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The Stategist

As many of you know, there is a group of Footballguys, myself included, that take great pleasure in the use of statistical analysis as a means to succeed in fantasy football. Traditionally, we do much of our work leading up to the draft, using historical trends analysis and number crunching to help fine tune our annual projections for players and teams. But statistical analysis can, when used in conjunction with logical reasoning and sound football acumen, be useful during the season, as well. With that in mind, I will attempt to address some relevant in-season issues each and every week, with a statistical slant of course…


L. Tomlinson and P. Manning are OK, but give me Patrick Pass and Matt Schaub…

Fantasy Points per Touch: The Quarterbacks (QBs)

A recent discussion on our message boards regarding Ben Roethlisberger and his place among the NFL's QB hierarchy lead to someone pointing out that Big Ben is having a remarkable season when you consider how few "touches" he gets per game. While Donovan McNabb is dropping back to pass 40+ times a game, Big Ben is lucky to get 20 attempts.

It's a compelling argument for Big Ben's supporters. Consider:

  • Using FBG scoring, Roethlisberger is the 19th ranked fantasy QB through Week Seven with 94.6 fantasy points
  • However, he's only taken 100 pass attempts and run the ball 12 times (for a grand total of 112 touches)
  • In terms of fantasy points per touch, Big Ben is producing 0.84 fantasy points; which is tops in the league. Think of this as a measure of offensive fantasy efficiency.

Quarterbacks (QBs): Fantasy Points Per Touch (Min: 20 Touches)

Rank
Name
Team
FanPoints
Touches
FPperT
1
Roethlisberger,Ben
PIT
94.5
112
0.84
2
Schaub,Matt
ATL
34.8
55
0.63
3
Bledsoe,Drew
DAL
142.1
239
0.59
4
Brunell,Mark
WAS
127.4
215
0.59
5
Palmer,Carson
CIN
145.2
251
0.58
6
Manning,Eli
NYG
116.8
204
0.57
7
Favre,Brett
GB
131.2
230
0.57
8
Vick,Michael
ATL
98.4
175
0.56
9
Delhomme,Jake
CAR
100.4
180
0.56
10
Bulger,Marc
STL
126.6
231
0.55
11
Manning,Peyton
IND
118.2
219
0.54
12
Brees,Drew
SD
110.0
206
0.53
13
Brady,Tom
NE
120.7
235
0.51
14
Hasselbeck,Matt
SEA
125.6
254
0.49
15
Collins,Kerry
OAK
109.9
224
0.49
16
McNabb,Donovan
PHI
131.4
268
0.49
17
Brooks,Aaron
NO
118.9
245
0.49
18
Leftwich,Byron
JAX
91.9
192
0.48
19
Rattay,Tim
SF
49.2
104
0.47
20
Holcomb,Kelly
BUF
45.3
97
0.47
21
Plummer,Jake
DEN
106.5
231
0.46
22
Carr,David
HOU
78.7
171
0.46
23
Testaverde,Vinny
NYJ
31.6
69
0.46
24
McNair,Steve
TEN
102.0
223
0.46
25
Culpepper,Daunte
MIN
107.1
235
0.46
26
McCown,Josh
ARI
74.7
166
0.45
27
Garcia,Jeff
DET
16.6
38
0.44
28
Griese,Brian
TB
79.0
187
0.42
29
Green,Trent
KC
83.2
200
0.42
30
Dilfer,Trent
CLE
81.1
196
0.41
31
Pennington,Chad
NYJ
34.2
89
0.38
32
Frerotte,Gus
MIA
85.5
224
0.38
33
Warner,Kurt
ARI
39.2
106
0.37
34
Wright,Anthony
BAL
74.9
205
0.37
35
Volek,Billy
TEN
12.2
34
0.36
36
Martin,Jamie
STL
18.4
54
0.34
37
Maddox,Tommy
PIT
10.2
31
0.33
38
Harrington,Joey
DET
51.3
157
0.33
39
Orton,Kyle
CHI
55.6
178
0.31
40
Losman,J.P.
BUF
33.9
114
0.30

