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Resume? He's been banged up and injured his entire career. He has 14 TDs over 3 seasons. He is very quickly becoming a bust - he was benched for fumbling, wasn't trusted at the goal line, pulled often in the 2 minute drill (for Ronnie Brown)... what resume?

You guys can keep hoping it's his year but I've moved on. He's soft.

It's a talent call. If you think he is an elite talent, I see your stance. If you don't, I don't; take the pick.

I've never been a huge Matthews fan, thought he was a reach when he was drafted, and have never owned him in any dynasty league. That said, in 2011 he absolutely was a difference maker. He's not in the top handful of RBs in the NFL IMO -- but that's not who we are comparing him to here. Writing him off as a bust and a guy worth less than mediocre rookie prospects is definitely "shiny new toy" syndrome. In Matthews' one reasonably healthy season, he finished as RB7 despite Tolbert having a massive vulture role. I'm not a big fan of the whole avoiding injury = talent argument, and that is the only reasonable argument for preferring 1.01 here. That gamble might pay off, but you're banking on Matthews continuing to get hurt. AND one of the rookies landing in a good situation, AND that guy not being a bust himself. Definitely a -EV play.
:goodposting:
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The 40% chance that a 1st round RB busts is taken into my valuation of the 1.01. I'll take that risk in exchange for a 3 years, when the vet is an injury risk who himself has yet to put it all together.

Mathews finished 2011 as RB7. That's not "putting it all together?"
He scored 191 fantasy points. That would have ranked 12th this year, 14th in 2010, 12th in 2009, 13th in 2008...There were a lot of RB injuries last year, perhaps due to the lockout, and it make Mathews' season look better than it actually was.
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I'm thinking about dealing away Arian Foster, but that's not necessarily the discussion I'd like to start. Once a RB has logged in 2,3,4 or 5 very successful seasons, what are the realistic chances that it's going to happen again the next season? I think a distinction can be made between guys who are other worldly talents, and guys that are just very good. Guys like LT2, ADP, Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk were obvious career holds because they were just outrageously talented. I'd prefer to talk about the guys that aren't in that category. i.e 99% of the RBs out there.Here's a quick breakdown on the number of players to reach career carry plateaus in the history of the NFL.4000+ carries. 1 Player. Emmitt Smith3000+ carries. 8 Players2000+ carries. 33 Players1500+ carries. 74 Players.Further clouding this issue than it already is, is looking at a guy like Travis Henry. He's 77th on the career carry list with 1488 carries. From a fantasy perspective almost half those carries are worthless. He had 2 highly productive seasons, and one more decent one. Those three seasons are about half of his career carries though. Just wondering if anybody has thought about this and if there is a respectable formula use as a best guess. Maybe I'm just trying to define something that just can't be defined. I dunno.

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Regarding Dynasty Rankings, has anyone been able to see the FBG ones recently? I click the link and it shows nothing for the last 14 days. I click the "here" button to see for the last 28 days and nothing happens.Back to your original programming...

http://subscribers.footballguys.com/apps/viewrankings.php?viewpos=rb&type=dynasty&howrecent=90I keep that link bookmarked (the 90 days), because you can always start old and sort to newer rankings, but as you discovered, you often can't start new and sort to older. If you really want to be safe, bookmark the 200 instead of the 90.

I'm thinking about dealing away Arian Foster, but that's not necessarily the discussion I'd like to start. Once a RB has logged in 2,3,4 or 5 very successful seasons, what are the realistic chances that it's going to happen again the next season? I think a distinction can be made between guys who are other worldly talents, and guys that are just very good. Guys like LT2, ADP, Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk were obvious career holds because they were just outrageously talented. I'd prefer to talk about the guys that aren't in that category. i.e 99% of the RBs out there.Here's a quick breakdown on the number of players to reach career carry plateaus in the history of the NFL.4000+ carries. 1 Player. Emmitt Smith3000+ carries. 8 Players2000+ carries. 33 Players1500+ carries. 74 Players.Further clouding this issue than it already is, is looking at a guy like Travis Henry. He's 77th on the career carry list with 1488 carries. From a fantasy perspective almost half those carries are worthless. He had 2 highly productive seasons, and one more decent one. Those three seasons are about half of his career carries though. Just wondering if anybody has thought about this and if there is a respectable formula use as a best guess. Maybe I'm just trying to define something that just can't be defined. I dunno.

I've largely abandoned a workload-focused mindset over the years. The correlations are just too weak. If you look at all 26 year old backs, the ones most likely to have the most carries left in their career are the ones who had the most carries to that point in their career. I'm agnostic about whether huge workloads in the short term can burn out an RB (The "curse of 370" is based on really poor statistical analysis and should never be mentioned again, but I do believe some crazy seasons like Larry Johnson or Ricky Williams have had can have a deleterious effect on a back). Outside of that one area, though, I'm a believer that it's simple aging, and not the steady accumulation of carries or "mileage", that finally catches up to everyone.
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Regarding Dynasty Rankings, has anyone been able to see the FBG ones recently? I click the link and it shows nothing for the last 14 days. I click the "here" button to see for the last 28 days and nothing happens.Back to your original programming...

http://subscribers.footballguys.com/apps/viewrankings.php?viewpos=rb&type=dynasty&howrecent=90I keep that link bookmarked (the 90 days), because you can always start old and sort to newer rankings, but as you discovered, you often can't start new and sort to older. If you really want to be safe, bookmark the 200 instead of the 90.

I'm thinking about dealing away Arian Foster, but that's not necessarily the discussion I'd like to start. Once a RB has logged in 2,3,4 or 5 very successful seasons, what are the realistic chances that it's going to happen again the next season? I think a distinction can be made between guys who are other worldly talents, and guys that are just very good. Guys like LT2, ADP, Emmitt Smith and Marshall Faulk were obvious career holds because they were just outrageously talented. I'd prefer to talk about the guys that aren't in that category. i.e 99% of the RBs out there.Here's a quick breakdown on the number of players to reach career carry plateaus in the history of the NFL.4000+ carries. 1 Player. Emmitt Smith3000+ carries. 8 Players2000+ carries. 33 Players1500+ carries. 74 Players.Further clouding this issue than it already is, is looking at a guy like Travis Henry. He's 77th on the career carry list with 1488 carries. From a fantasy perspective almost half those carries are worthless. He had 2 highly productive seasons, and one more decent one. Those three seasons are about half of his career carries though. Just wondering if anybody has thought about this and if there is a respectable formula use as a best guess. Maybe I'm just trying to define something that just can't be defined. I dunno.

I've largely abandoned a workload-focused mindset over the years. The correlations are just too weak. If you look at all 26 year old backs, the ones most likely to have the most carries left in their career are the ones who had the most carries to that point in their career. I'm agnostic about whether huge workloads in the short term can burn out an RB (The "curse of 370" is based on really poor statistical analysis and should never be mentioned again, but I do believe some crazy seasons like Larry Johnson or Ricky Williams have had can have a deleterious effect on a back). Outside of that one area, though, I'm a believer that it's simple aging, and not the steady accumulation of carries or "mileage", that finally catches up to everyone.
Perfect. Thanks.Though it would be nice (and proper) for some new FBG dynasty rankings.
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I've largely abandoned a workload-focused mindset over the years. The correlations are just too weak. If you look at all 26 year old backs, the ones most likely to have the most carries left in their career are the ones who had the most carries to that point in their career. I'm agnostic about whether huge workloads in the short term can burn out an RB (The "curse of 370" is based on really poor statistical analysis and should never be mentioned again, but I do believe some crazy seasons like Larry Johnson or Ricky Williams have had can have a deleterious effect on a back). Outside of that one area, though, I'm a believer that it's simple aging, and not the steady accumulation of carries or "mileage", that finally catches up to everyone.

