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Better Than Average (BTA) Rankings - Running Backs
David Dorey
June 21, 2010
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Other BTA Positions:  Quarterback  |  Running Back  |  Wide Receiver  |  Tight End

Better Than Average (BTA) was developed to show how players truly rank between themselves by looking at every game from 2009 and for each defense and determining three things:

"8" - Which players scored in the top 8 game performances for fantasy points allowed by a defense to a particular position. Basically, which players had an above average performance (top 8 in a 16 game season) that a defense gave up.

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

"1" - Who had the most fantasy points scored in a game against each defense last season. 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 to arrive at a numerical expression of how effective a running back truly was last year against all other players in his position. The ease or strength of schedule doesn't matter. Only what a player did against all other players in that position against that defense.

Multiple "Best Games"
Chris Johnson 6
Adrian Peterson 4
Ray Rice 2
DeAngelo Williams 2
Fred Jackson 2

Given the large amount of running backs that every defense faces, having more than one "best game" against a team is an achievement. Chris Johnson had a huge 2009 season while Adrian Peterson merely met high expectations. After that it was much less clear as to which backs were truly better compared to each other. The reliance on committee backfields by so many teams makes it nearly impossible to rack up many "best" or "top 4" performances against defenses and the top seven BTA backs are also all single backs who rarely share. In fact the top ten has only DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart on it while they both not only share, they do so with one another.

One of the more encouraging angles to this is that many of those top BTA runners were only in their first two or three years and should have many more to come.

NAME BTA   1     4     8   NAME BTA   1     4     8   NAME BTA   1     4     8  
Chris Johnson 28 6 9 13 Pierre Thomas 8 1 3 4 Tim Hightower 3 0 0 3
Adrian Peterson 23 4 7 12 Marion Barber 7 0 2 5 Felix Jones 3 0 1 2
Ray Rice 18 2 7 9 Ronnie Brown 7 1 2 4 Derrick Ward 3 0 1 2
Frank Gore 17 1 6 10 LaDainian Tomlinson 7 1 1 5 Michael Bush 3 0 1 2
Maurice Jones-Drew 14 1 5 8 Kevin Smith 6 0 1 5 Tashard Choice 2 0 1 1
Thomas Jones 14 0 5 9 Ahmad Bradshaw 6 0 3 3 Maurice Morris 2 0 1 1
Steven Jackson 13 0 4 9 Darren Sproles 6 1 2 3 Brandon Jackson 2 0 1 1
DeAngelo Williams 12 2 3 7 Justin Forsett 6 0 3 3 Ryan Moats 2 0 1 1
Jonathan Stewart 12 1 3 8 Beanie Wells 5 0 1 4 Fred Taylor 2 0 0 2
Cedric Benson 12 0 5 7 Matt Forte 5 0 1 4 Shonn Greene 2 0 1 1
Michael Turner 11 1 4 6 Arian Foster 5 1 2 2 Leonard Weaver 2 0 0 2
Joseph Addai 11 0 3 8 Steve Slaton 5 0 2 3 Clinton Portis 2 0 1 1
Ricky Williams 11 1 3 7 Laurence Maroney 5 0 1 4 Quinton Ganther 2 0 1 1
Fred Jackson 10 2 4 4 Jason Snelling 4 0 1 3 Rock Cartwright 2 0 1 1
Ryan Grant 10 1 3 6 Mike Bell 4 0 2 2 Marshawn Lynch 1 0 0 1
Willis McGahee 9 1 3 5 Reggie Bush 4 0 1 3 Jamal Lewis 1 0 0 1
Jerome Harrison 9 1 3 5 Brandon Jacobs 4 1 1 2 Correll Buckhalter 1 0 0 1
Jamaal Charles 9 1 2 6 LeSean McCoy 4 0 0 4 Darren McFadden 1 0 0 1
Rashard Mendenhall 9 1 2 6 Julius Jones 4 0 1 3 Justin Fargas 1 0 0 1
Knowshon Moreno 8 0 3 5 Carnell Williams 4 0 1 3 Willie Parker 1 0 0 1

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