As you prepare to make your wish list for a 2020 fantasy football team let's take a look back at 2019. What do the stats tell us? I used Tableau to help tell that story.
I definitely found some surprises. To start off with I only included players with at least 50 rushing attempts to remove WR's, but I also removed QB's from the equation. I wanted strictly running backs with 50+ rushing attempts. You can thumb through the various charts below to understand what franchises gave the most touches to their RB's. Touches are defined as rushing and receiving in this example.
You saw a bunch of playoff teams leading the way in running back touches. This, I am guessing, would be from leading in the game and running out the clock. The number of total yards had strong correlation with total touches, but two teams stuck out to me a bit down the line. Carolina and Cleveland turned in high yardage relative to their total touches.
Of the top three touch teams (New England, Dallas and San Francisco) they take very different approaches. San Francisco seemed to rely on a distribute across a few backs, which isn't particularly optimal for drafting in fantasy while New England ran a 2-for-1 style with Sony Michel leading the way in their stable. However, Dallas leaned heavily on Zeke Elliott way more than any of the other leaders. With our outliers of Carolina and Cleveland the Panthers unsurprisingly leaned heavily on Christian McCaffrey and Cleveland with Nick Chubbs making their model more similar to Dallas.
Another weird item I saw was Tennessee's high dependency on running over passing. Even though they're 15th in RB touches they are in 6th place for rushing attempts. This shows their workhorse of Derrick Henry isn't much of a factor in the passing game, nor is his backup Dion Lewis.
I won't go much deeper into the data, but have fun sorting through it to find gems.
About the Author
Andy Rupert is a Penn State (B.A. John Curley Center for Sports Journalism 08') and a Southern Miss (M.S. Sport Management 09'). He has spent his whole career working in sports and tourism digital marketing and metrics.