Zero RB Universe: Week 11 – Buy and Sell Options for Every Type of Fantasy Manager
Image Credit: Steven King/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Jahmyr Gibbs.

In Week 11 of the Zero RB Universe Shawn Siegele breaks down all of the top moves as the 2023 fantasy football trade deadline nears.

This article has been a joy to write in 2023, as the RB landscape in-season has been just as compelling as the ADP landscape pre-season. Today’s edition will dive into the Weekly Explorer to break down RB usage – opps, EP, rushing, and receiving – as well as the Advanced Stats Explorer to check out RB peripherals and efficiency.

We’ll use the matchups tab in the NFL Stat Explorer to look ahead to Week 11 matchups, and we’ll deploy the Strength of Schedule Streamer to evaluate two different key periods: the playoff push from Weeks 11 to 14 and the fantasy playoffs starting in Week 15 and extending to the championship in Week 17.

RB EP: A Rookie Superstar Emerges

If you subscribe to the RotoViz Rookie Guide and follow our prospect evaluations, you probably know how high we were on Jahmyr Gibbs, with Blair even making a case for him as the overall 1.01 in SF. (Dave Caban and Curtis Patrick also did an excellent job in making sure our readers knew we were much higher on C.J. Stroud than the consensus at the QB position.) For the first six weeks of the season our Gibbs position looked awful. Gibbs averaged 9.7 PPG through Week 4 and then missed two weeks with injuries.

Meanwhile, David Montgomery was putting together a league-winning season with over 20 PPG on 3.0 yards after contact per attempt. He had inherited the Jamaal Williams role with 13 green-zone touches (third-most in the league despite missing a game) and was a much better overall player than his predecessor.

The Detroit backfield has been a good object lesson when it comes to the tension between workload mattering and talent mattering. It’s also illustrated the importance and unpredictability of injuries. Gibbs returned from his maladies to find the starting job vacated by Montgomery’s rib injury. Over the following three games (Weeks 7-10 with the bye in Week 9), he managed the holy grail of RB opportunity, averaging an EP double double (10.9 ruEP/10.3 reEP). Gibbs also overperformed that workload by more than a TD per game (7.4 FPOE).

On the season, Gibbs now ranks No. 1 overall in broken tackle rate – a surprising result that isn’t sustainable – and top-six in forced missed tackle rate. That gives him the top evasion rate in football. It also creates an interesting contrast with Bijan Robinson.

YAC/A Evasion Rate YPRR
Jahmyr Gibbs 3.1 25.6 1.4
Bijan Robinson 2.8 16.8 0.9

From an EP perspective, it’s probably most relevant what Gibbs did in Montgomery’s Week 10 return. Although he didn’t hit double-digit reEP, he still posted the third-highest EP total of the week (21.9) on the back of multiple goal-line carries. I would expect Gibbs to drop back down into the 16 EP/G range, but with the talent to outperform by 4.0 FPOE/G. (Alvin Kamara averaged 5.0 FPOE/G across his first two seasons while managing 16.8 EP/G in a timeshare with Mark Ingram.)

Javonte Williams May Have Finally Arrived

Whether you’re excited or frustrated by Williams’ Monday night performance may depend on your status as an optimist or a realist, a glass-half full or a glass-half empty type of analyst. Or it may depend on whether you emphasize workload or efficiency.

A matchup with Buffalo’s flailing run defense offered the perfect opportunity for Williams and Jaleel McLaughlin to get going. The Bills were dead last in yards after contact, and by a country mile. They also came in bottom three in broken tackle % allowed and overall evasion rate allowed.

You’d like to think at least one member of the Broncos committee would break off a big run.

That didn’t happen. Across 28 combined attempts, the Denver backs were credited with a single missed tackle and zero forced missed tackles. They posted 59 total yards after contact.

We’re still getting Williams as an emerging RB1 in fantasy. Over the last three weeks, his usage numbers have been extremely encouraging.

FP/G Opps/G Carries/G ruEP/G re/EP/G
Javonte Williams 17.5 24.7 21 11.5 6.5

Williams isn’t getting a ton of work in the passing game – that’s going to Samaje Perine – but his presence in the green zone has led to receiving TDs in back-to-back weeks. The Broncos have a middle-of-the-pack run-blocking unit, and a QB who can barely throw the ball across the line of scrimmage. If Williams can add any dynamism to his game as he continues to recover, he could become a league- or even tournament-winner down the stretch.

Interlude 1: Remaining RB SOS – Regular Season (Weeks 11-14)

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Shawn Siegele

Author of the original Zero RB article and 2013 NFFC Primetime Grand Champion. 11-time main event league winner. 2015, 2017, 2018 titles in MFL10 of Death.

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