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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Patrick Marleau

10/2011 RB Rankings

October 25th 2011 14:59
1. Adrian Peterson- And you thought I was going to put DeMarco Murray here. Seriously though, there is no back out there better than Peterson. He's everything you want in a pure rusher with his versatility in that he can blow by you, juke you out, and run you down 'till you fall flat on your face (the song is Madden 2003's "Suck It Up").

2. Jamaal Charles- The ACL tear sucks, and Charles is a monster who averaged only about six yards per carry last year.

3. Darren McFadden- Yeah, I'm boarding this train until it hits 'Frisco, cause he is tearing it up. He's nicked up too, but that doesn't deter from his overall value.

4. Arian Foster- He doesn't give a damn about your fantasy team either.

5. Chris Johnson- He's still top 5, but I've always thought he was a tad overrated.

6. Maurice Jones-Drew- A versatile back to say the least.

7. Ray Rice- Does a ton of damage with his hands and can make cuts inside; top back.

8. DeAngelo Williams- Too elusive for their not to be a bounce-back.

9. Fred Jackson- Good hands, and great overall ability. Finally getting some press thanks to a line that suddenly figured out how to block.

10. LeGarrette Blount- This is all purely based on skill, and Blount is extremely talented. He is so agile and strong that he's a new beast to defend against; it's amazing to think what he could do with an average line in front of him.

11. Matt Forte- While catching is his forte, he can run and is the team's focal point offensively; pay him.

12. Michael Turner- I wish I had him higher, but 12 is still really good.

13. Ryan Mathews- I am fully on the bandwagon.

14. Ahmad Bradshaw- Catches, blocks, and runs well.

15. Frank Gore- Is more effective when he doesn't get too many carries, as he is extremely explosive should get 15 carries to have optimal impact. He can't take the wear and tear very well, but he does add value in the receiving game.

16. Peyton Hillis- Has been invisible this year (not in a good way) and fumbles too much because of an unbalanced rushing style, but he does possess great blocking and has surprisingly good hands out of the backfield.

17. LeSean McCoy- Brings so much to the table as a pass-catcher and runs effectively.

18. Jonathan Stewart- Could afford to be a little higher, but he is an elusive back who is among the best ten pure rushers in the league.

19. Brandon Jacobs- Was insane last year and is one of the most punishing backs out there.

20. Steven Jackson- Workhorse.

21. Rashard Mendenhall- A little overrated but still an effective back who plays behind a horrible line.

22. Ryan Grant- The statistics don't always favor him, because people don't always look at the right stats. He is a solid player who gets the yardage his team needs.

23. Tim Hightower- Showing that my running back stat isn't full of crap.

24. Cedric Benson- He is an overrated back who is still solid but not as good as people think.

25. Joseph Addai- Underrated back who struggles with injuries but plays pretty well on the field. He is their only hope in the running game.

26. Chris Wells- I'm not ready to bring him into the top 20 yet, as he needs to show me some consistency first.

27. Michael Bush- Solid, bruising back.

28. James Starks- He really likes making me eat crow.

29. Chris Ivory- I think this guy can play and needs to get some time.

30. DeMarco Murray- I'm in but not all in.

31. BenJarvus Green-Ellis- Sold, albeit unspectacular moving-chains back.

32. Ben Tate- Explosive but not there yet.

33. Ryan Torain- Mike Shanahan and I know that he is better than people thought last year.

34. Mike Goodson- Man, the Panthers have a lot of wealth at the position.

35. Felix Jones- This is on the basis of his receiving skills and ability to break off the big play.

36. Mark Ingram- Better than the stats indicated.

37. Isaac Redman- Finally breaking out of the underrated shell.

38. Jackie Battle- Believe Chiefs, believe. No more Thomas Jones.

39. Marshawn Lynch- When he goes beast mode; it's over. Unfortunately, he doesn't go beast mode enough.

40. Pierre Thomas- New Orleans hasn't been treating him well recently.

9/27 NFL Rumors: Felix Jones injury update

September 27th 2011 14:58
So apparently, the dislocated shoulder that Felix Jones aggravated will not keep him out of next week's game. If it did, the Cowboys running game would go from subpar to really bad. Jones is an explosive back who is average at best, but his main asset comes as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. He, like Reggie Bush, adds another dimension to the Cowboys' offense and is an important safety valve when Romo is under pressure.

