Running Backs: Get What You Pay For

Running Backs: Get What You Pay For
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Running Backs: Get What You Pay For

With running back by committee and the emergence of the "Pass First" league, we decided to take a look at the running backs to determine if their on-the-field production is worth their cap hit value. We looked at the top running backs statistically across four categories (rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing yards per attempt, rushing touchdowns) from last year and compared them with each players cap hit for 2013, as well as the average draft auction price.

Note: Team identification represents the team(s) the 2012 statistics represent.

Average Auction Price*: Average of ESPN and Yahoo! average draft cost as of 8/11/13

Rushing Attempts Leaders

The top 5 rushing attempt leaders all have over 300 attempts last season bringing their average attemps per game to to over 19. The average going auction rate for Foster is larger than it is for Peterson by $10, but on the flip side Peterson's cap hit is much larger than Foster's cap hit. So all-in-all between those two players you are going to get what you pay for.

Due to Aflred Morris' breakout rookie season last year, he is a no-brainer at the best value for rushing attempts. With the 106th largest cap hit and his average price at $45 (the lowest of the top 5 running backs), Morris has the greatest potential to be the best value going forward.

Player Games Rushing Attempts Attempts/Game 2013 Cap Hit (rank) average Auction Price*
Arian Foster
(HOU)
16 351 21.93 $8,250,000 (5) $68.95
Adrian Peterson
(MIN)
16 348 21.75 $13,900,000 (1) $58.75
Alfred Morris
(WAS)
16 335 20.94 $510,775 (106) $45.00
Doug Martin
(TB)
16 319 19.94 $1,542,620 (32) $54.40
Marshawn Lynch
(SEA)
16 315 19.67 $8,500,000 (4) $53.75

Honorable Mention: Stevan Ridley (290), Jamaal Charles (285)

Get What You Pay For Adrian Peterson
Best Value Alfred Morris

 

Rushing Yards Leaders

The top 5 rushing yard leaders were all averaging over 90 yards per game. You will get what you paid for when drafting Peterson, having rushed for over 2,000 and having the largest cap hit in 2013. Great value comes from Alfred Morris and Doug Martin with low cap hits, but Morris is the obvious best value overall due to his low average auction price for the amount of yards he could potentially running in 2013.

Player Games Rushing YArds (2011-2012) Yards/Game 2013 Cap Hit (rank) average Auction Price*
Adrian Peterson
(MIN)
16 2,097 131.06 $13,900,000 (1) $58.75
Alfred Morris
(WAS)
16 1,613 100.81 $510,775 (106) $45.00
Marshawn Lynch
(SEA)
16 1,590 99.38 $8,500,000 (4) $53.75
Jamaal Charles
(KC)
16 1,509 94.31 $4,333,333 (13) $52.15
Doug Martin
(TB)
16 1,454 90.88 $1,542,620 (32) $54.40

Honorable Mention: Arian Foster (1,424), Stevan Ridley (1,263)

Get What You Pay For Adrian Peterson
Best Value Alfred Morris

 

Rushing Yards Per Attempt Leaders

In 2012, we saw the emergence of second string running backs taking over. C.J. Spiller rushed for 6 yards per carry and has been upgraded to the starting running back in 2013. While Pierce and Brown have lower cap hits than Spiller, Spiller becoming the starting RB makes him the best value. Adrian Peterson also rushed for 6 yards per carry, and with him you are going to get what you pay for. Wiile Charles had a better rushing attempts average than Lynch, Lynch had more attempts than Charles - so Charles could be the better value between those two running backs due to his lower cap hit as well as lower auction average.

Player Attempts Rushing Yards/Attempt 2013 cap hit (rank) average Auction Price*
C.J. Spiller
(BUF)
207 6 $3,718,750 (15) $50.80
Adrian Peterson
(MIN)
348 6 $13,900,000 (1) $58.75
Jamaal Charles
(KC)
285 5.3 $4,333,333 (13) $52.15
Marshawn Lynch
(SEA)
315 5 $8,500,000 (4) $53.75
Bernard Pierce
(BAL)
108 4.9 $618,986 (82) $1.30
Bryce Brown
(PHI)
115 4.9 $492,720 (109) $3.90

Honorable Mention: Alfred Morris (4.8), Frank Gore (4.7)

Get What You Pay For Adrian Peterson
Best Value C.J. Spiller

 

Rushing Touchdowns Leaders

Over 10 rushing touchdowns by the top rushing leaders, and we all know touchdown are where the fantasy points are key. Three running backs stand out with potential best value: Alfred Morris, Stevan Ridley, and Trent Richardson. However, with an extremely cap hit, Alfred Morris is the better value, followed by Stevan Ridley whose average auction value very low compared to the top rushing touchdown leaders. Peterson and Foster are again at the top of the leaders, but with a lower cap hit and having rushed for three more touchdowns than Peterson, you will get what you pay for with Arian Foster.

Player Games Rushing Touchdowns Rushing TD/Game 2013 cap hit (rank) average Auction Price*
Arian Foster
(HOU)
16 15 0.93 $8,250,000 (5) $50.80
Alfred Morris
(WAS)
16 13 0.81 $510,775 (106) $45.00
Adrian Peterson
(MIN)
16 12 0.75 $13,900,000 (1) $58.75
Stevan Ridley
(NE)
16 12 0.75 $805,500 (55) $29.60
Trent Richardson
(CLE)
15 11 0.73 $4,656,604 (12) $45.55
Marshawn Lynch
(SEA)
16 11 0.69 $8,500,000 (4) $53.75
Doug Martin
(TB)
16 11 0.69 $1,542,620 (32) $54.40

Honorable Mention: Michael Turner (10), Ray Rice (9), Mikel Leshoure (9), Frank Gore (9)

Get What You Pay For Arian Foster
Best Value Alfred Morris

 

Conclusion

With a "Pass First" league, it is no doubt that when a team finds a diamond in the rough at running back, they are (for the most part) getting what they paid for - statisticall as well as cap hit value.

Our overall "get what you pay for" goes to Adrian Peterson. Having been on every list above and having had such an unbelievable rushing season in 2012, the Vikings as well as anyone drafting Peterson is going to pay for his production.

Our overall "best value" goes Alfred Morris. Having had such a breakout rookie season, Morris has set himself up with the best value based on his extremely low cap hit and relatively low average auction price compared to the higher ranked running backs.

Get What You Pay For Adrian Peterson
Best Value Alfred Morris



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