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Dion Lewis


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Exactly. What is clearly working well is Lewis being used in much the same manner as Vereen, Woodhead, & Faulk had been. What is clearly working is limiting Lewis to 7 carries/game. Why would BB change that? And if that doesn't change, Lewis needs to maintain his high YPR, high catch rate, & high TD rate to maintain his current status. What's more, what has always worked for BB is altering his game plan (sometimes radically) to fit the opponent. He's not an idiot; why change what has worked so well for so many years?

He's had 3 TDs in 4 games while the Pats have scored 17 overall, so the high TD rate is just not based in reality.. He's averaging 10 targets a game, add in 5-10 carries and that is plenty of volume for his talent level in a high octane offense.

The other argument (about past rb utilization) has been rehashed ad nauseam in this thread and I don't think provides any value to argue at this point.

Then feel free to ignore it. All I'm doing is posting facts, information, discussion points, etc. I've tried to be clear when anything I post is my opinion, as opposed to facts.

With regards to the high TD rate, I'm referring to his individual TD rate (compared to number of touches). His TD/touch rate is fairly high. If you feel that this fact is irrelevant, feel free to disregard it, as well.

You are posting conjecture.

He's had 59 touches and has scored 3 TDs. That is a TD rate of 5% or a TD every 20 touches, which is not fairly high and I'd expect to be higher going forward.

Too many SP threads get gunked up with circular arguments where the same thing are repeated over and over again, I will kindly ignore but advise that it doesn't provide any value.

I'm posting conjecture? 1 TD/20 touches is not fairly high? IF he were to continue that rate, it would make him one of the top 10 RBs in NFL history, with regards to TD/touch rate.

But I'm posting conjecture, because you think that isn't a high rate?

Again, feel free to ignore these facts if you want, that is your prerogative.

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If Demarco Murray had 1 TD per 20 touches last year he woulda had like what, 30 TDs?? :wall:

Lewis looks very good out there, and is in just the right kind of offense. He wouldn't be much for fantasy on most of the teams in the NFL, but he happens to be in maybe the best spot he could possibly be in, and will be now for a couple years after this.

Stupid Browns. I guess they just figured he would keep getting hurt. And maybe he will, who knows. But damn it, he does look pretty good. That TD catch was as shifty as it gets.

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All I'm doing is posting facts, information, discussion points, etc. I've tried to be clear when anything I post is my opinion, as opposed to facts.

Was this part fact or opinion?:

Exactly. What is clearly working well is Lewis being used in much the same manner as Vereen, Woodhead, & Faulk had been. What is clearly working is limiting Lewis to 7 carries/game.

Because Lewis is not "being used in much the same manner as Vereen, Woodhead, & Faulk had been" and it isn't limiting Lewis to 7 carries a game that's been working. He was basically pulled in the second half of the Jax and Dallas games to keep him healthy - and it was his first half production that went a long was towards contributing to the Pats having big leads. While it's possible the Pats will blow a lot of teams out this season, it's unlikely they won't have a lot of closer games as well since their schedule gets a little tougher.

Yeah, it is a fact. I've already posted the numbers somewhere in this thread. He is on pace for pretty much the same number of rushes as the "smaller, pass-catching RB" in NE has received since 2007.

What isn't a fact is saying he was "basically pulled" in the 2nd half of he Dallas game. Unless you count him not being on the field for the two kneel downs to end the game as being pulled for "basically the entire 2nd half?"

And, if you are going to discount him being pulled in the Jax blowout, if you're being unbiased, you have to note that 1 game was played without Blount being available. Coincidentally, that was the only game where he saw double-digit rushes.

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The type of touches matters every bit as much as the quantity of touches.

Last year, running backs across the NFL averaged 0.578 fantasy points per rush attempt. They averaged 1.041 fantasy points per reception in standard scoring, and 2.041 fantasy points per reception in PPR. Therefore, receptions were anywhere from 80% to 253% more valuable, on a per-touch basis, than rushes.

Dion Lewis only averages 9 rushing attempts per game. That's a really low number. But he averages 5.75 receptions per game. If we convert those receptions into an "equivalent" number of rushes, that's like an extra 10.35 carries in standard scoring. Or, to put it another way, assuming both players produced perfectly at league average per touch, we would expect a running back averaging 9 rushes and 5.75 receptions per game to score exactly as much as a running back average 19.35 rushes per game in standard scoring.

And that's standard. I've tried to always be clear that the majority of my hype for Dion Lewis is in PPR. (I still think he's a top-12 dynasty RB in standard, but not anywhere like he is in PPR). In PPR scoring, those 5.75 receptions per game can be expected to produce as many extra fantasy points as an additional 20.30 rushes. (TWENTY POINT THREE ZERO RUSHES.) Meaning a guy averaging 9 carries and 5.75 receptions should be about as productive, all else being equal, as a guy averaging 29.30 rushes per game. (TWENTY NINE POINT THREE ZERO.)

And, again, this is over a 4-game sample where Dion Lewis was pulled for a substantial portion of one game and his backup logged an additional four receptions. So if anything, they understate the "true value" of Dion Lewis in the New England Receiving RB role.

Over the 1995-1996 seasons, 21 running backs touched the ball more times than Larry Centers, but only five scored more fantasy points in PPR. The number of touches is by far of secondary importance to the makeup of those touches. 15 touches a game is *plenty* when you're leading all running backs in targets per game.

