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Settle Down, I’m Not Actually Comparing Bernard Pierce to Adrian Peterson

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I remember one of the first years that I drafted a really sick fantasy team, I would just do simple things like do searches on PFR for guys that had averaged over 4.5 yards/carry on over 100 carries (but weren’t being drafted highly) and then I would target those guys.  I feel like maybe my methods now are a little more sophisticated, but I had a good amount of success with that simple method which was probably a precursor to what I might now call arbitrage.  I would basically just go through and try to find guys who might have similarities to highly valued fantasy studs, but were available at a discount.

This post is offered in the same spirit.  I was doing some similarity stuff with running backs earlier when I saw Bernard Pierce’s name pop up as being similar to Adrian Peterson.  I’m not saying Bernard Pierce is even similar to AP, as that would be regarded as blasphemy in some circles.  I can also see all kinds of problems with comparing the college careers of the two backs.  Pierce went to a non-football powerhouse, which probably meant that he ran against slower defenses.  But I also usually don’t have a problem with smaller school running backs as they typically also run behind a line that is about on par with the defense they’re playing.

But in any case, the table below shows Peterson’s last year at Oklahoma and Pierce’s last year at Temple.  Maybe you could call Pierce a poor man’s AP (even though the Raven’s aren’t the poor man in any analogy with the Vikings).  Pierce is slower, doesn’t do as well in general on the Explosion Index, and his college stats are slightly worse as well.  But I remember that in 2010 I was doing one of my simple value screens and found that Ahmad Bradshaw had averaged similar yards per carry on about the same number of carries as Shonn Greene in 2009, and yet Greene was going much earlier in fantasy drafts (RB12 for Greene vs. RB30 for Bradshaw).  I didn’t know when I took Bradshaw in re-drafts that he would be as good as he later became.  I was just using a very simple (borderline stupid) method  for unearthing potential value plays.

PLAYER TM WT 40 Time SEAS G Att/G YPG TDPG YPC RECYPG Career G Career YDS Career YPC
Adrian Peterson Oklahoma 217 4.40 2006 7 26.86 144.57 1.71 5.38 19.43 31 4045 5.41
PLAYER TM WT 40 Time SEAS G Att/G YPG TDPG YPC RECYPG Career G Career YDS Career YPC
Bernard Pierce Temple 218 4.49 2011 12 22.75 123.42 2.25 5.42 4.33 33 3570 5.38

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