Shane Vereen, Alfred Morris and RB Game Flow


Late last week, we broke down 2013 wide receiver results in terms of targets and their market shares with a situation sensitive slant and how that data could be incorporated into use alongside the WR Sim Score App. Today, we’re going to shift our focus over to the running back position, but with a slightly different twist. If you haven’t gotten familiar with the RB Sim Score App yet, now’s your chance to have some fun with it.

Only three backs (Jamaal Charles, Danny Woodhead and Matt Forte) had a target market share of over 15 percent in neutral game flow situations in 2013. So instead of using target market shares, which have little change outside of the limited top tier of pass catching backs, we’re just going to use overall target data and the effect that game flow had on a players’ usage in his offense. Plus, since backs get to tote the rock, we’re going to look at the same effect that game situations had on their rushing attempts.


As a refresher, here is the league wide play calling splits per situation.


Pass %

Run %

Ahead 4Q



Ahead 10+












Behind 10+



Behind 4Q



*I had to make an executive decision on quarterback rushing attempts:  to treat them as runs or pass plays. Since I am going back into the late 90’s in my research, there’s not enough data to differentiate designed QB runs and scrambles throughout the years, so we are looking at play result only. Pass percentage is naturally a tick lower because of this, but it’s not a dramatic effect and it’s the only way to keep the research processs sane. 

