Popular Features

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Rankings
    April 30, 2019
    2019 NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Rankings

    Davis Mattek’s 2019 NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Rankings With the 2019 NFL Draft wrapped up and in the books, it is time to get to Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Rankings. Most dynasty leagues that I am in are ready to begin their rookie drafts for the 2019 NFL Draft class. The draft brought…

  • Superflex Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft
    May 8, 2019
    Industry Superflex Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft

    Fantasy Insiders Industry Superflex Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft It is Superflex Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft season! While I compiled my top 40 rankings of rookies for dynasty fantasy football purposes, we have yet to address Superflex dynasty leagues in the NFL365 package. I participate in the Fantasy Insiders SuperFlex Best Ball Dynasty league with…

  • Zero Wide Receiver Fantasy Football Strategy
    May 14, 2019
    Zero Wide Receiver Fantasy Football Targets

    Ten Zero Wide Receiver Fantasy Football Targets By this point, most RotoExperts readers are probably familiar with the concept of Zero RB drafting. Last week, I put together a list of ten Zero RB fantasy football candidates to help you in your fantasy football leagues. However, a less discussed strategy is the Zero wide receiver fantasy football…

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings premium
    April 30, 2019
    Post-Draft 2019 NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update

    Post-Draft 2019 NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update Now that the 2019 NFL draft is in the books, dynasty fantasy football leagues are on to a new phase. These Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings have been done post-draft to help evaluate what rookie picks are currently worth in your leagues and how they might compare to veterans…

  • DFB Invitational Dynasty Fantasy Football League
    May 10, 2019
    The #DFBInvitational Industry Dynasty Fantasy Football League

    The Mega-Industry SuperStar #DFBInvitational Industry Dynasty Fantasy Football League Of all the industry leagues that I have ever played in, the DFB Invitational dynasty fantasy football league (organized by Scott Barrett from Pro Football Focus) is maybe the most prestigious fantasy football league that I have ever played in. The league is a 12-team PPR…

  • 2019 NFL Futures Betting Market Check
    May 24, 2019
    2019 NFL Futures Betting Market Check

    2019 NFL Futures Betting Market Check NFL Futures Betting is one of the more beatable markets when it comes to betting on the NFL. The bets normally have lower limits and are generally softer than a line on an actual NFL game where the limits are higher and open to more scrutiny. These NFL Futures betting…

  • 2019 Play DRAFT Best Ball Championship
    May 23, 2019
    The $3.5 Million DRAFT Best Ball Championship

    The DRAFT Best Ball Championship Has Returned DRAFT ran the Best Ball Championship last year, and it was a smashing success (yours truly had a good time also, making the championship round of the tournament). Now it’s back and better than before, with an insane $3.5 million prize pool, and a cool million to first! The…

  • 2019 Fantasy Football Busts
    May 23, 2019
    2019 Fantasy Football Busts

    2019 Fantasy Football Busts We are beginning our coverage of 2019 fantasy football #DraftSZN in earnest here at RotoExperts. In a corresponding to piece to my first look at fantasy football sleepers for 2019, it is almost more important to look at fantasy football busts in 2019 fantasy football. Most of us will be doing…

  • First Look: Fantasy Football Sleepers
    May 22, 2019
    First Look: Fantasy Football Sleepers

    Fantasy Football Sleepers: First Edition “Fantasy Football Sleepers” is almost a dead term. Those who are really #hardcore about fantasy football know that sleepers don’t really exist. The Kansas City Chiefs fifth-string running back undrafted free agent isn’t even a fantasy football sleeper because someone, somewhere has written an article about how he is the…

  • DRAFT Best Ball Leagues premium
    May 21, 2019
    The ULTIMATE Guide To DRAFT Best Ball Leagues

    The RotoExperts ULTIMATE Guide To DRAFT Best Ball Leagues Introduction To PlayDRAFT Best Ball Leagues There is almost no better experience in fantasy football than playing in DRAFT Best Ball Leagues. A large part of why we launched the NFL365 package was that everyone involved with the SportsGrid fantasy football product genuinely loves to play…

NFL Draft Stats to Know – Running Back Prospects

NFL Draft Stats to Know – Running Back Prospects
Anthony Amico February 20, 2019 2:24PM EDT

What NFL Draft Statistics Matter Most for Running Back Prospects?

In the first article in this series, I went through some key statistics for wide receiver prospects. The series continues here, as I dive into the running back position.

I’ve done a bunch of regression-tree analysis on draft prospects. Using statistical software, we can see where key thresholds lie for relevant statistics, and what probabilities for success look like based on those thresholds.

I took a look at 303 RBs since the 2003 NFL Draft who appeared in an NFL game and over 50 different statistics. Here is how well they project the likelihood of a player being a hit, which I defined as a 200 point PPR season within the first three years of said player’s career. The overall sample hit rate was 15.2 percent.

Contained in the table below is:

Statistic: the data point in question

Threshold: The key splitting point of the data with direction. For example >=12 rushing touchdowns would mean running backs with at least 12 touchdowns gave us the sample of greatest success.

