Points Per Touch: RBs

New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs fends off Washington Redskins line backer Brian Orakpo to pick up get back to the line of scrimmage in the first quarter at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on January 2, 2010. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg

After each fantasy football season, I like to do something of a post-mortem by looking at certain stats that might give me a clearer picture of what in the hell just happened. One such stat is fantasy points per touch, which takes the total (non-PPR) fantasy points divided by the sum of the player’s carries and catches.

Here’s a look at the top 20 RBs (with at least 150 total touches) ranked by fantasy points per touch.

When trying to predict a player’s outlook, I always go back to the old fantasy addage, “Talent + Opportunity = Success.” This stat gives us an idea of a player’s talent by answering the question — how productive was this player with the touches he received? If a back is listed here, it indicates that he may very well have the talent to be a top 20 fantasy RB in the NFL if he were to receive the appropriate amount of touches.

A few takeaways:

– Brandon Jacobs can run the ball. His numbers here are a little skewed due to the nine TDs he scored in 147 carries, but he averaged 5.6 yards per carry and should be the feature back somewhere even if Ahmad Bradshaw is the better all around back. 2010 marks the third season in the last four that Jacobs averaged 5.0-plus yards per carry, so his poor 2009 numbers (3.6 ypc) look to be more of an aberration than a trend.

– Jamaal Charles is really, really good. If not for the presence of Thomas Jones, he would be a top 2 or 3 RB heading into the 2011 season. As it stands, I suspect he’ll be a mid-first round pick.

– Ryan Mathews has what it takes to be a very good RB2, but he needs to stay healthy and he needs RB2 touches. His teammate, Mike Tolbert, vultured his touchdowns and will do so again if he’s still a Charger next season.

– BenJarvus Green-Ellis figures to be a sleeper heading into the 2011 season. He’s a touchdown machine and a good runner (4.4 ypc), but Belichick’s fickleness at the RB position will likely depress the Law Firm’s value a bit. He should be a very solid RB2 next season.

– Peyton Hillis outperformed Chris Johnson, Frank Gore and Michael Turner on a per touch basis. Hillis should be the Browns’ feature back heading into 2011, and should continue to be productive even if Cleveland moves to a West Coast offense since he has the pass-catching skills to be effective out of the backfield.

– Michael Bush could be a star with a new team. He’s a free agent this summer, so if the Raiders don’t resign him (though they should), he could turn into a fantasy RB2 if he lands with the right team.

– Maybe Tim Hightower should be the Cardinals’ feature back. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry and has good hands out of the backfield. People complain about his breakaway speed, but he had an 80-yard run this season. In 292 career carries, Beanie Wells has a career long run of 33 yards.

Looking for a fantasy football fix during the NFL playoffs?

Check out PlayoffBlitz.com. League sizes are unlimited, and you can set it up so that the commish pays $20 and invites owners for free, or you can set it up so that each league member pays $5. (The first option is a better deal for leagues with more than five members.) There are no prizes, but if you have your own league, you can probably set up dues/prizes offline and just use the site to handle the rosters and results.

Anyway, the game goes like this: Each week, you pick one QB, two RBs, two WRs, a TE, a K and a DT to start. Once you use a player, he’s gone for the remainder of the contest, so it takes a little strategy to ensure that you have good options for the entire run.

Scoring is fairly standard, though they award six points for passing TDs and one point for every two receptions (for WRs).

Mike Farley, who writes those NFL award power rankings which post on the weekend, has set up a league and everyone is welcome to join. (It’s free.) Just hit this link and set up your profile. It looks like the site is waiting for the final playoff rosters from the league. Once those are in, we can set up our lineups. Here’s your chance to beat me (and Anthony Stalter) in a game of skill.

Fantasy Fallout, Week 16: Where we have heroes…and we have goats…yet again

Welcome to the third edition of “Heroes & Goats” where we identify a few borderline players who stepped up big in the fantasy playoff along with a few who were major disappointments. If you’re like me and are sweating out a championship game — I’m up 36 in one league against Drew Brees and Garrett Hartley tomorrow night, which puts me in a precarious position — you’ll no doubt see a few familiar names below. Let’s start with our heroes.

HEROES

Danny Woodhead
Rob Gronkowski

I started both of these players in the aforementioned title game, and they stepped up big. Woody scored on a 29-yard run early in the game and finished with 125 total yards, while Gronkowski went for 4-54-2 with Aaron Hernandez sidelined. Gronk became a very solid TE1 start once Hernandez was ruled out, but Woody was a fringe guy that fantasy owners were running out there and hoping for the best. He delivered.

Matt Forte
Johnny Knox

It took a certain amount of courage to start Forte this week given his matchup with a good Jets rush defense and his spotty production at times. But he gained 169 total yards and scored on a 22-yard run. I was going against Knox in the aforementioned title game, which is why I’m still sweating that win out. Knox caught two TDs and racked up 92 yards through the air while facing Darrelle Revis and a pretty good Jets’ pass defense.

Read the rest of this entry »

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