The Value of Things: Fantasy Running Back Projections


There are a number of ways to watch the fantasy screenings. I’m definitely not a fantasy football expert. However, we can get a good idea of ​​popular expectations for the Texans and other teams by comparing fantasy projections across the board. Eventually we start to see a pattern emerge and these patterns represent the collective wisdom of tipsters. Individually, they may not be smarter than any of us. Collectively, it’s compelling if they’re all saying the same thing.

We’ll be looking at the projections from Yahoo, ESPN, and Fantasypros for running backs when it comes to rushing. I would also include receiving, but we’ve already looked at quarterbacks and those receiving yards will ultimately fit in there. We’ll compare running backs to last season, to other teams in the division, and to other top running backs in the rookie class with Dameon Pierce. Screenings will be listed alphabetically (ESPN, Fantasypros, Yahoo) with the composite as the fourth number. First, let’s look at last season.

Rushing yards – 1,422 (DAL)

Rushed Touchdowns – 8 (tie for 31st)

For those reading this for the first time, DAL stands for dead ass last. So obviously there’s nowhere to go but up. We’ll be looking at the running backs room at three depths. This will not include random yards gained by Davis Mills or any of the receivers or running backs after the top three guys. However, the numbers should speak for themselves.

Marlon Mack—666/4, 616/4, 913/5, 732/4

Dameon Pierce—585/4, 514/3, 412/2, 504/3

Rex Burkhead—234/2. 305/2, 236/2, 258/2

Texans total yards: 1,494 (31st)

Texans touchdowns: 9 (31st)

It doesn’t look like much of an improvement here, but there are a few things we need to keep in mind. Almost all teams distribute the ball to more guards than this and many teams have quarterbacks who contribute heavily to their running game. The Texans likely won’t make it to those teams, but Mills has contributed 44 yards on 11 starts. Maybe he finds his way almost 100 meters away. Maybe the other running backs and wide receivers combine for 100 yards. 1,700 total rushing yards feels like some sort of improvement.

Obviously, the pundits don’t think much about our running offense, but the Texans gave them very little reason to. The DAL finished rushing in 2020 and 2021 and they added a back from a torn Achilles tendon and a back they picked in the fourth round. Their best rusher last season was a glorified third down in New England. To give you an idea, we took the three best guards from the rest of the division and added them together like we did with the Texans.

AFC South

Indianapolis Colts— 1972/17, 2147/18, 1932/15, 2017/17

Tennessee Titans— 1853/13, 2189/16, 1985/17. 2009/15

Jacksonville Jaguars— 1481/11, 1502/11, 1226/7, 1403/10

Houston Texans – 1,485/10, 1,435/9. 1561/9. 1493/9

So, Texans and Jaguars look a lot alike. Trevor Lawrence contributes more to the running game than Davis Mills. He had 334 rushing yards last season, so we could conservatively add about 400 rushing yards to the Jaguars’ total to give an idea of ​​where they might end up. They won’t be as good as the Colts or the Titans, but they’ll finish well ahead of the Texans if those projections are correct.

A look at the rookies

There were eleven running backs selected between the second and fourth rounds of the draft. We will eliminate Pierre Strong because most projection systems do not play it. Dameon Pierce was the seventh running back taken, so he should theoretically be in the middle of the pack in terms of expectations. Recruits are listed in the order they were taken.

Breece Hall – 1,059/6, 954/6, 922/6

Kenneth Walker—685/4. 702/5, 793/5

James Cook—374/3. 440/3. 550/3

Rachaad White—324/3, 373/4, 406/2

Tyrion Davis-Price—245/2, 201/2, 397/2

Brian Robinson—413/4, 405/3, 241/1

Dameon Pierce—585/4, 514/3, 412/2

Zamir White— 294/3, 269/2, 429/2

Isiah Spiller—546/4, 398/3, 550/3

Haasan Haskins—220/1, 203/1, 263/2

You can make a very specific argument for Pierce being the fourth-best recruit in the class based on those numbers. Of course, numbers like these are mostly a function of opportunity, so who knows if Pierce is actually the fourth-best running back. However, aside from Breece Hall and Kenneth Walker, there’s clearly no one better than him heading the ball.

The final verdict

Nick Caserio was methodical in rebuilding the roster. Essentially, he slowly got rid of the dead weight. Some people may think he did it too slowly and running back was one of those places. He kept David Johnson a year too long. Signing Philip Lindsay was a mistake. So we put those mistakes aside and hope that Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack are decent enough football players.

Replacing bad soccer players with mediocre ones makes you better. If you make it to enough positions, it might even translate to an extra win or two along the way. The truth is that this team is still a work in progress. The top-flight running back who will be the next Arian Foster is playing in college somewhere right now. It could come in 2023 or 2024, but it’s not here now. Hopefully the three guys they have will be decent enough until those days come.

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