Situation Sensitive RB Targets

PlayerTeamTargetsLeading Tgts%Tied Tgts%Trailing Tgts%Down 10+ Tgts%
Jamaal CharlesKC1044341.3%2726.0%3432.7%98.7%
Matt ForteCHI952829.5%1616.8%5153.7%2425.3%
Darren SprolesNO892831.5%2022.5%4146.1%2325.8%
Danny WoodheadSD872023.0%3034.5%3742.5%1820.7%
Pierre ThomasNO843642.9%1214.3%3642.9%1214.3%
Reggie BushDET802025.0%2227.5%3847.5%78.8%
Chris OgbonnayaCLE752229.3%1418.7%3952.0%1520.0%
Knowshon MorenoDEN742939.2%1925.7%2635.1%1013.5%
Ray RiceBAL732635.6%1013.7%3750.7%1926.0%
Giovani BernardCIN712332.4%1622.5%3245.1%1419.7%
Shane VereenNE691724.6%811.6%4463.8%1826.1%
Joique BellDET692130.4%2130.4%2739.1%45.8%
Le'Veon BellPIT661725.8%1116.7%3857.6%2030.3%
DeMarco MurrayDAL662639.4%1522.7%2537.9%69.1%
Fred JacksonBUF651523.1%46.2%4670.8%2436.9%
LeSean McCoyPHI642539.1%1117.2%2843.8%1421.9%
Jacquizz RodgersATL621930.6%69.7%3759.7%1727.4%
Maurice Jones-DrewJAX601525.0%915.0%3660.0%2745.0%
Bilal PowellNYJ57915.8%1221.1%3663.2%2543.9%
Andre EllingtonARI571017.5%1628.1%3154.4%1119.3%
Marcel ReeceOAK541527.8%47.4%3564.8%2240.7%
Chris JohnsonTEN52815.4%1019.2%3465.4%815.4%
Trent RichardsonIND521834.6%35.8%3159.6%2038.5%
Ben TateHOU49510.2%816.3%3673.5%1836.7%
Steven JacksonATL49714.3%1632.7%2653.1%918.4%
Rashad JenningsOAK471123.4%510.6%3268.1%2348.9%
Eddie LacyGB441022.7%1022.7%2454.5%1534.1%
Marshawn LynchSEA441840.9%1738.6%920.5%36.8%
Roy HeluWAS42511.9%614.3%3173.8%1842.9%
CJ SpillerBUF411229.3%512.2%2458.5%1331.7%
Adrian PetersonMIN4025.0%25.0%3690.0%1742.5%
Brian LeonardTB371437.8%513.5%1848.6%1437.8%
DeAngelo WilliamsCAR361233.3%1233.3%1233.3%411.1%
Bruce MillerSF361952.8%1130.6%616.7%25.6%
Arian FosterHOU35617.1%514.3%2468.6%1542.9%
Donald BrownIND35822.9%38.6%2468.6%1542.9%
Zac StacySTL351028.6%617.1%1954.3%822.9%
Lamar MillerMIA351234.3%925.7%1440.0%38.6%
Jason SnellingATL34823.5%617.6%2058.8%514.7%
Ryan MathewsSD33515.2%1545.5%1339.4%26.1%
Mike TolbertCAR331751.5%618.2%1030.3%13.0%
Andre BrownNYG29931.0%310.3%1758.6%931.0%
Brandon BoldenNE29931.0%827.6%1241.4%310.3%
Montee BallDEN271451.9%27.4%1140.7%622.2%
Jordan TodmanJAX26726.9%00.0%1973.1%1038.5%
Frank GoreSF261453.8%519.2%830.8%27.7%
Darren McFaddenOAK25520.0%312.0%1768.0%936.0%
Bernard PierceBAL25936.0%14.0%1560.0%624.0%
Doug MartinTB241041.7%312.5%1145.8%520.8%
Anthony ShermanKC241666.7%14.2%729.2%00.0%
Stanley HaviliIND21838.1%29.5%1152.4%00.0%
Rashard MendenhallARI21838.1%523.8%838.1%29.5%
Vonta LeachBAL20735.0%420.0%945.0%315.0%
Da'Rel ScottNYG1900.0%210.5%1789.5%1157.9%
John KuhnGB19526.3%526.3%947.4%421.1%
Toby GerhartMIN1915.3%15.3%00.0%1157.9%
Bobby RaineyTB191052.6%315.8%631.6%315.8%
Daryl RichardsonSTL18211.1%422.2%1266.7%738.9%
Jed CollinsNO18950.0%422.2%527.8%211.1%
Daniel ThomasMIA17952.9%211.8%635.3%317.6%
Justin ForsettJAX16212.5%00.0%1487.5%1062.5%
Tommy BohanonNYJ16318.8%212.5%1168.8%531.3%
Isaiah PeadSTL1516.7%00.0%1493.3%1493.3%
Will Ta'ufo'ouJAX15320.0%16.7%1173.3%960.0%
Knile DavisKC15853.3%320.0%426.7%320.0%
Erik LorigTB14642.9%428.6%428.6%214.3%
Ronnie HillmanDEN141178.6%00.0%321.4%17.1%
Felix JonesPIT1317.7%215.4%1076.9%969.2%
Alfonso SmithARI13430.8%00.0%969.2%538.5%
Bryce BrownPHI13538.5%17.7%753.8%215.4%
James StarksGB13538.5%323.1%538.5%215.4%
