Analyzing Top 50 Running Backs

I have been working a lot on Rookies in the last 3 weeks and will continue to do so until I have covered all positions. But I will follow-up Rookie Mondays and Wednesdays with a massive NFL numbers post on Fridays. This is the first of those posts and will feature the top 50 running backs from the 2016 season. New YouTube Video is up, it explains the numbers that I work with when setting weekly line-ups. Check it out Here! Let’s dig in!

There are some questions that I asked before digging in the numbers, and I will answer those questions below.

  • Was there a difference in scoring when playing at Home vs. Away?


The Top 50 Running Backs from 2016 scored on average 10.9pts at home while they scored 9.3pts away. That is a 1.7 difference between the means. When running a two tailed T-test that measures if there is a difference between the two samples I end up with a 0.002 answer. Anything under  a 0.05 means that it is a statistically significant answer. With this knowledge we can with certainty say that the top 50 running backs scores more points at home vs. away. I guess by just looking at the averages you could have arrived at the same conclusion but by running the T-test we know for sure, and we are certain it was not a fluke. Answer: Yes, they score higher at home

  •  Was there a difference in scoring when playing a team in your Division vs. a Team Outside your Division?


Just by looking at the chart I bet you can tell that there is almost no difference at all. The Top 50 Running Backs scored on average 10pts vs. Division opponents while scoring 9.8pts vs. Non Division opponents, a 0.2 difference. The T-test provides a 0.677 which is not a significant result.  Answer: No, there is no difference

  • Was there a difference in scoring when Winning a game vs. Loosing?

Before going into this question I would like to say that this one is so that we can compare with other positions, for instance if Wide Receivers score more when loosing.


I found this question very interesting because there are so many levels to it. It can be viewed as, of course they score more when they win, they get benched to be saved when winning, winning usually means a lot of people play well and scoring will be spread out. You can find many aspects to the question but the chart speaks for itself. 11.9pts average when winning and 8.3pts when loosing, a 3.6pts difference. The T-test is so significant that it is under 0.000. But I feel like this opens more questions. If all of the Top 50 Running Backs score more when winning who will then be the one to start if a team has more than 1 guy? Answer: Yes, they score more when winning

  • Which Factor Correlates most with Fantasy Points, Rushing Attempts, Rushing Yards or Touchdowns?
    +1 Perfect Positive Correlation -1 Perfect Negative Correlation

Yards: 0.91
Touchdowns: 0.79
Rushing Attempts:0.85

All three metrics have an extremely strong correlation with Fantasy Points. That is not a big surprise but the interesting to me is that Rushing Attempts have a stronger one than Touchdowns. That to me would changes up a little bit and gives me a good idea of more numbers to gather up during the off-season. Answer: Yards has the strongest correlation with Fantasy Points

  • How does the distribution look between Points gained from the Ground vs. the Air look and How much of the points comes from scoring Touchdowns?


The average amount of points the Top 50 Running Backs get from the Ground (Rush Yards and Touchdowns) is 72.9%. The reason behind this question is not so much as to get a real answer about anything as much as gaining insight into what matters the most. The second part of the question regarded touchdowns where the real lesson can be learned. How much of their points are touchdown dependent?


The Top 50 Running Backs gained on average 23.8% of their Fantasy Points from Touchdowns. So when looking at different guys we can easily see if he is more of less touchdown dependent. I will post every Backs numbers on Twitter and Instagram in the upcoming weeks.

On Monday and Wednesday I’m digging more into the rookie class with Wide Receivers and rounding out next week with a Wide Receiver post similar to this one.

New YouTube Video is up, it explains the numbers that I work with when setting weekly line-ups. Check it out Here!

Like and Re-tweet, everything is appreciated!imageedit_1_9253545623

The spreadsheets are dark and full of terror // CSD


photo credit: bmward_2000 AFC Championship Weekend via photopin (license)

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