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Fantasy Usage Model

Situational RB Touches: A Week 15 Recap

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: December 21, 2020, 12:11 pm ET

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. "Situational RB Touches" will break down which running backs are being used optimally and which running backs are only seeing low-value touches. 

Week 15 Situational RB Touches

One way to look at how running backs are used is by separating third-down touches from early-down touches (touches on 1st or 2nd down). In a perfect world, running backs would have high touch totals in both situations, plus dominate touches inside the 10-yard line. 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.

PlayerEarly DownsThird DownInside 10Passing Situation Targets
ARI Chase Edmonds14222
ARI Kenyan Drake12000
ATL Ito Smith8100
ATL Brian Hill7000
ATL Keith Smith2101
ATL Todd Gurley1202
BAL J.K. Dobbins12320
BAL Gus Edwards10120
BAL Patrick Ricard3000
BAL Justice Hill0100
BUF Devin Singletary9200
BUF Zack Moss11120
CAR Mike Davis14201
CAR Rodney Smith5203
CAR Alex Armah1001
CHI David Montgomery30450
CLE Nick Chubb15250
CLE Kareem Hunt7300
CLE D'Ernest Johnson2200
DAL Tony Pollard18332
DEN Melvin Gordon13222
DEN Phillip Lindsay13101
DEN Royce Freeman1000
DET D'Andre Swift18243
DET Adrian Peterson6020
GB Aaron Jones22220
GB Jamaal Williams3000
GB AJ Dillon1000
HOU Duke Johnson13609
HOU Buddy Howell5000
HOU Scottie Phillips3000
IND Jonathan Taylor18321
IND Nyheim Hines7101
JAX James Robinson15411
JAX Dare Ogunbowale2101
JAX Devine Ozigbo0100
KC Clyde Edwards-Helaire16120
KC Le'Veon Bell16020
KC Darrel Williams2100
LA Cam Akers17112
LA Darrell Henderson2001
LA Malcolm Brown0201
LAC Austin Ekeler17021
LAC Kalen Ballage7120
LAC Joshua Kelley2000
LAC Gabe Nabers1000
LV Josh Jacobs26371
LV Devontae Booker3000
LV Jalen Richard1000
LV Theo Riddick1000
MIA Salvon Ahmed24251
MIA Matt Breida12000
MIA Patrick Laird0301
MIN Dalvin Cook26263
MIN Alexander Mattison2001
NE Sony Michel11000
NE James White4202
NE Jakob Johnson1000
NE J.J. Taylor1000
NO Alvin Kamara16103
NO Latavius Murray7001
NYG Alfred Morris7000
NYG Dion Lewis2110
NYG Elijhaa Penny1100
NYG Wayne Gallman8010
NYJ Frank Gore19451
NYJ Ty Johnson3602
PHI Miles Sanders17231
PHI Boston Scott1001
SEA Chris Carson17100
SEA Carlos Hyde2302
SEA Rashaad Penny2000
SF Jeff Wilson19131
SF Raheem Mostert11320
SF Kyle Juszczyk3111
SF Tevin Coleman3000
SF Jerick McKinnon1101
TB Leonard Fournette17221
TB Ke'Shawn Vaughn3001
TB LeSean McCoy1202
TEN Derrick Henry25120
TEN Darrynton Evans9150
TEN Jeremy McNichols1001
WAS J.D. McKissic21215
WAS Peyton Barber3210


Week 15 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”.

PlayerGarbage RateGarbage TouchTotal Touches
Darrynton Evans100%1010
Zack Moss77%1013
Gus Edwards73%811
James Robinson63%1219
Aaron Jones63%1524
J.K. Dobbins60%915
Phillip Lindsay57%814
Devin Singletary55%611
James White50%36
Kareem Hunt50%510


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Golden Opportunities

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 "Golden Opportunities", which are targets plus inside-the-10-yard line touches. The players in the table are sorted by golden opportunities per game over the last four weeks (min. three carries per game and 0.1 golden opportunities 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. "Golden Opp %" is the percentage of opportunities that are golden opportunities. The higher, the better for all categories.

