In Week 17 we’ll see a number of backs who have increased opportunities due to injury (Matt Asiata part deux), or opportunity (KC likely resting starter Jamaal Charles meaning carries for Knile Davis). If you’re in the game this week, you’ll want to know not just who is getting the opportunities, but who will make the most of them.
That’s where fantasy points per touch comes in. You can read the full logic here, but the short answer is this: if we can be reasonably assured that Davis will get 15 carries against the Chargers we have a better chance to assess his value knowing how beatable the defense is on a per touch basis rather than simply stating that the Chargers give up the 22nd most fantasy points per game to opposing RBs and thus the matchup is ‘bad’.
Week 17 RB Projections
- Before we get to Davis in that Chargers game, lets take a look at the man running the ball for San Diego. Ryan Mathews has had at least 28 touches in his last three games, and while he left last week in a walking boot all signs are that he is good to go and will post another strong workload. Kansas City has been struggling against the run of late, in general, but they give up a very healthy .621 fantasy points per touch to opposing backs – good for the 3rd most in the league and a much more generous number than their 15th ranked fppg figure. Add in the fact that Mathews will do at least some of his running against Kansas City’s scrubs and you can count on a strong effort. A line somewhere around 22-97-TD, 3-15 should be easy for Mathews to achieve. He has topped 119 yards and scored in three straight.
- The Houston Texans give up the 7th most points on a per touch basis an face a Titans offense that should run the ball plenty. Don’t shy away from a FPPG rank that tells you that this is just a middling matchup (14th overall), count on production from both Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene. A 20-23 touch, 100 total yard outing with a chance to score is on the horizon for Johnson.
- On to Davis: he has faces a Chargers defense that has given up just the 22nd most points to opposing RBs this year. San Diego simply hasn’t seen a lot of rushing attempts against, with their 285 being the second lowest mark in the league. Still, they’ve given up 10 rushing TDs to RBs and are the 9th most generous matchup on a per touch basis. Davis should find himself with 15+ chances to run against San Diego, depending on when Jamaal Charles checks out. I can see a 16-60-TD line as a possibility this week.
- New Orleans ranks 21st in fantasy points per game allowed but is slightly more generous at 15th on a per touch basis. I’ve been hard on Bobby Rainey, suggesting that he wilts in tough matchups but this disparity suggests that the opponent isn’t as difficult as it seems. While Tampa Bay, playing on the road, is likely to wind up behind New Orleans this week Rainey tends to get his opportunities regardless of game flow. New Orleans gives up 4.6 YPC so Rainey may be able to make more of his opportunities than he has in recent weeks. A 16-64-TD rushing line with two or three receptions is conceivable for Rainey regardless of the final score.
- I’m still interested in Donald Brown this week but our FPPT numbers suggest that the matchup against Jacksonville isn’t as nice as the per game numbers suggest. Trent Richardson‘s presence caps Brown’s upside a bit this week, and while RBs can do damage against the Jags they typically need to be full workload backs to do the most.
- Pittsburgh actually ranks incredibly difficult on a per touch basis (23rd most points allowed) so don’t get overexcited about Edwin Baker despite the fact that he is facing the 13th most generous FPPG RB defense. With that said, he dwarfed Chris Ogbonnaya and the others in terms of rushing opportunities last week so he may have enough volume to produce. I can’t project his touchdown streak to continue, but a 20 touch, 90 total yard outing is in reach.
- Miami gives up the 9th most points to opposing RBs but that is largely because they see a lot of rush attempts against them. Their 386 RB rush attempts against are the 4th highest total in the league. Keep this fact in mind when weighing Chris Ivory‘s potential value – last week he picked up 20 carries but in three of the last five games he’s had near-equal or lesser opportunities relative to Bilal Powell.
Fantasy Points Per Touch Through Week 16
Opp Fan Pt Per Touch
Opp Ru Att
Yds Per Touch