High Value RB Touches: Bucs Backfield Is Split

Hayden Winks
·16 min read



Opportunity matters more than talent in fantasy football, but not all touches are created equal. We have to go beyond just "carries" to analyze how a player is being involved, especially at running back where players are used in all kinds of ways. "High Value RB Touches & Game Script" will break down which running backs are being used optimally and which running backs are only seeing low-value touches.

Week 7 Situational RB Touches

One way to look at how running backs are used is by separating third-down touches from first- or second-down touches. Running backs with a percentage of third-down touches are typically pass-catching specialists. In a perfect world, running backs would have high touch totals in both situations. Those are shown below, as well as “Pass Situation Targets”. The goal with this metric is to find the running backs who play on obvious passing downs because we want bankable targets from our fantasy running backs. “Pass Situation Targets” include targets during two-minute drills, targets on 3rd- or 4th-and-long, or targets while clearly trailing (all while removing garbage time). If that’s too much to think about, it’s essentially the type of plays where you’re screaming at the TV because Giovani Bernard is playing over Joe Mixon. We’ve all been there.

Player

Early Downs

Third Down

Passing Situation Targets

ARI Chase Edmonds

10

2

6

ARI Kenyan Drake

15

0

2

ATL Brian Hill

4

1

1

ATL Ito Smith

0

0

1

ATL Todd Gurley

24

2

0

BUF Devin Singletary

13

0

1

BUF Zack Moss

10

0

1

CAR Alex Armah

1

1

0

CAR Mike Davis

12

0

1

CAR Trenton Cannon

1

0

0

CHI David Montgomery

16

3

1

CIN Giovani Bernard

16

1

3

CIN Samaje Perine

2

0

0

CLE D'Ernest Johnson

1

0

0

CLE Kareem Hunt

22

0

0

DAL Ezekiel Elliott

13

1

0

DAL Tony Pollard

9

0

0

DEN Melvin Gordon

18

3

2

DEN Phillip Lindsay

9

0

0

DEN Royce Freeman

4

1

1

DET Adrian Peterson

11

0

0

DET D'Andre Swift

14

0

0

GB AJ Dillon

5

0

0

GB Jamaal Williams

23

1

0

HOU David Johnson

18

0

0

HOU Duke Johnson

4

2

1

JAX James Robinson

21

6

5

KC Clyde Edwards-Helaire

11

1

0

KC DeAndre Washington

3

1

0

KC Le'Veon Bell

6

0

0

LA Darrell Henderson

15

2

0

LA Malcolm Brown

8

3

0

LAC Gabe Nabers

0

1

0

LAC Joshua Kelley

14

3

1

LAC Justin Jackson

11

0

0

LAC Troymaine Pope

1

0

0

LV Alex Ingold

1

0

0

LV Devontae Booker

4

1

1

LV Jalen Richard

5

2

0

LV Josh Jacobs

14

0

1

NE Damien Harris

11

0

1

NE Jakob Johnson

1

0

1

NE James White

0

1

0

NE Rex Burkhead

8

0

0

NO Alvin Kamara

17

5

5

NO Latavius Murray

11

1

0

NYG Devonta Freeman

4

0

0

NYG Dion Lewis

3

0

0

NYG Wayne Gallman

15

0

0

NYJ Frank Gore

11

0

0

NYJ Lamical Perine

12

1

1

PHI Boston Scott

16

1

1

PHI Corey Clement

3

0

0

PHI Jason Huntley

3

0

0

PIT Anthony McFarland

2

0

0

PIT Benny Snell

1

1

0

PIT James Conner

23

2

0

PIT Jaylen Samuels

1

0

0

SEA Carlos Hyde

17

2

0

SEA Chris Carson

7

0

0

SEA DeeJay Dallas

2

1

1

SEA Travis Homer

3

0

0

SF JaMycal Hasty

10

0

0

SF Jeff Wilson

19

0

0

SF Jerick McKinnon

2

1

0

SF Kyle Juszczyk

5

1

0

TB Leonard Fournette

16

2

3

TB Ronald Jones

15

0

0

TEN Derrick Henry

21

1

2

TEN Jeremy McNichols

1

0

0

WAS Antonio Gibson

21

0

0

WAS J.D. McKissic

3

4

1

WAS Peyton Barber

7

3

0

