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Leonard Fournette 2018 Outlook


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16 minutes ago, OBJfor6 said:

Has anything really changed? He's 1 year older and has a nice shiny new LG, while he lost the best run-blocking TE in the league. What could have been a big upgrade to the run-blocking of this team is probably now only a slight upgrade overall.

Yes, Fournette has a year of NFL experience now.  An elite Guard is more important than a 34 year old TE.  DJ Chark was basically drafted to help open up the run game and to prevent defenses from stacking the box.

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Let me first preface this, I am not here to defend LF in any way, shape, or form.  Having said that...

 

9 hours ago, OBJfor6 said:

Let's not forget that Yeldon had over 1,000 yards in 12 games his rookie year, good for a pace of 1,359 yards, on a SIGNIFICANTLY all-around worse team.

 

I enjoyed your first post, very well laid out, but then you ruined it with this.

 

1,359 yards, while solid, isn't special (not that you implied TJY is special).  Fournette was on pace for 1,652 yards last year.  That's 21% more productive than Yeldon.

 

More importantly, it's extremely misleading the way you've framed the fact that Jacksonville was a significantly worse football team.  Was JAX significantly worse?  Yes, they were, but fantasy doesn't care how good your team is.  When that 'worse team' has career years at every skill position on offense, fantasy isn't able to identify or correlate those things like humans can (or should).

 

Jax was significantly worse football team in '15 than '17... but Bortles threw for 800 more yards and 14 more touchdowns in 2015 than he did in '17.

Jax was significantly worse football team in '15 than '17... but when Allen Robinson has 1400 Yards receiving compared to Keelan Cole's 748, that usually has an effect on the run game efficiency don't you think?

You also gloss over the fact that LF had QUADRUPLE the rushing TDs that TJY had, which is massive in the game we play, especially in standard.

 

Also.. as far as fluke plays, I can't be bothered to go find the data and research I did on it last year (if memory serves it's in the Jay Ajayi thread, likely within the range of page 3-8) but I believe that on average, every RB will have 3% of their total runs, result in a 'fluke' play.  So yes, it's futile to take them away, because every RB on average, has them happen at a rate of 3% each year.  If the back you're comparing them to had zero, they're likely a candidate for progression to the mean.

 

If you do want to dive into numbers more, it's important to look at the field as a whole.  I agree, Fournette's efficiency wasn't great and is a valid cause for concern.
3.9 YPC is sub par, but here are last year's top 10 RBs:

Hunt: 4.9

Gurley: 4.8

Bell: 4.0

McCoy: 4.0

Ingram: 4.9

Howard: 4.1

Gordon: 3.9

Fournette: 3.9

CJA: 4.1

Zeke: 4.1

 

So, is 3.9 worrisome?  Sure, but 70% of the top 10 RBs last year, were at 4.1YPC or less, so it's hard to hold it against him when looking at your realistic draft options mid-late 1st round.

 

Hunt, McCoy, and Ingram all had double digit carries of 20+.  Everyone other back in the top 10 had less than 10.

Hell, I think LeVeon Bell is the #1 back in the league... he had only 3 rushes go for over 20 yards last year. (lowest of the group)  His longest run of the entire year, was only 27 yards.  To me, this screams outlier, and progression to the mean could be coming.

 

If you aren't going to use the stats universally to damn players, then it's hard to trust the analysis of people who pick and choose when to apply them based on personal preference, without at least a deep perspective into their reasoning.

 

If your whole point was that <Any backup RB> who has a season ending injury occur to <lead back in front of them> on a team that subscribes to <work horse RB mentality> will have <Rb2 value> based on volume alone, regardless of <skill drop off from starter>... then I agree with you, but I'm not sure it's much revelation.  It applies to pretty much every <established> backup RB in the league, who is on a team to funnels touches to a single player.

 

Health risk is real.

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11 hours ago, OBJfor6 said:

Has anything really changed? He's 1 year older and has a nice shiny new LG, while he lost the best run-blocking TE in the league. What could have been a big upgrade to the run-blocking of this team is probably now only a slight upgrade overall.

 

A year older is a good thing at this point of his life and career. 

 

A year older means he will be getting stronger and faster with strength and conditioning coaches year round as a full time job. 

 

A year older means he will have an extra year of experience playing hard nosed football and learning the Jags play book. 

 

If he's 29 going on 30 you can use the "year older" comment in several cases for a RB. 

 

You can't use it for a 23 year old going on 24 going from his rookie year to his 2nd year in the NFL though. 

 

BTW... A great guard does a hell of a lot more for running the ball up the middle than a TE. 

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13 hours ago, FFCollusion said:

Let me first preface this, I am not here to defend LF in any way, shape, or form.  Having said that...

 

 

I enjoyed your first post, very well laid out, but then you ruined it with this.

 

1,359 yards, while solid, isn't special (not that you implied TJY is special).  Fournette was on pace for 1,652 yards last year.  That's 21% more productive than Yeldon.

 

More importantly, it's extremely misleading the way you've framed the fact that Jacksonville was a significantly worse football team.  Was JAX significantly worse?  Yes, they were, but fantasy doesn't care how good your team is.  When that 'worse team' has career years at every skill position on offense, fantasy isn't able to identify or correlate those things like humans can (or should).

 

Jax was significantly worse football team in '15 than '17... but Bortles threw for 800 more yards and 14 more touchdowns in 2015 than he did in '17.

Jax was significantly worse football team in '15 than '17... but when Allen Robinson has 1400 Yards receiving compared to Keelan Cole's 748, that usually has an effect on the run game efficiency don't you think?

You also gloss over the fact that LF had QUADRUPLE the rushing TDs that TJY had, which is massive in the game we play, especially in standard.

 

If your whole point was that <Any backup RB> who has a season ending injury occur to <lead back in front of them> on a team that subscribes to <work horse RB mentality> will have <Rb2 value> based on volume alone, regardless of <skill drop off from starter>... then I agree with you, but I'm not sure it's much revelation.  It applies to pretty much every <established> backup RB in the league, who is on a team to funnels touches to a single player.

 

Health risk is real.

6

While I don't agree with most of what you said and will lay out why I do not feel the same way as you, I appreciate your evidence-based analysis, as it is the first post on here that has any substance past a bunch of narratives. Because this post ended up being a lot longer than I expected on TJ Yeldon alone, I will respond to the rest of it at some point probably later today.

 

What I think you are missing with my point on Yeldon, is that gamescript works both ways. When you have a horrendous team like JAX in 2015, they are going to:

1. Throw the ball a lot more.

2. Possess the ball a lot less.

 

A situation like this obviously leads to positive gamescript for QBs and WRs, which you suggested by talking about Bortles and ARob's career years in 2015. To borrow your words, I am not sure if this is much of a revelation.

 

But it works both ways, and the better JAX team of 2017 (particularly the defense and offensive line), coupled with an obvious refocus on the run compared to 2015, allows JAX to:

1. Run the ball a lot more.

2. Possess the ball a lot more.

 

A situation like this, which doesn't seem as obvious to you (since you didn't factor it in at all in your analysis), leads to positive gamescript for RBs. 

