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Better Than Average (BTA) Rankings: Running Backs
David Dorey
June 12, 2013
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More BTA Rankings:  Quarterback  |  Running Back  |  Wide Receiver  |  Tight End

Better Than Average (BTA) was developed to show which players were truly better than their peers when the advantage of the schedule was removed. . This is a true 1:1 measurement because it only considers how well players did against all others who faced a particular defense. It counts up three occurrences:

"8" - When a RB produced one of the top 8 game performances for fantasy points allowed by a defense.

"4" - When a RB scored in the top 4 game performances for fantasy points allowed by a defense.

"1" - Who had the best fantasy game against a defense over the past year. There could only by 32 such events since each defense can only allow one "best game".

BTA - Simply adding up the 1, 4 and 8 values for a numerical expression of how effective a running back truly was last year against all other players in his position. The strength of schedule doesn't matter. Only what a player produced against all other players in that position against that defense. It is a measurement of player ability against the others in his position.

Multiple "Best Games"
Adrian Peterson 5
Arian Foster 2
Marshawn Lynch 2
Ray Rice 2
C.J. Spiller 2
Doug Martin 2
Jamaal Charles 2
Ahmad Bradshaw 2
Chris Johnson 2

This metric is telling about the role of the running back. There are few major studs anymore and only Peterson had more than two games where he outperformed all other backs against that defense for 2012. The only seemingly absent name from the list of backs who had more than one "best" game against a defense was Alfred Morris who did it only once.

C.J. Spiller is hard for some to expect a repeat from his fine 2012 but in fairness, he was able to turn in 10 performances that ranked in the top 8 for a defense. Doug Martin's BTA was a little lower than his actual ranking as was Trent Richardson. What is nice is that almost all of the top backs in the BTA ranking will be playing in the same offensive scheme with the same coaches as last year. And in the case of Jamaal Charles and C.J. Spiller, there are solid reasons to expect that their new offenses will treat them even better than the old one. There was a lot of change in the running back elite last year but only because of a freakish rookie class that is highly unlikely to happen again this year. The results should be more consistent for 2013.

And a pretty good reason to take a top ten running back before it quickly gets much less productive.

NAME BTA   1     4     8   NAME BTA   1     4     8   NAME BTA   1     4     8  
Adrian Peterson 28 5 10 13 Reggie Bush 8 0 2 6 Michael Bush 4 0 1 3
Arian Foster 23 2 8 13 Shonn Greene 8 1 3 4 Vick Ballard 4 0 1 3
Marshawn Lynch 19 2 7 10 Darren Sproles 7 0 2 5 Bilal Powell 3 0 0 3
Ray Rice 18 2 6 10 LeSean McCoy 7 0 1 6 Danny Woodhead 3 0 1 2
Alfred Morris 17 1 6 10 Michael Turner 7 0 2 5 Jackie Battle 3 0 1 2
C.J. Spiller 17 2 5 10 Andre Brown 6 0 3 3 Marcel Reece 3 0 1 2
Doug Martin 16 2 5 9 Steven Jackson 6 0 1 5 Michael Tolbert 3 0 1 2
Jamaal Charles 15 2 5 8 Bryce Brown 5 1 2 2 Ryan Grant 3 1 1 1
Stevan Ridley 15 1 6 8 DeAngelo Williams 5 0 2 3 Ben Tate 2 0 1 1
Trent Richardson 15 1 6 8 DeMarco Murray 5 0 1 4 Brandon Bolden 2 0 1 1
Ahmad Bradshaw 13 2 4 7 Felix Jones 5 0 1 4 Cedric Benson 2 0 0 2
Matt Forte 13 0 5 8 Fred Jackson 5 1 1 3 David Wilson 2 0 1 1
Chris Johnson 12 2 4 6 Knowshon Moreno 5 0 2 3 Isaac Redman 2 0 1 1
Frank Gore 10 0 2 8 Willis McGahee 5 1 1 3 Joique Bell 2 0 0 2
BenJarvus Green-Ellis 9 0 3 6 Beanie Wells 4 1 1 2 Kevin Smith 2 0 1 1
Mikel Leshoure 9 1 2 6 LaRod Stephens-Howling 4 0 2 2 Montell Owens 2 0 0 2
Darren McFadden 8 1 2 5 Maurice Jones-Drew 4 0 2 2 Shane Vereen 2 0 1 1


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