By Matt Morrison (@dynastyjerk)
Good day Dynasty Owners and welcome to another Wednesday article. Last week, I started a new series titled “Incredibly True Statistics.” In these articles, I am discussing different players who have an unbelievable statistic attached to their opening of the season. Last week I talked about players like Tom Brady, Derek Carr and Daniel Jones. Today it’s the running backs’ turn. I have a few more players to talk now compared to last week, so let’s get started.
Incredibly True Statistics
I don’t know where to begin when it comes to Patterson. I guess let’s start with the facts.
Through four weeks, Patterson has 86.7 Dynasty Owner fantasy points (21.7 per game). He has 45 touches on the season which is a little over 10 per game. His salary is $3,000,000 per year, and it has been an absolute steal so far. Now for the biggest statistic…
Patterson is currently the RB3 in Dynasty Owner. Yes, you read that right, there are only two running backs that have scored more fantasy points than Patterson, and they are Derrick Henry and Austin Ekeler. I hesitate to even mention Patterson in this section because I don’t really think of him as a running back. Yes, he has more carries than receptions this year, and yes he is listed as a running back in Dynasty Owner. However, the overwhelming majority of his Dynasty Owner fantasy points (DOFP) have come in the receiving game. In fact, 75.5 percent of them have come through the air.
At this point, it seems like Patterson is more of a cheat code than a running back. He is a big receiver who has found a serious connection with Matt Ryan. While I don’t think Patterson will finish the season as a top five “running back”, he will continue to be a value with his cheap salary. Continue to start him, until a drop in efficiency is noticed.
I don’t think that anyone doubted the top five talent that Kareem Hunt brought to Cleveland. Rather, I think people expected that he would not receive enough volume to make him a top eight running back. Well, that’s exactly what he is right now. Hunt is RB8 in the young season.
Again, I’m not surprised by his talent, but I’m surprised that he made it to Top 8 without an injury to Nick Chubb. That’s where the real incredible stat comes from. While Kareem Hunt is RB8 on the season, Nick Chubb is RB14. “How can that be?” you ask yourself…
Well, let’s look at their 2021 statistics side by side and figure it out:
|Rushing Attempts||Rushing Yards||Receptions||Receiving Yards||TDs||DOFP|
Now that I’ve shown you the actual fantasy points, you may be a little more at ease as a Chubb owner. The difference between RB8 and RB14 may sound like a lot, but in reality it’s less than 8 Dynasty Owner fantasy points so far. Regardless, Chubb owners still have to feel some level of panic or disappointment.
I’m here to tell you not to freak out, and here’s why. We knew that Chubb was going to be the primary rushing back, and that Hunt would be the third down/receiving back. That’s not breaking news this year. Hunt was always going to be the running back most used as a receiver, and he was likely to be the most efficient pass catching running back. The Browns continue to be a team that operates their offense through the running backs. The volume will be there for both Chubb and Hunt moving forward. As a Chubb owner, you are just going to have to limit expectations moving forward. It’s also worth noting that Chubb ($1,845,774) is more than three times cheaper than Hunt ($6,000,000) in Dynasty Owner, and Chubb will be the better value at the end of this season.
Robinson is currently the RB10 in Dynasty Owner despite starting the season with back to back games of less than 10.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. The slow start to the season had me a little worried, but Robinson has found the mojo that he had all through the 2020 NFL season. Here is what I wrote about Robinson in Week 1…
“Nothing frustrated me more during Week 1 than watching James Robinson have only 8 touches. He finished with 7.4 fantasy points. It’s worth stating that in the games Robinson played in 2020, he never had less than 9.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points. I wish I could say that I’m not worried, but I am. I had Robinson in the FLEX position in one of my leagues, and I’ve already decided to bump him out for Antonio Brown next week. I haven’t given up on JRob, but I’m going to need to see Urban Meyer’s willingness to use him more before he’s back in my Starting lineup.”
I have seen that from Urban Meyer. The last two games have shown me (and hopefully the league) that last year was not a fluke. Robinson is a good running back.
Miles Sanders and Myles Gaskin
Finally, let’s talk about a couple of struggling running backs. Sanders and Gaskin. Both are worse than RB30 through the first four games of the season. Sanders has 40.4 Dynasty Owner fantasy points and Gaskin has 31.9 points. To put that into perspective, Sanders is averaging 10.1 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game and Gaskin is averaging just under 8.0 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game. Last year, Sanders averaged 14.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game and Gaskin averaged 16.2 Dynasty Owner fantasy points per game (Both of these stats are for games that they played in). Suffice to say that both players are underperforming on their totals last season, and what was projected of them this year. I would have not predicted both of these backs outside of the Top 30 solely based on their volume last season.
Well, that volume has changed as well. Sanders is averaging 12 touches per game this season, and Gaskin is averaging 10.3 touches per game. Those touches are down from 16 touches per game in 2020 for Sanders and 18.3 per game for Gaskin. Just a very surprising start to their 2021 season. There is good news though. While it’s unlikely either of these players is going to make it back up to the Top 10, they are still both considered values. Sanders has a salary of $1,337,544, and Gaskin has a salary of $651,694. Great value for Bench running backs, huh?
This was part two of my “Incredibly True Statistics” article. Look for the third section next week as I talk about some of the more incredible wide receiver trends. As always, thank you for reading and continuing to support Dynasty Owner. Message me on Twitter (@dynastyjerk) and let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would appreciate it if you followed @Dynasty_Owner on Twitter as well as subscribed to Dynasty Owner on YouTube. Take care everyone and be safe.