Well said. I believe that to some degree breakthroughs in modern medicine (nutrition, training and rehab) have had some impact and offset the negative effects of large workloads. The poster boy is AP, who made an incredible comeback from a severe injury. Also consider that new practice rules that limit contact may have the net effect of leveling out large workloads as well.
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If you look at all 26 year old backs, the ones most likely to have the most carries left in their career are the ones who had the most carries to that point in their career.

I'm not sure this supports the idea that backs with lots of mileage aren't prone to breaking down so much as it supports the idea that talented backs tend to get a lot of carries. Who gets the most carries between the ages of 21-25? The elite talents like Peterson, Tomlinson, Johnson, Jackson, and Ricky. Who gets the most carries after that? The same guys. I don't think this proves that there's no effect of mileage so much as it proves that the best players of their age group are likely to still be the best players of their age group 5 years later. And that's not all that surprising or meaningful. Personally, I start to expect a decline around 1600 carries and/or 28 years old. This doesn't mean that a guy can't have 1-2 more great seasons after that, but those are the points where I start to expect some imminent decline in performance. The thing about a guy like Adrian Peterson is that he's so much better than the average NFL starter, he could lose some of his talent and still be good enough to grind out a couple Cedric Benson or Eddie George seasons. Peterson is starting to hit the marks where I get worried, so I'd be looking to shift him if someone thinks they're getting 3-4 years of top 5 production, but I do think that some combination of modern medicine and his own freak talent could see him staying productive for another 2-3 years.
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I'm staying on the Mathews train for one more stop. If he doesn't come flying out the gates in 13 I'll dump him for whatever I can get.Knowing that he'll probably be injured in the preseason and start on the PUP. :cry:

I think enough people are down on Mathews that he could present some good value right now. Particularly if you can buy from an owner ready to jump ship.I am not really high on him but he does have talent and could have some quality seasons ahead. The price will not likely be much lower than it is now.
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If you look at all 26 year old backs, the ones most likely to have the most carries left in their career are the ones who had the most carries to that point in their career.

Personally, I start to expect a decline around 1600 carries and/or 28 years old. This doesn't mean that a guy can't have 1-2 more great seasons after that, but those are the points where I start to expect some imminent decline in performance.
What evidence has caused you to come to this conclushion? What is so magical about 1600 carries?
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He's an all-pro who excelled in year one, absolutely DOMINATED in year 2, and repeated in year 3. As I said, from a strictly physical standpoint, Calvin is the only other guy who is simply physically impossible to cover.

Statistically, yes. Athletically, no. I don't think he's that impressive purely as an athlete. Strong and fast. Not very nimble or agile. He's not an explosive leaper like the top WRs or even a guy like Jimmy Graham, who is quite a bit quicker and more agile. Gronk is just really tall, strong, and fast for his height. A demon in the red zone. Doesn't impress me running routes or in the open field though. I know the numbers are there and I totally get why people are high on him, but I'm not really sold that he's one of the top players in the NFL despite what his production to date says. And I think he's going to continue to get himself hurt playing the way he does, which is my bigger concern. He's shown that he can put up silly numbers with Brady in the Pats offense. That can't really be denied at this point.
I feel the same about Gronk. I could easily imagine that if he went to another team or if NE lost Brady to injury or retirement, that Gronk would become a good, but far less awesome fantasy TE--more of a TE5 than a TE1.
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What is so magical about 1600 carries?

Nothing at all. Quite a few players have gone over that in recent years.It's just an approximate threshold. I might need to bump it back by about 300 carries because we're seeing more guys have 1-2 great years after that point. But in general, I think you can start to worry about a back after hits that figure.It's just part of the equation though. Age and talent level are also factors. Cedric Benson losing a step is different from Ricky Williams losing a step. If you're ultra talented, you can drop off a notch or two and still be a serviceable starter. If you're just a pedestrian player like Rudi Johnson or Tyrone Wheatley, you really can't afford to lose any ability.
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What is so magical about 1600 carries?

Nothing at all. Quite a few players have gone over that in recent years.It's just an approximate threshold. I might need to bump it back by about 300 carries because we're seeing more guys have 1-2 great years after that point. But in general, I think you can start to worry about a back after hits that figure.It's just part of the equation though. Age and talent level are also factors. Cedric Benson losing a step is different from Ricky Williams losing a step. If you're ultra talented, you can drop off a notch or two and still be a serviceable starter. If you're just a pedestrian player like Rudi Johnson or Tyrone Wheatley, you really can't afford to lose any ability.
Well I notice that you removed my question about evidence to support the 1600 carry threshold. Rudi Johnson was a back up RB whos value was largely because of the high volume of carries he recieved for a short period of time.
Rushing	Receiving			Year	Age	Tm	Pos	No.	G	GS	Att	Yds	TD	Lng	Y/A	Y/G	A/G	Rec	Yds	Y/R	TD	Lng	R/G	Y/G	YScm	RRTD	Fmb	AV2001	22	CIN		32	2	0	0	0	0	0		0.0	0.0								0	0	0	02002	23	CIN		32	7	0	17	67	0	13	3.9	9.6	2.4	6	34	5.7	0	14	0.9	4.9	101	0	0	12003	24	CIN	RB	32	13	5	215	957	9	54	4.5	73.6	16.5	21	146	7.0	0	17	1.6	11.2	1103	9	0	92004*	25	CIN	RB	32	16	16	361	1454	12	52	4.0	90.9	22.6	15	84	5.6	0	30	0.9	5.3	1538	12	4	102005	26	CIN	RB	32	16	14	337	1458	12	33	4.3	91.1	21.1	23	90	3.9	0	15	1.4	5.6	1548	12	1	142006	27	CIN	RB	32	16	15	341	1309	12	22	3.8	81.8	21.3	23	124	5.4	0	18	1.4	7.8	1433	12	6	112007	28	CIN	RB	32	11	9	170	497	3	22	2.9	45.2	15.5	13	110	8.5	1	33	1.2	10.0	607	4	3	52008	29	DET	rb	32	14	4	76	237	1	27	3.1	16.9	5.4	12	88	7.3	1	34	0.9	6.3	325	2	1	2Career					95	63	1517	5979	49	54	3.9	62.9	16.0	113	676	6.0	2	34	1.2	7.1	6655	51	15	527 yrs		CIN			81	59	1441	5742	48	54	4.0	70.9	17.8	101	588	5.8	1	33	1.2	7.3	6330	49	14
He never passed the 1600 carry threshold because he was not really starter quality talent to begin with. It certainly was not the ammount of carries he recieved that dented his FF value, quite the opposite.What Johnson had was toughness. He had multiple 40 carry games without huge dropoff following that. He certainly was not as talented as Dillon was but he was tough and consistent. Similar to the their RB now although I think the law firm is a more rounded player. Toughness is partially luck and very hard to quantify or identify in players.Tyrone Wheatley
Rushing	Receiving			Year	Age	Tm	Pos	No.	G	GS	Att	Yds	TD	Lng	Y/A	Y/G	A/G	Rec	Yds	Y/R	TD	Lng	R/G	Y/G	YScm	RRTD	Fmb	AV1995	23	NYG	rb	28	13	1	78	245	3	19	3.1	18.8	6.0	5	27	5.4	0	16	0.4	2.1	272	3	2	21996	24	NYG	KR	28	14	0	112	400	1	37	3.6	28.6	8.0	12	51	4.3	2	13	0.9	3.6	451	3	6	31997	25	NYG	RB	28	14	7	152	583	4	38	3.8	41.6	10.9	16	140	8.8	0	27	1.1	10.0	723	4	3	51998	26	NYG		28	5	0	14	52	0	15	3.7	10.4	2.8								52	0	0	01999	27	OAK	RB	47	16	9	242	936	8	30	3.9	58.5	15.1	21	196	9.3	3	28	1.3	12.3	1132	11	3	92000	28	OAK	RB	47	14	13	232	1046	9	80	4.5	74.7	16.6	20	156	7.8	1	17	1.4	11.1	1202	10	4	112001	29	OAK	rb	47	11	3	88	276	5	22	3.1	25.1	8.0	12	61	5.1	1	11	1.1	5.5	337	6	3	32002	30	OAK		47	14	0	108	419	2	36	3.9	29.9	7.7	12	71	5.9	0	17	0.9	5.1	490	2	1	42003	31	OAK	rb	47	15	5	159	678	4	41	4.3	45.2	10.6	12	120	10.0	0	25	0.8	8.0	798	4	2	52004	32	OAK	RB	47	8	7	85	327	4	60	3.8	40.9	10.6	15	78	5.2	0	20	1.9	9.8	405	4	0	3Career					124	45	1270	4962	40	80	3.9	40.0	10.2	125	900	7.2	7	28	1.0	7.3	5862	47	24	456 yrs		OAK			78	37	914	3682	32	80	4.0	47.2	11.7	92	682	7.4	5	28	1.2	8.7	4364	37	13	354 yrs		NYG			46	8	356	1280	8	38	3.6	27.8	7.7	33	218	6.6	2	27	0.7	4.7	1498	10	11
Wheatley was in a RBBC until he went to the Raiders where he saw a jump in carries by about 100 for his 1st 2 years with them. He never hit the 300 carry season threshold so I do not see it as wear and tear but injury at 29 and then being phased out age 30 on because he was never really starter quality.This and the other examples you give I think fit more closely with high carry seasons leading to a decline in following seasons. I think there may be more to that than a career carry mark has. I think both ideas are interesting to look at but both are likely myths. Edited by Biabreakable
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http://subscribers.footballguys.com/apps/viewrankings.php?viewpos=rb&type=dynasty&howrecent=90I keep that link bookmarked (the 90 days), because you can always start old and sort to newer rankings, but as you discovered, you often can't start new and sort to older. If you really want to be safe, bookmark the 200 instead of the 90.