 

To compare the seasons with hard numbers, here is a list of some key stats that most encompass what I am saying, with 2017 on the left and 2015 on the right.

66.8 plays per game vs. 63.2 plays per game, an increase of 3.6 plays run per game.

527 passing attempts (32.94 per game) vs. 607 passing attempts (37.94 per game), a decrease of 5 per game.

527 rushing attempts (32.94 per game) vs. 324 rushing attempts (20.25 per game), an increase of 12.69 per game.

 

I could drill down even further with these comparisons, but I think you'll get the point: There is a lot more opportunity to run the ball on this JAX team then there was in 2015. By throwing out the 1,359-yard pace for Yeldon, I was in no way comparing that to LF's 1,652-yard pace and calling them equal. I intended for that to just get the point across that Yeldon isn't a complete scrub like most people have already written him off to be, and I think we are in agreement that he is a pretty average player, but certainly not a bad player.

 

Yeldon's 15 carries/game in 2015 pales in comparison to LF's 21 carries/game, and the difference is not a lack of role - it was a lack of opportunity for Yeldon on a horrendous 2015 JAX team, as he was the clear workhorse on that team like LF is the clear workhorse on this team. Further, consider that Yeldon was the preferred JAX passing-down back and slightly out-targeted LF 30 to 28 in the games they played together. Based on this, it is clear that Yeldon would have more opportunity as a receiver than LF did last year if he was on the field as a workhorse instead of being limited to a COP/passing back. 

 

Basically, I think there is a scenario where if LF goes down, Yeldon can step in like nothing ever happened and assume all of LF's work, which would actually give him the potential to exceed LF's yardage pace from last year, given his greater opportunity in the passing game. I also see a scenario where maybe they don't give it all to Yeldon and throw a couple more carries a game to Corey Grant, but I find it unlikely to be any worse than that for Yeldon. Grant should already see a little more work as it is without Chris Ivory on the team anymore, and I think it is clear no one who has ever coached him sees him as anything more than a COP back, given the career-high 66 carries I mentioned in one of my posts.

 

If the second scenario were to come true, let's say Yeldon would get 18 carries/game instead of LF's 21 carries/game, and you can give the other 3 to Corey Grant. As long as he matched LF's efficiency (which we agreed is not good), the extra ~1.5-2 targets per game I would expect him to get over LF would offset the small loss of yards from 3 less carries per game. In this scenario, I would expect him to be close to matching LF's pace.

 

Now, I understand that Yeldon was historically bad in the red-zone as a rookie, and his TD potential is where he falls short of my expectations for LF. Given his 4 TD pace from his rookie year, I think it is reasonable to bump that up to the 6-8 range, based on my "better team, more opportunity" argument. I am too lazy to go find and compare red-zone numbers from the two years after this post being longer and more in-depth than I anticipated, but I think it's obvious he'd be in the red-zone more often than he was in 2015, which would give him more opportunities to score.

 

To summarize, I would expect Yeldon to be very close to LF's yardage numbers, with the potential to actually exceed them. I would also expect Yeldon to score more often than he did his rookie year based on more red-zone opportunities on a better team, but I am fully aware of how historically bad he was in the red-zone his rookie year, so I would expect considerably less TDs than LF. But, a 1600+ yard, 6-8 TD pace is still an RB1 in any format. 

 

The only argument I can see against this thinking, other than maybe not liking me bumping his TD pace up (even if you assume the 4 TD pace of his rookie year, which I think is an ultra-conservative number, that's still a back-end RB1 pace in any format), is that JAX would run the ball less without LF. And while we only have a small sample of 3 games without LF, in those 3 games, JAX ran the ball 37, 40, and 38 times, for an average of 38.33 times per game. This is actually 6.64 MORE runs per game (38.33 vs. 31.69) without LF than with him, so I don't think their offensive philosophy would change without LF. 

 

To your last point, I don't see this as quite that kind of situation, as the opportunity Yeldon would inherit is much greater than most other handcuffs in the league, simply because JAX runs the ball more than anyone else. Yeldon is a clear handcuff on the team that led the league in rushing attempts last year, behind a workhorse RB who has serious injury concerns. I don't see him as your typical handcuff expected to become an RB2 if the starter goes down, I think he'd be closer to an RB1 than an RB2, and he's behind one of the most likely starters to go down. Yet, people have completely written him off and have him nowhere near their fantasy radar, as he is going undrafted in all FFC mocks of 12 teams or less.

 

To me, no matter what anyone really thinks of TJ Yeldon, he is easily worth the last spot on your bench, as he doesn't cost anything more than that. I happen to see more value in him than that, but I don't expect to have to pay for it given public sentiment on him, so there's value here regardless of whether or not I'm right about my projections for him.

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6 minutes ago, OBJfor6 said:

Stuff

 

This is one of those rare scenarios, where I think you are making good points, where I agree with your logic, BUT... they have no merit in the discussion being had.

 

90% of the post was trying to support why you think Yeldon can flirt with RB1 status if LF is out for the year, which is a standpoint I didn't disagree with you on.  As previously stated, I think and team that believes in the bell cow mentality, can have their backup RB come in, and despite being less talented (the degree doesn't matter, within reason) on volume alone can be an RB2 in our game.  If your argument is that Yeldon is a more attractive hand cuff than most other scenarios in the league... okay, fine.  I didn't state otherwise.  I'm not sure why so much focus is being put on this, when I haven't really seen anyone disputing Yeldon's potential value if LF is gone, especially not me.

 

I think it's counter productive for you to state in one line, 'Well Jax was passing way more in '15 and that hurt TJ Yeldon' immediately followed by stating that TJ Yeldon is a better/preferred passing down back.  I don't think Yeldon was hindered by excessive passing, I think it suits him better than running 30+ times a game, so I think we have a disconnect there, as I would argue that massive passing game should have benefited the guy who is the preferred pass catching back, right?

 

In that same line of thought, I disagree with the notion that Yeldon was held back by how strong AR15 and Bortles were that year.  I can look it up later, but I'm willing to bet Fournette saw 8 in the box significantly more often than Yeldon did when they were rushing.  When the defense is focusing on AR15, Yeldon had plenty of room to work.  Who were defenses focusing on in 2018?  One person and one person only.

 

Furthermore we haven't even touched on the fact that ~70% of JAX's offensive production was in garbage time in 2015, and Yeldon was often running A: against 2nd string players and B: against prevent defenses.  Neither of these are advantages that Fournette was given very often.

 

Given all of this, Yeldon still only managed 4.1 yards per carry.  Again, this isn't bad, but if one of your foundation points against Fournette is his efficiency (3.9), and your baseline comparison against him, is Yeldon who you are praising... that seems hypocritical, especially when considering the different amounts of focus each player received, the quality of defenses they were going against, and the formations teams played against Jax in '15.

 

Tl;dr If Fournette ran against 5 and 6 man boxes, while the team was 21 points down, against a prevent defenses... you can be damn sure he would have averaged more than 4.1 YPC I'm betting.  That's a hypothetical we can never prove, and really doesn't even matter.

 

You and I simply disagree on what a positive game script is for a RB I guess, or at least you're missing the Sin curve of how it effects RBs.  There is a sweet spot for sure, and it tapers off at both ends.