In fact, if we want to go with historical trends, there have been 32 running backs since 2002 who averaged 6+ targets per game. 30 of them either finished the year as a top-12 RB in PPR, or were on pace to finish the year as a top-12 RB but missed time to injury. Included in those 30 are Shane Vereen, whose 44 rushes and 47 receptions in 8 games in 2013, (just over 11 touches per game), still would have been good enough to land him as the #6 PPR running back if he'd played the whole year. Darren Sproles made the cut twice, in two different seasons where he averaged fewer than 6 rushing attempts per game.

(In case anyone's curious, the two backs who failed to finish on pace for RB1 production were Michael Pittman 2003 and Jamel White 2002.)

One of three things is going to happen this year. Either Dion Lewis is going to get hurt, or Dion Lewis is going to have his role in New England change *dramatically* (to the point where he's averaging under 5 targets per game going forward)... or Dion Lewis is going to finish as a top-12 running back in PPR.

I'm not really in the "predicting injury" business, but I would note that fewer touches does represent fewer chances for a player to get hurt. I suppose the second thing is possible, but doubtful; ESPN's Boston beat writer already weighed in that Lewis was going to be getting the strong majority of the snaps going forward, and that he's the guy who will be getting all of the play when New England spreads the field and goes pass-heavy. And other than one of those two things, Lewis is a lock for RB1 production this season. And if New England keeps him around for next year, he'll be a lock for RB1 numbers in PPR next season, too.

Removed the earlier posts to eliminate the nested posts.

This is very good info, thanks for posting it. I do realize that RB receptions tend to equate to more points on a per-touch basis than RB rushes; but the numbers are nice to see.

Do you run those numbers yourself, or is there a site that allows you to do it (or if it's FBG, how can I do it)?

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All I'm doing is posting facts, information, discussion points, etc. I've tried to be clear when anything I post is my opinion, as opposed to facts.

Was this part fact or opinion?:

Exactly. What is clearly working well is Lewis being used in much the same manner as Vereen, Woodhead, & Faulk had been. What is clearly working is limiting Lewis to 7 carries/game.

Because Lewis is not "being used in much the same manner as Vereen, Woodhead, & Faulk had been" and it isn't limiting Lewis to 7 carries a game that's been working. He was basically pulled in the second half of the Jax and Dallas games to keep him healthy - and it was his first half production that went a long was towards contributing to the Pats having big leads. While it's possible the Pats will blow a lot of teams out this season, it's unlikely they won't have a lot of closer games as well since their schedule gets a little tougher.

Yeah, it is a fact. I've already posted the numbers somewhere in this thread. He is on pace for pretty much the same number of rushes as the "smaller, pass-catching RB" in NE has received since 2007.

What isn't a fact is saying he was "basically pulled" in the 2nd half of he Dallas game. Unless you count him not being on the field for the two kneel downs to end the game as being pulled for "basically the entire 2nd half?"

And, if you are going to discount him being pulled in the Jax blowout, if you're being unbiased, you have to note that 1 game was played without Blount being available. Coincidentally, that was the only game where he saw double-digit rushes.

Were those small backs used at the goal-line as much as Lewis is? Were they pulled out of games to keep them healthy in blowouts? Were they used as pure running backs as much as Lewis is or looked anywhere as powerful?

I apologize for the Dallas comment - thought he was used much more sparingly in the second half based on watching it - but guess I was wrong.

I hereby note that 1 game was played without Blount being available. I doubt anyone would or has disputed that.

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All I'm doing is posting facts, information, discussion points, etc. I've tried to be clear when anything I post is my opinion, as opposed to facts.

Was this part fact or opinion?:

Exactly. What is clearly working well is Lewis being used in much the same manner as Vereen, Woodhead, & Faulk had been. What is clearly working is limiting Lewis to 7 carries/game.

Because Lewis is not "being used in much the same manner as Vereen, Woodhead, & Faulk had been" and it isn't limiting Lewis to 7 carries a game that's been working. He was basically pulled in the second half of the Jax and Dallas games to keep him healthy - and it was his first half production that went a long was towards contributing to the Pats having big leads. While it's possible the Pats will blow a lot of teams out this season, it's unlikely they won't have a lot of closer games as well since their schedule gets a little tougher.

Yeah, it is a fact. I've already posted the numbers somewhere in this thread. He is on pace for pretty much the same number of rushes as the "smaller, pass-catching RB" in NE has received since 2007.

What isn't a fact is saying he was "basically pulled" in the 2nd half of he Dallas game. Unless you count him not being on the field for the two kneel downs to end the game as being pulled for "basically the entire 2nd half?"

And, if you are going to discount him being pulled in the Jax blowout, if you're being unbiased, you have to note that 1 game was played without Blount being available. Coincidentally, that was the only game where he saw double-digit rushes.

Were those small backs used at the goal-line as much as Lewis is? Were they pulled out of games to keep them healthy in blowouts? Were they used as pure running backs as much as Lewis is or looked anywhere as powerful?

I apologize for the Dallas comment - thought he was used much more sparingly in the second half based on watching it - but guess I was wrong.

I hereby note that 1 game was played without Blount being available. I doubt anyone would or has disputed that.

As I posted earlier, since Blount's return, he's received more RZ touches; I don't have the inside the 10 numbers right now.

And, if you define GL as being inside the 5, Lewis has receive ONE GL touch this year (and he failed to score). I didn't bother looking up Faulk, but Vereen was used for several GL carries the past few years in NE, and Woodhead got a couple each year in NE, as well; so YEAH, those other small backs were used as much at the GL as Lewis has been (more so, actually).

Edited by Bayhawks
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Removed the earlier posts to eliminate the nested posts.

This is very good info, thanks for posting it. I do realize that RB receptions tend to equate to more points on a per-touch basis than RB rushes; but the numbers are nice to see.