Perfect. Thanks.Though it would be nice (and proper) for some new FBG dynasty rankings.
Or, if you don't want to save a special bookmark, simply start with the Redraft rankings (that seem to show up as "Last 300 days" right now) and then switch the type of league from "redraft" to "dynasty" and salt to taste from there. That's what I do at least. Edited by joey
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I'm staying on the Mathews train for one more stop. If he doesn't come flying out the gates in 13 I'll dump him for whatever I can get.Knowing that he'll probably be injured in the preseason and start on the PUP. :cry:

I think enough people are down on Mathews that he could present some good value right now. Particularly if you can buy from an owner ready to jump ship.I am not really high on him but he does have talent and could have some quality seasons ahead. The price will not likely be much lower than it is now.
A trade I recently made.I gave: Dalton, B. Tate, J. Gordon, R. StreaterI got: R. Mathews, 1.2 devy(TJ Yeldon or KaDeem Carey)I thought it was a good value on Mathews.
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I'm staying on the Mathews train for one more stop. If he doesn't come flying out the gates in 13 I'll dump him for whatever I can get.Knowing that he'll probably be injured in the preseason and start on the PUP. :cry:

I think enough people are down on Mathews that he could present some good value right now. Particularly if you can buy from an owner ready to jump ship.I am not really high on him but he does have talent and could have some quality seasons ahead. The price will not likely be much lower than it is now.
A trade I recently made.I gave: Dalton, B. Tate, J. Gordon, R. StreaterI got: R. Mathews, 1.2 devy(TJ Yeldon or KaDeem Carey)I thought it was a good value on Mathews.
I mostly like it because of the pick if it does become Yeldon. I don't even know who Carey is yet, but a top 3 pick is a top 3 pick. Gordon may become a very good WR at some point but with a run 1st offense and Wheaton that upside is limited. Dalton is a good QB. I see this kind of like Dalton+Gordon for Mathews as the main parts of the deal. Getting the pick for 2 prospects who may be borderline rosterable (depending on rules/roster) seems like good value.
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Yeltsin and Carey are not "barely rosterable" in a devy league.

He's talking about Streater and Gordon, not Yeldon and Carey. I could see Streater, but no way is Gordon borderline unrosterable.
Oh shoot, I got confused. Thanks!
I like Streater but he is still a long shot prospect on a team that does not currently have a long term solution at QB given Carson Palmers age.I may be over looking Ben Tate. I do not have a strong opinion about him either way. I would certainly rather have the 1.02 pick than this pair however.
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I'm staying on the Mathews train for one more stop. If he doesn't come flying out the gates in 13 I'll dump him for whatever I can get.Knowing that he'll probably be injured in the preseason and start on the PUP. :cry:

I think enough people are down on Mathews that he could present some good value right now. Particularly if you can buy from an owner ready to jump ship.I am not really high on him but he does have talent and could have some quality seasons ahead. The price will not likely be much lower than it is now.
A trade I recently made.I gave: Dalton, B. Tate, J. Gordon, R. StreaterI got: R. Mathews, 1.2 devy(TJ Yeldon or KaDeem Carey)I thought it was a good value on Mathews.
I mostly like it because of the pick if it does become Yeldon. I don't even know who Carey is yet, but a top 3 pick is a top 3 pick. Gordon may become a very good WR at some point but with a run 1st offense and Wheaton that upside is limited. Dalton is a good QB. I see this kind of like Dalton+Gordon for Mathews as the main parts of the deal. Getting the pick for 2 prospects who may be borderline rosterable (depending on rules/roster) seems like good value.
Im surprised this combo was enough to land either Mathews or the 1.2 Devy, much less both. Terrible trade imo.
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Colin Kaepernick made a lot of dynasty owners very happy tonight. I have a feeling in the next round of mocks, his adp is going to creep just a little bit higher. In my scoring system, his game tonight is the second best fantasy game of all time behind only Vick's 6 TD game in 2010. And it would have even edged that if not for the int.

If you look at all 26 year old backs, the ones most likely to have the most carries left in their career are the ones who had the most carries to that point in their career.

I'm not sure this supports the idea that backs with lots of mileage aren't prone to breaking down so much as it supports the idea that talented backs tend to get a lot of carries. Who gets the most carries between the ages of 21-25? The elite talents like Peterson, Tomlinson, Johnson, Jackson, and Ricky. Who gets the most carries after that? The same guys. I don't think this proves that there's no effect of mileage so much as it proves that the best players of their age group are likely to still be the best players of their age group 5 years later. And that's not all that surprising or meaningful.
Sure, there might be confounding variables at play, but the point is... of what value is past workload in determining decline? And the answer is... little to none. On the other hand, past carries are an indication of wear, which is bad. On the other hand, past carries are an indication of talent, which is good. On the net, the two factors offset, meaning workload is useless in pinpointing decline. A guy with a ton of carries is is really worn down, and also at the same time a fantastic enough talent to overcome being worn down, which leaves him with the same value as another RB the same age with half the carries.
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Colin Kaepernick made a lot of dynasty owners very happy tonight. I have a feeling in the next round of mocks, his adp is going to creep just a little bit higher. In my scoring system, his game tonight is the second best fantasy game of all time behind only Vick's 6 TD game in 2010. And it would have even edged that if not for the int.

If you look at all 26 year old backs, the ones most likely to have the most carries left in their career are the ones who had the most carries to that point in their career.

