Week 1 Running Back Workload Report: Analyzing Backfields Around the League
With week 1 in the books, it’s time to start diving into the wealth of data that was given to us by the fantasy football Gods. I’ve always been a fan of looking into the targets and carries for players to look for players that may not have necessarily blown up the stat sheet, but are bigger factors in their respective offense than we might have initially thought.
Mike Shanahan and his Shanahanigans at running back personnel decisions are definitely out in full force. Three months ago I was fully convinced that Roy Helu would be the man in Washington. Then it appeared to be Evan Royster. Sunday arrived and of course, Alfred Morris completely dominated the carries out of the Redskins backfield with 28. I’d just like to point out two things: 1.) He averaged 3.4 ypc against a defense that is historically bad against the run, and 2.) He’s not going to score two touchdowns each week. With that said, you can’t afford to trade him if you’re shorthanded at the running back position unless you’re getting back a weekly starter at RB in return. If you have the RB depth though, I’m all for selling high.
Matt Forte looked as good as ever and saw 16 carries and 6 targets in the passing game. Though he did manage a touchdown, he also gave way to Michael Bush (2 touchdowns) at the goal line. Forte will continue to be a valuable PPR asset, but Bush is going to be the Touchdown Vulture we all feared.
Rookie Doug Martin completely dominated the touches in the Buccaneers backfield with 24 carries and 4 targets to LeGarrette Blount’s 4 carries and 1 target. Martin was stuffed at the goal line early in the game, which sucks, but it’s still encouraging to see him getting the touches there.
C.J. Spiller is a guy that never ends up on my fantasy teams, but the upside is definitely there and he doesn’t disappoint when given the opportunity. The severity of Fred Jackson’s knee injury isn’t known at this point, but all signs are pointing to him missing a decent chunk of time. Ride Spiller into a decent matchup vs KC next week and Cleveland the following week, then dangle him out to your league in week 4. Fred Jackson should return shortly after that and they’ll face a revamped Pats front 7 and the 49ers in weeks 4 and 5. Spiller will still have some value after Fred Jackson returns, but it’s always wise to see what you can get for him.
Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman both saw 13 looks, but Dwyer looked light years better on the field.
The Texans “want” to get Ben Tate more involved, but he only saw 8 looks to Foster’s 29 on Sunday.
AP is truly a freak, and his 2nd round ADP is looking like a frikkin bargain after one game.
None of the Cardinals’ backs managed didley squat, and LaRod Stephens-Howling of all people got their goal line touchdown. Ryan Williams did lead the team in looks though against a historically stout Seattle front-7, so he should be a super cheap buy low guy.
Jamaal Charles looks fresh, and nearly broke off a long TD run before being tripped up. He saw 16 carries (0 targets) to Hillis’ 7 carries and 3 targets.
Bernard Pierce only had 4 carries behind Ray Rice, but is the guy to own if you’re interested in handcuffing your Rice investment.
Michael Turner saw only 11 carries in a blowout Falcons win. Yep, that’s definitely concerning.
Darren Sproles didn’t have a single carry, but did see 8 targets in the passing game. He’s going to have to get carries to be a weekly RB2.