Do you run those numbers yourself, or is there a site that allows you to do it (or if it's FBG, how can I do it)?

One of the secret features of the Data Dominator is the ability to produce reports for entire team offenses or even the entire league. In the first dropdown box at the top, switch between "Player Report", "Team Offense Report", and "League Total/Averages" report. I just generated a league total/average report for all running back carries for the 2014 season; from there, it was simple enough to calculate total fantasy points and divide by total carries. I did the same for receptions by a running back.

If you want, you can also do the same thing just for New England. Since 2007, New England running backs average 0.688 fantasy points per carry, 1.103 fantasy points per reception in standard, and 2.103 fantasy points per reception in PPR. The ratio isn't quite as skewed towards receptions, (it's only 60% more instead of 80% more), largely because of the huge rushing touchdown total. Still, both rates are noticeably above league average, which suggests 10 rushes and 5 receptions in New England are even more valuable relative to 10/5 anywhere else in the league.

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As I posted earlier, since Blount's return, he's received more RZ touches; I don't have the inside the 10 numbers right now.

And, if you define GL as being inside the 5, Lewis has receive ONE GL touch this year (and he failed to score). I didn't bother looking up Faulk, but Vereen was used for several GL carries the past few years in NE, and Woodhead got a couple each year in NE, as well; so YEAH, those other small backs were used as much at the GL as Lewis has been (more so, actually).

Since week 2, inside the 10 yard Lewis has 5 carries for 25 yards, 3 first downs, and 2 TDs. Blount has 6 carries for 8 yards, 3 first downs, and 3 TDs, (all 1-yard scores against Jacksonville). Blount has yet to register a target, but Lewis has one, which he caught for a 10-yard touchdown, (pretty sure that's the highlight-reel play from this week). If you count targets as well as carries, both backs are tied with six apiece.

Inside the five yard line, Blount leads with five touches to one, and again with the three 1-yard touchdown runs against Jacksonville.

Edit: Interestingly, all 13 of Blount's red-zone touches since week 2 have come in the second half. He has yet to receive a single first-half red-zone touch this year. Lewis has 7 red zone rushes in the first half, vs. 2 rushes and 1 target in the second half.

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Removed the earlier posts to eliminate the nested posts.

This is very good info, thanks for posting it. I do realize that RB receptions tend to equate to more points on a per-touch basis than RB rushes; but the numbers are nice to see.

Do you run those numbers yourself, or is there a site that allows you to do it (or if it's FBG, how can I do it)?

One of the secret features of the Data Dominator is the ability to produce reports for entire team offenses or even the entire league. In the first dropdown box at the top, switch between "Player Report", "Team Offense Report", and "League Total/Averages" report. I just generated a league total/average report for all running back carries for the 2014 season; from there, it was simple enough to calculate total fantasy points and divide by total carries. I did the same for receptions by a running back.

If you want, you can also do the same thing just for New England. Since 2007, New England running backs average 0.688 fantasy points per carry, 1.103 fantasy points per reception in standard, and 2.103 fantasy points per reception in PPR. The ratio isn't quite as skewed towards receptions, (it's only 60% more instead of 80% more), largely because of the huge rushing touchdown total. Still, both rates are noticeably above league average, which suggests 10 rushes and 5 receptions in New England are even more valuable relative to 10/5 anywhere else in the league.

Very interesting. Thanks for the tip.

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As I posted earlier, since Blount's return, he's received more RZ touches; I don't have the inside the 10 numbers right now.

And, if you define GL as being inside the 5, Lewis has receive ONE GL touch this year (and he failed to score). I didn't bother looking up Faulk, but Vereen was used for several GL carries the past few years in NE, and Woodhead got a couple each year in NE, as well; so YEAH, those other small backs were used as much at the GL as Lewis has been (more so, actually).

Since week 2, inside the 10 yard Lewis has 5 carries for 25 yards, 3 first downs, and 2 TDs. Blount has 6 carries for 8 yards, 3 first downs, and 3 TDs, (all 1-yard scores against Jacksonville). Blount has yet to register a target, but Lewis has one, which he caught for a 10-yard touchdown, (pretty sure that's the highlight-reel play from this week). If you count targets as well as carries, both backs are tied with six apiece.

Inside the five yard line, Blount leads with five touches to one, and again with the three 1-yard touchdown runs against Jacksonville.

Edit: Interestingly, all 13 of Blount's red-zone touches since week 2 have come in the second half. He has yet to receive a single first-half red-zone touch this year. Lewis has 7 red zone rushes in the first half, vs. 2 rushes and 1 target in the second half.

Agreed on the Lewis TD catch; that was just sick.

Did you do this on DD, as well? I have to figure out how to use that; it seems way easier than manually checking all of this.

So, red zone total touches seems fairly equal, but Lewis is dominating in the 1st half, when games aren't "decided."

The idea that Lewis is getting used at the GL (more than previous NE smaller back) however, is still false; he's not being used any more down at the GL than those previous RBs.

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As I posted earlier, since Blount's return, he's received more RZ touches

Technically true but 9 of his 13 came in the Jax game (Dion got 4 in that game), the other two games he got 2 & 2 (Dion got 3 & 3). I agree that Blount will be the guy at the goal line (he has received five carries from inside the five, four of those were from the one and all were vs Jax) but looking at the whole red zone I think it will play out close with Dion getting the edge.

But I am comfortable viewing the Jax game as an outlier.

Edited by Chaka
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And the data really seems to support the notion that Lewis will be the guy they use primarily when games are close(ish).

Against Jacksonville Blount received three first half opportunities (rushes+targets) and 16 in the second half compared to 13 in the first for Lewis and zero in the second.