I'm not sure this supports the idea that backs with lots of mileage aren't prone to breaking down so much as it supports the idea that talented backs tend to get a lot of carries. Who gets the most carries between the ages of 21-25? The elite talents like Peterson, Tomlinson, Johnson, Jackson, and Ricky. Who gets the most carries after that? The same guys. I don't think this proves that there's no effect of mileage so much as it proves that the best players of their age group are likely to still be the best players of their age group 5 years later. And that's not all that surprising or meaningful.
Sure, there might be confounding variables at play, but the point is... of what value is past workload in determining decline? And the answer is... little to none. On the other hand, past carries are an indication of wear, which is bad. On the other hand, past carries are an indication of talent, which is good. On the net, the two factors offset, meaning workload is useless in pinpointing decline. A guy with a ton of carries is is really worn down, and also at the same time a fantastic enough talent to overcome being worn down, which leaves him with the same value as another RB the same age with half the carries.
Disagree with the cancelling out in the evaluation process as it relates to talent. A fantastic player’s talent has already fully been taken into account without focusing on carries. Knowing nothing else about a player, sure, we can and probably would use carries as an indicator of talent. But in the real world of fantasy football, we don’t need carries to be an indicator of talent nor do we use it in that way. Its not like we give a fantastic player an additional bump in our talent evaluation because he happens to have a ton of carries.As such, any indication of wear that carries provides (and I do believe it can be an indicator) will surpass any use of those same carries as an indicator of talent.
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Disagree with the cancelling out in the evaluation process as it relates to talent. A fantastic player’s talent has already fully been taken into account without focusing on carries. Knowing nothing else about a player, sure, we can and probably would use carries as an indicator of talent. But in the real world of fantasy football, we don’t need carries to be an indicator of talent nor do we use it in that way. Its not like we give a fantastic player an additional bump in our talent evaluation because he happens to have a ton of carries.As such, any indication of wear that carries provides (and I do believe it can be an indicator) will surpass any use of those same carries as an indicator of talent.

I'm not saying that we should use previous carries as some sort of scouting proxy. I'm saying that if you look at the numbers, carries are garbage at predicting demise. The correlations are crap. There are several possible reasons why the correlations might be crap- the first is that workload doesn't lead to decline, the second is that there are multiple confounding variables at play that both operate in opposite directions (the theory that I was advancing in my post)- but all speculation about the reasons is beside the larger point. The larger point is that if RB1 is 26 with 1800 career carries, and RB2 is 26 with 900 career carries, we should assume that both RBs are equally close to decline. Past carries, as a variable predicting decline, have virtually no predictive power. Age has a ton of predictive power. Age, not workload, is the statistic we should be looking at when trying to guess how much tread is left on the tires.In fact, if the idea that workload leads to decline is really that prevalent, that's a market inefficiency of which we should take advantage. If people are selling guys like Ray Rice for less than he otherwise might command because of concerns over his workload over the years, then I would be happy to make myself a buyer.
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Disagree with the cancelling out in the evaluation process as it relates to talent. A fantastic player’s talent has already fully been taken into account without focusing on carries. Knowing nothing else about a player, sure, we can and probably would use carries as an indicator of talent. But in the real world of fantasy football, we don’t need carries to be an indicator of talent nor do we use it in that way. Its not like we give a fantastic player an additional bump in our talent evaluation because he happens to have a ton of carries.As such, any indication of wear that carries provides (and I do believe it can be an indicator) will surpass any use of those same carries as an indicator of talent.

I'm not saying that we should use previous carries as some sort of scouting proxy. I'm saying that if you look at the numbers, carries are garbage at predicting demise. The correlations are crap. There are several possible reasons why the correlations might be crap- the first is that workload doesn't lead to decline, the second is that there are multiple confounding variables at play that both operate in opposite directions (the theory that I was advancing in my post)- but all speculation about the reasons is beside the larger point. The larger point is that if RB1 is 26 with 1800 career carries, and RB2 is 26 with 900 career carries, we should assume that both RBs are equally close to decline. Past carries, as a variable predicting decline, have virtually no predictive power. Age has a ton of predictive power. Age, not workload, is the statistic we should be looking at when trying to guess how much tread is left on the tires.In fact, if the idea that workload leads to decline is really that prevalent, that's a market inefficiency of which we should take advantage. If people are selling guys like Ray Rice for less than he otherwise might command because of concerns over his workload over the years, then I would be happy to make myself a buyer.
While no study has proven a correlation (tough to do I would think across different players), has there been a study proving no correlation? I haven’t seen one, and I think you are taking a leap in concluding that garbage studies trying to prove correlation means that there is no correlation (you’re not just concluding as your own opinion/guess, but seemingly holding it out as fact). I think you are dismissing too quickly any effect on wear and tear that carries has. Take an individual player as an example. Marshawn Lynch, and his bruising running style. While difficult to prove, its not all that hard to conclude (correctly imo) that Marshawn Lynch at 26 years old at 1800 carries has less useful life than he would have had if he only ran the ball 900 times during that span. Hits take a toll (imo). The difficulty is that every player takes hits differently, so 900 carries to one may have had as much wear as 1800 to another making it difficult to compare across different players. Does it make carries useless because of that, I don’t think so.
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Disagree with the cancelling out in the evaluation process as it relates to talent. A fantastic player’s talent has already fully been taken into account without focusing on carries. Knowing nothing else about a player, sure, we can and probably would use carries as an indicator of talent. But in the real world of fantasy football, we don’t need carries to be an indicator of talent nor do we use it in that way. Its not like we give a fantastic player an additional bump in our talent evaluation because he happens to have a ton of carries.As such, any indication of wear that carries provides (and I do believe it can be an indicator) will surpass any use of those same carries as an indicator of talent.

I'm not saying that we should use previous carries as some sort of scouting proxy. I'm saying that if you look at the numbers, carries are garbage at predicting demise. The correlations are crap. There are several possible reasons why the correlations might be crap- the first is that workload doesn't lead to decline, the second is that there are multiple confounding variables at play that both operate in opposite directions (the theory that I was advancing in my post)- but all speculation about the reasons is beside the larger point. The larger point is that if RB1 is 26 with 1800 career carries, and RB2 is 26 with 900 career carries, we should assume that both RBs are equally close to decline. Past carries, as a variable predicting decline, have virtually no predictive power. Age has a ton of predictive power. Age, not workload, is the statistic we should be looking at when trying to guess how much tread is left on the tires.In fact, if the idea that workload leads to decline is really that prevalent, that's a market inefficiency of which we should take advantage. If people are selling guys like Ray Rice for less than he otherwise might command because of concerns over his workload over the years, then I would be happy to make myself a buyer.
While no study has proven a correlation (tough to do I would think across different players), has there been a study proving no correlation? I haven’t seen one, and I think you are taking a leap in concluding that garbage studies trying to prove correlation means that there is no correlation (you’re not just concluding as your own opinion/guess, but seemingly holding it out as fact). I think you are dismissing too quickly any effect on wear and tear that carries has. Take an individual player as an example. Marshawn Lynch, and his bruising running style. While difficult to prove, its not all that hard to conclude (correctly imo) that Marshawn Lynch at 26 years old at 1800 carries has less useful life than he would have had if he only ran the ball 900 times during that span. Hits take a toll (imo). The difficulty is that every player takes hits differently, so 900 carries to one may have had as much wear as 1800 to another making it difficult to compare across different players. Does it make carries useless because of that, I don’t think so.
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Disagree with the cancelling out in the evaluation process as it relates to talent.