|RNK||Player||ATTs||REC||TGTS||ATTs + TGTS|
|1||Darren McFadden, OAK||15||13||18||33|
|2||LeSean McCoy, PHI||20||6||9||29|
|3||Arian Foster, HOU||26||1||3||29|
|4||Alfred Morris, WAS||28||0||0||28|
|4||Shonn Greene, NYJ||27||0||1||28|
|4||Doug Martin, TB||24||4||4||28|
|7||Steven Jackson, STL||21||4||4||25|
|8||Stevan Ridley, NE||21||2||3||24|
|8||Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC||19||3||5||24|
|10||Marshawn Lynch, SEA||21||2||2||23|
|11||DeMarco Murray, DAL||20||2||2||22|
|11||Matt Forte, CHI||16||3||6||22|
|11||Trent Richardson, CLE||19||1||3||22|
|14||BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN||18||1||2||20|
|14||Reggie Bush, MIA||14||6||6||20|
|16||Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG||17||2||2||19|
|16||Kevin Smith, DET||13||4||6||19|
|18||Chris Johnson, TEN||11||6||7||18|
|18||Adrian Peterson, MIN||17||1||1||18|
|20||C.J. Spiller, BUF||14||2||3||17|
|20||Frank Gore, SF||16||1||1||17|
|20||Willis McGahee, DEN||16||0||1||17|
|23||Jamaal Charles, KC||16||0||0||16|
|24||Curtis Brinkley, SD||10||3||5||15|
|25||Ray Rice, BAL||10||3||4||14|
|26||Jonathan Dwyer, PIT||9||2||4||13|
|26||Isaac Redman, PIT||11||2||2||13|
|28||Michael Bush, CHI||12||0||0||12|
|29||Donald Brown, IND||9||0||2||11|
|29||Michael Turner, ATL||11||0||0||11|
|29||Ryan Williams, ARI||8||2||3||11|
|32||Peyton Hillis, KC||7||3||3||10|
|32||Ronnie Brown, SD||5||5||5||10|
|34||Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL||7||2||2||9|
|34||Rashad Jennings, JAC||8||1||1||9|
|34||Kendall Hunter, SF||9||0||0||9|
|34||Cedric Benson, GB||9||0||0||9|
|38||Shaun Draughn, KC||6||2||2||8|
|38||Darren Sproles, NO||0||5||8||8|
|38||Ben Tate, HOU||5||3||3||8|
|41||Toby Gerhart, MIN||6||1||1||7|
|41||Mark Ingram, NO||6||0||1||7|
|41||Beanie Wells, ARI||7||0||0||7|
|41||DeAngelo Williams, CAR||6||1||1||7|
|45||Danny Woodhead, NE||6||0||0||6|
|45||Fred Jackson, BUF||6||0||0||6|
|45||Daniel Thomas, MIA||3||1||3||6|
|45||Le'Ron McClain, SD||2||4||4||6|
|49||Brandon Bolden, NE||5||0||0||5|
|49||Roy Helu, WAS||2||3||3||5|
|49||Pierre Thomas, NO||4||1||1||5|
|49||Knowshon Moreno, DEN||5||0||0||5|
|53||Bernard Pierce, BAL||4||0||0||4|
|53||Vick Ballard, IND||4||0||0||4|
|53||Brandon Jackson, CLE||0||2||4||4|
|53||Tashard Choice, BUF||4||0||0||4|
|53||Bilal Powell, NYJ||3||1||1||4|
|53||Mike Tolbert, CAR||1||3||3||4|
|53||LeGarrette Blount, TB||3||1||1||4|
|60||Cedric Peerman, CIN||3||0||0||3|
|60||Brian Leonard, CIN||3||0||0||3|
|60||Montell Owens, JAC||0||1||3||3|
|60||Robert Turbin, SEA||2||1||1||3|
|60||LaRod Stephens-Howling, ARI||2||1||1||3|
|60||Chris Rainey, PIT||2||1||1||3|
|66||Felix Jones, DAL||0||0||2||2|
|66||David Wilson, NYG||2||0||0||2|
|66||Bryce Brown, PHI||2||0||0||2|
|66||Daryl Richardson, STL||2||0||0||2|
|66||Keiland Williams, DET||1||1||1||2|
|66||Jamie Harper, TEN||1||1||1||2|
|66||Jason Snelling, ATL||2||0||0||2|
|66||Evan Royster, WAS||2||0||0||2|
|66||Leon Washington, SEA||2||0||0||2|
|66||D.J. Ware, TB||2||0||0||2|
|66||Lance Ball, DEN||2||0||0||2|
|66||Mike Goodson, OAK||2||0||0||2|
|78||Mewelde Moore, IND||0||1||1||1|
|78||Joique Bell, DET||1||0||0||1|
|78||Jalen Parmele, JAC||1||0||0||1|
|78||Joe McKnight, NYJ||1||0||0||1|
|78||Jorvorskie Lane, MIA||0||1||1||1|
|78||Baron Batch, PIT||1||0||0||1|
|78||Will Johnson, PIT||0||1||1||1|
|78||Andre Brown, NYG||0||0||0||0|
|78||Isaiah Pead, STL||0||0||0||0|
|78||Marcus Thigpen, MIA||0||0||0||0|
|78||Michael Smith, TB||0||0||0||0|
|78||Taiwan Jones, OAK||0||0||0||0|