 

Given the scenario of Yeldon's fewer touches and drastically better situations to run against, his efficiency should have been through the roof, but it wasn't.  While Fournette's 3.9 is not what I would call good, when you consider what he was running against, why he was running against it, and how often he was running against it... I think it's obvious to expect a lower efficiency than normal.  I think it's logical to assume a guy with 8 in the box isn't going to break as many big runs on the year or be as successful in the trenches.

 

I don't think your general thesis is wrong, I just don't think we're actually debating the same topics.

We only really seem to disagree on one thing... Which offense was more conducive to RB success, or perhaps more accurately, was Yeldon's really any worse?

It's an age old argument. 

 

20 carries against 8 first stringers in the box with no receiving threat or 15 carries against 5 second stringers in the box with a top 5 WR.

Take your pick.

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You’re both evaluating the wrong end of the horse.   Yeldon is just a cuff.  OBJ seems to think he’ll be their bellcow if LF goes down.   Fine.   I disagree but whatever- he’s cheap and worth an add as a LF owner.   

 

Fournette is the truth and poised for a monster season.   Pass on him at your own peril.   

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53 minutes ago, The Answer said:

If yeldon isn’t available, should fournette owners have Corey grant on their bench as a cuff?

Now we’re asking the right questions....  I really don’t know.   For now I’d go with NO for most leagues, but  Training camp and PS will be critical.     

 

 

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3 hours ago, Impreza178 said:

 

Fournette is the truth and poised for a monster season.   Pass on him at your own peril.   

 

this 

 

i drew the 11 hole in a 12 team ppr, and if Lenny Snaps is there i will be clicking the DRAFT icon with extreme relish.  this is a kid you can build around, a terrific anchor for all magick foosballers who will be presented with a likewise bounty. 

 

now, if Barkley is also still there at 11? 

 

:o

 

hmmmm.  

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13 minutes ago, pastorofmuppets2 said:

 

this 

 

i drew the 11 hole in a 12 team ppr, and if Lenny Snaps is there i will be clicking the DRAFT icon with extreme relish.  this is a kid you can build around, a terrific anchor for all magick foosballers who will be presented with a likewise bounty. 

 

now, if Barkley is also still there at 11? 

 

:o

 

hmmmm.  

 

Neither one of them SHOULD be there at 11, but crazy things happen sometimes.  At least you have Hopkins/Julio and Dalvin Cook to soothe the pain.

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39 minutes ago, Axe Elf said:

 

Neither one of them SHOULD be there at 11, but crazy things happen sometimes.  At least you have Hopkins/Julio and Dalvin Cook to soothe the pain.

 

better shot of either rb being there than Nuk - especially given the ppr/high octane bonus slant of said league. 

 

matter of fact, i could see Nuk going right after the Gurley/Zeke/Bell trio - sure, many would opt AB or DJ prior to, but i wouldn't knock a fella for touting Hopkins instead. 

 

i do agree about Cook, and i know for damn sure he will be there for me at 11 - would love to snag two of the three (Lenny, Bark, Cook), but that may be a stretch (especially drafting in NYC).

 

regardless, it's not a horrible spot to be "stuck" with this year, plenty of pickins from the back end. 

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16 hours ago, The Answer said:

If yeldon isn’t available, should fournette owners have Corey grant on their bench as a cuff?

 

i'd guess Grant has a role no matter what, but i dont see him suddenly getting work horse volume if Fournette is hurt.  Yeldon would probably 60/40 that timeshare.   However, when Fournette is healthy, Grant is a better hail mary in any given week than Yeldon.   

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22 hours ago, FFCollusion said:

 

This is one of those rare scenarios, where I think you are making good points, where I agree with your logic, BUT... they have no merit in the discussion being had.

 

90% of the post was trying to support why you think Yeldon can flirt with RB1 status if LF is out for the year, which is a standpoint I didn't disagree with you on.  As previously stated, I think and team that believes in the bell cow mentality, can have their backup RB come in, and despite being less talented (the degree doesn't matter, within reason) on volume alone can be an RB2 in our game.  If your argument is that Yeldon is a more attractive hand cuff than most other scenarios in the league... okay, fine.  I didn't state otherwise.  I'm not sure why so much focus is being put on this, when I haven't really seen anyone disputing Yeldon's potential value if LF is gone, especially not me.

 

I think it's counter productive for you to state in one line, 'Well Jax was passing way more in '15 and that hurt TJ Yeldon' immediately followed by stating that TJ Yeldon is a better/preferred passing down back.  I don't think Yeldon was hindered by excessive passing, I think it suits him better than running 30+ times a game, so I think we have a disconnect there, as I would argue that massive passing game should have benefited the guy who is the preferred pass catching back, right?

 

A bunch of narratives without substance, hinging on "stacked boxes."

6

Four out of six people who posted, including you, cast doubt on Yeldon. You started off your post saying how I ruined my argument by talking about Yeldon, and then preceded to try to tell me why my Yeldon comment was off-base. You then concluded by basically saying you think Yeldon is an RB2-level handcuff, which I also wanted to show why I think that undersells him. I’m not sure how any of this turned into “when I haven't really seen anyone disputing Yeldon's potential value if LF is gone, especially not me.” 

 

My initial argument was twofold: Why I believe LF is overrated and a little overvalued, and how I think Yeldon is underrated and undervalued, so Yeldon is a bet I’ll take and LF is a bet I’ll fade. I stated at the start of my response to you that it would be only about Yeldon’s potential and that I’d get to LF later. So yes, I will continue to talk about TJ Yeldon, but more so for others than for you. There are people here who think Yeldon and Grant would split carries, for God's sake! I will get to LF in this post, too.

 

Yeldon has seen more targets per game in a limited role the past two years than he did in a full role his rookie season, so no, the extra passing did not help him in any way. Per ESPN splits, this is how his carries and receptions broke down, by quarter:

 

BY QUARTER ATT YDS AVG LNG TD REC YDS AVG LNG TD FUM LST
QUARTER = 1 67 250 3.7 15 0 5 65 13.0 21 0 0 0
QUARTER = 2 42 162 3.9 28 2 9 54 6.0 13 0 0 0
QUARTER = 3 45 178 4.0 16 0 13 55 4.2 9 1 0 0
QUARTER = 4 23 105 4.6 45 0 9 105 11.7 67 0 0 0
OVERTIME 5 45 9.0 36 0 0 0 .0 0 0 0 0

 

As you can see, his carries HALVED in the fourth quarters of games (presumably when JAX really would be throwing to catch up most of the time. This is an assumption backed up by the fact that Bortles threw 32.167% of his passes in regulation in the 4th quarter, per ESPN splits again), and his receiving looks didn’t change. Before you argue that his efficiency was better during those quarters, realize that both his longest run and longest catch are skewing those averages up, which is pretty counterintuitive actually - you don’t expect RBs in catch-up situations to break 40+ yard plays against “prevent” defenses that are supposed to prevent big plays (in quotes, because I couldn't find the data to back up this assumption, if it even exists).

 

When you actually look at the stats and don’t rely solely on narratives, it’s clear that Yeldon’s volume took a major hit when the Jags were in catch-up mode, and his total production would have too if his couple of big plays didn’t happen to occur in the 4th quarter.