A fantastic player’s talent has already fully been taken into account without focusing on carries. Knowing nothing else about a player, sure, we can and probably would use carries as an indicator of talent. But in the real world of fantasy football, we don’t need carries to be an indicator of talent nor do we use it in that way. Its not like we give a fantastic player an additional bump in our talent evaluation because he happens to have a ton of carries.

As such, any indication of wear that carries provides (and I do believe it can be an indicator) will surpass any use of those same carries as an indicator of talent.

I'm not saying that we should use previous carries as some sort of scouting proxy. I'm saying that if you look at the numbers, carries are garbage at predicting demise. The correlations are crap. There are several possible reasons why the correlations might be crap- the first is that workload doesn't lead to decline, the second is that there are multiple confounding variables at play that both operate in opposite directions (the theory that I was advancing in my post)- but all speculation about the reasons is beside the larger point. The larger point is that if RB1 is 26 with 1800 career carries, and RB2 is 26 with 900 career carries, we should assume that both RBs are equally close to decline. Past carries, as a variable predicting decline, have virtually no predictive power. Age has a ton of predictive power. Age, not workload, is the statistic we should be looking at when trying to guess how much tread is left on the tires.

In fact, if the idea that workload leads to decline is really that prevalent, that's a market inefficiency of which we should take advantage. If people are selling guys like Ray Rice for less than he otherwise might command because of concerns over his workload over the years, then I would be happy to make myself a buyer.

While no study has proven a correlation (tough to do I would think across different players), has there been a study proving no correlation? I haven’t seen one, and I think you are taking a leap in concluding that garbage studies trying to prove correlation means that there is no correlation (you’re not just concluding as your own opinion/guess, but seemingly holding it out as fact).

I think you are dismissing too quickly any effect on wear and tear that carries has. Take an individual player as an example. Marshawn Lynch, and his bruising running style. While difficult to prove, its not all that hard to conclude (correctly imo) that Marshawn Lynch at 26 years old at 1800 carries has less useful life than he would have had if he only ran the ball 900 times during that span. Hits take a toll (imo).

The difficulty is that every player takes hits differently, so 900 carries to one may have had as much wear as 1800 to another making it difficult to compare across different players. Does it make carries useless because of that, I don’t think so.

You haven't seen one, because that's not how statistics works. Statistics always assumes no correlation (the null hypothesis) and then looks at the data to see how likely we would be to observe that data set if the null hypothesis were correct. If you meet certain standards of confidence (typically a 95% threshold, which means there is only a 5% that you would observe numbers like these if there really is no correlation between these two statistics), then you reject the null and assert that there is a relationship between the two statistics. You don't start with a hypothesis that there IS a relationship and then try to disprove it, which is why you never have (and never will) see a study DISPROVING the existence of a relationship between two variables.

Doug ran a regression once on the pfr blog and did find a negative workload effect. He found that for every one carry a player had in the past, you could expect 0.13 fewer carries in the future. Of course, this effect was dwarfed by the age factor (you'd need 800 more carries to equal one extra year of age). To put that 800 carries into perspective- it's roughly the diffence between Adrian Peterson and Reggie Bush, Fred Jackson, or Ryan Grant. And as for the confidence in that coefficient... the p-value was 0.22, which is the statistical equivalent of a vote of no confidence on the question of whether the two variables are actually even related at all (you need p-values below 0.05 in order to pass most tests of statistical significance). So the regression found a relationship, but it was weak both in terms of the magnitude of the effect and in terms of the actual predictive power of the relationship. Further, the results (a weak negative correlation) are perfectly consistent with what we'd expect to observe if my overall theory on workload (that workload in general is neutral, but extreme workload over a short timeline is bad) were correct.

Doug also ran another study that I thought was particularly elegant. He gathered together several groups of RBs (all RBs in history with four top-12 finishes, for instance), and then sorted them from lowest to highest workload through age 27. He then compared the 1/3 of the group with the highest workload to the 1/3 of the group with the lowest workload and calculated how many carries the high-workload group had left, and how many the low-workload group had left. In every group, no matter how he massaged the numbers, the high-workload RBs had more carries after age 27 than the low-workload RBs.

Edit: here's the link: http://www.pro-football-reference.com/blog/?p=69

The other posts in question should be linked from there.

Edited by SSOG
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Careful here. I disagree with SSOG on a lot of things (among them how significant Fox' coaching style was in the loss tonight) but SSOG has gone through the actual numbers on this carries question at great length on at least 2 prior occassions - I think at least once in this thread a couple of years ago - which strongly support his point that, at least historically, there is no correlation between an RB's carries to date and carries remaining in his career. This counter-intuitive conclusion had me a disbeliever until he came back with the cold, hard numbers. Guys with few carries at 26 probably won't get a lot of carries thereafter. Guys with regular use but who aren't workhorses probably won't become workhorses and guys who are workhorses are the most likely to retain big carry loads. Age, on the other hand, while hardly perfect, seems to correlate much more closely in predicting how much longer a guy will produce at the level he typically produces.You can have your opinion that hits diminish the useful life of the player. I think SSOG would probably agree with that. I would, although we might differ on how significant that is. The thing is, there are other things more important to the calculation, like whether the guy is built to take more hits and that's why he is a workhorse, maybe his team runs an offense where it relies heaviy on a lead back and will continue that pattern, maybe a particular guy who has never been injured and so produced relatively high carries is more likely to stay injury free and produce, maybe its SSOG's multiple counfounding variables suggestion - but for whatever other reasons are at play, backs with more carries to date, on average, have more carries left ahead of them than guys who have carried it fewer times so far. But for God's sake, don't challenge SSOG on stats unless you have something really concrete to support your claim. He will.

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Here's Lisk trying to answer whether a huge short-term workload is a negative indicator going forward. He sums it up very nicely in the second of those two posts, clearly spelling out what is currently my opinion on workload and its impact on injuries. As for workload and its relationship to a general decline in effectiveness (most likely measured by ypc)... I haven't seen any research on that subject one way or another (although Doug's study partially captures this; future carries serves as a proxy- albeit a poor one- for future effectiveness, because teams rarely give carries to ineffective RBs). But given the very strong and easily observable relationship between age and decline, and the lack of any evidence supporting a relationship between workload and decline, I'd be loathe to blame any drop in effectiveness on workload when there is a much simpler explanation there for the taking.
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You haven't seen one, because that's not how statistics works. Statistics always assumes no correlation (the null hypothesis) and then looks at the data to see how likely we would be to observe that data set if the null hypothesis were correct. If you meet certain standards of confidence (typically a 95% threshold, which means there is only a 5% that you would observe numbers like these if there really is no correlation between these two statistics), then you reject the null and assert that there is a relationship between the two statistics. You don't start with a hypothesis that there IS a relationship and then try to disprove it, which is why you never have (and never will) see a study DISPROVING the existence of a relationship between two variables.

1. I am out of my element, I admit, so excuse my mistakes in the semantics or wording. I guess I should have asked whether this subject was adequately tested (not by a study that you referred to as “garbage”) so that you could conclude with a high level of confidence that there is no relationship between carries and decline? Through Doug’s studies perhaps?

Doug ran a regression once on the pfr blog and did find a negative workload effect. He found that for every one carry a player had in the past, you could expect 0.13 fewer carries in the future. Of course, this effect was dwarfed by the age factor (you'd need 800 more carries to equal one extra year of age). To put that 800 carries into perspective- it's roughly the diffence between Adrian Peterson and Reggie Bush, Fred Jackson, or Ryan Grant. And as for the confidence in that coefficient... the p-value was 0.22, which is the statistical equivalent of a vote of no confidence on the question of whether the two variables are actually even related at all (you need p-values below 0.05 in order to pass most tests of statistical significance). So the regression found a relationship, but it was weak both in terms of the magnitude of the effect and in terms of the actual predictive power of the relationship. Further, the results (a weak negative correlation) are perfectly consistent with what we'd expect to observe if my overall theory on workload (that workload in general is neutral, but extreme workload over a short timeline is bad) were correct.