For those of you who can't bear watching Curtis Painter (every Colts fan), this could be bad news. Kerry Collins has yet to be cleared to play, and even though he has been poor this season; he's definitely a step above Painter. Although America's favorite quarterback was a terrific player at Purdue in college, he has left a lot to be desired on the football field. I do think that Painter has a chance to be a decent quarterback, as he has studied under Manning and his performances are under a small sample size. I mean, he's only played in three games and wasn't truly ready for those games. While Painter will most likely never be anything resembling a league-average quarterback, there is still hope.

We all know that Antonio Gates has been struggling with foot injuries recently, and he is set to visit a food (sic) specialist to make sure that he isn't doing further damage to his body. All we can do is hope for the best and wish Gates luck.

The reason why star back Arian Foster did not play in last week's game was because his hamstring tightened up. Head coach Gary Kubiak is confident that Foster will be able to play in next week's game. Yeah, that's always good news.
Should Play Week 4

To qualify a running back must have at least 100 carries. Thanks guys for your feedback, and feel free to comment and criticize. Do you think I should give an extra bonus to the guys with more carries? It seems as if the players in the 100-199 range have the advantage, but this is- after all- and efficiency stat. (The groupings should not be interpreted as tiers, as they are only used to make it look less messy)

1. Jamaal Charles 70
2. Brandon Jacobs 65.8
3. Darren McFadden 59.6
4. LeSean McCoy 59.3
5. Chris Ivory 58.8
6. Arian Foster 58.3
7. LeGarrette Blount 58.2
8. Adrian Peterson 57.2
9. Tim Hightower 55.4
10. BenJarvus Green-Ellis 54.5

11. Chris Johnson 53.7
12. Peyton Hillis 53
13. Ahmad Bradshaw 52.8
14. Matt Forte 52.6
15. Ryan Torain 52.1
16. Justin Forsett 51.1
17. Michael Bush 51.0
18. Maurice Jones-Drew 50.6
19t. Michael Turner 50.4
19t. Rashard Mendenhall 50.4
20. Ryan Mathews 50.3

21. Joseph Addai 50
22. Knowshon Moreno 49.9
23. Fred Jackson 49.6
24. Mike Goodson 49.5
25. Mike Tolbert 49.2
26. Steven Jackson 48.7
27. Ray Rice 48.2
28. Jonathan Stewart 47.6
29. LaDainian Tomlinson 47.5
30. Ricky Williams 46.8

31. Felix Jones 46.6
32. Frank Gore 46.5
33. Donald Brown 45.1
34. Shonn Greene 44.5
35. Marshawn Lynch 44.4
36. Ronnie Brown 43.6
37. Thomas Jones 43.3
38. Willis McGahee 43.1
39. Brandon Jackson 42.6
40. Carnell Williams 41.3
41. Cedric Benson 41.2
42. Beanie Wells 39.8
43t. Jahvid Best 39.3
43t. Marion Barber 39.3
44. Chester Taylor 31
Quietly spectacular 2010

I have finally formulated a decent looking total efficiency statistic to evaluate running backs. There is a huge craze over quarterback stats, but I decided to come up with a simple, yet efficient running back stat. It isn't great, but I think it is better than what we've had. It isn't objective only because of the way I account for the run blocking variable.

Yards per carry is the single most important statistic for a running back, and it's efficiency in its simplest point. However, running backs who carry the rock more tend to have lower yards per carry totals. Also, backs with poor lines- in terms of run blocking- in front of them take hits in that department. YPC also doesn't take into account fumbles or touchdowns either. Although both of those factors aren't as important as once thought, they are necessary to come up with a running back stat that can actually work.

I started searching around the web to find a website with run blocking stats, but there weren't any out there that didn't involve yards per carry. See, I want to find people who can correctly evaluate the skills of a line without taking into account what the running back does. The obvious set in, and the only way to do this is to find a scouting site with subjective information that isn't stat-based.

