Chris Ivory is poised to enter the top tier
The last couple weeks we’ve used front-adjusted rushing numbers to paint a more accurate picture of running back efficiency and gain insight into usage. Two weeks ago we pointed to Dion Lewis as the type of runner that could shoulder a larger role than Shane Vereen ever had. Last week we told you that Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill would continue in a timeshare, Chris Johnson was likely to maintain his lead back status even when Andre Ellington returns, and that Doug Martin was running well enough to put up a big fantasy week.
This week we’re going to break down the rushing numbers through Week 4 a little differently. Instead of adjusting rushing efficiency (yards per carry) for defensive front faced, we’re going to put down & distance into context. To give you an idea of how much down & distance affect rushing efficiency, in 2014 the average YPC for rushes on 1st & 10, 2nd & 5, and 3rd & 1 were 4.3, 4.5, and 3.0, respectively. By comparing rushers actual YPC to their expected YPC based on down & distance (Down & Distance Expected Yards Per Carry, or DDEYPC), we get a more accurate picture of efficiency than if we simply put two runners’ YPC side-by-side.