2. This is interesting stuff. So if this relationship held, does this mean that a 26 year old with 1800 carries as compared to a 26 year old with 900 carries (the example used previously) is roughly one year in age older? If so, then they are not equally close to decline, correct? (I may be misinterpreting the meaning of the results you describe).

Here's Lisk trying to answer whether a huge short-term workload is a negative indicator going forward. He sums it up very nicely in the second of those two posts, clearly spelling out what is currently my opinion on workload and its impact on injuries. As for workload and its relationship to a general decline in effectiveness (most likely measured by ypc)... I haven't seen any research on that subject one way or another (although Doug's study partially captures this; future carries serves as a proxy- albeit a poor one- for future effectiveness, because teams rarely give carries to ineffective RBs). But given the very strong and easily observable relationship between age and decline, and the lack of any evidence supporting a relationship between workload and decline, I'd be loathe to blame any drop in effectiveness on workload when there is a much simpler explanation there for the taking.

3. At the end of the day, aren’t we talking about decline in effectiveness when we look at age and carries? Isn’t that what is most important in fantasy football? If there is no research on the decline issue, sure it may not be safe to assume there is an increase in rate of decline, but is it safe to conclude that there isn’t (or is that just what you would prefer to do)? In other words, why is it is wrong to take both age and, to a much lesser extent, carries, into account when evaluating a player. In the best of all worlds, if talent is not a question, wouldn’t you prefer that the player have 800 fewer carries?

4. I would evaluate Marshawn Lynch differently if he had 800 fewer carries. Is it wrong to do that?

5. If we had CJ Spiller on one hand and a player of equal age and talent on the other but with 900 more carries (due to non-use of Spiller for 3+ years), do we disregard the 900 additional carries entirely just because we already know that aging results in decline?

[Edited to add numbers to identify questions for reference]

Edited by Ernol
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I've largely abandoned a workload-focused mindset over the years. The correlations are just too weak. If you look at all 26 year old backs, the ones most likely to have the most carries left in their career are the ones who had the most carries to that point in their career. I'm agnostic about whether huge workloads in the short term can burn out an RB (The "curse of 370" is based on really poor statistical analysis and should never be mentioned again, but I do believe some crazy seasons like Larry Johnson or Ricky Williams have had can have a deleterious effect on a back). Outside of that one area, though, I'm a believer that it's simple aging, and not the steady accumulation of carries or "mileage", that finally catches up to everyone.

I'm finally taking a look at this too, and trying to weed out what I think are the problems I've seen with other attempts (including that I only play PPR).

I started by creating a custom VBD for every RB season from 1978 forward, and cut out the players whose careers started before that year. VBD is calculated using standard PPR scoring (1.0ppr) and pro-rated to a 16-game season using RB36 as the baseline.

I'm still working on some of the data gathering, but I started with the 45 RBs who are now retired and had at least 1500 career carries.

So the universe for these findings is end-of-season data for those 45 RBs in years where they were VBD+ and had already accumulated at least 1500 career rushes. I'm only about 1/3 of the way through that group but already had 55 qualifying seasons and thought I'd take a quick look at it.

For the qualifying seasons (listed below) I ran:

--Age at end of season

--Career carries at end of season

--Career receptions at end of season

--VBD that season

--VBD for their career to date

against VBD gained from that point forward.

And SSOG appears to be right -- for this subset of RBs workload is 100% irrelevant. It adds nothing in terms of predictive value to include it. Age alone lets you account for 40% of the variance in future VBD, and the only other variable that adds something is prior year's VBD -- which bumps the variance accounted for to 45%.

Neither career carries or career receptions are predictive -- there's literally zero value added by including them.

The 55 seasons included so far (I expect to end up with around 150):

Ahman Green 2004

Ahman Green 2005

Ahman Green 2006

Ahman Green 2007

Antowain Smith 2001

Antowain Smith 2002

Barry Sanders 1994

Barry Sanders 1995

Barry Sanders 1996

Barry Sanders 1997

Barry Sanders 1998

Cedric Benson 2011

Charlie Garner 2003

Chris Warren 1997

Clinton Portis 2007

Clinton Portis 2008

Corey Dillon 2002

Corey Dillon 2004

Corey Dillon 2005

Corey Dillon 2006

Curtis Martin 1999

Curtis Martin 2000

Curtis Martin 2001

Curtis Martin 2002

Curtis Martin 2003

Curtis Martin 2004

Curtis Martin 2005

Earl Campbell 1982

Earl Campbell 1983

Earnest Byner 1992

Earnest Byner 1995

Earnest Byner 1996

Eddie George 2000

Eddie George 2001

Eddie George 2002

Eddie George 2003

Edgerrin James 2004

Edgerrin James 2005

Edgerrin James 2006

Edgerrin James 2007

Emmitt Smith 1994

Emmitt Smith 1995

Emmitt Smith 1996

Emmitt Smith 1997

Emmitt Smith 1998

Emmitt Smith 1999

Emmitt Smith 2000

Emmitt Smith 2001

Emmitt Smith 2004

Eric Dickerson 1987

Eric Dickerson 1988

Eric Dickerson 1989

Eric Dickerson 1990

Eric Dickerson 1991

Edited by wdcrob
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Good stuff guys, I apologize if my questions are so elementary, but this is groundbreaking stuff (for me, at least). A lot is being said, so to distill/organize this for the more simple minded (me), SSOG and wdcrob, would you say then that the answer to my questions above (now numbered) are:1. Yes, the subject has been adequately tested to conclude with high level of confidence that there is no relationship between number of carries and decline in effectiveness. 2. Yes, even if the relationship in Doug’s (by the way, who is Doug) study holds, that indicated 800 carries = 1 year, it is still true that we should assume that a 26 year old with 1800 carries is equally close to decline (in effectiveness, which is what is most important imo) as a 26 year old with 900 carries (i.e., I am not interpreting what SSOG or Doug is saying correctly about a 1 year difference).3. Yes, if talent is no question, it makes no difference (in a positive way) if a player has 800 fewer carries in any evaluation (i.e., if you own the player, you wouldn’t prefer that your player has very few carries vs. a ton of carries).4. Yes, the fact that CJ Spiller, a wildly talented but previously underused back, has so few carries (and intuitively to some, less wear on his tires) due to non-use is irrelevant (in a positive way) to his overall outlook. Last question:Do you believe (A) that the number of carries over time (not including ridiculous loads like Larry Johnson) does not increase the wear and tear on the player (i.e., number of hits is irrelevant). Or, do you believe (B) that the number of hits does take a toll on players over time but that the lack of predictive value makes looking at number of carries a useless exercise?

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1. Yes, the subject has been adequately tested to conclude with high level of confidence that there is no relationship between number of carries and decline in effectiveness.

I don't think it's been scientifically proven or anything, but as a result of everything I've ever seen and the project I'm working on I'm pretty comfortable ignoring workload. IMO age, the previous season's performance and the randomness of future injuries dwarf the effect of workload.

2. Yes, even if the relationship in Doug’s (by the way, who is Doug) study holds, that indicated 800 carries = 1 year, it is still true that we should assume that a 26 year old with 1800 carries is equally close to decline (in effectiveness, which is what is most important imo) as a 26 year old with 900 carries (i.e., I am not interpreting what SSOG or Doug is saying correctly about a 1 year difference).

