Fantasy Football: The TRUTH About Fantasy RBs in 2018, Part 2
Every year The Fantasy Footballers take a deep dive into the TRUTH behind fantasy football finishes from the previous year. Which players were actually consistent? Who provided week-winning performances and who killed fantasy football teams everywhere? All this and more revealed!
The TRUTH Scoring
Player finish, fantasy points, and consistency percentages are based on Half PPR scoring.
Great Games are more than 22 points (top 5 on average)
Good Games are more than 10 points (top 24 on average)
Bust Games are fewer than 7 points (outside top 50 on average)
Below are RBs 11 and on. Read about the top 10 RBs in Part 1.
11. Kareem Hunt – Consistency Rank #7
11 games — 181/824/7 — 26/378/7 on 35 targets
Great 36% | Good 91% | Bust 9%
Defenses:-7.64 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (18.92)/Road (20.43) Split: -1.51 at Home
When Kareem Hunt was playing for the Chiefs from Weeks 1-11, he was the RB3 in half PPR scoring. There’s no debate that Hunt was an elite and consistent back in fantasy football when still on the Kansas City roster, but his off the field situation certainly leaves lots of room for debate. Hunt will face a suspension this off-season and has the potential to be picked up as a free agent at some point before the 2019 season kicks off. The fact that he still finished as the RB11 in fantasy despite just playing in eleven games speaks to the fact that the Kansas City running back is extremely valuable for fantasy. It remains to be seen if Damien Williams will be the full-time starter in 2019, but based off how he and teammate Spencer Ware have performed in Hunt’s absence, the Chiefs’ starting back will be a hot commodity moving forward due to the high octane offense. In the words of the great Mike Wright, “I’m all about drafting Kansas City running back…”
12. Phillip Lindsay – Consistency Rank #16
15 games — 192/1037/9 — 35/241/1 on 47 targets
Great 13% | Good 60% | Bust 20%
Defenses: -3.05 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
7 games vs Top 16 (12.06)
8 games vs Bot 16 (15.11)
Home (12.3) /Road Split (14.9) : -2.6 at Home
Phillip Lindsay absolutely exploded onto the scene in 2018 and had a season to remember, finishing as the RB12 in fantasy football. Despite the off-season hype surrounding teammate, Royce Freeman, Lindsay established himself early as a locked and loaded every week starter in your lineup. The thing to remember about Lindsay is that his production slowed towards the end of the season. Did he hit a rookie wall? Did he start to wear down, and his play suffered? Lindsay will likely have every opportunity to answer these questions looking forward to 2019. Another thing to consider is that there is a new coaching staff in Denver, so his usage and role in the offense could change if the coaching staff prefers a “prototypical” bigger back like a Royce Freeman.
13. Tarik Cohen – Consistency Rank #20
16 games — 99/444/3 — 71/725/5 on 91 targets — 1 yard TD pass
Great 13% | Good 63% | Bust 31%
Defenses: -3.37 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (13.78)/Road (11.24) Split: +2.54 at Home
Cohen was a bit up and down in 2018, primarily because of his lack of usage in the rushing game (just 99 carries). His real value came in the air catching passes from Mitchell Trubisky, and naturally, when you’re talking about a pass catching back, there is some variance on a week to week basis. This is partially because of the game script and game planning where there were some bigger ‘Tarik Cohen’ games and some bigger ‘Jordan Howard‘ games. Cohen’s strong scoring in 2018 may raise his price tag in drafts next season, but is he worth drafting as his RB2 given his lack of consistency and 31% bust rate?
14. Derrick Henry – Consistency Rank #32
16 games — 215/1059/12 — 15/99/0 on 18 targets
Great 13% | Good 50% | Bust 50%
Defenses: -5.27 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (14.59)/Road (9.82) Split: +4.77 at Home
The ultimate fantasy football enigma is Derrick Henry, a guy who busted literally half the time! Henry started slow but finished strong during a historic December where he absolutely torched the defenses he faced. The real issue surrounding Derrick Henry is that his usage is just too inconsistent, making him extremely difficult to trust given his 50% bust rate and 32 overall consistency rank. How polarizing was Henry’s 2018 season? 48% of his fantasy points came in Weeks 14-16 and he didn’t even surpass 65 TOTAL YARDS until Week 14. If the Titans’ staff uses the final three games of the year as a signal to give him more carries, there’s a chance Henry could be what we all hoped he could be, but until that happens, Henry is probably one of the most difficult players to trust in fantasy football.
15. Chris Carson – Consistency Rank #14
13 games — 247/1151/9 — 20/163/0 on 24 targets
Great 14% | Good 71% | Bust 21%
Defenses: -4.36 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (15.15)/Road (12.37) Split: +2.78 at Home
Chris Carson was just solid in 2018, serving as a perfect RB2 in your fantasy lineup. He finished as the 14th most consistent back in fantasy on the back of his 71% “Good” game finishes. The truth about Carson is that he plays on the team who rushed the ball the most in the NFL, making his volume safe if he can continue to hold off Rashaad Penny in 2019. With the Seahawks spending a 1st round pick on Penny in 2018, there’s a chance Seattle gives Penny the chance to win the job over Carson next season. There’s certainly risk in drafting Carson in 2019 due to Penny lurking in the background, but if Seattle commits to Carson again in 2019, he’ll be a consistent and reliable back for fantasy once again.
