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Better Than Average (BTA) Rankings - Running Backs
David Dorey
June 1, 2009
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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"
Brandon Jacobs 3
LaDainian Tomlinson 3
Steven Jackson 3
Michael Turner 2

Given the large amount of running backs that every defense faces, having more than one "best game" against a team is an achievement. LaDainian Tomlinson may have felt like a disappointment last year, but he still ranks very high in BTA and should be healthier this year (and older sadly). Long as Brandon Jacobs stays healthy, he's another runner that excels against his opponents. What number means the most for a running back is how many times he was in the top 8. That shows how often he was truly better than average.

There were only five runners that were above average most of the time and most surprising was Matt Forte who had a horrible rushing schedule and little passing to concern the defenses. And yet, he was consistently solid thanks to his heavy workload including being a receiver. One player to watch is Steven Jackson since he missed four games and was injured in several others. He still turned in several big games when he was healthy. A small surprise? Adrian Peterson only had one game when he had more fantasy points than any other runner had against that defense. He only had two of those in 2007.

NAME   1     4     8   BTA NAME   1     4     8   BTA     1     4     8   BTA
DeAngelo Williams 3 7 10 20 Larry Johnson 1 2 3 6 Tim Hightower 0 1 2 3
Michael Turner 2 5 10 17 LenDale White 1 1 4 6 Ahmad Bradshaw 0 1 1 2
Brandon Jacobs 3 5 8 16 Mewelde Moore 1 2 3 6 BenJarvus Green-Ellis 0 1 1 2
LaDainian Tomlinson 3 5 7 15 Peyton Hillis 0 3 3 6 Carnell Williams 0 1 1 2
Clinton Portis 1 4 9 14 Ronnie Brown 1 2 3 6 Darren Sproles 0 0 2 2
Maurice Jones-Drew 1 4 9 14 Ryan Grant 0 2 4 6 Earnest Graham 0 0 2 2
Thomas Jones 1 5 8 14 Willie Parker 1 1 4 6 Felix Jones 0 1 1 2
Adrian Peterson 1 4 8 13 Cedric Benson 0 1 4 5 Fred Jackson 0 0 2 2
Chris Johnson 1 4 8 13 Darren McFadden 0 2 3 5 J.J. Arrington 0 1 1 2
Matt Forte 0 4 9 13 Joseph Addai 0 2 3 5 Jamaal Charles 0 0 2 2
Brian Westbrook 1 5 6 12 Kevin Faulk 0 1 4 5 LaMont Jordan 0 1 1 2
Steve Slaton 1 3 8 12 Kevin Smith 0 1 4 5 P.J. Pope 0 1 1 2
Frank Gore 0 3 8 11 Leon Washington 0 1 3 4 Patrick Cobbs 0 1 1 2
Steven Jackson 3 4 4 11 Sammy Morris 0 0 4 4 Warrick Dunn 0 0 2 2
Marion Barber 1 4 5 10 Deuce McAllister 0 1 2 3 Alvin Pearman 0 0 1 1
Marshawn Lynch 0 4 6 10 Edgerrin James 0 1 2 3 Antonio Pittman 0 0 1 1
Le'Ron McClain 0 3 6 9 Jamal Lewis 0 1 2 3 Chester Taylor 0 0 1 1
Pierre Thomas 1 3 5 9 Julius Jones 0 1 2 3 Chris Perry 0 0 1 1
Tashard Choice 1 3 3 7 Leonard Weaver 1 1 1 3 DeShaun Foster 0 0 1 1
Willis McGahee 1 3 3 7 Maurice Morris 0 1 2 3 Jason Wright 0 0 1 1
Correll Buckhalter 0 2 4 6 Michael Bush 0 1 2 3 Jerious Norwood 0 0 1 1
Derrick Ward 0 1 5 6 Reggie Bush 0 0 3 3 Ray Rice 0 0 1 1
Dominic Rhodes 0 2 4 6 Ricky Williams 0 1 2 3 Rudi Johnson 0 0 1 1
Jonathan Stewart 0 2 4 6 Tatum Bell 1 1 1 3 T.J. Duckett 0 0 1 1

Related Articles

* Ease of Schedule for Quarterbacks
* Ease of Schedule for Running Backs
* Ease of Schedule for Receivers
* Consistency Rankings
* NFL Draft Fantasy Review
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