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Tips, Trends, and Taeks for Every NFL Team (AFC/NFC West)

In case you haven’t noticed, the RotoViz Screener is kind of a big deal. I spend an unhealthy amount of time digging for interesting statistics on there, so I decided to share some with you. Actually, I decided to share a ton of them with you: at least one for every NFL team.Instead of overloading your brain with everything at once, I’ve broken this into four parts. Part 1 covered the AFC and NFC East. Part 2 was the AFC and NFC South. Like clockwork, Part 3 covers the AFC and NFC West.

Denver

C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman split carries fairly evenly in 2015, with Hillman taking 5o percent of the team’s rush attempts and Anderson 37 percent. But Hillman was the man at the goal line, with 67 percent of the team’s inside-the-five rushes. Anderson got only 27 percent of those attempts.

At first, that made me nervous for Anderson’s 2016 prospects. But looking back to Anderson’s eight workhorse games in 2014, he got plenty of goal line chances. From Weeks 10 to 17, Anderson garnered 67 percent of the team’s rush attempts and 60 percent of their inside-the-five carries. In the fourth round, Anderson makes a solid RB3 on a “hyperfragile” MFL10 roster.

Kansas City

The 2015 Chiefs were slower and more run heavy than any Andy Reid team dating back to 2000:

OffenseSeasonPass AttsRush AttsPlays
KC201529.527.256.7
KC201430.826.257.0
KC201334.227.661.8
PHI201238.625.864.4
PHI201134.628.062.6
PHI201035.126.761.8
PHI200934.523.958.4
PHI200837.926.664.5
PHI200736.126.262.3
PHI200633.925.959.8
PHI200538.622.861.4
PHI200434.323.457.7
PHI200330.326.156.4
PHI200234.330.464.7
PHI200132.625.758.3
PHI200035.924.860.7

Not surprisingly, they threw way more when they were underdogs:

Chiefs splits

Unfortunately for those of us stashing Chris Conley and Albert Wilson, the Chiefs are projected to win nine games in 2016, and they are projected to have a fairly easy strength of schedule, which, you know, might mean something.

Oakland

Latavius Murray led the NFL in both share of team rushing attempts (72 percent) and share of team rushing attempts inside the five yard line (82 percent). Trouble is, the Raiders only ran the ball 11 times inside the five all season.

Oakland brought in DeAndre Washington to compete for carries (and especially targets), but Murray seems a lock to maintain the goal line role. The Raiders were a middle-of-the-road offense in 2015, so their lack of plays inside the five was probably just bad luck for Murray. I was pretty hard on Murray when comparing him to Thomas Rawls, but perhaps I ignored Murray’s touchdown potential.

San Diego

Despite capturing 89 targets on the season, Keenan Allen garnered just one target in 2015 from inside the opponent’s 10 yard line. 2014 wasn’t much better: Allen captured 22 percent of the team’s targets, but got only 9 percent from inside the 10. But in 2013 – Allen’s only season under new head coach Ken Whisenhunt – he got 23 percent of the team’s targets inside the 10 (compared to 19 percent elsewhere).

Antonio Gates is still a force in the red zone. He got 19 percent of the Chargers’ inside-the-10 targets in 2015, and Philip Rivers is going to force feed him until he gets eight scores. And recent acquisition James Jones has gotten at least 20 percent of his team’s inside-the-10 targets three of the last four seasons. But if Allen can get back up to 15 percent of these targets, it’ll make up for some of the projected loss in team pass attempts. Of course, it would also help if the Chargers made it to the opponent’s 10 yard line every once in a while. Their 43 plays from the opponent’s 10 or closer was second fewest in the league in 2015. The league average was 65.

Arizona

Carson Palmer had his best career season at age 36, and it wasn’t even close:

Palmer career

Since 2000, Palmer (age 36) and Peyton Manning (age 37) are the only quarterbacks over the age of 35 to top 8.5 adjusted yards per attempt.

Arizona’s wide receivers may all be appropriately priced, but only if Palmer posts his second-best career season in 2016.

San Francisco

Before 2015, Torrey Smith had never had a season with less than 18 percent target share. In his three seasons as an NFL head coach, Chip Kelly’s leading receiver has never had less than 21 percent market share. Indeed, DeSean Jackson (25 percent in 2013) and Jeremy Maclin (23 percent in 2014) each set career highs in target share under Kelly.1 I was surprised to find there are only two pro-Torrey articles on RotoViz in 2016. Our projections have him at WR25, while his best ball ADP makes him the WR42. It’s not wise to get locked onto predictions, but I have a hard time imagining a scenario in which Smith stays healthy and fails to outperform his draft position.

Seattle

In the six games where Thomas Rawls was the Seahawks’ lead running back, he received all five of the team’s rushing attempts inside the five yard line. From 2012 to 2014, Marshawn Lynch never captured less than 83 percent of Seattle’s inside-the-five rushing attempts. In Russell Wilson‘s four-year career, he has seven total rush attempts from inside the five yard line. For comparison, Cam Newton had 12 inside-the-five rushing attempts in 2015 alone (and that was not a career high).

Rawls isn’t going to catch passes, but if he holds the lead job, he’ll score plenty of touchdowns. And touchdowns were enough to make Lynch a consistent 17 point per game scorer in PPR.

St. Louis

The Rams ran just 20 plays from inside their opponents’ five yard line in 2015, exactly half the league median. Only the Chargers (18) ran fewer. Despite playing in only 13 games, Todd Gurley accounted for 12 opportunities – 11 carries and a target – inside the five. To be sure, Gurley has some downside risk (especially if he doesn’t get more involved in the passing game). But if the Rams can be below average instead of atrocious on offense, Gurley should be a touchdown machine.

  1. Jordan Matthews (21 percent in 2015) did too, but it was only his second NFL season.  (back)

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