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Better Than Average (BTA) Rankings For Running Backs
David Dorey
June 28, 2011
 

Other BTA Rankings:  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 2010 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"
Arian Foster 4
Adrian Peterson 3
Peyton Hillis 3
Michael Turner 2
Chris Johnson 2
Darren McFadden 2
Jamaal Charles 2
Ahmad Bradshaw 2

Given the large amount of running backs that every defense faces, having more than one "best game" against a team is an achievement. 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.

Last year saw fewer backs with bigger numbers and even those that did show up were often unforecasted surprises like Peyton Hillis and Arian Foster. The addition of Darren McFadden and BenJarvus Green-Ellis are an indication of just how unpredictable this position is getting. Just wait until after this season.

NAME BTA   1     4     8   NAME BTA   1     4     8   NAME BTA   1     4     8  
Arian Foster 24 4 8 12 L.Tomlinson 7 0 1 6 Correll Buckhalter 2 0 1 1
Adrian Peterson 19 3 7 9 Mike Tolbert 7 0 1 6 Jerome Harrison 2 0 1 1
Peyton Hillis 17 3 5 9 Brandon Jackson 6 0 2 4 Justin Forsett 2 0 1 1
Michael Turner 17 2 6 9 Christopher Ivory 6 0 2 4 Keiland Williams 2 0 1 1
LeSean McCoy 16 1 6 9 Michael Bush 5 1 2 2 Marcel Reece 2 0 1 1
Rashard Mendenhall 16 1 6 9 Maurice Morris 5 0 2 3 Rashad Jennings 2 0 1 1
Chris Johnson 15 2 5 8 Mike Goodson 5 0 2 3 Ronnie Brown 2 0 1 1
Maurice Jones-Drew 15 1 6 8 Pierre Thomas 5 0 2 3 Willis McGahee 2 0 1 1
Matt Forte 14 1 5 8 Tim Hightower 5 0 2 3 Carnell Williams 2 0 0 2
Darren McFadden 13 2 4 7 Felix Jones 5 0 1 4 Danny Woodhead 2 0 0 2
BenJarvus Green-Ellis 13 1 3 9 Thomas Jones 5 0 1 4 Jonathan Stewart 2 0 0 2
Jamaal Charles 12 2 4 6 Jason Snelling 4 1 1 2 Tashard Choice 2 0 0 2
Ahmad Bradshaw 11 2 3 6 Brian Westbrook 4 0 1 3 Bernard Scott 1 0 0 1
Frank Gore 11 1 2 8 Brandon Jacobs 3 0 1 2 Clinton Portis 1 0 0 1
Steven Jackson 11 1 2 8 John Kuhn 3 0 1 2 DeAngelo Williams 1 0 0 1
Knowshon Moreno 11 0 5 6 Joseph Addai 3 0 1 2 Earnest Graham 1 0 0 1
Fred Jackson 10 1 3 6 Marshawn Lynch 3 0 1 2 Isaac Redman 1 0 0 1
Ray Rice 10 1 3 6 Ricky Williams 3 0 1 2 James Davis 1 0 0 1
Cedric Benson 10 0 3 7 Ryan Mathews 3 0 1 2 Joe McKnight 1 0 0 1
Jahvid Best 9 1 2 6 Shonn Greene 3 0 1 2 Toby Gerhart 1 0 0 1
Ryan Torain 7 0 3 4 Donald Brown 3 0 0 3  
LeGarrette Blount 7 0 2 5 Javarris James 3 0 0 3


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