Dennis JohnsonHOU1218.3%18.3%1083.3%541.7%
Alfred MorrisWAS12216.7%541.7%541.7%216.7%
Robert TurbinSEA12758.3%18.3%433.3%00.0%
Stevan RidleyNE12975.0%18.3%216.7%00.0%
Jamize OlawaleOAK11218.2%19.1%872.7%327.3%
Mike JamesTB11218.2%19.1%872.7%763.6%
Greg JonesHOU11218.2%218.2%763.6%218.2%
Jonathan DwyerPIT11218.2%218.2%763.6%436.4%
Willis McGaheeCLE11327.3%218.2%654.5%327.3%
Marcus ThigpenMIA1119.1%436.4%654.5%19.1%
Mark IngramNO11218.2%327.3%654.5%218.2%
Will JohnsonPIT11327.3%436.4%436.4%00.0%
John ConnerNYG11763.6%327.3%19.1%00.0%
Benny CunninghamSTL10220.0%00.0%880.0%770.0%
Patrick DiMarcoATL1000.0%330.0%660.0%220.0%
Joseph RandleDAL10880.0%00.0%220.0%00.0%
Cyrus GrayKC10550.0%330.0%00.0%110.0%
Kendall HunterSF10330.0%660.0%110.0%00.0%
MarQueis GrayCLE9333.3%111.1%555.6%333.3%
Edwin BakerCLE9222.2%222.2%555.6%222.2%
Tashard ChoiceIND9444.4%00.0%555.6%222.2%
Darrel YoungWAS9222.2%222.2%555.6%222.2%
Stepfan TaylorARI9444.4%111.1%444.4%333.3%
Jerome FeltonMIN800.0%00.0%8100.0%450.0%
Theo RiddickDET8225.0%225.0%450.0%00.0%
Ronnie BrownSD8337.5%112.5%450.0%337.5%
Frank SummersBUF8225.0%337.5%337.5%00.0%
Michael BushCHI8562.5%00.0%337.5%225.0%
Ahmad BradshawIND8337.5%337.5%225.0%00.0%
Derrick ColemanSEA8562.5%112.5%225.0%112.5%
Matt AsiataMIN8562.5%225.0%112.5%00.0%
BenJarvus Green-EllisCIN8225.0%675.0%00.0%00.0%
Shonn GreeneTEN7114.3%114.3%685.7%342.9%
Chris IvoryNYJ7114.3%114.3%571.4%114.3%
Brandon JacobsNYG700.0%342.9%457.1%00.0%
Jonathan StewartCAR7457.1%114.3%228.6%228.6%
Lance DunbarDAL7571.4%00.0%228.6%00.0%
David WilsonNYG6116.7%233.3%350.0%350.0%
Collin MooneyTEN6116.7%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Jonathan GrimesHOU6466.7%00.0%233.3%00.0%
Isaac RedmanPIT500.0%00.0%5100.0%480.0%
Jackie BattleTEN500.0%00.0%5100.0%00.0%
Tony FiammettaCHI500.0%120.0%5100.0%480.0%
Chris PolkPHI5120.0%120.0%360.0%120.0%
LeGarrette BlountNE5120.0%240.0%240.0%120.0%
Johnathan FranklinGB55100.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
James DevelinNE4125.0%00.0%375.0%00.0%
Phillip TannerDAL4375.0%125.0%00.0%00.0%
LaRod Stephens-HowlingPIT300.0%00.0%3100.0%00.0%
Antone SmithATL300.0%133.3%266.7%133.3%
Jeff DempsTB3133.3%00.0%266.7%00.0%
Kenjon BarnerCAR3266.7%00.0%133.3%00.0%
Zach LineMIN3266.7%00.0%133.3%00.0%
Mike GoodsonNYJ300.0%266.7%133.3%00.0%
LaMichael JamesSF300.0%266.7%133.3%00.0%
Anthony DixonSF3266.7%00.0%133.3%00.0%
Ray GrahamHOU33100.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Michael CoxNYG3266.7%133.3%00.0%00.0%
Michael RobinsonSEA3133.3%266.7%00.0%00.0%
Deji KarimHOU200.0%00.0%2100.0%2100.0%
Robert HughesIND200.0%00.0%2100.0%150.0%
Alex GreenNYJ200.0%00.0%2100.0%2100.0%
Michael HillTB200.0%00.0%2100.0%2100.0%
Bernard ScottBAL2150.0%00.0%150.0%150.0%
Vick BallardIND2150.0%00.0%150.0%00.0%
Travaris CadetNO2150.0%00.0%150.0%00.0%
Henry HynoskiNYG200.0%150.0%150.0%00.0%
Bradie EwingATL2150.0%150.0%00.0%00.0%
Jeremy StewartOAK22100.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Josh VaughanATL100.0%00.0%1100.0%1100.0%
Ronnie WingoBUF100.0%00.0%1100.0%1100.0%
Dan HerronIND100.0%00.0%1100.0%1100.0%
Evan RoysterWAS100.0%00.0%1100.0%1100.0%
CJ AndersonDEN100.0%1100.0%00.0%00.0%
Denard RobinsonJAX11100.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%