Against Dallas it was more of the same with Blount getting four opportunities in the first and nine in the second while Lewis received ten in the first and seven in the second.

Lewis has still managed to dominate the RB snap count in common games despite not playing at all in the second half of the Jacksonville game.

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As I posted earlier, since Blount's return, he's received more RZ touches; I don't have the inside the 10 numbers right now.

And, if you define GL as being inside the 5, Lewis has receive ONE GL touch this year (and he failed to score). I didn't bother looking up Faulk, but Vereen was used for several GL carries the past few years in NE, and Woodhead got a couple each year in NE, as well; so YEAH, those other small backs were used as much at the GL as Lewis has been (more so, actually).

Since week 2, inside the 10 yard Lewis has 5 carries for 25 yards, 3 first downs, and 2 TDs. Blount has 6 carries for 8 yards, 3 first downs, and 3 TDs, (all 1-yard scores against Jacksonville). Blount has yet to register a target, but Lewis has one, which he caught for a 10-yard touchdown, (pretty sure that's the highlight-reel play from this week). If you count targets as well as carries, both backs are tied with six apiece.

Inside the five yard line, Blount leads with five touches to one, and again with the three 1-yard touchdown runs against Jacksonville.

Edit: Interestingly, all 13 of Blount's red-zone touches since week 2 have come in the second half. He has yet to receive a single first-half red-zone touch this year. Lewis has 7 red zone rushes in the first half, vs. 2 rushes and 1 target in the second half.

Agreed on the Lewis TD catch; that was just sick.

Did you do this on DD, as well? I have to figure out how to use that; it seems way easier than manually checking all of this.

So, red zone total touches seems fairly equal, but Lewis is dominating in the 1st half, when games aren't "decided."

The idea that Lewis is getting used at the GL (more than previous NE smaller back) however, is still false; he's not being used any more down at the GL than those previous RBs.

Yeah, this is all stuff I'm just pulling with the Data Dominator. Honestly, Pro-Football-Reference's database queries are more powerful, (for instance, you can check from each individual yard line, while the Data Dominator only lets you check in 5-yard increments), but they're also a lot more cumbersome to use, and I'm not sure if any of them replicate the "Team Offense Report" or "Leaguewide Totals" report functionality. I subscribed to FBGs for a decade largely just so I'd have access to the Data Dominator and Historical Data Dominator. They're extraordinarily powerful and, once you get a feel for what they can do, really intuitive and easy-to-use.

I would agree with your final statement. There's little evidence that Dion Lewis is getting a disproportionate share of the goal line work relative to previous "passing down RBs" in New England.

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The type of touches matters every bit as much as the quantity of touches.

Last year, running backs across the NFL averaged 0.578 fantasy points per rush attempt. They averaged 1.041 fantasy points per reception in standard scoring, and 2.041 fantasy points per reception in PPR. Therefore, receptions were anywhere from 80% to 253% more valuable, on a per-touch basis, than rushes.

Dion Lewis only averages 9 rushing attempts per game. That's a really low number. But he averages 5.75 receptions per game. If we convert those receptions into an "equivalent" number of rushes, that's like an extra 10.35 carries in standard scoring. Or, to put it another way, assuming both players produced perfectly at league average per touch, we would expect a running back averaging 9 rushes and 5.75 receptions per game to score exactly as much as a running back average 19.35 rushes per game in standard scoring.

And that's standard. I've tried to always be clear that the majority of my hype for Dion Lewis is in PPR. (I still think he's a top-12 dynasty RB in standard, but not anywhere like he is in PPR). In PPR scoring, those 5.75 receptions per game can be expected to produce as many extra fantasy points as an additional 20.30 rushes. (TWENTY POINT THREE ZERO RUSHES.) Meaning a guy averaging 9 carries and 5.75 receptions should be about as productive, all else being equal, as a guy averaging 29.30 rushes per game. (TWENTY NINE POINT THREE ZERO.)

And, again, this is over a 4-game sample where Dion Lewis was pulled for a substantial portion of one game and his backup logged an additional four receptions. So if anything, they understate the "true value" of Dion Lewis in the New England Receiving RB role.

Over the 1995-1996 seasons, 21 running backs touched the ball more times than Larry Centers, but only five scored more fantasy points in PPR. The number of touches is by far of secondary importance to the makeup of those touches. 15 touches a game is *plenty* when you're leading all running backs in targets per game.

In fact, if we want to go with historical trends, there have been 32 running backs since 2002 who averaged 6+ targets per game. 30 of them either finished the year as a top-12 RB in PPR, or were on pace to finish the year as a top-12 RB but missed time to injury. Included in those 30 are Shane Vereen, whose 44 rushes and 47 receptions in 8 games in 2013, (just over 11 touches per game), still would have been good enough to land him as the #6 PPR running back if he'd played the whole year. Darren Sproles made the cut twice, in two different seasons where he averaged fewer than 6 rushing attempts per game.

(In case anyone's curious, the two backs who failed to finish on pace for RB1 production were Michael Pittman 2003 and Jamel White 2002.)

One of three things is going to happen this year. Either Dion Lewis is going to get hurt, or Dion Lewis is going to have his role in New England change *dramatically* (to the point where he's averaging under 5 targets per game going forward)... or Dion Lewis is going to finish as a top-12 running back in PPR.

I'm not really in the "predicting injury" business, but I would note that fewer touches does represent fewer chances for a player to get hurt. I suppose the second thing is possible, but doubtful; ESPN's Boston beat writer already weighed in that Lewis was going to be getting the strong majority of the snaps going forward, and that he's the guy who will be getting all of the play when New England spreads the field and goes pass-heavy. And other than one of those two things, Lewis is a lock for RB1 production this season. And if New England keeps him around for next year, he'll be a lock for RB1 numbers in PPR next season, too.

