Running Back Target (Team) Rankings
When we look at the past two seasons, we must realize lots of change has taken place in the NFL. With such quick turnarounds including but not limited to, coaching staff, player personnel, scheme, and game flow we can evaluate each teams running back targets to the best of our ability. For example: when a coach like Marc Trestman leaves, I would fully expect RB targets to go down in Chicago and go up in Baltimore. When a player like Shane Vereen changes teams, I would expect the impending team’s RB targets to go up. Both examples are accurate as you will see below. I have the rankings in order, top to bottom from last season’s 2015/2016 statistics, and (2014/2015) will be in parenthesis.
By doing this we generate a solid base line of what teams to avoid and target in our PPR leagues.
1.Philadelphia Eagles: 178 (102) Offense based on quick reads.
2.Detroit Lions: 173 (165) Theo Riddick 99 targets last season.
3.San Diego Chargers: 172 (110) Shows the impact of Woodhead inj.
4.New England Patriots: 163 (108) Lewis/White combined 104 Tgts.
5.Baltimore Ravens: 160 (108) Trestman with CHI previous season.
6.New York Giants: 138 (100) Vereen in NE year prior.
7.Atlanta Falcons: 137 (133) Consistent numbers for Freeman.
8.Oakland Raiders: 126 (160) Drafted DeAndre Washington.
9.New York Jets: 125 (81) Numbers should go up with Forte/Powell.
10.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 119 (94) Sims very safe play in PPR.
11.Cincinnati Bengals: 111 (121) Gio consistent value.
12.Cleveland Browns: 108 (48) Targets doubled when Duke arrived.
13.Chicago Bears: 105 (137) Numbers dipped when Trestman left.
14.Houston Texans: 104 (90) Lamar should be on everyone’s radar.
15.Miami Dolphins: 103 (102) Gase similar targets coming from CHI.
16.Washington Redskins: 102 (104) Keith Marshall super sleeper.
17.New Orleans Saints: 101 (166) Prior year leader -> Ingram.
18.San Francisco 49ers: 100 (64) Chip in town, Draughn value pick.
19.Arizona Cardinals: 98 (111) DJ avg 5.3 Tgts/G after taking over.
20.Indianapolis Colts: 97 (114) Ferguson potential 3rd down back.
21.Tennessee Titans: 97 (100) Dexter McCluster.
22.Minnesota Vikings: 96 (118) AP just 36 targets last season.
23.Green Bay Packers: 93 (90) Lacy 55 targets previous season.
24.Seattle Seahawks: 93 (74) Drafted C.J. Prosise.
25.Dallas Cowboys: 91 (92) Elliot every down back.
26.Jacksonville Jaguars: 89 (101) Yeldon to take over 3rd downs.
27.Los Angeles Rams: 84 (116) Gurley can increase his catch total.
28.Buffalo Bills: 81 (154) Targets cliff dived this past season.
29.Pittsburgh Steelers: 81 (132) Bell had 105 targets in 2014.
30.Denver Broncos: 79 (98) CJA avg 40 targets last two seasons.
31.Kansas City Chiefs: 76 (136) Charles critical to K.C. offense.
32.Carolina Panthers: 63 (68) Bottom 30 two years in a row.
Still a work in progress, but I have made my first 2016 rankings. Here’s a link to my top 200 overall. https://adrenalinefootball.com/top-200-overall/
Green Bay Packers Free Agent Targets:
For the sake of fantasy purposes I am going to give my opinion on skill position players I hope the Packers will at least look at this off-season. Most know how frustrating Ted Thompson’s system can be, with a strict mindset of building through the draft. For the most part it’s truly the best way to go about being a GM in the NFL. The problem though, is the lack of Free Agent signings. I’ve seen this far too long with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks not getting that extra piece they needed to get them over the edge. A good example of this a decade ago, Green Bay had the chance to bring Randy Moss to Titletown. Even after Favre and Moss said they’d love to play together nothing took place. Moss went to New England where Brady had his best season of his marvelous career. This is where I believe Ted Thompson has made mistakes throughout his career, where as Bill Belichick has always looked for the extra piece. Tom Brady Super bowl wins equal four, while Rodgers and Favre have one combined since TT took over GM in 2005.
This all leads me to the list of free agents pending this off season. Although it is not the greatest list ever, I think Green Bay needs to make at least one splash at the skill position. One thing we obviously lacked all season and hurt the Packers was the lack of a vertical threat. I do see several players who can address this need immediately in free agency.
LaDarius Green, TE – San Diego Chargers
Although serving as a back up to a future Hall of Famer, Green has flashed his potential in spurts. At 6’6″ and 240 pounds running a 4.5 forty, Green is a physical mismatch with the vertical threat needed. He could be the key piece Green Bay’s offense needs to get back on track this season.