Some observations:

  • Atlanta backup QB Matt Schaub showed excellent fantasy productivity while playing in place of the injured Michael Vick; remember this in a year or two when Schaub tests the free agent market and gets a chance to start (it will happen)
  • For as God awful as David Carr has been this year, he's been more productive on a per touch basis than Steve McNair, Trent Green and Daunte Culpepper to name a few. This may lend credence to the notion that Carr does have a future as an NFL signal caller, and deserves a chance to play behind a "good" offensive line for a change
  • The vaunted Dennis Green passing attack in Arizona really isn't operating at a high level no matter which QB is under center. That said, McCown has been markedly better than Kurt Warner and probably deserves to hold onto the job
  • Although Kelly Holcomb hasn't set the fantasy world on fire, his job is probably safe particularly when you consider that J.P. Losman is the worst performing QB on this list
  • While Carson Palmer is benefiting from a large amount of touches, he's also operating at an extremely high level per touch; giving credence to the notion that he can finish the year at or near the top of the fantasy rankings
  • In fantasy leagues, rushing QBs usually have a decided advantage because of the relative value of rushing yards versus passing yards. Yet, through Week Seven, that doesn't appear to be the case this year as Mike Vick is the only mobile QB among our top 10 in terms of "per touch efficiency"

Fantasy Points per Touch: Running Backs (RBs)

So LaDainian Tomlinson is lighting the world on fire, sitting atop the fantasy rankings in no small part to his 10 rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD and oh yes, his two PASSING TDs. So obviously he's atop our list of most productive fantasy RBs on a "per touch" basis, right? Think again…that honor belongs to Patriots H-Back Patrick Pass…

Running Backs (RBs): Fantasy Points Per Touch (Min: 20 Touches)

Rank
Name
Team
FanPoints
Touches
FPperT
1
Pass,Patrick
NE
39.3
34
1.16
2
Alexander,Shaun
SEA
152.8
159
0.96
3
Duckett,T.J.
ATL
42.3
45
0.94
4
Pittman,Michael
TB
54.0
58
0.93
5
Tomlinson,LaDainian
SD
160.9
174
0.92
6
Bell,Tatum
DEN
68.0
74
0.92
7
Crockett,Zack
OAK
17.6
20
0.88
8
Rhodes,Dominic
IND
24.3
28
0.87
9
Johnson,Larry
KC
62.3
72
0.87
10
Westbrook,Brian
PHI
86.3
100
0.86
11
Holmes,Priest
KC
101.5
123
0.83
12
Bryson,Shawn
DET
25.1
31
0.81
13
Jackson,Steven
STL
109.7
137
0.80
14
Morris,Maurice
SEA
18.4
23
0.80
15
James,Edgerrin
IND
145.3
182
0.80
16
Jordan,Lamont
OAK
115.7
145
0.80
17
Faulk,Marshall
STL
29.5
39
0.76
18
Barber,Tiki
NYG
89.8
120
0.75
19
Davis,Stephen
CAR
77.5
107
0.72
20
Gore,Frank
SF
28.6
40
0.72
21
Jones,Thomas
CHI
104.8
147
0.71
22
Davenport,Najeh
GB
22.8
32
0.71
23
Foster,DeShaun
CAR
37.3
53
0.70
24
Dillon,Corey
NE
71.8
103
0.70
25
Brown,Ronnie
MIA
72.0
106
0.68
26
Jones,Greg
JAX
22.3
33
0.68
27
Parker,Willie
PIT
77.5
116
0.67
28
Pinner,Artose
DET
19.7
30
0.66
29
Perry,Chris
CIN
43.8
67
0.65
30
Gordon,Lamar
PHI
18.3
28
0.65
31
Smith,Antowain
NO
35.8
56
0.64
32
Dunn,Warrick
ATL
90.8
144
0.63
33
Portis,Clinton
WAS
85.7
136
0.63
34
Anderson,Mike
DEN
74.2
120
0.62
35
Fisher,Tony
GB
17.2
28
0.61
36
Taylor,Chester
BAL
32.3
53
0.61
37
Barlow,Kevan
SF
55.4
93
0.60
38
Moore,Mewelde
MIN
53.4
90
0.59
39
McGahee,Willis
BUF
99.0
168
0.59
40
Davis,Domanick
HOU
78.7
134
0.59
41
McAllister,Deuce
NO
63.2
110
0.57
42
Williams,Carnell
TB
57.3
102
0.56
43
Brown,Chris
TEN
61.7
110
0.56
44
Payton,Jarrett
TEN
15.4
28
0.55
45
Neal,Lorenzo
SD
11.4
21
0.54
46
Bettis,Jerome
PIT
19.0
35
0.54
47
Jones,Julius
DAL
66.9
124
0.54
48
Haynes,Verron
PIT
19.9
37
0.54
49
Faulk,Kevin
NE
14.3
27
0.53
50
Williams,Shaud
BUF
15.3
30
0.51
51
Martin,Curtis
NYJ
77.5
152
0.51
52
Johnson,Rudi
CIN
75.3
150
0.50
53
Pearman,Alvin
JAX
16.5
34
0.49
54
Betts,Ladell
WAS
21.9
46
0.48
55
Jones,Kevin
DET
50.7
111
0.46
56
Taylor,Fred
JAX
50.6
111
0.46
57
Ayanbadejo,Obafemi
ARI
10.3
23
0.45
58
Droughns,Reuben
CLE
54.2
122
0.44
59
Bennett,Michael
MIN
11.6
27
0.43
60
Stecker,Aaron
NO
15.0
35
0.43
61
Turner,Michael
SD
11.9
28
0.43
62
Green,Ahman
GB
40.2
96
0.42
63
Lewis,Jamal
BAL
51.6
124
0.42
64
Thompson,Tyson
DAL
17.7
43
0.41
65
Barber,Marion
DAL
14.8
38
0.39
66
Shipp,Marcel
ARI
32.9
91
0.36
67
Henry,Travis
TEN
11.7
34
0.34
68
Arrington,J.J.
ARI
11.6
37
0.31
69
Graham,Earnest
TB
8.3
28
0.30
70
Benson,Cedric
CHI
7.3
29
0.25