PlayerGolden OppsInside 10TargetsCarriesOppsGolden Opp %Last 4 Games
1. Austin Ekeler11.31.89.512.522.051%4
2. Dalvin Cook8.53.05.524.029.529%4
3. D'Andre Swift8.
4. Myles Gaskin8.
5. Salvon Ahmed8.
6. J.D. McKissic7.
7. Darrynton Evans7.
8. James Robinson7.02.34.817.021.832%4
9. Nyheim Hines6.
10. Josh Jacobs6.32.73.715.319.033%3
11. Mike Davis6.31.74.713.318.035%3
12. David Montgomery6.
13. Chase Edmonds6.
14. Duke Johnson6.
15. DeAndre Washington6.01.54.513.017.534%2
16. Kenyan Drake6.03.52.516.318.832%4
17. Leonard Fournette6.
18. Alvin Kamara5.80.55.312.017.333%4
19. Ezekiel Elliott5.
20. Antonio Gibson5.52.03.511.014.538%2
21. Benny Snell5.
22. Cam Akers5.33.51.818.520.326%4
23. Jeff Wilson5.
24. Nick Chubb5.
25. Tony Pollard4.
26. Jonathan Taylor4.71.33.316.319.724%3
27. Chris Carson4.
28. Kareem Hunt4.
29. Aaron Jones4.
30. Clyde Edwards-Helaire4.00.73.313.717.024%3
31. Miles Sanders4.01.32.811.814.528%4
32. Carlos Hyde3.
33. Derrick Henry3.51.32.323.025.314%4
34. Le'Veon Bell3.
35. Melvin Gordon3.51.32.312.815.023%4
36. Ronald Jones3.
37. Ty Johnson3.
38. Wayne Gallman3.51.32.315.317.520%4
39. Kerryon Johnson3.
40. Adrian Peterson3.32.80.510.310.830%4
41. Ito Smith3.
42. Damien Harris3.
43. Devin Singletary3.00.32.811.013.822%4
44. David Johnson3.
45. Kalen Ballage3.
46. Raheem Mostert3.01.31.813.315.020%4
47. Latavius Murray2.
48. Giovani Bernard2.
49. Jordan Wilkins2.
50. Devontae Booker2.
51. Frank Gore2.51.31.312.513.818%4
52. J.K. Dobbins2.32.00.312.713.018%3
53. Rodney Smith2.
54. Todd Gurley2.
55. Jeremy McNichols2.
56. Zack Moss2.
57. Trayveon Williams2.
58. Gus Edwards1.
59. Peyton Barber1.
60. Sony Michel1.
61. Jamaal Williams1.
62. Phillip Lindsay1.50.01.511.312.812%4
63. Darrell Henderson1.
64. Anthony McFarland1.
65. Alfred Morris1.
66. Brian Hill1.
67. Buddy Howell1.
68. Darrel Williams1.
69. Josh Adams1.
70. Matt Breida1.
71. Mark Ingram1.
72. Samaje Perine1.
73. D'Onta Foreman0.
74. James Conner0.
75. Jordan Howard0.
76. Royce Freeman0.


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.

PlayerNeutralTrailingLeadingGame Script Bump
TEN Derrick Henry61%22%40%Positive
MIN Dalvin Cook54%34%48% 
JAX James Robinson52%29%29% 
GB Aaron Jones39%NA31% 
CHI David Montgomery36%29%39% 
ARI Kenyan Drake36%27%24% 
CLE Nick Chubb35%18%29% 
SF Raheem Mostert33%16%22% 
NYJ Frank Gore32%20%32% 
LA Cam Akers31%24%44%Positive
NO Alvin Kamara31%32%26% 
PHI Miles Sanders31%20%32% 
CAR Mike Davis30%30%27% 
NYG Wayne Gallman29%29%37% 
DEN Phillip Lindsay29%17%25% 
LAC Austin Ekeler28%36%35% 
DEN Melvin Gordon27%30%22% 
CIN Giovani Bernard26%14%NA 
NYJ Ty Johnson24%20%20% 
BUF Devin Singletary24%NA22% 
DET Adrian Peterson23%13%NA 
ATL Ito Smith22%13%22% 
NE Cam Newton22%14%19% 
SEA Chris Carson22%36%25% 
IND Nyheim Hines20%23%17% 
NO Latavius Murray19%12%19% 
WAS J.D. McKissic19%31%11% 
BAL Gus Edwards19%16%14% 
KC Le'Veon Bell18%NA14% 
SEA Carlos Hyde17%5%21% 
SF Jeff Wilson16%20%32% 


Week 16 Fantasy Usage Model

1. Situational RB Touches (Sunday Night)

2. Targets Aren't Equal (Monday Night)

3. Air Yards Report (Monday Night)

4. Usage Model Notes (Tuesday)

Follow me on Twitter (@HaydenWinks).