Quick Analysis: Chase Edmonds was the passing-situation back already, but he'll move right into a near three-down role assuming Kenyan Drake misses time. ... Todd Gurley loses a few touches here and there, but he has a bellcow role as a serviceable RB1/2 in most matchups. ... Devin Singletary and Zack Moss split touches almost evenly on Sunday. With Josh Allen taking goal-line carries away, this could be real messy. ... Mike Davis had the bellcow role last week, but Christian McCaffrey should be back soon. Maybe Week 9. ... Giovani Bernard was the bellcow with Joe Mixon sidelined. He's questionable for Week 8 ahead of the Week 9 bye. ... Tony Pollard sprinkled more than normal in Week 7, although 67% of his touches were in garbage time. ... Melvin Gordon lost early-down work with Phillip Lindsay in Week 7, but MGIII was the one to play on third downs and in passing situations. ... D'Andre Swift has taken over as the 1A, but this is a committee still. ... Jamaal William had the bellcow role with Aaron Jones sidelined. ... David Johnson lost third-down and passing-situation touches to Duke Johnson but remains a workhorse. ... James Robinson led running backs in third-down touches in Week 7 with Jacksonville chasing points. He's a bellcow when Chris Thompson is out. ... Clyde Edwards-Helaire led the backfield over Le'Veon Bell, but that was an odd game with little offensive production for the entire offense. Touches are TBD. ... Joshua Kelley had more usage than Justin Jackson, including on third downs. ... Josh Jacobs is losing third-down snaps to two different backs. He needs positive game scripts. ... Damien Harris had the most touches but doesn't have an inside-the-10 touch and is below 1.0 target per game. Empty calories. ... Alvin Kamara has the best workload in fantasy. ... Wayne Gallman erupted following Devonta Freeman's injury. ... Lamical Perine's workload increased after Adam Gase relieved himself from play-calling duties. He's worthy of a pickup. ... Boston Scott is a workhorse when Miles Sanders is out. ... James Conner loses some goal-line work to Benny Snell, but he's a workhorse in a good offense. ... Carlos Hyde played the traditional Chris Carson role after the latter left with a foot sprain. ... JaMycal Hasty picked up things late after Jeff Wilson dominated touches early. Jerick McKinnon was essentially limited. Tevin Coleman may return Week 8, too. Tricky. ... Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones split touches, but high value touches leaned Fournette's way. Once again, all of Jones' touches were either on first- or second-down. ... Derrick Henry is a workhorse, obviously. ... Antonio Gibson ate in positive game script, but all 21 of his touches were on early downs. J.D. McKissic remains the third-down and passing-situation back. Gibson remains on the RB2/3 border until that changes.

Week 7 Garbage Time Eaters

Percentage of a player’s touches that came when @nflfastR’s in-game winning percentage was less than 10% or greater than 90%. This is when backups enter the game, but it’s not always a bad thing. Use your judgement. Minimum four touches and 50% “Garbage Rate”.

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High Value RB Touches

As shown graphically here, targets and opportunities near the goal line are by far the most valuable types of touches for fantasy RBs. I've combined them to create "High Value Touches", which are targets plus inside-the-10-yard line touches. The players in the table are sorted by high value touches per game over the last four weeks (min. three carries per game and 0.1 high value touches per game). “Inside-10” are targets plus carries within 10 yards of the end zone over the last four weeks. “Opps” are opportunities, which are targets plus carries. "High-Value %" is the percentage of opportunities that are high value touches. The higher, the better for all categories.