Percent of Sample: The percentage of the overall sample meeting the threshold. In some cases (like final season kick return yards) there are so few players in-sample that there should be less confidence about the quality of the statistic or threshold.

Comments: Statistic explanation and/or formula if it is something you may not easily recognize.

Access premium NFL coverage 365 days a year with the RotoExperts. Season Long Draft Kits. Fantasy Football Projections. Best Ball Coverage. Dynasty Rankings. NFL Draft Coverage. Expert Chat. Betting and much more. Save 10% when you use the promo “amico” at checkout. Learn More.

StatisticThresholdProbability of SuccessPercent of SampleComments
NFL Draft Scout Rank<30.78.9%
Rush Attempts Per Game - Final Season>=280.622.6%
Receiving Yards - Final Season>=4670.544.3%
Rushing Attempts - Final Season>=3410.55.3%
Kick Returns - Final Season>=230.52.6%
Scrimmage Yards Per Game - Final Season>=1500.4914.9%(rushing yards + receiving yards)/games
Receiving Yards Per Game - Final Season>=360.445.3%
Kick Return Yards - Final Season>=6060.432.3%
Punt Return Yards - Final Season>=1430.432.3%
Market Share of Receiving Touchdowns - Career>=0.120.426.3%receiving touchdowns/team receiving touchdowns
Rushing Yards Per Game - Final Season>=1270.4217.5%
Receiving Touchdowns - Final Season>=40.415.6%
Rushing Yards - Final Season>=16420.415.5%
Adjusted All-Purpose Yards Per Game - Final Season>=1540.420.5%(rushing yards + receiving yards + kick return yards + 5*punt return yards)/games
Scrimmage Yards Per Game - Career>=1140.3916.8%
Market Share of Rushing Yards - Career>=0.620.3910.2%rushing yards/team rushing yards
Rushing Yards Per Game - Career>=980.3817.2%
Punt Return Touchdowns - Career>=20.382.6%
Market Share of Scrimmage Touchdowns - Final Season>=0.430.3715.2%(rushing touchdowns + receiving touchdowns)/(team rushing touchdowns + team receiving touchdowns)
Rushing Touchdowns - Final Season>=150.3625.7%
Adjusted All-Purpose Yards Per Game - Career>=1200.3523.4%
Receiving Touchdowns Per Game - Final Season>=0.280.356.6%
Receiving Touchdowns Per Game - Career>=0.140.3312.9%
Rushing Touchdowns Per Game - Career>=0.880.3227.1%
Speed Score>=1090.331.0%(Weight*200)/(Forty Time)^4
Kick Return Touchdowns - Career>=10.315.5%
Punt Return Touchdowns - Final Season>=10.33.3%
Breakout Age<210.2930.7%Age a player hits 130 adjusted all purpose yards per game. If a player never hits that mark, final age is used
Receiving Yards Per Game - Career>=190.2915.8%
Punt Return Yards - Career>=4310.292.3%
Yards Per Carry - Final Season>=5.60.2934.0%
Kick Return Touchdowns - Final Season>=10.294.6%
Market Share of Scrimmage Yards - Career>=0.250.2831.7%(receiving + rushing yards)/(team receiving + rushing yards)
Yards Per Carry - Career>=5.60.2736.0%
Forty Yard Dash Time<4.50.2628.7%
Receiving Touchdowns - Career>=40.2628.1%
Market Share of Scrimmage Yards - Final Season>=0.290.2643.6%
Rushing Yards - Career>=27330.2541.6%
Rushing Touchdowns - Career>=250.2546.9%
Kick Return Yards - Career>=7150.2515.8%
Punt Returns - Final Season>=20.257.9%
Market Share of Rushing Yards - Final Season>=0.570.2539.3%
Kick Returns - Career>=360.2412.2%
Market Share of Scrimmage Touchdowns - Career>=0.210.2450.5%(receiving + rushing touchdowns)/(team receiving + rushing touchdowns)
Market Share of Rushing Attempts - Final Season>=0.440.2351.5%rushing attempts/team rushing attempts
Receptions - Career>=650.2228.1%
Receiving Yards - Career>=5220.2236.6%
Weight>=2140.2151.2%
Rushing Attempts - Career>=4900.2147.9%
Rushing Attempts Per Game - Career>=140.2149.5%
Market Share of Rushing Attempts - Career>=0.360.2149.5%
Market Share of Receiving Touchdowns - Final Season>=0.0610.2138.6%
Rushing Touchdowns Per Game - Final Season>=0.450.242.9%
Receptions Per Game - Career>=1.20.1958.1%
Receptions - Final Season>=100.1882.5%
Market Share of Receiving Yards - Final Season>=0.0270.1882.8%receiving yards/team receiving yards
Market Share of Receiving Yards - Career>=0.0290.1783.2%
Receptions Per Game - Final Season>=0.640.1788.1%
Punt Returns - Career<40.1689.1%

Key Takeaways

Much like at WR, what the scouts think about RBs matters a great deal. A whopping 70 percent of RBs in the sample ranked first or second by NFL Draft Scout became hits for fantasy.

