revolutionary tools.  groundbreaking articles.  proven results.

The 2018 RotoViz Scouting Index – Running Backs v.8.0

The RotoViz Scouting Index (RSI) tracks NFL draft prospect rankings from a variety of traditional scouting sites, giving you quick insight into how incoming rookies are currently being valued over in “real football” land.

This serves as a counterpoint to our usual stats-and-metrics based analysis. Discovering where the stats and film crowds agree and disagree is not only fun but often illuminating. We’ll track the rise and fall of player values throughout the draft season and assess the impact on player fantasy valuations. We’ll be aggregating rankings from a half-dozen popular and well-respected sites.


Make sure to read the introductory article to this series so you understand where the data comes from and how the scores are calculated.


RSI Final

With the Draft starting on Thursday, our final RSI has taken shape. Unsurprisingly, there were no changes in the rankings. Saquon Barkley remains firmly atop the standings with a perfect score of 100. Nick Chubb, who Matt Waldman called the most talented back in the class on a recent episode of RotoViz Radio, sits firmly outside the top tier.

Ronald Jones lost a couple of points, and Sony Michel surged into the 80s with a final increase of five points. I was surprised to see this given a recent update on RotoWorld:

On his GM Street podcast, The Ringer’s Mike Lombardi suggested Georgia RB Sony Michel could slip in the draft for medical reasons.

The disparity between the perceptions of RotoViz crew and the Scouts remains stark. Jones didn’t advance past Royce Freeman in the first round of our RB Sweet 16 and Rashaad Penny fought his way into the finals. Earlier in the week, I published my final RB pre-draft rankings. Here’s a quick break down of the differences between my rankings and the RSI.

Caban vs. RSI

RSI Final 2

Like the rest of the RV team, I’m higher on Penny and lower on Jones than the scouts. While both backs were explosive in college, there’s nothing on Jones’ resume that I can point to that significantly differentiates him from the rest of the class. With Penny, there is his exceptional special teams production and proven versatility in the receiving game. Plus, Penny has a good 15 or so pounds on Jones and could be the faster back.1 To be clear, I don’t hate Jones. I think he’s a solid prospect. However, the 2018 RB class is so strong that it’s hard to rank him higher.

The RB Prospect Lab also prefers Penny. He ties with Derrius Guice for second best in the class with a score of 73 and boasts an impressive group of comps. Jones, on the other hand, gets ranked sixth with a score of 59. To be fair, I do suspect that Jones could have accrued similar production if playing at San Diego State, so the discrepancy between the two players may be overstated.

Rashaad Penny Comps

JORDAN TODMAN Connecticut 20.87 2011 203 4.4 7.24 27.83 141.25 1.17 1.58 78
JJ ARRINGTON California 21.95 2005 214 4.4 6.81 24.08 168.17 1.25 1.75 78
LAMAR MILLER Miami (FL) 20.6 2012 212 4.34 6.94 18.92 106 0.75 1.42 77
DEANGELO WILLIAMS Memphis 22.69 2006 214 4.45 6.57 28.18 178.55 1.64 1.09 75
RYAN MATHEWS Fresno State 22.65 2010 218 4.37 7 23 150.67 1.58 0.92 74
BISHOP SANKEY Washington 21.3 2014 209 4.49 6.75 25.15 143.77 1.54 2.15 73
CHRIS HENRY Arizona 21.48 2007 230 4.4 6.96 15 52.82 0.64 1.91 73
CHRIS PERRY Michigan 22.03 2004 220 4.56 7.02 26 128.77 1.38 3.23 73
LESEAN MCCOY Pittsburgh 20.48 2009 204 4.5 6.82 23.69 114.46 1.62 2.46 72

Ronald Jones Comps

MONTARIO HARDESTY Tennessee 22.93 2010 225 4.49 6.87 21.69 103.46 1 1.92 62
JAMIE HARPER Clemson 21.32 2011 233 4.53 7.16 15.15 58.46 0.54 2.69 62
JEROME HARRISON Washington State 22.75 2006 201 4.47 6.79 28 172.73 1.45 2.18 62
ANTONIO PITTMAN Ohio State 21.07 2007 207 4.4 6.84 18.62 94.85 1.08 1.08 62
ANDRE BROWN North Carolina State 22.05 2009 224 4.37 7.35 13.46 59 0.54 2.23 61
RYAN MOATS Louisiana Tech 21.97 2005 210 4.46 7.22 24 147.83 1.5 1.25 61
CYRUS GRAY Texas A&M 22.02 2012 206 4.4 7.17 18 95 1.09 2.82 58
RONNIE BROWN Auburn 23.08 2005 233 4.43 7.12 12.75 76.08 0.67 2.83 58
CEDRIC BENSON Texas 22.03 2005 222 4.62 7.5 27.17 152.83 1.58 1.83 58

  1. The jury is still out as Jones was reportedly less than 100 percent when he ran a 4.48 at his Pro Day. Penny clocked a 4.46 at the Combine.  (back)

recent and related...

in case you missed it...

When The Devy Breaks: Keaontay Ingram Is A Three-Down NFL RB In Waiting

Welcome back to When The Devy Breaks, your weekly rundown of the college football landscape and how it affects your devy league rosters. Looking ahead to Week 12, we’ve got several matchups with real college football playoff potential highlighted by Georgia/Auburn and Oklahoma/Baylor. We’ll also see Navy take a swing

Read More

Dollars Per Opportunity: Josh Jacobs Smash Week

Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity — that’s what fantasy football is all about. Each week I utilize our Game Level Similarity Projections to find the hidden DFS values from a dollar-per-opportunity perspective with a focus on Week 9 Yahoo! DFS. We have been on a roll with picks in this article as

Read More

DK Buffet Week 11: Key Stats for the Main Slate on DraftKings

When I’m looking into the DFS slate each week, I like to go game by game and identify players or situations that intrigue me. In every game, on every team, there’s a situation that’s relevant for DFS, for either a positive or negative reason. These situations inform us of how

Read More

FanDuel NFL Cash Plays – Week 11

With three straight dominating weeks of FanDuel NFL Cash Plays, The Fantasy Football Ghost is on fire heading into Week 11! Well, ladies and gentlemen, we achieved that elusive hat trick of three straight winning weeks where the players I highlighted surpassed 2.5 times value! In Week 10 we again

Read More

Sign-up today for our free Premium Email subscription!

© 2019 RotoViz. All rights Reserved.