Player

High Value

Inside 10

Targets

Carries

Opps

High Value %

Last 4 Games

TB Leonard Fournette

11.0

4.0

7.0

11.0

18.0

61%

1

NO Alvin Kamara

9.3

2.0

7.3

14.7

22.0

42%

3

CAR Mike Davis

8.5

2.5

6.0

14.3

20.3

42%

4

CIN Joe Mixon

8.0

2.3

5.7

22.3

28.0

29%

3

GB Aaron Jones

7.5

2.5

5.0

12.5

17.5

43%

2

CHI David Montgomery

7.5

1.5

6.0

13.3

19.3

39%

4

DAL Ezekiel Elliott

7.3

1.5

5.8

14.0

19.8

37%

4

TEN Derrick Henry

6.7

3.7

3.0

20.3

23.3

29%

3

DET D'Andre Swift

6.7

2.3

4.3

9.0

13.3

50%

3

MIA Myles Gaskin

6.7

2.3

4.3

14.7

19.0

35%

3

GB Jamaal Williams

6.3

1.7

4.7

10.3

15.0

42%

3

TB Ronald Jones

6.3

1.8

4.5

18.3

22.8

27%

4

SEA Chris Carson

6.0

1.7

4.3

9.7

14.0

43%

3

WAS J.D. McKissic

6.0

0.0

6.0

4.0

10.0

60%

4

JAX James Robinson

6.0

0.8

5.3

16.0

21.3

28%

4

ARI Chase Edmonds

5.8

0.5

5.3

4.3

9.5

61%

4

KC Clyde Edwards-Helaire

5.8

1.0

4.8

15.0

19.8

29%

4

HOU David Johnson

5.8

2.5

3.3

16.5

19.8

29%

4

MIN Dalvin Cook

5.5

2.0

3.5

22.0

25.5

22%

2

DEN Melvin Gordon

5.5

2.0

3.5

20.0

23.5

23%

2

ATL Todd Gurley

5.5

2.3

3.3

18.3

21.5

26%

4

PIT James Conner

5.3

2.3

3.0

18.3

21.3

25%

3

WAS Antonio Gibson

5.3

1.3

4.0

13.3

17.3

30%

4

LV Josh Jacobs

5.0

1.3

3.7

16.0

19.7

25%

3

IND Nyheim Hines

5.0

0.7

4.3

4.0

8.3

60%

3

LAC Justin Jackson

4.7

0.0

4.7

8.7

13.3

35%

3

LA Darrell Henderson

4.5

2.8

1.8

13.0

14.8

31%

4

PHI Miles Sanders

4.3

1.0

3.3

11.0

14.3

30%

3

CLE Kareem Hunt

4.3

1.5

2.8

15.5

18.3

23%

4

SEA Carlos Hyde

4.0

0.0

4.0

15.0

19.0

21%

1

BUF Devin Singletary

4.0

0.5

3.5

11.8

15.3

26%

4

SF Jerick McKinnon

4.0

0.3

3.8

6.0

9.8

41%

4

LA Malcolm Brown

4.0

0.8

3.3

7.3

10.5

38%

4

HOU Duke Johnson

3.8

0.8

3.0

3.3

6.3

60%

4

CIN Giovani Bernard

3.8

1.3

2.5

5.8

8.3

45%

4

ARI Kenyan Drake

3.8

2.5

1.3

16.3

17.5

21%

4

MIN Alexander Mattison

3.7

2.0

1.7

12.3

14.0

26%

3

LAC Joshua Kelley

3.7

0.7

3.0

10.7

13.7

27%

3

PHI Boston Scott

3.5

1.3

2.3

4.3

6.5

54%

4

NYG Devonta Freeman

3.5

1.0

2.5

12.3

14.8

24%

4

IND Jonathan Taylor

3.3

0.7

2.7

13.7

16.3

20%

3

ATL Brian Hill

3.0

0.8

2.3

5.5

7.8

39%

4

BAL J.K. Dobbins

3.0

0.0

3.0

5.0

8.0

38%

3

CAR Reggie Bonnafon

3.0

1.0

2.0

10.0

12.0

25%

1

SF Raheem Mostert

3.0

0.5

2.5

14.0

16.5

18%

2

DAL Tony Pollard

2.8

0.3

2.5

6.8

9.3

30%

4

NO Latavius Murray

2.7

1.0

1.7

11.0

12.7

21%

3

NYG Wayne Gallman

2.7

0.3

2.3

7.0

9.3

29%

3

DET Adrian Peterson

2.3

1.0

1.3

12.3

13.7

17%

3

SF Jeff Wilson

2.3

1.0

1.3

8.0

9.3

25%

3

NYJ Lamical Perine

2.3

0.3

2.0

7.7

9.7

24%

3

MIA Matt Breida

2.3

0.3

2.0

6.0

8.0

29%

3

NE Rex Burkhead

2.3

0.7

1.7

6.7

8.3

28%

3

PIT Benny Snell

2.0

1.7

0.3

5.0

5.3

38%

3

TEN Jeremy McNichols

2.0

0.7

1.3

5.0

6.3

32%

3

BUF T.J. Yeldon

2.0

0.0

2.0

3.5

5.5

36%

2

NYJ Frank Gore

1.8

0.3

1.5

11.0

12.5

14%

4

BAL Gus Edwards

1.7

0.7

1.0

10.0

11.0

15%

3

DEN Royce Freeman

1.7

0.0

1.7

4.7

6.3

26%

3

NE Cam Newton

1.5

1.0

0.5

7.5

8.0

19%

2

LV Devontae Booker

1.5

0.0

1.5

5.0

6.5

23%

2

DET Kerryon Johnson

1.5

0.0

1.5

3.5

5.0

30%

2

BUF Zack Moss

1.5

0.0

1.5

6.0

7.5

20%

2

BAL Mark Ingram

1.3

1.0

0.3

8.0

8.3

16%

3

ARI Kyler Murray

1.3

1.3

0.0

9.8

9.8

13%

4

KC Chad Henne

1.0

1.0

0.0

4.0

4.0

25%