Elite production in the return game appears to be predictive of success, though it is worth noting that very few players fit the listed criteria.

Scrimmage yards per game seems to offer the best combination of sample size and success rate, with roughly half of RBs reaching 150 scrimmage yards per game in their final seasons going on to be fantasy football hits.

The best measurable for RBs was Speed Score, which takes weight and forty time and creates a single number indicating weight-adjusted speed.

Age was less predictive for RBs than WRs, but still fairly important. Reaching 130 adjusted all-purpose yards before age 21 almost doubled the rate of success for RBs.

Stay tuned for stat breakdowns on the other major offensive positions for fantasy!

Featured image credit goes to Rick Scuteri of the Associated Press

Popular Features

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Rankings
    April 30, 2019
    2019 NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Rankings

    Davis Mattek’s 2019 NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Rankings With the 2019 NFL Draft wrapped up and in the books, it is time to get to Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft Rankings. Most dynasty leagues that I am in are ready to begin their rookie drafts for the 2019 NFL Draft class. The draft brought…

  • Superflex Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft
    May 8, 2019
    Industry Superflex Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft

    Fantasy Insiders Industry Superflex Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft It is Superflex Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Draft season! While I compiled my top 40 rankings of rookies for dynasty fantasy football purposes, we have yet to address Superflex dynasty leagues in the NFL365 package. I participate in the Fantasy Insiders SuperFlex Best Ball Dynasty league with…

  • Zero Wide Receiver Fantasy Football Strategy
    May 14, 2019
    Zero Wide Receiver Fantasy Football Targets

    Ten Zero Wide Receiver Fantasy Football Targets By this point, most RotoExperts readers are probably familiar with the concept of Zero RB drafting. Last week, I put together a list of ten Zero RB fantasy football candidates to help you in your fantasy football leagues. However, a less discussed strategy is the Zero wide receiver fantasy football…

  • Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings premium
    April 30, 2019
    Post-Draft 2019 NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update

    Post-Draft 2019 NFL Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings Update Now that the 2019 NFL draft is in the books, dynasty fantasy football leagues are on to a new phase. These Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings have been done post-draft to help evaluate what rookie picks are currently worth in your leagues and how they might compare to veterans…

  • DFB Invitational Dynasty Fantasy Football League
    May 10, 2019
    The #DFBInvitational Industry Dynasty Fantasy Football League

    The Mega-Industry SuperStar #DFBInvitational Industry Dynasty Fantasy Football League Of all the industry leagues that I have ever played in, the DFB Invitational dynasty fantasy football league (organized by Scott Barrett from Pro Football Focus) is maybe the most prestigious fantasy football league that I have ever played in. The league is a 12-team PPR…

  • 2019 NFL Futures Betting Market Check
    May 24, 2019
    2019 NFL Futures Betting Market Check

    2019 NFL Futures Betting Market Check NFL Futures Betting is one of the more beatable markets when it comes to betting on the NFL. The bets normally have lower limits and are generally softer than a line on an actual NFL game where the limits are higher and open to more scrutiny. These NFL Futures betting…

  • 2019 Play DRAFT Best Ball Championship
    May 23, 2019
    The $3.5 Million DRAFT Best Ball Championship

    The DRAFT Best Ball Championship Has Returned DRAFT ran the Best Ball Championship last year, and it was a smashing success (yours truly had a good time also, making the championship round of the tournament). Now it’s back and better than before, with an insane $3.5 million prize pool, and a cool million to first! The…

  • 2019 Fantasy Football Busts
    May 23, 2019
    2019 Fantasy Football Busts

    2019 Fantasy Football Busts We are beginning our coverage of 2019 fantasy football #DraftSZN in earnest here at RotoExperts. In a corresponding to piece to my first look at fantasy football sleepers for 2019, it is almost more important to look at fantasy football busts in 2019 fantasy football. Most of us will be doing…

  • First Look: Fantasy Football Sleepers
    May 22, 2019
    First Look: Fantasy Football Sleepers

    Fantasy Football Sleepers: First Edition “Fantasy Football Sleepers” is almost a dead term. Those who are really #hardcore about fantasy football know that sleepers don’t really exist. The Kansas City Chiefs fifth-string running back undrafted free agent isn’t even a fantasy football sleeper because someone, somewhere has written an article about how he is the…

  • DRAFT Best Ball Leagues premium
    May 21, 2019
    The ULTIMATE Guide To DRAFT Best Ball Leagues

    The RotoExperts ULTIMATE Guide To DRAFT Best Ball Leagues Introduction To PlayDRAFT Best Ball Leagues There is almost no better experience in fantasy football than playing in DRAFT Best Ball Leagues. A large part of why we launched the NFL365 package was that everyone involved with the SportsGrid fantasy football product genuinely loves to play…