I think if you search the archives, you can find previous articles that I've written about how important it is where a player's opportunities occur. But as statistical analysis tools proliferate on the Internet, particularly PFR's Play Index and RotoViz's Screener App, I feel like I need to dig deeper into this topic. I'm know other analysts on other sites have covered some of this ground (kudos to them[i]), but I wanted to do my own work and maybe add to their work. Today I'll start with running backs. For now, I will only describe what occurs when an RB gets a hand-off or a pass thrown to him but I hope eventually to use this to analyze future performance and make predictions.

Using "The RotoViz Screener," I looked at all running back carries and targets since 2002 (the 32-team era) to see how many fantasy points each carry and each target generated (10 yards = 1 FP, TD = 6 FP, and 1 FP/reception scoring). Overall, an average carry by an RB scores 0.59 FP and a target nets him 1.44 FP on average. In PPR systems, an RB target is worth almost two and a half times as many fantasy points as a carry.

But that greatly underestimates the value of some opportunities as this chart shows:

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FP per RB Opportunity, 2002-2015

 

  Opp Yd Line
 Type

1 to 5

5 to 10

10 to 20

Outside 20

 
 

Rush

2.39

0.92

0.59

0.48