 

The rest of your argument then hinges on what I call the “stacked box fallacy,” as it is a poor narrative that has been pushed around for far too long. What no one ever considers is that defenses react to what look the opposing offense gives them. If a run-oriented team like JAX goes out there with a 3 TE formation on the line, of course the opposing team is going to at least match their number of blockers (8) with 8 defenders in the box. If a pass-oriented, spread offense team like GB goes out there with 3 wide and a TE off the line in the slot, of course the defense isn’t going to put 8 defenders in the box to contend with 5 blockers.

 

PFF did a study this offseason to try to quantify a runner’s “average blocking advantage,” by counting the number of blockers a runner had on each play, subtracting this from the number of defenders in the box on each play, and averaging the number out over the season. This is the result of that study:

 

Barrett-15.png

 

LF's -1.05 average blocking advantage means that, on average, he faced 1.05 more defenders per play than blockers he had (i.e. if he had 7 blockers, he faced 8.05). While his advantage was near the bottom of the league, it was not the worst, and it was within 4 hundredths of a point on either side to 5 of his top 10 peers (McCoy, Hunt, Howard, Zeke, Ingram). So, he was not at a significant disadvantage relative to most of his peers, like the stacked box fallacy would lead you to believe. 

 

Going back to your original post, after thinking about it more, I agree I can't retroactively remove certain plays from a sample without doing it for every single RB in the league and comparing them. Even then, there are so many other issues associated with doing that, that it's just not worth the time. While I don't know if there is a fair way to quantify the positive randomness I believe LF had (I do appreciate that 3% number you mentioned, I plan on trying to find that post from you, because that could be a valuable piece of data), what bothered me about his random runs was not their occurrence. It was their magnitude. Only 5 other backs in the league had a 75+ yard run, and LF is the only one with two. To me, that screams outlier. While it doesn't have a big effect on his total fantasy production, I think the magnitude of these random runs skews his already poor YPC number upwards, and makes him look closer to his peers than he really should, on an efficiency basis. 

 

You then noted how Hunt, Ingram, and McCoy arguably had positive randomness with regard to 20+ yard runs. And while you probably are right to a degree, you're comparing Hunt (4.9 YPC) and Ingram (4.9 YPC) to LF (3.9 YPC). Take away some of that randomness, and Hunt/Ingram would still be well above 4 YPC. As for McCoy, I would argue that's what his game is. He's a shimmy-shaker, like Barry Sanders - all or nothing. Plus, his offensive line play was near the bottom of the league this year, by practically every metric that exists on offensive line play, so you would naturally expect him to have less consistent success overall.

 

I agree that LeVeon should see some positive regression this year, as should Zeke. I also agree we should see some negative regression for Hunt and Ingram. As for LF, I think the occurrence of his longer runs was pretty close to what we would expect, but we'll likely see his YPC less skewed by 75+ yard runs.

 

To summarize my original thesis (and add a little more) one more time in case it gets lost in the weeds here, it is this. LF isn't as special as people believe he is, and doesn't have the upside of guys like Zeke and Todd Gurley because of it. Based on the volume he gets, his efficiency really doesn't matter all that much - you will be content with his production, as long as he's healthy. But because he gets a huge workload and has one of the most significant injury histories of all RBs in the league, I see him as a greater injury risk than most other RBs. Because I don't see him returning much value over his draft cost in the mid-first round, and see a more significant downside due to injury risk compared to most of the guys going around him, I don't think anyone should even consider him until after these guys in .5 or full PPR formats - Gurley, Bell, Zeke, DJ, AB, Saquon, Kamara. He belongs in the Hunt/DHop/MGIII/Odell group. Where you place him, in my opinion, depends on your tolerance for risk in the first round. For me, I'd prefer a safer option like MGIII or DHop, or I'd take a chance on a high upside guy like Odell who has similar injury concerns.

 

Meanwhile, LF has the clearest handcuff out of all of these guys, who is arguably in the best situation in the league for RBs to produce, and his handcuff isn't even being drafted. Based on all of my analysis of TJ Yeldon and the opportunity he would inherit, I see him being a low-end RB1 if LF goes down. Because of this, and my drafting philosophy, I would much rather have one of the other guys in LF's range with a potential league winner in Yeldon sitting at the end of my bench, rather than cuffing LF with Yeldon and having no upside in this JAX RB situation.

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8 minutes ago, OBJfor6 said:

Four out of six people who posted, including you, cast doubt on Yeldon.

If by 'doubt' you mean, I don't think he'll be a top 5 back if LF is out... then Yes.  So what?

 

You started off your post saying how I ruined my argument by talking about Yeldon.
Wrong. I said you ruined your argument by using a misleading claim of Jax being a 'bad' team in 2015.  I've already made it clear I don't disagree with you about Yeldon, but you keep trying to argue.

 

My initial argument was twofold: Why I believe LF is overrated and a little overvalued
I don't disagree.

and how I think Yeldon is underrated and undervalued
I don't disagree.
 

Yeldon has seen more targets per game in a limited role the past two years than he did in a full role his rookie season, so no, the extra passing did not help him in any way.

I'm not saying he benefited from volume, I'm saying a guy who catches the ball well, benefits from 'catch up' game scripts where Bortles throws the ball non stop.  Maybe if Yeldon could have ran the ball well in the first 3 quarters, the team wouldn't have abandoned it. #Jussayin
Also, for those who remember 2015, JAX was in catch up mode, even in the 3rd quarter rather often.  I've already broken all of this down in the 2016 Blake Bortles thread if you want to rehash that data.

 

BY QUARTER ATT YDS AVG LNG TD REC YDS AVG LNG TD FUM LST
QUARTER = 1 67 250 3.7 15 0 5 65 13.0 21 0 0 0
QUARTER = 2 42 162 3.9 28 2 9 54 6.0 13 0 0 0
QUARTER = 3 45 178 4.0 16 0 13 55 4.2 9 1 0 0
QUARTER = 4 23 105 4.6 45 0 9 105 11.7 67 0 0 0
OVERTIME 5 45 9.0 36 0 0 0 .0 0 0 0 0


Less efficient than LF through 3 quarters, despite that being your strongest point against LF thus far. (Except his injuries which is the strongest and most valid of all)

 

Before you argue that his efficiency was better during those quarters, realize that both his longest run and longest catch are skewing those averages up.

Shocking... who would have thought a guys longest run would come with only 5 guys in the box.

 

When you actually look at the stats and don’t rely solely on narratives, it’s clear that Yeldon’s volume took a major hit when the Jags were in catch-up mode, and his total production would have too if his couple of big plays didn’t happen to occur in the 4th quarter.

You're proving my point.  Softer fronts, more yardage.  No one argued his volume suffered, I stated game script benefited his ability to produce yardage.  5 man fronts = chunk gains for a RB.  Prevent defense means a wide open center of the field for easy dump offs.  An advantage LF never had.  You can try to twist that anyway you want, hopefully the people reading can decipher it.  No Yeldon didn't get the volume LF did, my point was, how many yards do you think LF could have produced if he got to play in the same conditions Yeldon did?

