Dec 06

Week 14 RB Projections: Fantasy Points Per Touch

Recently, we introduced the notion of fantasy points per touch – a metric that allows us to determine the relative value of fantasy defenses against Running Backs. In short, the traditional fantasy points per game assessment allows you to make certain assumptions about a player’s ability to exploit a matchup, but this information cannot be assessed in a vacuum.

For example, Jacksonville gives up the 10th most fantasy points per game to opposing RBs so, on the surface, it seems like a strong matchup for Ben Tate this week. Indeed, it is a + matchup for the back but he may be less able to exploit it than others. The Jaguars actually do fairly well on a FPPT basis (21st most points in the league in terms of per touch measurement) suggesting that it takes a fair amount of volume to post those top 10 number against Jacksonville. Given that Houston just dropped a game to the Jags two weeks ago, we can’t make the assumption that Tate will have a great number of carries as a result of running out the clock in the second half, and as such he may be less likely to benefit from the matchup than a player like LeSean McCoy would be (assuming the Eagles would knock off the Jags easily). Similarly, a back who shares time (i.e. Giovani Bernard) would be less likely to succeed despite the overall matchup numbers against a team like Jacksonville as perhaps he would be against a team like Atlanta that sits high on the FPPT yielded spectrum.

We’re going to save the full assessment until the full season is behind us, but if you’re not convinced the early returns show a slight correlation between use of FPPT and ability to project relative outcomes.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the matchups where there is disparity in the fantasy point per touch, and point per game metrics:

Week 14 RB Projections using Fantasy Points per Touch

  • The Chiefs continue to be far more appealing on a per touch basis than the are from an overall standpoint. While Alfred Morris‘ use was limited last week, we’re told it had a lot to do with how the Giants defended him than it did his own struggles as a runner (though, he could have done better than 26 yards on 11 totes). He should get back toward his normal workload this week and those touches should prove valuable against KC – moreso than an average FPPG ranking (15) would suggest. On that note, with the team giving up .616 points per touch this season, Roy Helu‘s touches should be more valuable than usual. I’m not recommending him as a start, but if you are needing a flex in a deep league his 6-9 touches will be worth more this week – in theory – than they would be against the similarly ranked (on an FPPG basis) Steelers.
Andre Brown found the endzone twice against Washington and should make good on his high workload against San Diego this week (Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America)

Andre Brown found the endzone twice against Washington and should make good on his high workload against San Diego this week (Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America)

  • San Diego is in the top five in per touch generosity as well. Knowing how thoroughly Andre Brown dominates the New York workload and assuming that the Giants can keep this game sufficiently close to run on San Diego we should expect a big game from Brown. San Diego has faced the second fewest touches against by RBs and are a classic example of why we should pay attention to per touch data as opposed to per game data in cases like this. They’ve seen a total average of just 24 touches against from all opposing RBs in a game. Brown has topped that number in every game but one since his return, so he should be able to run more frequently than the average starting RB against San Diego and as a result can be counted upon to outproduce their average yield of 16.88 fantasy points per game. Brown ranks as our RB7 this week.
  • Tampa Bay ranks right in the middle of the league in terms of fantasy points per touch against, which is slightly less intimidating than than 25th ranking in fantasy points against by RBs. A resurgent CJ Spiller should have his opportunities against Tampa and this fact makes him a more appealing play. With that said, Spiller was still seen hobbling against Atlanta last week so the floor is pretty low if his ankle renders him ineffective and limits his touch count.
  • Pittsburgh gives up just .503 points per touch (good for the 10th fewest in the league). While their FPPG number suggests that Lamar Miller could have a nice day against them, we have to keep in mind that his workload has been up and down all season. It was high in the first game of the post Daniel Thomas era, and it should be noted that he fared reasonably well in a matchup that measures as very difficult from both a FPPG and FPPT perspective, but those touches are worth less against the Steelers than they are against other opponents. I’m higher on Miller than I was last week, but we do need to temper our expectations on the road against the Steelers.

Fantasy Points per Touch Data to Date

TeamOpp Fan Pt Per TouchPPG RankOpp Ru AttRu YdTD RuOpp CatchRe YdTD ReFpointsTouches

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