  • In the receiver piece, Dwayne Bowe had the biggest increase in usage in negative game script out of any receiver in the league. Well,teammate Jamaal Charles had the highest usage of any receiving back when the game script was negative, garnering 70 of his 104 targets in neutral game situations. In games the Chiefs won, Charles averaged five receptions for 54 yards and had all seven of his scoring catches (five for 36 if you want to pluck out the Oakland game). In losses, he dropped to three catches for 25 yards. This makes sense when you throw Alex Smith into the equation, a quarterback who has it etched in his brain not lose games with mistakes. When Kansas City was tied or leading, Charles was getting peppered with safe targets. All the way at the bottom, Charles also benefitted by salting away leads in the fourth quarter more than any other back. I don’t anticipate Charles to have the type of regression that will make you remorseful for investing a top selection in him this year, but it will take a perfect storm to create a season like he had in 2013. Add reception regression to go along with the total touchdown regression that’s coming and 2014 should be more humanlike.
  • As a whole, the App has a median projection of a high RB3 for Pierre Thomas. His neutral targets were the exact same as Darren Sproles, who has since departed. Sproles’ targets are going somewhere, and Thomas stands to get at least a solid portion of them even if New Orleans attempts more of a battering ram approach with Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson. The PT Cruiser was a dynamo through 11 weeks last season on only 15 touches per game, a pace that’s achievable again if he catches even more passes. If that were to happen, his sim score goes bananas, up to a mid RB2 as a median projection. His high end PPR jump goes to top five, but that’s pretty extreme considering Sean Payton hates fantasy football.  Thomas is a great PPR add for those going with an early round receiver approach and very much makes Travavis Cadet a guy worth throwing a late round pick at.
  • Another potential late round guy you should be grabbing up right now for pennies is Lance Dunbar. Look at the usage of Joique Bell and Reggie Bush in both tables and you’ll understand why. I’ve written about his situation for Fake Football, but if you want to take it from a big time winner here at RotoViz, Shawn Siegele sees the sleeper in him as well.  Running backs caught 47 percent of all receptions in Detroit under Scott Linehan and the RB2 has averaged 40 targets in the past seven years attached to his play calling. Dunbar caught 97 passes in college as well, and fighting off Joseph Randle shouldn’t be an issue. The Dallas offense is built very similarly to Detroit; even with Demarco Murray healthy, expect Dunbar to find the field.
  • Combining both tables and looking at the Patriots backfield usage makes it really hard to get excited about using one of your top four picks on Shane Vereen. 67 percent of his touches and 64 percent of his PPR points came with the Patriots trailing. Even in a season with complete offensive turmoil, he couldn’t steal any rushing attempts away. New England has a clear role for their backs and it’s completely dependent on game script (as you’ll see below in the usage of Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount). With the defensive back additions that the Patriots have made, I’ll be letting another owner reach on Vereen for early round equity when the aforementioned Thomas is an arbitrage play four rounds later.