Keep in mind that Doug's study was pretty close to a coin flip as to whether the workload effect was predictive. But it is possible that what I'm doing obscures his finding since I'm only looking at players who've already accumulated 1500 carries. Though you'd think the effect of workload would show up there, there could be something to talented players who don't get a heavy workload later in their careers lasting longer.

3. Yes, if talent is no question, it makes no difference (in a positive way) if a player has 800 fewer carries in any evaluation (i.e., if you own the player, you wouldn’t prefer that your player has very few carries vs. a ton of carries).

If I thought two players were equally talented and both of them had put up big seasons the year before and were similarly aged I'd take the player with a smaller career workload. Why not? Probably no way you'd lose on the exchange. (ETA: I'll eventually look at this too.)

4. Yes, the fact that CJ Spiller, a wildly talented but previously underused back, has so few carries (and intuitively to some, less wear on his tires) due to non-use is irrelevant (in a positive way) to his overall outlook.

I think that's right.ETA: Doug is Doug Drinen. He used to post here and still does sometimes at Pro Football Reference (IIRC - I get his work and Chase Stuart's work mixed up sometimes). Edited by wdcrob
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Good stuff guys, I apologize if my questions are so elementary, but this is groundbreaking stuff (for me, at least). A lot is being said, so to distill/organize this for the more simple minded (me), SSOG and wdcrob, would you say then that the answer to my questions above (now numbered) are:1. Yes, the subject has been adequately tested to conclude with high level of confidence that there is no relationship between number of carries and decline in effectiveness. 2. Yes, even if the relationship in Doug’s (by the way, who is Doug) study holds, that indicated 800 carries = 1 year, it is still true that we should assume that a 26 year old with 1800 carries is equally close to decline (in effectiveness, which is what is most important imo) as a 26 year old with 900 carries (i.e., I am not interpreting what SSOG or Doug is saying correctly about a 1 year difference).3. Yes, if talent is no question, it makes no difference (in a positive way) if a player has 800 fewer carries in any evaluation (i.e., if you own the player, you wouldn’t prefer that your player has very few carries vs. a ton of carries).4. Yes, the fact that CJ Spiller, a wildly talented but previously underused back, has so few carries (and intuitively to some, less wear on his tires) due to non-use is irrelevant (in a positive way) to his overall outlook. Last question:Do you believe (A) that the number of carries over time (not including ridiculous loads like Larry Johnson) does not increase the wear and tear on the player (i.e., number of hits is irrelevant). Or, do you believe (B) that the number of hits does take a toll on players over time but that the lack of predictive value makes looking at number of carries a useless exercise?

1. No. Again, that's not how statistical analysis works. You never prove that there's no relationship. Hell, you never prove that their IS a relationship, either- when statistical analysis returns a positive result, it's not saying "there is definitely a relationship between these two variables", it's instead saying "it's highly unlikely (but not altogether impossible) that you'd see the results you observed unless there was some sort of relationship between the two variables". The standard threshold for significance is 95%, which is essentially saying "there's only a 1-in-20 chance, based on your observations, that these two variables are unrelated". But even that isn't proof- if you find 20 statistically significant results, on average one of them will have been a false positive. If you flip 100 coins ten times each, at least one of them will come up heads enough times that statistical analysis will say, to a statistically significant degree, that the coin is likely weighted. But the coin isn't weighted, of course- it's just the nature of random events. You'll see results that look meaningful to our pattern-seeking brains, but truly random results will frequently look meaningful when they're not. And even if statistical analysis identifies a meaningful relationship, it offers no insight into the relationship. For instance, one of the biggest predictors of a child's intelligence is how many books could be found in their home growing up (this is a true relationship, by the way). Identifying the relationship is nice, but what does it mean? Do children who are exposed to a lot of books wind up becoming more intelligent (the nurture story)? Or are parents who are intelligent more likely to own books, and parents who are intelligent also more likely to have smart babies (the nature story)? A combination of both? Something else? People who are very rich are actually less likely to be robbed than people who are very poor, but in this case there are multiple variables at work- rich people are more desirable targets (increases their chances), but they have less interaction with potential criminals, live in safer neighborhoods, and have better security systems (decreasing their chances). Sometimes when you have two competing explanations, one factor is stronger and outweighs the other. Other times, both factors cancel each other out returning a "no relationship" result when there is, in fact, a relationship- it's just complicated. So you can never be sure whether a relationship exists (even when statistical analysis suggests it does), or doesn't exist (even when statistical analysis suggests it doesn't). And even if you feel confident that a relationship exists, you can't know the nature of the relationship without running carefully controlled experiments, which is impossible for the casual fantasy owner. In short- statistics is a hard, messy, and largely unsatisfying endeavor. Can I say with certainty that there's no relationship between workload and decline? No, but I've seen enough of the numbers for me to conclude that there's no substantive reason for me to assume that there IS a relationship.2. Statistical analysis tells us two things- what is the nature of the relationship, and how likely is it that the relationship actually exists instead of just being random noise in the numbers. In Doug's study, the answer to the first question was "if the relationship is real, one year is similar to 800 carries". The answer to the second question is "we should not be at all confident that the relationship actually exists instead of just being random noise in the numbers that appears meaningful on cursory examination". 3. Worst case scenario is that there is no relationship between workload and decline. In that case, assuming all else truly is equal, preferring the low-workload player costs you nothing. Best case scenario, there is a relationship, and preferring the low workload player benefits you something. So in this hypothetical- all else truly being equal- favoring the low-workload player is rational. The problem is that all else is never equal, so the question becomes how much you weight workload compared to the other factors. Would you prefer a low-workload back over a comparably talented high-workload back a year younger? Would you prefer a low-workload back over a slightly more talented high-workload back the same age? In both cases, I would not. We aren't comparing CJ Spiller against Bizarro Spiller, who is identical in all ways except he played under Cam Cameron and had a huge workload. We're comparing your Spiller's to your Ray Rices, your Jamaal Charleses to your Marshawn Lynches, and in those comparisons, the relatively light workload is a factor that carries virtually no weight to me. 4. Yes. I love Spiller because he's an unstoppable beast with top 10 pedigree. His workload (or lack thereof) does not play a role- either positive or negative- in my evaluation. Finally, gun to my head, ignoring the stats entirely, I do think that carries cause repetitive wear... BUT, I also think that coaches are generally smart and give carries to backs capable of handling the workload, so that RBs with lots of carries are not more "worn down" than RBs with few carries. If you could somehow create an alternate universe and create a bizarro Stephen Jackson who entered the league at age 26, then sure, I'd think he'd have more left in the tank. But you can't, so for practical purposes, past carries hold little predictive value when estimating future carries.
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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

At Newton-price? Sell all day. I have both Cam and him in two leagues, and view Cam significantly higher. If I'm a contender, I'd be willing to move Colin straight up if the Brees/Brady owner might be looking to rebuild. I view him pretty similar to RG3 (only due to injury), Ryan (not as much of a believer as most) and Stafford (relies of pass attempts). I don't have him top 5, because I view Aaron, Cam, Luck, Brees, and Brady pretty firmly ahead of him -- but I think he is in the mix with the three guys above and Wilson as the next five.
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I can buy it, to a degree. Rodgers, Newton, Luck, Brees are a tier ahead of him, at least. After that, I understand someone swinging for the fences. RG3 still has great value, in my opinion. He will adjust, and that will help keep him healthy, but the rushing yards will still be there. So will the rushing TDs. You don't go from 4.32 to slow. He'll still be the fastest QB in the NFL. I still lean RG3 over Kaep, but I understand those with more concern.