Some observations:

  • RBs that have a high TD per touch ratio skew this chart considerably, so goal line specialists including Zack Crockett and T.J. Duckett appear much higher on this list than you might otherwise expect. Of course, this is a measure of FANTASY efficiency and nothing is more potent than a carry or catch that yields a TD
  • Michael Pittman has been far more productive on a per touch basis than Cadillac Williams, a byproduct of his receiving prowess
  • If Tatum Bell can stay healthy and hold onto the ball, it sure looks like he's the better option than Mike Anderson
  • Edgerrin James sits at 15th on a per touch basis, solid to be sure…but Dominic Rhodes is in the top ten, maybe he'll get a job as a starter somewhere in the future
  • As productive as Priest Holmes remains, one can understand why Larry Johnson continues to get a lot of work too
  • Ahman Green may be the Packers workhorse, but both backups (Davenport and Fisher) have been more productive when given their chances; don't forget that when deciding whether to bid for Tony Fisher this week
  • Owners of Willie Parker, Willis McGahee, Caddy Williams and Rudi Johnson (to name a few) should be very glad their players get a ton of touches, because they're not that productive on a per touch basis

Final Thoughts

We'll look at wide receivers and tight ends another week. In the meantime, I would be curious to hear your thoughts on this metric and ways we might streamline the formula to better measure efficiency from a fantasy perspective.

Have a Great Week!


Notes:
1) All fantasy point production assumes the Footballguys Scoring System:

  • 1 point per 25 yards passing
  • 1 point per 10 yards receiving or rushing
  • 4 points per passing TD
  • 6 points per rushing or receiving TD
  • -1 per interception thrown

2) Special thanks to Doug Drinen for providing the relevant statistical databases

3) Feel free to contact me (wood@footballguys.com) if you wish to discuss this column further or share other ideas for future issues

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