Here are 23 things you need to know before the upcoming season plus some early candidates for sleepers and busts.
- Toby Gerhart, the free agent that has spent all of his playing career behind Adrian Peterson, ranked 1st in touches per missed tackle at 3.50 on 49 touches.
- Ben Tate, the free agent that will command the biggest salary this offseason, ranked 10th at 5.24 on 215 touches. For reference, Marshawn Lynch was 5th, Adrian Peterson was 11th, Eddie Lacy was 13th, and LeSean McCoy was 20th.
- Toby Gerhart also ranked 1st with 13.9% of his carries going for at least 15 yards.
- Andre Ellington ranked 2nd with 10.2% long runs.
- In PPR (points per reception) per touch, Shane Vereen leads the position at 1.46.
- Toby Gerhart was 5th at 1.23 points per touch.
- Open a new tab, go to your fantasy football league, and go acquire Toby Gerhart.
- By the way, Giovanni Bernard was 12th at 0.99 points per touch.
- Which player had more points per touch: Matt Forte or DeMarco Murray? If you answered DeMarco Murray, you are correct! Murray was 17th while Forte was 18th. Blast you Jerry Jones!
- Jamaal Charles, now under Andy Reid, raised his points per touch 53.7% from 2012.
- Charles was 4th behind Donald Brown, Rashad Jennings, and Toby Gerhart.
- Seriously, Toby Gerhart will be on all my teams this year, no matter where he signs a contract.
- Before his season-ending injury, Doug Martin had 42% less points per touch.
- C.J. Spiller was another high draft pick with a large reduction at 38% less than 2012.
- David Wilson had 56% less points per touch and Andre Brown had 54% less points per touch. The 2 reasons for this was the feeble Giants offense and Brown was 5th overall in 2012. David Wilson received some good news and may start again in Training Camp, but I implore you to skip him in all drafts and formats this year.
- In the top 25 of running backs in 2012, only 3 players increased their respective points per touch: Shane Vereen (42%), Jacquizz Rodgers (0.3%), and Pierre Thomas (2.6%).
- Hello Shane Vereen! If he is available in the third round of your draft, no matter which 2 players are on your team, draft Vereen.
- Of the rookie running backs, the overall winner is not Giovanni Bernard. It’s not Eddie Lacy. The winner is Andre Ellington.
- Among other rookie running backs, Ellington was 2nd in points per touch and 2nd in points per snap.
- Here are the top 5 rookies for each category:
- Touches per Missed Tackle
Khiry Robinson, Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball, Benny Cunningham, Bobby Raine
Long Run percentage
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Andre Ellington, Mike James, Khiry Robinson, Knile Davis, Montee Ball
Points Per Snap
Edwin Baker, Andre Ellington, Knile Davis, Khiry Robinson, Bobby Rainey
Points Per Touch
Fozzy Whittaker, Andre Ellington, Gio Bernard, Edwin Baker, Knile Davis
Points Per Game
Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, Edwin Baker, Gio Bernard, Zac Stacy
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21. Notable rookies not in any top 5: Joseph Randle & Stepfan Taylor.
22. According to Pro Football Focus, Ray Rice ranked dead last (49th) in yards after contact while Bernard Pierce ranked second-to-last. PFF ranked the Ravens offensive line 6th worst in the NFL. Don’t give up on the Ravens running game this year, but don’t pay too much.
23. Members of the 5+ yards per carry club: Toby Gerhart, Benny Cunningham, Andre Ellington, James Starks, Donald Brown, DeMarco Murray, LeSean McCoy, Lance Dunbar, and LeGarrette Blount.
24. Early 2014 sleepers: Shane Vereen, Toby Gerhart, Andre Ellington, Ben Tate.
25. Early 2014 busts: Arian Foster (I’ve been leading this train for over a year), David Wilson, Knowshon Moreno (if not with the Broncos), Frank Gore (the end is coming).