 

The rest of your argument then hinges on what I call the “stacked box fallacy,”  LF's -1.05 average blocking advantage means that, on average, he faced 1.05 more defenders per play than blockers he had (i.e. if he had 7 blockers, he faced 8.05).

5th worst rate in the league... meaning it's not a fallacy.

 

What bothered me about his random runs was not their occurrence. It was their magnitude. Only 5 other backs in the league had a 75+ yard run, and LF is the only one with two.

I don't disagree.  They are unlikely to repeat to that magnitude, but realistically, the length doesn't matter.  The length of a run is limited by the length of the field.  A vast majority of the time teams are starting from the touchback position which means the max run possible can be 75 yards.  So is 75 an outlier?  No more than 40 is, the only difference is where your team is on the field when the breakdown in a defense occurs.  Realistically speaking, is there any difference in a 40 yard TD run, a 60, or an 80?  No.  The same thing happened to the defense, and after ~20 yards, the play will look identical from the RB perspective.  Yardages will vary, we can make an arbitrary yardage number and call them outliers, but basically, 3% of a players runs result in the longest run they can possibly make, given their field position.  I doubt LF has 2 75+ runs again, but I don't think it's an 'outlier' for a guy with his speed to have 2 'long runs' on a season.  The only variable is field position when they occur.

 

You then noted how Hunt, Ingram, and McCoy arguably had positive randomness with regard to 20+ yard runs. And while you probably are right to a degree, you're comparing Hunt (4.9 YPC) and Ingram (4.9 YPC) to LF (3.9 YPC).

Not randomness, I'm just speaking statistically in terms of 'big plays', 'efficiency' and 'repeatability' like you did with LF's 70+s, but a smaller scale.

Big play guys, with double digit 'long runs', are obviously going to have a higher YPC rate.  I'm not taking that away from them, what I was pointing out, is that the only guys who stood apart from the top 10 RB pack in efficiency, were the 3 who had double digits in the 20+ category.  Over the past 10 years, only 3 players in the league will have 10 or more 20+ runs on average.  I'm not taking those away, I'm saying 'Duh they had better YPC rates, they had double digit runs of 20+' which only 3 players ever do.  Worded another way, 'Yes LF 3.9 wasn't great, but 7 out of 10 RBs were at 3.9-4.1, the only 3 who weren't all had over 10 rushes of 20+ yards.'  So it doesn't seem like a glaring concern in the big picture.

 

I agree that LeVeon should see some positive regression this year, as should Zeke. I also agree we should see some negative regression for Hunt and Ingram. As for LF, I think the occurrence of his longer runs was pretty close to what we would expect, but we'll likely see his YPC less skewed by 75+ yard runs.

I don't disagree.

 

LF isn't as special as people believe he is, and doesn't have the upside of guys like Zeke and Todd Gurley because of it.

I never said he was.

 

Based on the volume he gets, his efficiency really doesn't matter all that much - you will be content with his production, as long as he's healthy.

I don't disagree.
 

But because he gets a huge workload and has one of the most significant injury histories of all RBs in the league, I see him as a greater injury risk than most other RBs.
I don't disagree.

 

Meanwhile, LF has the clearest handcuff out of all of these guys, who is arguably in the best situation in the league for RBs to produce, and his handcuff isn't even being drafted. Based on all of my analysis of TJ Yeldon and the opportunity he would inherit, I see him being a low-end RB1 if LF goes down. Because of this, and my drafting philosophy, I would much rather have one of the other guys in LF's range with a potential league winner in Yeldon sitting at the end of my bench, rather than cuffing LF with Yeldon and having no upside in this JAX RB situation.

I don't disagree.

See bolded above.

 

Allow me to reiterate what I feel like I've said 100 times.  You and I aren't disagreeing on anything except how we view Jacksonville in 2015 as a fantasy football team.  Which in reality means nothing and is completely useless.  If you quote me one more time talking about LF or TJY in regards to a subject that I'm NOT arguing with you, I'm going to add you to my ever-growing ignore list.

 

Best of luck.

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BY QUARTER ATT YDS AVG LNG TD REC YDS AVG LNG TD FUM LST
QUARTER = 1 67 250 3.7 15 0 5 65 13.0 21 0 0 0
QUARTER = 2 42 162 3.9 28 2 9 54 6.0 13 0 0 0
QUARTER = 3 45 178 4.0 16 0 13 55 4.2 9 1 0 0
QUARTER = 4 23 105 4.6 45 0 9 105 11.7 67 0 0 0
OVERTIME 5 45 9.0 36 0 0 0 .0 0 0 0 0


Less efficient than LF through 3 quarters, despite that being your strongest point against LF thus far. (Except his injuries which is the strongest and most valid of all)

More efficient than LF through 3 quarters, actually.

QUARTER = 1 72 370 5.1 75 1 11 81 7.4 15 1 0 0
QUARTER = 2 64 154 2.4 8 3 11 124 11.3 28 0 0 0
QUARTER = 3 66 206 3.1 15 2 7 32 4.6 11 0 1 0
QUARTER = 4 55 289 5.3 90 3 6 57 9.5 17 0 1 0
OVERTIME 11 21 1.9 6 0 1 8 8.0 8 0 0 0


 

When you actually look at the stats and don’t rely solely on narratives, it’s clear that Yeldon’s volume took a major hit when the Jags were in catch-up mode, and his total production would have too if his couple of big plays didn’t happen to occur in the 4th quarter.

You're proving my point.  Softer fronts, more yardage.  No one argued his volume suffered, I stated game script benefited his ability to produce yardage.  5 man fronts = chunk gains for a RB.  Prevent defense means a wide open center of the field for easy dump offs.  An advantage LF never had.  You can try to twist that anyway you want, hopefully the people reading can decipher it.  No Yeldon didn't get the volume LF did, my point was, how many yards do you think LF could have produced if he got to play in the same conditions Yeldon did?

Prevent defenses aren't supposed to give up 45 yard runs and 67 yard catches. They are supposed to PREVENT them. Are you serious here? You would expect a handful of chunk plays in 10-20 yard denominations, not 2 big chunk plays and nothing else. Regardless, his total yardage production still was the least in the 4th quarter, even if you want to hang onto your silly narrative.

 

The rest of your argument then hinges on what I call the “stacked box fallacy,”  LF's -1.05 average blocking advantage means that, on average, he faced 1.05 more defenders per play than blockers he had (i.e. if he had 7 blockers, he faced 8.05).

5th worst rate in the league... meaning it's not a fallacy.

You resorted to a categorical ranking to pretend like you weren't wrong here (5th is less than 1st, btw, since everyone is arguing that LF saw the most stacked boxes last year). Differences by a couple of hundredths of a point can't possibly have a meaningful impact on a player's production. Those differences are less than one extra defender on one single play per game.

 

What bothered me about his random runs was not their occurrence. It was their magnitude. Only 5 other backs in the league had a 75+ yard run, and LF is the only one with two.