Situation Sensitive RB Attempts

PlayerTeamAtt. Ahead%Att. Tied%Att. Trailing%Att. Up 10+%Att. 4Q Ahead%Att. 4Q Down%
Rashard MendenhallARI5625.8%5525.3%10648.8%2612.0%2712.4%125.5%
Andre EllingtonARI4033.9%2420.3%5445.8%2420.3%1916.1%65.1%
Stepfan TaylorARI2672.2%38.3%719.4%1644.4%1850.0%00.0%
Alfonso SmithARI738.9%738.9%422.2%00.0%15.6%316.7%
Jacquizz RodgersATL3839.2%2222.7%3738.1%88.2%1111.3%99.3%
Steven JacksonATL1912.2%5535.3%8252.6%31.9%10.6%2113.5%
Jason SnellingATL2352.3%36.8%1840.9%00.0%00.0%36.8%
Antone SmithATL00.0%00.0%5100.0%00.0%00.0%360.0%
Josh VaughanATL00.0%00.0%1100.0%00.0%00.0%1100.0%
Bernard PierceBAL7750.7%2113.8%5435.5%2818.4%3321.7%63.9%
Ray RiceBAL6630.8%5425.2%9443.9%157.0%157.0%2813.1%
Shaun DraughnBAL375.0%00.0%125.0%375.0%375.0%00.0%
Vonta LeachBAL218.2%327.3%654.5%218.2%218.2%545.5%
Bernard ScottBAL250.0%00.0%250.0%00.0%00.0%125.0%
Fred JacksonBUF7234.8%5024.2%8541.1%2713.0%2110.1%199.2%
CJ SpillerBUF7738.3%4321.4%8140.3%3517.4%157.5%84.0%
Frank SummersBUF866.7%216.7%216.7%541.7%325.0%18.3%
Ronnie WingoBUF00.0%00.0%1100.0%00.0%00.0%1100.0%
DeAngelo WilliamsCAR10351.2%5125.4%4723.4%4120.4%3416.9%147.0%
Mike TolbertCAR6463.4%2120.8%1615.8%3433.7%3029.7%76.9%
Jonathan StewartCAR2858.3%24.2%1837.5%816.7%1429.2%12.1%
Kenjon BarnerCAR6100.0%00.0%00.0%6100.0%583.3%00.0%
Armond SmithCAR4100.0%00.0%00.0%4100.0%4100.0%00.0%
Matt ForteCHI8128.1%9432.6%11339.2%258.7%3612.5%248.3%
Michael BushCHI3454.0%57.9%2438.1%1625.4%2336.5%1422.2%
BenJarvus Green-EllisCIN11552.3%6830.9%3716.8%5625.5%5022.7%10.5%
Giovani BernardCIN7745.3%4325.3%5029.4%3621.2%2917.1%95.3%
Cedric PeermanCIN8100.0%00.0%00.0%8100.0%8100.0%00.0%
Willis McGaheeCLE6043.5%3726.8%4129.7%64.3%2518.1%42.9%
Chris OgbonnayaCLE1327.1%1327.1%2245.8%00.0%24.2%36.3%
Edwin BakerCLE818.6%1330.2%2251.2%00.0%00.0%49.3%
MarQueis GrayCLE00.0%233.3%466.7%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Joseph RandleDAL2750.0%1731.5%1018.5%1324.1%2037.0%814.8%
DeMarco MurrayDAL9041.5%5826.7%6931.8%2913.4%188.3%219.7%
Lance DunbarDAL1550.0%826.7%723.3%516.7%826.7%00.0%
Phillip TannerDAL888.9%111.1%00.0%333.3%555.6%00.0%
Montee BallDEN9478.3%86.7%1815.0%5646.7%4436.7%10.8%
Knowshon MorenoDEN14761.0%4117.0%5322.0%5924.5%3313.7%114.6%
Ronnie HillmanDEN4581.8%00.0%1018.2%3156.4%1425.5%23.6%
CJ AndersonDEN342.9%228.6%228.6%114.3%228.6%00.0%
Joique BellDET6237.3%4426.5%6036.1%1911.4%3118.7%159.0%
Reggie BushDET6127.4%6529.1%9743.5%167.2%2611.7%177.6%
Mikel LeshoureDET2100.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%150.0%00.0%
Theo RiddickDET333.3%555.6%111.1%00.0%00.0%111.1%
Eddie LacyGB9232.4%6723.6%12544.0%3311.6%3713.0%4315.1%
James StarksGB2629.2%1112.4%5258.4%2325.8%910.1%1011.2%
Johnathan FranklinGB1789.5%00.0%210.5%210.5%421.1%210.5%
John KuhnGB220.0%110.0%770.0%110.0%00.0%330.0%
Ben TateHOU4726.0%2212.2%11261.9%158.3%63.3%3016.6%
Arian FosterHOU2722.3%3528.9%5948.8%129.9%43.3%108.3%
Dennis JohnsonHOU1224.5%48.2%3367.3%714.3%24.1%510.2%