Edited by Concept Coop
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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

Because I also have Luck, Bradford, and Geno - probably sell, but I don't feel good about it right now. He has the ability to almost single handedly beat you in any given week and I don't really want that on someone else's team. My approach will be that of a hard ball one, if I'm going to move him then I need difference maker's at other premium positions.
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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

That's clearly a reach any way you slice it. He isn't reasonably in the higher tier with Rodgers, Cam, Luck, RGIII, and Brees. And even if you have him at the top of the next group, he isn't a round plus better than Stafford, Ryan, Wilson, etc.I like the guy, but he didn't put up close to top-5 numbers after taking over. And the 49ers are going to continue to win games by beating opponents into submission with their ground game and defense, regardless of Kaep's development.
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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

Sell. The minute his game ended. I offered him straight up for RG3 (haven't heard back yet). I was hoping the Griffin owner would overreact to injury. If this is actually where people are valuing him, though, I might just have to shoot an offer to the Luck and Newton owners, too. I'd offer him for Brees if I didn't already own Brees, and I'd consider offering him for Ryan of I didn't already own Brees (meaning I'm looking for youth, since my starting position is set for the next 3 years). I think Rodgers, Cam, and Griffin are the first tier, Brees and Luck are the second tier, and Kaep is in the third tier with Ryan, Wilson, Brady, maybe Stafford. So somewhere in the 6-10 range.
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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

That's clearly a reach any way you slice it. He isn't reasonably in the higher tier with Rodgers, Cam, Luck, RGIII, and Brees. And even if you have him at the top of the next group, he isn't a round plus better than Stafford, Ryan, Wilson, etc.I like the guy, but he didn't put up close to top-5 numbers after taking over. And the 49ers are going to continue to win games by beating opponents into submission with their ground game and defense, regardless of Kaep's development.
I didn't see this before I started my last post, but it looks like our QB rankings are down-the-line identical. One minor nit, though. In my scoring system, Kaep's ppg average since he took over to the end of the season would have ranked him 10th (nowhere near the top 5). His ppg average including the playoffs, though, would leave him essentially tied with Manning for 5th. Obviously having the second best game in fantasy football history is going to jump your per-game average up a ton.
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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

Sell. The minute his game ended. I offered him straight up for RG3 (haven't heard back yet). I was hoping the Griffin owner would overreact to injury. If this is actually where people are valuing him, though, I might just have to shoot an offer to the Luck and Newton owners, too. I'd offer him for Brees if I didn't already own Brees, and I'd consider offering him for Ryan of I didn't already own Brees (meaning I'm looking for youth, since my starting position is set for the next 3 years). I think Rodgers, Cam, and Griffin are the first tier, Brees and Luck are the second tier, and Kaep is in the third tier with Ryan, Wilson, Brady, maybe Stafford. So somewhere in the 6-10 range.
I would switch RGIII and Luck but other than our first 10 and tiers are pretty much identical.
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I'm a little more gun shy about RG3 after his latest injury. He's got great speed, but he's so slightly built that I just don't see him surviving for very long unless he adapts and becomes more of a pure pocket passer. I don't doubt that he can do that, but I don't think it's obvious that he can do it better than Kaep/Luck/Wilson/Newton. If you take out his running threat, defenses will approach him in a different way and he'll find it more difficult to pass. I think this is a pretty tough puzzle to crack, but long term I probably favor Wilson and Luck because they look like the best pure passers and that's how elite QB careers are built. It wouldn't be fair to dismiss the running guys though because they've all been efficient passers in addition to piling up a lot of yards on the ground. I can't remember there ever being so many young QBs who offered such a promising set of skills all entering the league within 1-2 years. What these guys are doing is pretty much unprecedented and that it makes it tougher to predict their futures.

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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

This is a fascinating question. On one hand, that Green Bay performance was a dominating, spectacular fantasy performance. But I wonder just how much Kaepernick will need to have those games next year. SF has a good defense and a good offensive line. While we all agree that Kaepernick is a fine talent, it occurs to me that SF can win a lot of games next year without anything spectacular from Kaepernick.
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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

This is a fascinating question. On one hand, that Green Bay performance was a dominating, spectacular fantasy performance. But I wonder just how much Kaepernick will need to have those games next year. SF has a good defense and a good offensive line. While we all agree that Kaepernick is a fine talent, it occurs to me that SF can win a lot of games next year without anything spectacular from Kaepernick.
Keep in mind that next year is another year older for Gore.
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I can buy it, to a degree. Rodgers, Newton, Luck, Brees are a tier ahead of him, at least. After that, I understand someone swinging for the fences. RG3 still has great value, in my opinion. He will adjust, and that will help keep him healthy, but the rushing yards will still be there. So will the rushing TDs. You don't go from 4.32 to slow. He'll still be the fastest QB in the NFL. I still lean RG3 over Kaep, but I understand those with more concern.

I watched almost every Bobby Three Sticks game this year. I think his fortunes next year will partially depend on Washington improving that terrible receiving corps. Those receivers dropped a lot of balls, and Garcon (the only game changing talent) didn't play much. If WA drafts a WR high and signs a star as well, I like Bobby to finish in the top five.
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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

This is a fascinating question. On one hand, that Green Bay performance was a dominating, spectacular fantasy performance. But I wonder just how much Kaepernick will need to have those games next year. SF has a good defense and a good offensive line. While we all agree that Kaepernick is a fine talent, it occurs to me that SF can win a lot of games next year without anything spectacular from Kaepernick.
He also won't get the chance to face a defense so porous too frequently.
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Buy or sell: Kaepernick top 5?He went in the 3rd in a start-up I'm in; 1 pick after Newton and before RG3, Ryan, and Stafford.

This is a fascinating question. On one hand, that Green Bay performance was a dominating, spectacular fantasy performance. But I wonder just how much Kaepernick will need to have those games next year. SF has a good defense and a good offensive line. While we all agree that Kaepernick is a fine talent, it occurs to me that SF can win a lot of games next year without anything spectacular from Kaepernick.
Keep in mind that next year is another year older for Gore.
I am a big Gore fan. But it doesn't seem unreasonable to assume that another adequate RB could replace Gore without a large dropoff.
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I'm a little more gun shy about RG3 after his latest injury. He's got great speed, but he's so slightly built that I just don't see him surviving for very long unless he adapts and becomes more of a pure pocket passer. I don't doubt that he can do that, but I don't think it's obvious that he can do it better than Kaep/Luck/Wilson/Newton. If you take out his running threat, defenses will approach him in a different way and he'll find it more difficult to pass. I think this is a pretty tough puzzle to crack, but long term I probably favor Wilson and Luck because they look like the best pure passers and that's how elite QB careers are built. It wouldn't be fair to dismiss the running guys though because they've all been efficient passers in addition to piling up a lot of yards on the ground. I can't remember there ever being so many young QBs who offered such a promising set of skills all entering the league within 1-2 years. What these guys are doing is pretty much unprecedented and that it makes it tougher to predict their futures.

:goodposting:
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I can buy it, to a degree. Rodgers, Newton, Luck, Brees are a tier ahead of him, at least. After that, I understand someone swinging for the fences. RG3 still has great value, in my opinion. He will adjust, and that will help keep him healthy, but the rushing yards will still be there. So will the rushing TDs. You don't go from 4.32 to slow. He'll still be the fastest QB in the NFL. I still lean RG3 over Kaep, but I understand those with more concern.

I watched almost every Bobby Three Sticks game this year. I think his fortunes next year will partially depend on Washington improving that terrible receiving corps. Those receivers dropped a lot of balls, and Garcon (the only game changing talent) didn't play much. If WA drafts a WR high and signs a star as well, I like Bobby to finish in the top five.
Washington's highest draft pick will be late second round, and I think they have plenty of other needs besides WR. I doubt they draft a WR high.
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