I don't disagree.  They are unlikely to repeat to that magnitude, but realistically, the length doesn't matter.  The length of a run is limited by the length of the field.  A vast majority of the time teams are starting from the touchback position which means the max run possible can be 75 yards.  So is 75 an outlier?  No more than 40 is, the only difference is where your team is on the field when the breakdown in a defense occurs.  Realistically speaking, is there any difference in a 40 yard TD run, a 60, or an 80?  No.  The same thing happened to the defense, and after ~20 yards, the play will look identical from the RB perspective.  Yardages will vary, we can make an arbitrary yardage number and call them outliers, but basically, 3% of a players runs result in the longest run they can possibly make, given their field position.  I doubt LF has 2 75+ runs again, but I don't think it's an 'outlier' for a guy with his speed to have 2 'long runs' on a season.  The only variable is field position when they occur.

Precisely my point - his long runs are not likely to come from that far back on the field again. Suggesting that they probably inflated his YPC a little more than everyone else's YPC in the league. That's all I was really trying to say here.

 

You then noted how Hunt, Ingram, and McCoy arguably had positive randomness with regard to 20+ yard runs. And while you probably are right to a degree, you're comparing Hunt (4.9 YPC) and Ingram (4.9 YPC) to LF (3.9 YPC).

Not randomness, I'm just speaking statistically in terms of 'big plays', 'efficiency' and 'repeatability' like you did with LF's 70+s, but a smaller scale.

Big play guys, with double digit 'long runs', are obviously going to have a higher YPC rate.  I'm not taking that away from them, what I was pointing out, is that the only guys who stood apart from the top 10 RB pack in efficiency, were the 3 who had double digits in the 20+ category.  Over the past 10 years, only 3 players in the league will have 10 or more 20+ runs on average.  I'm not taking those away, I'm saying 'Duh they had better YPC rates, they had double digit runs of 20+' which only 3 players ever do.  Worded another way, 'Yes LF 3.9 wasn't great, but 7 out of 10 RBs were at 3.9-4.1, the only 3 who weren't all had over 10 rushes of 20+ yards.'  So it doesn't seem like a glaring concern in the big picture.

I'll use your categorical ranking defense here to illustrate how flawed your thinking was about stacked boxes: LF was the WORST out of those 10 RBs. Who cares how close he actually was?

 

The only guys that were well above the pack were the ones who had a disproportionate amount of yards on a handful of runs. LF and McCoy were the only ones who fit this criterion that were not above the pack. I still stand by my thoughts on McCoy about why he wasn't ahead of the pack. With LF's complete opposite playstyle from McCoy, he SHOULD be above the pack with his two 75+ yard runs if he's good as everyone thinks he is, but he's still not above the pack.

 

LF isn't as special as people believe he is, and doesn't have the upside of guys like Zeke and Todd Gurley because of it.

I never said he was.

I may be responding primarily to you, but I'm also kinda-sorta responding to everyone else too that didn't give me enough actual analysis to warrant their own response. I am not implying that you think LF is special.

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1 minute ago, OBJfor6 said:
BY QUARTER ATT YDS AVG LNG TD REC YDS AVG LNG TD FUM LST
QUARTER = 1 67 250 3.7 15 0 5 65 13.0 21 0 0 0
QUARTER = 2 42 162 3.9 28 2 9 54 6.0 13 0 0 0
QUARTER = 3 45 178 4.0 16 0 13 55 4.2 9 1 0 0
QUARTER = 4 23 105 4.6 45 0 9 105 11.7 67 0 0 0
OVERTIME 5 45 9.0 36 0 0 0 .0 0 0 0 0


Less efficient than LF through 3 quarters, despite that being your strongest point against LF thus far. (Except his injuries which is the strongest and most valid of all)

More efficient than LF through 3 quarters, actually.

QUARTER = 1 72 370 5.1 75 1 11 81 7.4 15 1 0 0
QUARTER = 2 64 154 2.4 8 3 11 124 11.3 28 0 0 0
QUARTER = 3 66 206 3.1 15 2 7 32 4.6 11 0 1 0
QUARTER = 4 55 289 5.3 90 3 6 57 9.5 17 0 1 0
OVERTIME 11 21 1.9 6 0 1 8 8.0 8 0 0 0


 

When you actually look at the stats and don’t rely solely on narratives, it’s clear that Yeldon’s volume took a major hit when the Jags were in catch-up mode, and his total production would have too if his couple of big plays didn’t happen to occur in the 4th quarter.

You're proving my point.  Softer fronts, more yardage.  No one argued his volume suffered, I stated game script benefited his ability to produce yardage.  5 man fronts = chunk gains for a RB.  Prevent defense means a wide open center of the field for easy dump offs.  An advantage LF never had.  You can try to twist that anyway you want, hopefully the people reading can decipher it.  No Yeldon didn't get the volume LF did, my point was, how many yards do you think LF could have produced if he got to play in the same conditions Yeldon did?

Prevent defenses aren't supposed to give up 45 yard runs and 67 yard catches. They are supposed to PREVENT them. Are you serious here? You would expect a handful of chunk plays in 10-20 yard denominations, not 2 big chunk plays and nothing else. Regardless, his total yardage production still was the least in the 4th quarter, even if you want to hang onto your silly narrative.

 

The rest of your argument then hinges on what I call the “stacked box fallacy,”  LF's -1.05 average blocking advantage means that, on average, he faced 1.05 more defenders per play than blockers he had (i.e. if he had 7 blockers, he faced 8.05).

5th worst rate in the league... meaning it's not a fallacy.

You resorted to a categorical ranking to pretend like you weren't wrong here (5th is less than 1st, btw, since everyone is arguing that LF saw the most stacked boxes last year). Differences by a couple of hundredths of a point can't possibly have a meaningful impact on a player's production. Those differences are less than one extra defender on one single play per game.

 

What bothered me about his random runs was not their occurrence. It was their magnitude. Only 5 other backs in the league had a 75+ yard run, and LF is the only one with two.

I don't disagree.  They are unlikely to repeat to that magnitude, but realistically, the length doesn't matter.  The length of a run is limited by the length of the field.  A vast majority of the time teams are starting from the touchback position which means the max run possible can be 75 yards.  So is 75 an outlier?  No more than 40 is, the only difference is where your team is on the field when the breakdown in a defense occurs.  Realistically speaking, is there any difference in a 40 yard TD run, a 60, or an 80?  No.  The same thing happened to the defense, and after ~20 yards, the play will look identical from the RB perspective.  Yardages will vary, we can make an arbitrary yardage number and call them outliers, but basically, 3% of a players runs result in the longest run they can possibly make, given their field position.  I doubt LF has 2 75+ runs again, but I don't think it's an 'outlier' for a guy with his speed to have 2 'long runs' on a season.  The only variable is field position when they occur.

Precisely my point - his long runs are not likely to come from that far back on the field again. Suggesting that they probably inflated his YPC a little more than everyone else's YPC in the league. That's all I was really trying to say here.

 

You then noted how Hunt, Ingram, and McCoy arguably had positive randomness with regard to 20+ yard runs. And while you probably are right to a degree, you're comparing Hunt (4.9 YPC) and Ingram (4.9 YPC) to LF (3.9 YPC).

Not randomness, I'm just speaking statistically in terms of 'big plays', 'efficiency' and 'repeatability' like you did with LF's 70+s, but a smaller scale.