Jonathan GrimesHOU628.6%523.8%1047.6%00.0%00.0%733.3%
Deji KarimHOU00.0%00.0%12100.0%00.0%00.0%650.0%
Cierre WoodHOU00.0%00.0%3100.0%00.0%00.0%3100.0%
Ray GrahamHOU250.0%00.0%250.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Greg JonesHOU150.0%00.0%150.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Trent RichardsonIND10254.3%2513.3%6132.4%4926.1%3619.1%73.7%
Donald BrownIND5049.0%1615.7%3635.3%1716.7%2625.5%32.9%
Tashard ChoiceIND2247.8%919.6%1532.6%1430.4%1532.6%510.9%
Ahmad BradshawIND1843.9%1126.8%1229.3%24.9%922.0%37.3%
Stanley HaviliIND571.4%114.3%114.3%342.9%571.4%00.0%
Dan HerronIND00.0%00.0%5100.0%00.0%00.0%5100.0%
Vick BallardIND538.5%538.5%323.1%00.0%00.0%323.1%
Maurice Jones-DrewJAX5623.9%3414.5%14461.5%00.0%166.8%3816.2%
Jordan TodmanJAX2330.3%1013.2%4356.6%22.6%911.8%1722.4%
Denard RobinsonJAX630.0%15.0%1365.0%210.0%315.0%420.0%
Justin ForsettJAX00.0%233.3%466.7%00.0%00.0%350.0%
Will Ta'ufo'ouJAX00.0%1100.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Jamaal CharlesKC15559.8%4617.8%5822.4%5320.5%6424.7%166.2%
Knile DavisKC4260.0%2332.9%57.1%2840.0%2434.3%11.4%
Cyrus GrayKC888.9%-4-44.4%555.6%777.8%444.4%00.0%
Anthony ShermanKC00.0%00.0%2100.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Lamar MillerMIA5531.1%6134.5%6134.5%147.9%2011.3%84.5%
Daniel ThomasMIA3431.2%1614.7%5954.1%32.8%1513.8%65.5%
Mike GillisleeMIA466.7%00.0%233.3%466.7%466.7%00.0%
Marcus ThigpenMIA350.0%233.3%116.7%233.3%116.7%00.0%
Adrian PetersonMIN5820.8%6623.7%15555.6%134.7%269.3%196.8%
Matt AsiataMIN3579.5%818.2%12.3%1431.8%1534.1%12.3%
Toby GerhartMIN822.2%12.8%2775.0%411.1%38.3%822.2%
LeGarrette BlountNE8152.9%3724.2%3522.9%3724.2%4126.8%74.6%
Stevan RidleyNE9452.8%3821.3%4625.8%4625.8%3016.9%73.9%
Brandon BoldenNE1730.9%916.4%2952.7%712.7%610.9%47.3%
Shane VereenNE715.9%613.6%3170.5%24.5%12.3%1022.7%
James DevelinNE125.0%125.0%250.0%125.0%00.0%00.0%
Pierre ThomasNO8054.4%2215.0%4530.6%4228.6%3523.8%128.2%
Khiry RobinsonNO4074.1%35.6%1120.4%3055.6%2546.3%814.8%
Mark IngramNO3544.9%1215.4%3139.7%1215.4%1620.5%67.7%
Jed CollinsNO640.0%213.3%746.7%426.7%320.0%16.7%
Darren SprolesNO1732.1%713.2%2954.7%59.4%23.8%713.2%
Andre BrownNYG4431.7%3323.7%6244.6%128.6%2820.1%96.5%
Brandon JacobsNYG610.3%915.5%4374.1%00.0%00.0%1119.0%
Da'Rel ScottNYG00.0%210.0%1890.0%00.0%00.0%735.0%
David WilsonNYG511.4%1227.3%2761.4%00.0%00.0%36.8%
Michael CoxNYG836.4%1254.5%29.1%313.6%00.0%00.0%
Bilal PowellNYJ6335.8%3117.6%8246.6%116.3%2715.3%1910.8%
Chris IvoryNYJ4424.2%4926.9%8948.9%147.7%2714.8%94.9%
Alex GreenNYJ654.5%00.0%545.5%00.0%19.1%436.4%
Tommy BohanonNYJ211.8%423.5%1164.7%00.0%15.9%423.5%
Mike GoodsonNYJ00.0%228.6%571.4%00.0%00.0%228.6%
Darren McFaddenOAK4640.4%2723.7%4136.0%2824.6%1513.2%119.6%
Rashad JenningsOAK6841.7%2616.0%6942.3%159.2%106.1%1811.0%
Marcel ReeceOAK1328.3%48.7%2963.0%817.4%613.0%715.2%
Jeremy StewartOAK00.0%00.0%2100.0%00.0%00.0%2100.0%
Jamize OlawaleOAK133.3%133.3%133.3%00.0%00.0%133.3%
