The 2015 DLF Running Back Report

Eric Hardter


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The past few years have introduced a seismic shift in the way dynasty footballers value the running back position – quite simply, they don’t. To that point, it’s routine to find only one ball carrier (if any) selected in the first round of PPR start-ups, as worries of diminished longevity, combined with increased variability, relative to the other positions have pushed pass catchers to the top of the dynasty hierarchy. The NFL has hardly been any different, with massive contracts largely a thing of the past and diamonds in the late round diamonds in the rough seemingly more prevalent than ever.

Simply put, it’s a quarterback-driven league nowadays. In 2014 there were 17,879 pass attempts on the aggregate, equating to an average of 558.7 per team. Drilling down one step further, on a weekly basis each squad could be expected to air it out 34.9 times.

The usage in the run game was dramatically different. While there were over 300 players who recorded rushing statistics last year, filtering out the non-running backs left us with a total of 11,742 totes by ball carriers. This is only 65.7% of the total passing attempts described above, and the average figure by team was then tabulated to be 366.9 on the year, and only 22.9 attempts per game.

And you know what? I don’t care!

I’m not here to shovel any additional dirt upon the metaphorical grave of the once-proud position. Instead, I want to glorify the league’s backfield warriors with a statistical analysis that would make the likes of Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith proud. As such, I’m here to introduce The 2015 DLF Running Back Report.

Included within these 60+ pages and nearly 18,000 words is a thorough scrutiny of 2014’s top-50 PPR ball carriers, including such things as:

A redux of my original True Points metric

-A summation of each player’s ceiling

-A glimpse into potential 2015 repeatability

-An account of the external factors affecting performance

-Multiple, thorough rankings lists

-Individual breakdowns for each player chronicled with a glimpse towards the future

Not only that, but because I believe there can never be too much delineation, each of the above factors were summed up in both the aggregate and volume-based levels. Put succinctly it’s a one-stop shop of ball carrying goodness that we’re bringing to you for no extra cost! Ultimately, it’s yet another reminder that, here at DLF, there is no off-season!

I believe this report will serve as a useful tool both for applying additional context to the 2014 season, while also functioning as a predictor for the upcoming year. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it, so please – don’t walk. Run to dive into this report and gain yet another leg up on your league-mates!

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» Click here for the 2015 Running Back Report

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eric hardter