Big play guys, with double digit 'long runs', are obviously going to have a higher YPC rate.  I'm not taking that away from them, what I was pointing out, is that the only guys who stood apart from the top 10 RB pack in efficiency, were the 3 who had double digits in the 20+ category.  Over the past 10 years, only 3 players in the league will have 10 or more 20+ runs on average.  I'm not taking those away, I'm saying 'Duh they had better YPC rates, they had double digit runs of 20+' which only 3 players ever do.  Worded another way, 'Yes LF 3.9 wasn't great, but 7 out of 10 RBs were at 3.9-4.1, the only 3 who weren't all had over 10 rushes of 20+ yards.'  So it doesn't seem like a glaring concern in the big picture.

I'll use your categorical ranking defense here to illustrate how flawed your thinking was about stacked boxes: LF was the WORST out of those 10 RBs. Who cares how close he actually was?

 

The only guys that were well above the pack were the ones who had a disproportionate amount of yards on a handful of runs. LF and McCoy were the only ones who fit this criterion that were not above the pack. I still stand by my thoughts on McCoy about why he wasn't ahead of the pack. With LF's complete opposite playstyle from McCoy, he SHOULD be above the pack with his two 75+ yard runs if he's good as everyone thinks he is, but he's still not above the pack.

 

LF isn't as special as people believe he is, and doesn't have the upside of guys like Zeke and Todd Gurley because of it.

I never said he was.

I may be responding primarily to you, but I'm also kinda-sorta responding to everyone else too that didn't give me enough actual analysis to warrant their own response. I am not implying that you think LF is special.

 

Bud-  you’re OVERanalyzing.   Trying to make hard and fast determinations after a rookie season is silly.    Your attempt to discredit LF based on a comp to Yeldon years ago is equally absurd- surely you understand that data can be found to back almost any opinion.   We need more sample size.  

 

I’ll just leave this here and you can disregard it in your next 10,000 word post with colored charts lol 

 

-Ball control power running team with an improved line.

-dominant D to keep the score favorable and lots of chances in plus field position.

- Healthy franchise rb in great shape- who they love and will feed until he pops.  

 

Its really that simple.   Please come back to this thread when you see the error of your ways and repent :P

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Just now, Impreza178 said:

 

Bud-  you’re OVERanalyzing.   Trying to make hard and fast determinations after a rookie season is silly.    Your attempt to discredit LF based on a comp to Yeldon years ago is equally absurd- surely you understand that data can be found to back almost any opinion.   We need more sample size.  

 

I’ll just leave this here and you can disregard it in your next 10,000 word post with colored charts lol 

 

-Ball control power running team with an improved line.

-dominant D to keep the score favorable and lots of chances in plus field position.

- Healthy franchise rb in great shape- who they love and will feed until he pops.  

 

Its really that simple.   Please come back to this thread when you see the error of your ways and repent :P

 

His ankle is a legitimate chronic issue 

 

Love Fournette this year - definitely reaching for Yeldon if I end up of Fournette 

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3 minutes ago, CyberneticGhostOfXMasPast said:

 

His ankle is a legitimate chronic issue 

 

Love Fournette this year - definitely reaching for Yeldon if I end up of Fournette 

Right.... That’s a legitimate reason to be concerned.   But trying to manufacture flaws in his game based on a top 10 rookie season is nuts to me.  

 

 I’m certainly gonna add Yeldon, if I can,  behind Fournette.  He should get > 50% share of the work in the event LF goes down.   

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2 hours ago, OBJfor6 said:

 

When you actually look at the stats and don’t rely solely on narratives, it’s clear that Yeldon’s volume took a major hit when the Jags were in catch-up mode, and his total production would have too if his couple of big plays didn’t happen to occur in the 4th quarter.

You're proving my point.  Softer fronts, more yardage.  No one argued his volume suffered, I stated game script benefited his ability to produce yardage.  5 man fronts = chunk gains for a RB.  Prevent defense means a wide open center of the field for easy dump offs.  An advantage LF never had.  You can try to twist that anyway you want, hopefully the people reading can decipher it.  No Yeldon didn't get the volume LF did, my point was, how many yards do you think LF could have produced if he got to play in the same conditions Yeldon did?

Prevent defenses aren't supposed to give up 45 yard runs and 67 yard catches. They are supposed to PREVENT them. Are you serious here? You would expect a handful of chunk plays in 10-20 yard denominations, not 2 big chunk plays and nothing else. Regardless, his total yardage production still was the least in the 4th quarter, even if you want to hang onto your silly narrative.

 

 

I have a problem with this argument. If the expectation is to have 20 yard runs vs 40 yard runs based on alignment, given the personnel that is typically on the field in this kind of look, I would expect the standard deviation to widen also. You say earlier that you don't have this data, fair enough, but I think in a small sample "2 big chunk plays and nothing else" actually makes sense --  averaging out to about 20ish.

 

Comparing the distribution of run plays vs prevent looks and traditional fronts would be a interesting study.

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2 hours ago, AJJones said:

I have a problem with this argument. If the expectation is to have 20 yard runs vs 40 yard runs based on alignment, given the personnel that is typically on the field in this kind of look, I would expect the standard deviation to widen also. You say earlier that you don't have this data, fair enough, but I think in a small sample "2 big chunk plays and nothing else" actually makes sense --  averaging out to about 20ish.

 

Ultimately it doesn't matter.  Jets were up by 8, Jags scored a field goal, Jets go 3 and out, Jags are down by 5, 6:27 to go in the forth.  M.Lewis catches a 27 yarder to bring the Jags to the 45.  TJ Yeldon against a 5 man front, where the OLB(?) bites on the rollout/QBrun. (6 DEF vs 5Oline, Rb, Qb)  Trips left formation, where the TE clears out the right side Yeldon goes off the Right End... DB's are 8 yards off the line of Scrimmage, and the Safety was 19 yards off.  When #25 SS Calvin Pryor trips and falls while attempting to tackle TJ Yeldon 7 yards from the line of scrimmage... the defensive formation is now irrelevant, and Yeldon goes for 46.  Doesn't matter what formation your defense uses, if the guy at the second level forgets to tie his shoes, and TY Yeldon runs free down the sideline until he's caught.

Yeldon.png
Trash quality but bear with me.
LOS is the 45 (Red Line).  Yeldon gets the handoff at the 40.  DBs blue line, Yellow is first down, and safety is 19 yards off, green line.

 

Yeldon2.png

 

The TE block both black x's, The purple arrow bit on the QB, is 3 yards behind Yeldon and at about half of Yeldons speed.  Green Circle is Calvin Pryor, who we'll see tripping in the next slide, but is realistically the only defended on this entire side of the field who can tackle Yeldon at any reasonable distance.  White circle is the guy who eventually tackles Yeldon with a solid angle.

 

Yeldon3.png

 

A strong argument could be make that Pryor wasn't going to tackle Yeldon anyways, but here you see him on the ground with zero shot.  The green line is the open space Yeldon has to run, and the Red line is the angle taken to tackle Yeldon before he gets to the endzone.