16. Nick Chubb – Consistency Rank #9
*(Consistency Rank starting in Week 7) **only 16 total rushes in Weeks 1-6 combined
16 games — 192/996/8 — 20/149/2 on 29 targets
Great 20% | Good 80% | Bust 10%
Defenses: -9.85 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
9 games vs Top 16 (7.21)
7 games vs Bot 16 (17.06)
Home (10.49)/Road (12.55) Split: -2.06 at Home
It was a slow start to the year for the rookie out of Georgia, but he sure finished strong, probably helping you on your way to a #FootClanTitle. Carlos Hyde was the starter in Cleveland for the first half of the season but when Chubb took over the starting job when Hyde was traded to Jacksonville, he was awesome for fantasy. He finished as the 9th most consistent back in fantasy due to only busting in 10% of his games while finishing with a “Good” game 80% of the time. To speak to how good Chubb was, he had the highest elusive rating for players with 60+ attempts (he had 192) according to Pro Football Focus. Chubb will be a popular fantasy football draft pick in 2019 due to what we saw in 2018. The Browns are an up-and-coming on offense and Baker Mayfield should take a step forward as well.
17. Kenyan Drake – Consistency Rank #28
16 games — 120/535/4 — 53/477/5 on 73 targets
Great 13% | Good 50% | Bust 31%
Defenses: +3.96 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (8.01)/Road (13.3) Split: -5.29 at Home
Drake’s 2018 season will likely be remembered for his puzzling usage, or lack thereof, in Adam Gase’s offense. Drake was the ultimate roller coaster at the running back position, busting 31% of the time on his way to a 28th overall ranking in consistency. He had SEVEN games under 55 total yards, and scored a total of just one TD in those seven games. With a new coaching staff getting established in Miami, there is hope for Drake in 2019 if his usage increases. If they commit to Drake as the primary ball carrier, he’s certainly got the upside to be a weekly fantasy starter, but that remains to be seen.
18. Adrian Peterson – Consistency Rank #31
16 games — 251/1042/7 — 20/208/1 on 26 targets
Great 13% | Good 44% | Bust 38%
Defenses: -0.6 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (9.46)/Road (13.41) Split: -3.95 at Home
When you consider Adrian Peterson’s age and the multitude of injuries on the Redskins offense in 2018, it was actually a relatively impressive season for the 33-year-old veteran. He racked up over 1,000 yards on his way to an RB18 overall finish, providing a nice draft value after Derrius Guice went down with a torn ACL in August before the season started. Guice will most certainly be the team’s starter, but AP should be able to find work as a backup or depth player at the running back position either with Washington or another franchise in the NFL.
19. Tevin Coleman – Consistency Rank #21 (Tied for 21)
16 games — 167/800/4 — 32/276/5 on 44 targets
Great 6% | Good 56% | Bust 25%
Defenses: -3.81 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (11.66)/Road (10.54) Split: +1.12 at Home
You could argue that Tevin Coleman was the most disappointing running back in fantasy given his upside and opportunity to be the every-down back for the Falcons after Devonta Freeman went down with an injury early in the season. Despite being the “lead” back, he only got 167 rush attempts all season, leaving us to wonder why he didn’t get the ball more often. In a contract year and as an impending free agent, Coleman’s poor performance probably cost him a lot of money in free agency. Given that the team decided to extend Freeman’s contract, Coleman is likely to sign with a new franchise in 2019, but he may not be “the guy” like we all thought he would be.
20. Jordan Howard – Consistency Rank #21 (Tied for 21)
16 games — 250/935/9 — 20/145/0 on 27 targets
Great 6% | Good 56% | Bust 25%
Defenses: +0.14 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (8.96)/Road (12.54) Split: -3.58 at Home
Jordan Howard’s best games came at the end of the season when the team finally committed to giving him more volume each week, but early in the year, you never knew when you could put Howard in your lineup. His usage in the passing game at the start of the season was intriguing, but that quickly fell off and became inconsistent, leaving fantasy owners unsure of when to play Howard. Jordan Howard’s nine rushing TDs helped to stabilize his value, but the truth about Howard is that it’s just tough to know when those big games are going to come.
21. Marlon Mack – Consistency Rank #18
12 games — 195/908/9 — 17/103/1 on 26 targets
Great 25% | Good 58% | Bust 25%
Defenses: +12.88 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
7 weeks vs Top 16 (19.5)
5 weeks vs Bot 16 (6.62)
Home (15.9)/Road (12.37) Split: +3.53 at Home
22. Lamar Miller – Consistency Rank #15
14 games — 210/973/5 — 25/163/1 on 35 targets
Great 7% | Good 64% | Bust 21%
Defenses: -1.07 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (14.64)/Road (8.51) Split: +6.13 at Home
23. Aaron Jones – Consistency Rank #23
12 games — 133/728/8 — 26/206/1 on 35 targets
Great 17% | Good 58% | Bust 33%
Defenses: -8.08 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
5 weeks vs Top 16 (8.66)
7 weeks vs Bot 16 (16.74)
Home (16.16)/Road (11.39) Split: +4.77 at Home
24. Austin Ekeler – Consistency Rank #30
14 games — 106/554/3 — 39/404/3 on 53 targets
Great 0% | Good 50% | Bust 36%
Defenses: -3.63 vs Top 16 Rush DEF
Home (14.43)/Road (7.19) Split: +7.24 at Home