1

PHI Carson Wentz

1.0

1.0

0.0

5.8

5.8

17%

4

DEN Drew Lock

1.0

1.0

0.0

4.0

4.0

25%

2

KC Darrel Williams

1.0

0.0

1.0

6.0

7.0

14%

1

CIN Joe Burrow

1.0

1.0

0.0

4.0

4.0

25%

4

SF JaMycal Hasty

1.0

0.0

1.0

9.0

10.0

10%

2

KC Le'Veon Bell

1.0

1.0

0.0

6.0

6.0

17%

1

WAS Peyton Barber

1.0

0.3

0.7

5.7

6.3

16%

3

DEN Phillip Lindsay

1.0

1.0

0.0

16.0

16.0

6%

2

KC Patrick Mahomes

1.0

1.0

0.0

8.0

8.0

13%

3

CAR Teddy Bridgewater

1.0

1.0

0.0

4.8

4.8

21%

4

BUF Josh Allen

0.8

0.8

0.0

6.5

6.5

12%

4

NE Damien Harris

0.7

0.0

0.7

11.0

11.7

6%

3

IND Jordan Wilkins

0.7

0.0

0.7

3.7

4.3

15%

3

SEA Travis Homer

0.7

0.3

0.3

3.3

3.7

18%

3

CLE Dontrelle Hilliard

0.5

0.0

0.5

4.5

5.0

10%

2

CLE D'Ernest Johnson

0.5

0.0

0.5

6.5

7.0

7%

4

HOU Deshaun Watson

0.5

0.5

0.0

4.5

4.5

11%

4

JAX Gardner Minshew

0.5

0.3

0.3

3.3

3.5

14%

4

LAC Justin Herbert

0.3

0.3

0.0

6.0

6.0

6%

3

Game-Script Touch Shares

Some players get the ball more when their team is leading (think LeGarrette Blount), while others get the ball more when their team is trailing (think James White). This table shows each player’s touch share -- the percentage of a team’s plays that went to a player -- while playing in neutral game script (in-game winning percentage between 34-66%), while trailing (0-33%), and while leading (67-100%). Please note that I removed players who have missed a game within the last four weeks. All touch shares are from over the last four weeks. Beware of small samples when a team has few plays within a game script.

Player

Neutral

Trailing

Leading

Game Script Bump

IND Jonathan Taylor

44%

20%

26%

DAL Ezekiel Elliott

44%

25%

30%

ATL Todd Gurley

43%

24%

34%

JAX James Robinson

42%

32%

50%

Positive

LV Josh Jacobs

40%

18%

45%

Positive

WAS Antonio Gibson

40%

21%

36%

Positive

MIA Myles Gaskin

40%

21%

37%

Positive

KC Clyde Edwards-Helaire

39%

27%

30%

CAR Mike Davis

37%

32%

38%

HOU David Johnson

37%

28%

38%

CLE Kareem Hunt

36%

32%

24%

CHI David Montgomery

34%

31%

37%

DET Adrian Peterson

34%

15%

20%

TEN Derrick Henry

33%

38%

40%

LA Darrell Henderson

33%

25%

23%

NO Alvin Kamara

33%

35%

29%

TB Ronald Jones

33%

39%

34%

NYG Devonta Freeman

32%

15%

35%

Positive

ARI Kenyan Drake

31%

22%

33%

PIT James Conner

30%

NA

32%

NE Damien Harris

30%

16%

NA

BUF Devin Singletary

29%

15%

36%

LAC Justin Jackson

29%

17%

18%

NYJ Frank Gore

27%

18%

24%

SEA Chris Carson

26%

38%

21%

Negative

BAL Mark Ingram

25%

NA

13%

SF Jerick McKinnon

24%

11%

13%

GB Jamaal Williams

23%

4%

34%

Positive

DET D'Andre Swift

22%

15%

28%

MIN Alexander Mattison

18%

26%

22%

NO Latavius Murray

18%

12%

24%

NE Rex Burkhead

17%

13%

NA

WAS J.D. McKissic

17%

20%

11%

PHI Boston Scott

16%

7%

18%

LAC Joshua Kelley

16%

8%

27%

Positive

CIN Giovani Bernard

16%

5%

12%

BAL J.K. Dobbins

15%

NA

13%

BAL Lamar Jackson

15%

NA

10%

CAR Teddy Bridgewater

12%

5%

7%

PHI Carson Wentz

12%

8%

12%

ATL Brian Hill

12%

9%

15%

DEN Royce Freeman

10%

9%

10%

ARI Kyler Murray

10%

15%

18%

BUF Josh Allen

10%

9%

15%

BAL Gus Edwards

10%

NA

20%

LA Malcolm Brown

10%

11%

22%

The Fantasy Usage Model: Week 8

Part 1: High Value RB Touches & Game Script (Monday)

Part 2: Targets Aren’t Created Equal (Monday Night)

Part 3: Air Yards Report (Monday Night)

Part 4: Fantasy Usage Model Notes (Tuesday)

My Twitter: @HaydenWinks