:goodposting::tebow:

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I can't believe we are still talking about this, debating it back and forth.

Eyeball test, people.

Forget all the numbers, the metrics, the fact that you noticed that Blount "would've been in on that last drive but someone moved his helmet" ... all that bewitchery voodoo.

If you can't watch Dion Lewis and Todd Gurley and DeAndre Hopkins and some of these other new faces around the league play and just know that they look as good or better than 80% of the players at their position, then you are failing miserably.

In reality, the ONLY reason this is a discussion is because of the team he plays for. If he were on the Jets or Saints or anywhere else, people would just shrug and say "it is what he is" and accept him just as easily as Woodhead in San Diego.

This, along with Adam's thoughts, sum up my feelings pretty well.

I'll add only that "reading the tea leaves" regarding his new contract isn't useful IMO.

Perhaps Lewis' camp initiated talks? I have no idea what his finances look like, and like so many NFL players his career and earnings have been spent at a precipice.

The contract is an apparent coup for The Patriots; I don't regard it as strong evidence of commitment, or lack thereof.

Edited by minister
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But looking at a 4 game sample IS meaningful when calling Lewis a RB1, surpassing established RBs like Marshawn Lynch, and predicting dynastic (FF) studliness?

We have a 3 game sample (with Blount back), BBs historical usage of his RBs (since the offense became centered on Brady), and the # of catches, catch rate, and TD rate that are abnormally high. If you believe Lewis' talent outweighs those factors, then you view him as a RB1, if you don't, you view him as a RB2. I'm not saying which view will end up accurate, just posting information that I've thought about.

I can't speak for anyone else, but me calling Lewis an RB1 and predicting dynasty studliness has very little to do with his stat lines the last four games, (though those certainly don't hurt), and a hell of a lot to do with the fact that he is playing football on a completely different level from nearly everyone else in the league. It'd be like chastising the Todd Gurley fans for having him as the #2 dynasty RB over "just" 314 rushing yards. I mean, sure, the 314 rushing yards certainly don't hurt, but there's kind of a lot more going into it than that.

Lewis is just 25 years old at a position where most of the best producers are much older. Bob Henry- the most accurate projector in fantasy football last year- had him projected as the #5 PPR RB for the rest of the season last week. (No clue where he is this week, since the top 200 forward isn't out yet, but I'm betting he hasn't gone down.) He is dominating snaps, (if you count the snaps White got after Dion Lewis got pulled against Jax, he's gotten 75%, 85%, 65%, and 70%), on arguably the best offense in the NFL. He leads all NFL running backs in passing targets per game despite sitting out most of the second half against Jacksonville, (where his direct backup added four more targets). He leads the NFL in broken or missed tackles forced, having one more than runner-up Devonta Freeman on half as many touches. He's averaging five yards per rush despite not having a single carry go for longer than 13 yards. And he looks every bit as good on film as those facts suggest, leaping off the screen every time he touches the ball. He joined Rob Gronkowski as the only offensive players New England felt were important enough to be worth resting in the blowout against Jacksonville. The Patriots beat writer for ESPN says "they love Dion". He got a contract extension after just three games.

And, oh yeah, he's also put up a lot of fantasy points. But mostly all of that other stuff about him being an arresting young talent on an explosive offense.

And all of that is well and good, but another fact is that he is "only" getting 15 touches/game.

It's tough for a RB to put up RB1 numbers over the course of a season with that few touches. Hill, Charles, and Anderson did it last year (assuming 12 team, PPR league), only Woodhead did it in 2013, no RB did it in 2012, Sproles did it in 2011, & no RB did it in 2010. So, in the last 5 years, 5 out of 60 RBs (8.3%) managed to be a RB1 with the limited amount of touches Lewis is getting. Plus, this isn't an anomaly for BB; since 2007, he hasn't given his "pass-catching, smaller" RB much more than 100 carries.

Again, if you, or anyone else wants to believe that Lewis is going to buck both of those trends, more power to you. But don't (not directed at you, but rather the previous poster who criticized me for using a "4 game sample") say a 4 game sample isn't enough to say his carry potential looks capped, when he others are taking that same 4 game sample (with very high catch, catch rate, and TD rate #s) to support the "he's a RB1" claim.

The type of touches matters every bit as much as the quantity of touches.

Last year, running backs across the NFL averaged 0.578 fantasy points per rush attempt. They averaged 1.041 fantasy points per reception in standard scoring, and 2.041 fantasy points per reception in PPR. Therefore, receptions were anywhere from 80% to 253% more valuable, on a per-touch basis, than rushes.

Dion Lewis only averages 9 rushing attempts per game. That's a really low number. But he averages 5.75 receptions per game. If we convert those receptions into an "equivalent" number of rushes, that's like an extra 10.35 carries in standard scoring. Or, to put it another way, assuming both players produced perfectly at league average per touch, we would expect a running back averaging 9 rushes and 5.75 receptions per game to score exactly as much as a running back average 19.35 rushes per game in standard scoring.

And that's standard. I've tried to always be clear that the majority of my hype for Dion Lewis is in PPR. (I still think he's a top-12 dynasty RB in standard, but not anywhere like he is in PPR). In PPR scoring, those 5.75 receptions per game can be expected to produce as many extra fantasy points as an additional 20.30 rushes. (TWENTY POINT THREE ZERO RUSHES.) Meaning a guy averaging 9 carries and 5.75 receptions should be about as productive, all else being equal, as a guy averaging 29.30 rushes per game. (TWENTY NINE POINT THREE ZERO.)

