This statement was all the buzz when McKinnon was paid well as a free agent to be the supposed lead running back for the San Francisco 49ers. However, how true is this statement now Coleman is heading for free agency this time around?
What makes these players the most interesting is their ADP. According to the DLF ADP data, they are right next to each other. But what does the general public think?
Plan on a new series called the ADP buster for @DLFootball and need some input.
— Tyler Ghee (@TylerGheeNFL) February 27, 2019
Needless to say, all this information led to these to being prime picks for this version of “ADP Busters”. This series of articles will help dynasty players evaluate two players head-to-head, then use this data to provide player value and to also break ties between two players when in a startup dynasty draft.
First, let us start with the physical aspects of each of these players.
Jerick McKinnon: Age 26/weight 205 lbs/height 5’9”
Tevin Coleman: Age 25/weight 210 lbs/height 6’1”
Outside of their basic physical stature, most people in the dynasty community are aware of McKinnon’s physical attributes and the fact that he dominated the 2014 Scouting Combine. The real question is: how did Coleman compare?
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Looking above, we can see just how insanely gifted McKinnon is. However, it also should be noted that Tevin Coleman also threw up some signific numbers as well. Notice that some areas are left vacant as Coleman dealt with a foot injury for a portion of the Combine. Regardless, it is easy to see that when it comes to pure athletic ability, McKinnon runs away with it.
Still, consider how this power and speed translate on to a football field. Being a stud off the field doesn’t do much good for fantasy football players. Below is a graph that portrays the two players’ game speed by distance traveled. This graph not only plots each individual point but makes a line of best fit for each player. Additionally, it provides a trend line for the average running back. It is also important to note that this graph depicts the year 2017 as McKinnon was hurt for all 2018.
Graph from airyards.com.
On the field, we can see that on almost every run between the two, Coleman actually has higher game speed. This came as a shock as most owners would be under the assumption of the opposite given McKinnon’s faster speed and agility scores.
Being physically gifted is one aspect of every football player, but football production will always take precedence. Below is the comparison of the two players and the career they have had thus far.
Table from Pro Football Reference.
Conveniently both players, although staggered in starting years, have played almost the same amount of games in their careers – making comparing the two more linear. The first noticeable aspect is the rushing stats. Coleman has had considerably more attempts, yards, and touchdowns than McKinnon. Additionally – and even more interesting – is the fact he also has more yards per carry as well.
Further analysis also provides an interesting insight: McKinnon has always been considered to be a prolific pass catcher and rightfully so with 142 receptions. However, what was surprising was how productive Coleman was as well. Despite not getting as many receptions, he had more yards, touchdowns, and yards per reception. This continues to bend in favor of his talent superseding his competition.
Moreover, this information was compiled to into averages per game (seen below) and furthers illustrates what was mentioned above.
Table from Pro Football Reference.
Continuing to look at these two players, we can turn to their last seasons played and the percentage of runs they had. This stat is particularly interesting as it is based off percentages and is unaffected by the number of carries that either player received or injury. Additionally, each graph shows us a trend line of the average running back for that year.
Graphs from ffstatistics.com.
Going head to head in this statistic, we can see the clear winner is Colemen. Not to say that his percent of runs was above the average running back, but they seemed to be well above McKinnon’s. Additionally, I think it is important to note that McKinnon doesn’t seem to even contribute more than an average running back for the league. All concerning information that continues to rides in favor of the soon-to-be free agent.
When it boils down to it, we play fantasy football. All this analysis is just for the underlining truth of “what points can we expect week to week”. One of the go-to stats I use to often compare players is the Opportunity Ratio. This ratio is made by taking the total fantasy points that a player scored that year, then dividing it by the sum of targets and carries they received. Simply put: what did the player do fantasy-wise with the opportunity given to them? Injury and game script have little impact. Below is a chart depicting both players’ Opportunity Ratios for each played season.
Charts from ffstatistics.com.
Skimming the charts above, we can see that Coleman seems to get more opportunity, more fantasy points, and more fantasy points per opportunity than the comparative player in McKinnon. We can even see a clearer picture by taking an average of each of their opportunity scores for their career:
Coleman: 0.875 points per opportunity
McKinnon: 0.788 points per opportunity
All of this is substantial evidence that when it comes to fantasy football, Coleman seems to do more for your fantasy football teams. Moreover, I’ve added one more table. This one looks at the percentage of fantasy finishes for each running back throughout their entire career.
Graph from ffstatistics.com.
At first glance, we can see what jumps off the page. The 49er has over 50% of his games under an RB36, just another stat to build support for Coleman.
At this point, the evidence speaks for itself. Tevin Coleman, contrary to popular belief, would be my pick between the two players. Although his future is uncertain, he seems to be the more talented football player. Playing fantasy football long enough has always taught me to follow talent and all will fall into place.
I think it is of note that I have no grand illusions of Coleman or McKinnon being elite assets, but know that each can contribute to any dynasty team. Moving forward, I hope these series will allow dynasty owners to evaluate true value and talent on their team and get past general statements and perceived value.
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