LeSean McCoyPHI16652.9%3711.8%11135.4%8025.5%6420.4%103.2%
Bryce BrownPHI4762.7%56.7%2330.7%3546.7%2432.0%22.7%
Chris PolkPHI436.4%00.0%763.6%218.2%327.3%218.2%
Le'Veon BellPIT9438.5%6426.2%8635.2%4920.1%3715.2%124.9%
Jonathan DwyerPIT2142.9%48.2%2449.0%1938.8%1530.6%510.2%
Felix JonesPIT2450.0%612.5%1837.5%1531.3%714.6%00.0%
Isaac RedmanPIT545.5%218.2%436.4%00.0%00.0%218.2%
LaRod Stephens-HowlingPIT350.0%00.0%350.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Ryan MathewsSD12042.1%7325.6%9232.3%4415.4%5218.2%155.3%
Danny WoodheadSD3432.1%2927.4%4340.6%1514.2%76.6%76.6%
Ronnie BrownSD1737.8%920.0%1942.2%511.1%36.7%36.7%
Fozzy WhittakerSD724.1%724.1%1551.7%413.8%13.4%26.9%
Marshawn LynchSEA15952.8%8327.6%5919.6%7926.2%3712.3%186.0%
Robert TurbinSEA5267.5%1013.0%1519.5%4051.9%2836.4%33.9%
Christine MichaelSEA18100.0%00.0%00.0%18100.0%1688.9%00.0%
Spencer WareSEA3100.0%00.0%00.0%3100.0%3100.0%00.0%
Michael RobinsonSEA1100.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Frank GoreSF15857.2%7928.6%3914.1%7527.2%3713.4%82.9%
Kendall HunterSF5266.7%1417.9%1215.4%3646.2%3139.7%33.8%
Anthony DixonSF2175.0%621.4%13.6%1967.9%1657.1%00.0%
LaMichael JamesSF866.7%00.0%433.3%758.3%433.3%00.0%
Bruce MillerSF457.1%114.3%228.6%114.3%228.6%114.3%
Zac StacySTL11244.8%3514.0%10341.2%5722.8%2811.2%176.8%
Benny CunninghamSTL3063.8%24.3%1531.9%2042.6%1838.3%612.8%
Daryl RichardsonSTL2029.0%1420.3%3550.7%68.7%00.0%710.1%
Isaiah PeadSTL00.0%00.0%7100.0%00.0%00.0%114.3%
Peyton HillisTB5169.9%45.5%1824.7%2534.2%2635.6%11.4%
Doug MartinTB4636.2%1612.6%6551.2%64.7%1814.2%107.9%
Bobby RaineyTB5838.7%3120.7%6140.7%3724.7%1711.3%74.7%
Michael HillTB888.9%00.0%111.1%888.9%888.9%111.1%
Mike JamesTB1931.7%1626.7%2541.7%1016.7%35.0%58.3%
Brian LeonardTB2757.4%510.6%1531.9%1531.9%00.0%612.8%
Jeff DempsTB1100.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
Chris JohnsonTEN8028.7%5519.7%14451.6%155.4%3311.8%248.6%
Shonn GreeneTEN1722.1%1418.2%4659.7%33.9%911.7%56.5%
Jackie BattleTEN1644.4%513.9%1541.7%925.0%822.2%00.0%
Roy HeluWAS1625.8%914.5%3759.7%69.7%1117.7%1829.0%
Alfred MorrisWAS3010.9%5821.0%18868.1%31.1%82.9%165.8%
Darrel YoungWAS18.3%541.7%650.0%00.0%00.0%433.3%
Evan RoysterWAS150.0%150.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%00.0%
  • The rushing attempt table is a great combination to go along with the Impact of Defensive Packages on Yards Per Carry piece that Mike Clay of Pro Football Focus just did a week ago. Taking into account the NFL play calling averages per game situation and what defensive packages go along with those, you get a good visual grasp on who is affected positively and negatively by game situations.