And, again, this is over a 4-game sample where Dion Lewis was pulled for a substantial portion of one game and his backup logged an additional four receptions. So if anything, they understate the "true value" of Dion Lewis in the New England Receiving RB role.

Over the 1995-1996 seasons, 21 running backs touched the ball more times than Larry Centers, but only five scored more fantasy points in PPR. The number of touches is by far of secondary importance to the makeup of those touches. 15 touches a game is *plenty* when you're leading all running backs in targets per game.

In fact, if we want to go with historical trends, there have been 32 running backs since 2002 who averaged 6+ targets per game. 30 of them either finished the year as a top-12 RB in PPR, or were on pace to finish the year as a top-12 RB but missed time to injury. Included in those 30 are Shane Vereen, whose 44 rushes and 47 receptions in 8 games in 2013, (just over 11 touches per game), still would have been good enough to land him as the #6 PPR running back if he'd played the whole year. Darren Sproles made the cut twice, in two different seasons where he averaged fewer than 6 rushing attempts per game.

(In case anyone's curious, the two backs who failed to finish on pace for RB1 production were Michael Pittman 2003 and Jamel White 2002.)

One of three things is going to happen this year. Either Dion Lewis is going to get hurt, or Dion Lewis is going to have his role in New England change *dramatically* (to the point where he's averaging under 5 targets per game going forward)... or Dion Lewis is going to finish as a top-12 running back in PPR.

I'm not really in the "predicting injury" business, but I would note that fewer touches does represent fewer chances for a player to get hurt. I suppose the second thing is possible, but doubtful; ESPN's Boston beat writer already weighed in that Lewis was going to be getting the strong majority of the snaps going forward, and that he's the guy who will be getting all of the play when New England spreads the field and goes pass-heavy. And other than one of those two things, Lewis is a lock for RB1 production this season. And if New England keeps him around for next year, he'll be a lock for RB1 numbers in PPR next season, too.

:mellow: Um, this should probably be the end of all "debating" within this thread. Sheesh. That was smooth. :nerd::pickle:

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Lewis is 25 but I consider this his 24 year old season. He turned 25 a few weeks ago after the season started.

The 2 year deal is a good move for Lewis. He hits the market entering his prime at 26 years old with (theoretically) 2 years of marketable elite production with the Patriots under his belt.

I think he really is a top 5 (PPR) Dynasty RB right now. If I was offered Lacy I would not take it, but I'm also not that high on Lacy in fantasy.

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But looking at a 4 game sample IS meaningful when calling Lewis a RB1, surpassing established RBs like Marshawn Lynch, and predicting dynastic (FF) studliness?

We have a 3 game sample (with Blount back), BBs historical usage of his RBs (since the offense became centered on Brady), and the # of catches, catch rate, and TD rate that are abnormally high. If you believe Lewis' talent outweighs those factors, then you view him as a RB1, if you don't, you view him as a RB2. I'm not saying which view will end up accurate, just posting information that I've thought about.

I can't speak for anyone else, but me calling Lewis an RB1 and predicting dynasty studliness has very little to do with his stat lines the last four games, (though those certainly don't hurt), and a hell of a lot to do with the fact that he is playing football on a completely different level from nearly everyone else in the league. It'd be like chastising the Todd Gurley fans for having him as the #2 dynasty RB over "just" 314 rushing yards. I mean, sure, the 314 rushing yards certainly don't hurt, but there's kind of a lot more going into it than that.

Lewis is just 25 years old at a position where most of the best producers are much older. Bob Henry- the most accurate projector in fantasy football last year- had him projected as the #5 PPR RB for the rest of the season last week. (No clue where he is this week, since the top 200 forward isn't out yet, but I'm betting he hasn't gone down.) He is dominating snaps, (if you count the snaps White got after Dion Lewis got pulled against Jax, he's gotten 75%, 85%, 65%, and 70%), on arguably the best offense in the NFL. He leads all NFL running backs in passing targets per game despite sitting out most of the second half against Jacksonville, (where his direct backup added four more targets). He leads the NFL in broken or missed tackles forced, having one more than runner-up Devonta Freeman on half as many touches. He's averaging five yards per rush despite not having a single carry go for longer than 13 yards. And he looks every bit as good on film as those facts suggest, leaping off the screen every time he touches the ball. He joined Rob Gronkowski as the only offensive players New England felt were important enough to be worth resting in the blowout against Jacksonville. The Patriots beat writer for ESPN says "they love Dion". He got a contract extension after just three games.

And, oh yeah, he's also put up a lot of fantasy points. But mostly all of that other stuff about him being an arresting young talent on an explosive offense.

And all of that is well and good, but another fact is that he is "only" getting 15 touches/game.

It's tough for a RB to put up RB1 numbers over the course of a season with that few touches. Hill, Charles, and Anderson did it last year (assuming 12 team, PPR league), only Woodhead did it in 2013, no RB did it in 2012, Sproles did it in 2011, & no RB did it in 2010. So, in the last 5 years, 5 out of 60 RBs (8.3%) managed to be a RB1 with the limited amount of touches Lewis is getting. Plus, this isn't an anomaly for BB; since 2007, he hasn't given his "pass-catching, smaller" RB much more than 100 carries.

Again, if you, or anyone else wants to believe that Lewis is going to buck both of those trends, more power to you. But don't (not directed at you, but rather the previous poster who criticized me for using a "4 game sample") say a 4 game sample isn't enough to say his carry potential looks capped, when he others are taking that same 4 game sample (with very high catch, catch rate, and TD rate #s) to support the "he's a RB1" claim.