Travis Benjamin, WR – Cleveland Browns
Here’s a guy I was talking about earlier in the season. After Jordy went down with a ACL tear, I thought TB could step in and provide the vertical threat. He doubles as one of the most dangerous return men in the league. Green Bay should have made a move for him during the season, as Cleveland came out and said almost everyone on their team was on the block. I highly doubt he would have cost much more than a 4th or 5th round pick seeing that he would have been a unrestricted free agent in the upcoming off season. I don’t have my hopes up very high for him becoming a Packer now seeing the available wide receiver free agents. More than likely someone will over pay for Benjamin’s services, but for the right price he could be a great fit for this offense.
Marvin Jones, WR – Cincinnati Bengals
Another free agent who has the skill set Green Bay should be looking for. With good size 6’2” and 200 pounds running a 4.46 at the combine. He put together a very productive year playing second fiddle to A.J. Green, with 65 receptions over 800 yards and 4 TD’s. Fitting the bill he’d make an excellent outside receiver opposite Jordy with the possibility of becoming a future number one receiver.
These are the three free agents that make the most sense for Green Bay to look at. All have the same criteria, young in age, vertical threats, with reasonable price tags. I don’t see the Packers looking at running backs in free agency, assuming they will target the draft for that position and resign Starks to a 1 year deal. John Kuhn should be another easy signing for them as he will want to finish his career as a Packer. Our other needs do include offensive lineman which again we can address in the draft or via free agency.
Here’s looking forward to a small change in what is Ted Thompsons methodical way of doing things.
If you want to talk about video game numbers, look at Anderson’s final eight games of the season. I’m truly good at Madden, but I don’t know if my thumbs could post these monster stats.
When you look at all of this, C.J. combined for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. IN 8 WEEKS!
If I’m trying to describe Anderson to you, he does it for me on a single play. Playoff game last year vs Indianapolis, late 3rd quarter 4th and 1 game on the line. C.J. had a defender in his grill immediately and should have been dropped for a five yards loss. Instead he makes a cut back and sheds the defender all in one fluent motion. He goes on to break not one tackle but two more and fights for the first down. When watching this, it shows how much he cares about winning for his team. A very unselfish talented kid, who is reminiscent of a 30 pound thicker Barry Sanders.
Here’s the clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBzOSMCTKEI
If you’re not a film buff like me, I’d highly suggest watching at least a highlight tape of Anderson.
Highlight link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZSvOiWPFro
After crunching numbers and watching hours of game film on him, I still had a hard time figuring out his yearly projections. Simply not enough stats to formulate a base I felt comfortable with. To give me more depth perspective, I decided to dive deeper into Gary Kubiak’s history.
Kubiak has been in the NFL for over 20 years and has a knack for churning out stud RB’s. Last year he helped journey man Justin Forsett realize his true potential, posting a league best 5.38 yards per carry. In 2010 he had a guy named Arian Foster, who went off for 2,220 scrimmage yards and 18 overall touchdowns. That year Houston ranked third in the NFL averaging 386.6 total net yards per game rushing (127.6 ypg – third) and passing (259.0 ypg – fourth).
I believe the 2015 Denver Broncos and C.J. Anderson are comparable to the 2010 Houston Texans. When we look at them on paper its simple, the two teams have many similarities. Peyton Manning an aging QB who won’t be asked to win games this season, stats will reflect very similar to Matt Schaub in 2010. Somewhere in the lines of 365 completions for 4,400 yards and a couple dozen touchdowns. With dominant wide outs Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and new comer Cody Latimer defenses will have to chose between two evils. Sell out on the run, get burned by DT, or pass protect and watch Anderson destroy you. Under Kubiak’s offense facing soft boxes and a favorable schedule we can expect C.J. to run wild like Foster did in 2010.
After toying with multiple stats, projecting the Broncos offense and having further knowledge of Kubiak’s scheme I have concluded the following projections:
Based off his fantasy points per game ( 23.1 fp/g ) C.J. projects to be my number one fantasy running back of the 2015 season. I’m optimistic I’ve opened eyes to what could be your winning ticket to fantasy stardom.
I am currently gearing up for the 2015 Fantasy season. All rankings will be posted 7/28 as a first draft, with lots of updates as the pre-season progresses. Over the last several months I have been studying game film, evaluating rookies, and doing countless MFL drafts. I will give out a ultimate MFL draft guide to explain my thinking for best ball drafts very soon. I can not wait to get my sleepers break outs and bust typed up for everyone to see. Looking forward to having a great season in 2015!