The early portions of 2020 rookie drafts are expected to be filled with exciting running backs. But the outlooks for our favorite backs depend a lot on which teams draft them. One straightforward way to determine which landing spots are best is to look at which teams have the most available opportunity. In what follows, I’ll explore vacated RB expected points (EP) to find the best landing spots for the top 2020 RB prospects.
Several NFL teams made big moves in their backfields, trading for or signing stars. Others let their top RBs from last season walk in free agency, or used them to upgrade other positions in the trade market. Vacated EP evaluates these moves in terms of the number of 2019 expected points that moved from one team to another.
For example, when Arizona traded David Johnson to Houston, his 127 EP from 2019 move along with him. Arizona is now 127 EP “under budget,” as it were. They might choose to spend that surplus opportunity on a rookie RB, making any draftee an attractive fantasy asset. Houston, on the other hand, is now 127 EP over budget. Austerity measures are likely on the horizon, and they should consider a hiring freeze. Any RB that Houston drafts1 may have a hard time carving out early opportunity.
Vacated RB Expected Points
The chart below shows the net vacated RB EP for every team after trades and free agent moves.