 

You can break this down any way you like and many people may see many things.  Once a back gets to the second level, all it takes to rip off a run, is to make one guy miss.  Whether he trips, or the RB jukes him, doesn't really matter.  The point is, in order to get to the 2nd level, you have to make it through the first.  That's a lot easier to do with 5/6 man fronts, with DBs playing 8 yards off, and a safety 19 yards off, than it is with 8 in the box.

To be fair, this is a double edged sword.  With 8+ man fronts, in the event you make it to the 2nd level, there's usually no one to juke, and you've got nothing but room to run... for example:

 

Here's LF's 75 yard run.  9 Defensive players within 6 yards from the line of scrimmage.  First offensive play of the game, 1-10, with a fullback in the backfield.  What most would consider an obvious run situation.

LF75.png

 

And here's his 90 yard run. Yes... you counted right, that's all 11 defenders within 6 yards of the LOS.
3rd and short, first down ends the game, up by 14 points, on their own 10 yards line.  I wonder what the defense was planning against.

LF90.png

 

If you don't see the difference between the defensive attention these two players get, and/or how the game script they each had for their biggest runs, then by all means, keep calling it a fallacy.  We all know who defenses spent the week prepping for in 2015 and we all know who defenses spent the week prepping for in 2017.

 

P.S. for giggles. Yeldon's 45 yard run... resulted in a 14 for 64 outing on the day.  That's 13 rushes for 19 yards if you need #QuickMaths.

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5 hours ago, FFCollusion said:

You can break this down any way you like and many people may see many things.  Once a back gets to the second level, all it takes to rip off a run, is to make one guy miss.  Whether he trips, or the RB jukes him, doesn't really matter.  The point is, in order to get to the 2nd level, you have to make it through the first.  That's a lot easier to do with 5/6 man fronts, with DBs playing 8 yards off, and a safety 19 yards off, than it is with 8 in the box.

To be fair, this is a double edged sword.  With 8+ man fronts, in the event you make it to the 2nd level, there's usually no one to juke, and you've got nothing but room to run... for example:

 

If you don't see the difference between the defensive attention these two players get, and/or how the game script they each had for their biggest runs, then by all means, keep calling it a fallacy.  We all know who defenses spent the week prepping for in 2015 and we all know who defenses spent the week prepping for in 2017.

 

4

What you are still not acknowledging here is that the number of defenders in the box does not equal "defensive attention." You can't compare 11 defenders in the box to 6 defenders in the box without considering the amount of blockers the offense is showing. On every single one of these runs from both players, there is 1 extra defender compared to the amount of blockers JAX is showing (5 blockers vs. 6 defenders for Yeldon, 8 vs. 9 for LF's 75-yard run, and 10 vs. 11 for LF's 90-yard run). If JAX is showing you 10 blockers, do you really think a defense is going to have a safety sitting 20 yards back in the middle of the field? Of course not, they show you 11 defenders - 10 to contend with the blockers shown, and an extra defender to get to the RB. Heck, the reason run options and QB bootlegs became a thing was because offenses were trying to take that extra defender out of the play by making him focus on the normally useless QB on running plays - if he's focusing on the QB, there is no one left unblocked to stop the RB from reaching the second level of the defense.

 

This is why a lot of the RBs on that chart in my last post are close to a -1 blocking advantage, because defenses almost always match their number of defenders in the box to the number of blockers available on the play + RB. All of these situations are the same defensive attention: a -1 blocking advantage. All of them hinge on the same thing to get the RB to the second level of the defense: if every blocker does his job, that one extra defender in the box MUST do his job to prevent the runner from reaching the second level of the defense. For a case like Yeldon's run, there is a clear second level assigned to stop him should he break through. For a case like LF's 90-yard run, like you acknowledged, there is no second level - once he passes the first level, he's gone.

 

The reason Yeldon was able to break off a 45-yard run in that situation had nothing to do with "defensive attention." The extra defender in the box on that play, like you identified, overcommitted to Bortles and took himself out of the play. Had he played it correctly, that run would have been a TFL or no gain. This blunder, plus Yeldon's blockers doing their jobs, allowed Yeldon to get to the second level of the defense. Then, what should have turned into an ~7-yard gain became a 45-yard gain when the second-level of the defense (Calvin Pryor) didn't get to Yeldon. I agree he likely wouldn't have gotten to Yeldon, trip or no trip. But if you look closely, you see he takes a poor pursuit angle, tries to turn to correct it at the last second, and then slips. He took himself out of the play before Yeldon ever got there by taking that poor angle. This is purely an example of poor defense, by 2 individual Jets players - not a lack of defensive attention.

 

Truthfully, after all of this back-and-forth, the only thing I really want you or anyone else to take away is just how valuable that blocking advantage data really is. In the grand scheme of fantasy football as a whole, debating LF/Yeldon is peanuts. However, developing a better understanding of defensive attention on running plays can have fantasy-wide implications for all of us on how we evaluate the situations RBs are in. I think it's logical to say that LF's -1.05 blocking advantage means that he received extra defensive attention on ~5% of his runs (meaning that he saw 1 extra defender above the blockers + RB expectation on 5% of his runs) , or that Todd Gurley faced less defensive attention than expected on ~17% of his runs (-0.83 blocking advantage). 

 

I understand what you are trying to get at with the Yeldon/LF debate, but I don't think you are going about it the right way. Saying Yeldon always faced less defensive attention than LF is a narrative, one that I don't think we could find the hard numbers to actually compare. My intuition tells me that I would, like you obviously would, expect Yeldon's blocking advantage in 2015 to be better than LF's was last year, suggesting he did see less defensive attention overall. But our intuitions are based on the narratives we have in our heads, and they can't always be trusted. For example, my intuition would tell me that a guy like Christian McCaffrey would have one of the better blocking advantages in the league, considering defenses would be expecting a pass whenever he's in the game. However, the data shows us that this is not true, and CMC actually has a worse blocking advantage than even LF does. So while we assume Yeldon was better off than LF on this point, the truth of the matter is, we really don't know without the data.

 

Furthermore, considering the fact that the difference between the best blocking advantage and the worst blocking advantage in the league last year was 33% (0.76 vs. 1.09), I think our narratives greatly overexaggerate the actual defensive attention different players are getting. We pretty much automatically assume that a guy like McKinnon (-0.76 advantage), who is more of a pass-catching back and is on a great pass-oriented team, would always see at least 1 less defender (relative to the number of blockers he has) than a guy like Jonathan Stewart (-1.09 advantage), a one-dimensional runner. But we don't - instead of this seemingly 100% chance, it only happened ~33% of the time last year.

 

Now, these numbers aren't exact, because Jonathan Stewart could have situations where his blocking advantage is 0, -1, or -2, and not just -1 or -2, which is what my rough math assumes (on the flip side, McKinnon's number assumes only 0 or -1 possible outcomes). But, because 74% of runs occurred at the -1 expectation league-wide (distribution pasted below), I think these quick and dirty calculations should be good estimates to use to compare players' situations.

 

image.png.367c2a2a74efb88eea498118c32a1cfe.png

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Well, can’t speak to this other situations, but not sure a cmc jstew example says anything at all considering panthers had one of the worst recieving corps in the league. Both runners were at a disadvantage regardless of skill set 

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