The type of touches matters every bit as much as the quantity of touches.

Last year, running backs across the NFL averaged 0.578 fantasy points per rush attempt. They averaged 1.041 fantasy points per reception in standard scoring, and 2.041 fantasy points per reception in PPR. Therefore, receptions were anywhere from 80% to 253% more valuable, on a per-touch basis, than rushes.

Dion Lewis only averages 9 rushing attempts per game. That's a really low number. But he averages 5.75 receptions per game. If we convert those receptions into an "equivalent" number of rushes, that's like an extra 10.35 carries in standard scoring. Or, to put it another way, assuming both players produced perfectly at league average per touch, we would expect a running back averaging 9 rushes and 5.75 receptions per game to score exactly as much as a running back average 19.35 rushes per game in standard scoring.

And that's standard. I've tried to always be clear that the majority of my hype for Dion Lewis is in PPR. (I still think he's a top-12 dynasty RB in standard, but not anywhere like he is in PPR). In PPR scoring, those 5.75 receptions per game can be expected to produce as many extra fantasy points as an additional 20.30 rushes. (TWENTY POINT THREE ZERO RUSHES.) Meaning a guy averaging 9 carries and 5.75 receptions should be about as productive, all else being equal, as a guy averaging 29.30 rushes per game. (TWENTY NINE POINT THREE ZERO.)

And, again, this is over a 4-game sample where Dion Lewis was pulled for a substantial portion of one game and his backup logged an additional four receptions. So if anything, they understate the "true value" of Dion Lewis in the New England Receiving RB role.

Over the 1995-1996 seasons, 21 running backs touched the ball more times than Larry Centers, but only five scored more fantasy points in PPR. The number of touches is by far of secondary importance to the makeup of those touches. 15 touches a game is *plenty* when you're leading all running backs in targets per game.

In fact, if we want to go with historical trends, there have been 32 running backs since 2002 who averaged 6+ targets per game. 30 of them either finished the year as a top-12 RB in PPR, or were on pace to finish the year as a top-12 RB but missed time to injury. Included in those 30 are Shane Vereen, whose 44 rushes and 47 receptions in 8 games in 2013, (just over 11 touches per game), still would have been good enough to land him as the #6 PPR running back if he'd played the whole year. Darren Sproles made the cut twice, in two different seasons where he averaged fewer than 6 rushing attempts per game.

(In case anyone's curious, the two backs who failed to finish on pace for RB1 production were Michael Pittman 2003 and Jamel White 2002.)

One of three things is going to happen this year. Either Dion Lewis is going to get hurt, or Dion Lewis is going to have his role in New England change *dramatically* (to the point where he's averaging under 5 targets per game going forward)... or Dion Lewis is going to finish as a top-12 running back in PPR.

I'm not really in the "predicting injury" business, but I would note that fewer touches does represent fewer chances for a player to get hurt. I suppose the second thing is possible, but doubtful; ESPN's Boston beat writer already weighed in that Lewis was going to be getting the strong majority of the snaps going forward, and that he's the guy who will be getting all of the play when New England spreads the field and goes pass-heavy. And other than one of those two things, Lewis is a lock for RB1 production this season. And if New England keeps him around for next year, he'll be a lock for RB1 numbers in PPR next season, too.

:mellow: Um, this should probably be the end of all "debating" within this thread. Sheesh. That was smooth. :nerd::pickle:

This was an excellent post. I do have two questions, though, one for the thread in general, and one for Adam, in particular:

1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant, and the fact that Lewis has a historically high TD/touch rate (top-10 for RBs in a single season) is irrelevant, but the fact that it is a historical trend that RBs that average 6 targets/game are top-12 PPR RBs is relevant?

**For the record, I'm not directing this at Adam; I feel that his posts have been excellent in this thread. I'm also not dismissing the points he made in this post; I think they are very significant-I'm just curious why these historical trends/facts are worthwhile, but others are not**

2-For Adam: Is the NE beat writer you refer to Kevin Duffy, or someone else? If it's Duffy, I'm assuming you are referring to this article. If that's the case, I am not sure it's entirely accurate to portray what Duffy said as Lewis would see the "strong majority of the snaps going forward." His point, which he reiterated in the final paragraph was "Lewis won't end the season getting 74 percent of the backfield touches. But, for the reasons outlined above, it's completely reasonable to expect Lewis to see the ball more than Blount, a la Faulk/Antowain Smith in 2003." IMO, that's not saying Lewis will get "a strong majority of the snaps going forward.

It's also important to note that since Duffy made this prediction (which wasn't based on any reports or interviews from NE coaches/players, as far as I could determine), Blount has out-touched Lewis, 32 touches to 27, in the 2 subsequent games.

ETA-I'm not down on Lewis, I just don't think I'm as sky-high as some people in this thread. I think he is doing great so far, and I'm hoping he will be a high-end RB2 when all is said and done at the end of the season; that means that I'm thinking/expecting his production to regress some from his hot start. I'd love to be wrong, but I'm trying not to be blinded by my ownership of him. Perhaps, as a result, I'm focusing on negative things that are out-weighed by his positives. Time will tell.

Edited by Bayhawks
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1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant, and the fact that Lewis has a historically high TD/touch rate (top-10 for RBs in a single season) is irrelevant, but the fact that it is a historical trend that RBs that average 6 targets/game are top-12 PPR RBs is relevant?