The only place to find such information, in the reliable fashion of course, is the Pro Football Focus. I went through their offensive line rankings for the 2010 season, and I only took into account their run blocking rankings. If I didn't, I would be an idiot and this stat would have absolutely no practical value at all.

The rankings aren't made by JAGs who don't know about football. No, the guys at PFF track insurmountable amounts of data and view plays over and over again. They certainly got their rankings right, and I had absolutely no major disagreements with them. The Pro Football Focus's data is, what I call, objectively subjective.

We can all agree that the Pittsburgh Steelers have a terrible offensive line, and Rashard Mendenhall's YPC doesn't benefit from their ineptitude. It was part of my reason for making this stat, as well as boredom and the sheer will power to try to do something like this. It really didn't take that much effort though. All I needed to do was to come up with a formula that made some sense, get out a calculator, and plug it all in.

For the initial steps, I only included running backs with at least 200 carries. It's not because of sample size or anything, it's just because I wanted to get a small sample of this stat. More importantly, I want to hear what you guys think about it. If enough of you guys like it, I'll do some more RBs.

Formula: 1/100(Carries/Fum 1) 10(YPC) (Carries/100) (PFF Team Run Blocking Rank/10)

I didn't want to make fumbles a big part of the ranking, and they only serve as a simple modifier. It's basically a watered down form of carries per fumble, because Ray Rice would have been the best back in the league if I didn't modify anything. I added an extra fumble to everyone so I wouldn't have to deal with the undefined with guys like Rice.

Yards per carry is the bread-and-butter stat, so it obviously deserves the most attention. I helped out the workhose backs like Steven Jackson and Michael Turner, because the stat would have favored the guys with less carries. Most efficiency stats tend to do that unless if there is a modifier that rewards consistency. But I made the reward just a slight increase, because this is an efficiency stat in its essence.

As for the PFF run blocking part, I wanted it to have a significant effect without it changing too much. A 3.1 increase- for a Steelers run blocking ranking of 31- was a fair enough reward for Mendenhall's hard work. The rankings are grouped into tiers based on the overall rating of the player. These rankings do not reflect my opinions at all. This is just a stat that is solely based on the 2010 rankings and are not indicators of a player's talent level. They just describe how good the player was that year.

The 2010 Rankings (PFF Ranking in parenthesis like so)

MVP Caliber 60

1. Jamaal Charles 70 (7)

All-Pro 55-59

2. Darren McFadden 59.6 (18)
3. LeSean McCoy 59.3 (11)
4. Arian Foster 58.3 (3)
5. LeGarrette Blount 58.2 (28)
6. Adrian Peterson 57.2 (27)

Very Good Starter 50-55

7. BenJarvus Green-Ellis 54.5 (2)
8. Chris Johnson 53.7 (32)
9. Peyton Hillis 53 (22)
10. Ahmad Bradshaw 52.8 (17)
11. Matt Forte 52.6 (21)
12. Maurice Jones-Drew 50.6 (9)
13t. Michael Turner 50.4 (14)
13t. Rashard Mendenhall 50.4 (31)

Average Starter 48-50

14. Fred Jackson 49.6 (26)
15. Steven Jackson 48.7 (29)
16. Ray Rice 48.2 (4)

Below Average 44-48

17. LaDainian Tomlinson 47.5 (1)
18. Frank Gore 46.5 (6)
19. Marshawn Lynch 44.4 (30)

Terrible 40-44

20. Ronnie Brown 43.6 (16)
21. Thomas Jones 43.3 (7)
22. Cedric Benson 41.2 (8)

Any and all feedback is appreciated! Thank you! Note: All raw stats from Yahoo! Sports.

Terrific season


Sorry for not posting yesterday. My computer got all messed up when I just finished my post that reviewed the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft. The post didn't go through, my computer broke down for some reason, and it has all left me quite angry at technology. I'll kick off May by looking at the best 20 players on the Texans. I did a post on their top 20 in November, and we'll see if there was a change. That post was on my other site Next to the players are their change in ranking.

1. WR Andre Johnson (Same

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