Welcome to the first installment of my rushing study on DLF. You can find my introduction, explanation, and numerical breakdown of the series here. In this two-parter, we’ll be looking at running backs that the community generally deem to be talented that run behind poor offensive lines. Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon will serve as the central focuses and lead into a greater conversation about the constraints that a poor blocking unit can place on any back.
Todd Gurley, RB LAR
Gurley has been the poster boy for the good player-bad line confusion. In a destitute offensive situation exacerbated by poor coaching, Gurley drowned in 2016–he finished the season running at an impressively-terrible clip of 3.2 yards per carry. Despite a strikingly bad season of production, his dynasty value has hardly taken a hit. The implied reasoning behind that (lack of a) trend is that the heinous production was caused by his surroundings.
However, the data I’ve collected strongly disagrees with this sentiment. Why? Simply, he didn’t create at all:
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