  • Just like in that piece, we aren’t going to do many favors for the Andre Ellington support group. Over half of his carries with the lead were up big, kind of masking some of his neutral effectiveness. Ellington had 64 attempts for 326 yards (5.1 yards per carry) with the lead or tied and in the Atlanta game he had 12 attempts for 131 yards in those situations. Removing that game puts him at 51 attempts for 195 yards (3.8 YPC) when teams anticipated run more often than pass. If taking away that performance is too much cherry picking for you, just taking away the one 80 yard run turns his plus five YPC into a 3.9 YPC, another reason why YPC is a misleading stat. The offensive line is upgraded with the return of Johnathan Cooper and the addition of Jared Veldheer, but it’s easy to see Ellington’s cost being inflated this summer when his effectiveness is better served for the role he had in 2013.
  • Montee Ball is in a great situation, but extrapolating what he did last year isn’t the right track to take. 47 percent of his carries came already up two scores and 37 percent came up in the fourth quarter. That usage scaled down a degree is likely what C.J. Anderson buyers can come to expect next season.
  • No back with 150 plus attempts had a fewer percentage of carries with the lead than Alfred Morris. Washington trailed by two scores in the first half eight different times in 2013, tied for most in the league with Houston and Jacksonville. Even worse, they trailed by two plus scores nine times in the second halves of games, calling 41 percent (235 of 574) of their season long second half plays down two or more scores. In those games, Morris tallied just 25 total carries under those circumstances. Since he already has zero involvement in the passing game, it’s easy to add up why 2013 was such a letdown. If you believed that he was a stealth star a year ago, you should be in again now that Washington should improve in 2014.
  • No back had more fourth quarter carries (43) while losing than Eddie Lacy. Hard to envision Green Bay sticking with the run in those spots had Aaron Rodgers been healthy. The good news though is he also had 37 attempts with the lead in the fourth quarter, and 34 of those came in the eight full games Rodgers played.
  • One last word of caution for those who believe that C.J. Spiller was only limited in fantasy by his ankle injury. That backfield is a true timeshare as long as Fred Jackson is there and Spiller is still being bought at near ceiling cost despite of it. Looking at Doug Marrone’s career usage of his backs in his NFL career, the splits between RB1/RB2 attempts are 43/33 percent of team carries with the lead, 42/35 percent tied, 37/32 percent when trailing. The target table shows Jackson was used more often in heavy passing situations as well. High ceiling players win fantasy leagues, no doubt, but you need cheap points to go along with the water into wine type of players. Spiller has just one touchdown inside the ten-yard line over the past two seasons.

Enjoy sorting through the columns of each table on your own to see what else you can find. I’ll do one last follow up piece on tight ends.

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