**For the record, I'm not directing this at Adam; I feel that his posts have been excellent in this thread. I'm also not dismissing the points he made in this post; I think they are very significant-I'm just curious why these historical trends/facts are worthwhile, but others are not**

Because he isn't the same player as Vereen or anyother passing down back and his utilization thus far is not in line with the past use of pass-catching backs. And I'm not saying that it isn't necessarily irrelevent, just that it has been rehashed so many times in this thread already. And as every week goes by that point become more and more clear that he is not just a COP/3rd Down/Passing back

He doesn't have a historically high TD/touch rate.. if you want to say it high, I'll give you that-- but to say a 5% TD/Touch rate is historically high is just not true.

In 2014 alone Lynch/Lacy/CJA/Charles all average about a 5% TD/Touch rate

There is no reason Lewis can't be one of the handful this year.

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This was an excellent post. I do have two questions, though, one for the thread in general, and one for Adam, in particular:

1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant, and the fact that Lewis has a historically high TD/touch rate (top-10 for RBs in a single season) is irrelevant, but the fact that it is a historical trend that RBs that average 6 targets/game are top-12 PPR RBs is relevant?

**For the record, I'm not directing this at Adam; I feel that his posts have been excellent in this thread. I'm also not dismissing the points he made in this post; I think they are very significant-I'm just curious why these historical trends/facts are worthwhile, but others are not**

2-For Adam: Is the NE beat writer you refer to Kevin Duffy, or someone else? If it's Duffy, I'm assuming you are referring to this article. If that's the case, I am not sure it's entirely accurate to portray what Duffy said as Lewis would see the "strong majority of the snaps going forward." His point, which he reiterated in the final paragraph was "Lewis won't end the season getting 74 percent of the backfield touches. But, for the reasons outlined above, it's completely reasonable to expect Lewis to see the ball more than Blount, a la Faulk/Antowain Smith in 2003." IMO, that's not saying Lewis will get "a strong majority of the snaps going forward.

It's also important to note that since Duffy made this prediction (which wasn't based on any reports or interviews from NE coaches/players, as far as I could determine), Blount has out-touched Lewis, 32 touches to 27, in the 2 subsequent games.

ETA-I'm not down on Lewis, I just don't think I'm as sky-high as some people in this thread. I think he is doing great so far, and I'm hoping he will be a high-end RB2 when all is said and done at the end of the season; that means that I'm thinking/expecting his production to regress some from his hot start. I'd love to be wrong, but I'm trying not to be blinded by my ownership of him. Perhaps, as a result, I'm focusing on negative things that are out-weighed by his positives. Time will tell.

I know #1 wasn't necessarily directed at me, but I don't really view the "RBs who get 6 targets a game are fantasy RB1s" as some sort of historical trend. I just meant it as an illustrative example of the power of receptions in PPR. As I mentioned, each reception is 3.53 times as productive as a carry, from a fantasy standpoint. If a guy gets 5 catches a game, and averages 8 yards per catch, and scores just 4 receiving touchdowns on the season, that's 168 fantasy points from receiving alone. The gap from "168 points" to "top-12 fantasy RB" last year was less than 40 points. Which means like 300 rushing yards and a couple rushing scores, and the guy's a fantasy RB1. If you're getting that many targets, it's difficult *not* to be a top-12 fantasy RB, just because each reception is so disproportionately valued. And that's true whether Michael Pittman finished 2003 as RB17 or RB7 or RB71. PPR places a ton of weight on receptions. Dion Lewis gets a ton of receptions. His role is tailor-made to excel in that scoring system, even at a relatively low volume overall.

As for #2, it wasn't Duffy, it was Mike Reiss.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/183085/fantasy-mailbag-trust-dion-lewis-and-antonio-gates

In response to "is Dion Lewis a good pickup?":

Yes, he is. New England Patriots reporter Mike Reiss, who knows how frustrating the Patriots' unpredictable use of running backs has been to fantasy owners over the years, said he feels "pretty strongly" about Dion Lewis, whom the team just signed to a two-year extension.

Reiss said Lewis has earned the trust of the coaching staff and is the "new Shane Vereen," who played 52.9 percent of the Patriots' snaps last year as a runner and receiver out of the backfield.

"You know they have wild swings in terms of the snaps that they play their guys. But Dion Lewis is their clear-cut No. 1 passing back, third-down, change-of-pace guy. And that's the guy that really plays the most for them anyway because they're throwing so much," Reiss said. "And it's take-it-to-the-bank solidified that as long as Dion Lewis is healthy, that's the guy. He's not gonna get supplanted all of a sudden by James White. That's not happening. They love Dion."

As for LeGarrette Blount, he is still "clearly" New England's top power runner. But Reiss said, "I'd be more hesitant to invest in him, because the Patriots are more apt to be throwing it than power running. The Week 2 game against Buffalo is a great example. LeGarrette Blount took seven snaps in the game. I find it hard to believe there will be a game when Dion Lewis plays seven snaps."

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Offered Jamal Charles for him today to a 1-6 team in a league in which I have the best record and, obviously, just lost Jamal Charles.

Why would a rebuilder give a thought to that offer?

Agreed, though 1-6 doesn't necessarily mean a rebuilder as the team could be riddled with injuries and/or underperformers.

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Offered Jamal Charles for him today to a 1-6 team in a league in which I have the best record and, obviously, just lost Jamal Charles.

Why would a rebuilder give a thought to that offer?

Depends on how long the rebuild is. I've had "rebuilds" that were really just in a one-year hibernation. I could see a team rostering Jamaal, Jordy, Kelvin, Josh Gordon, loading up on 2016 firsts, gunning for the 1.01, and shooting for a quick turnaround.

With that said, I do agree that there's really not any team of any description that should prefer Jamaal Charles to Dion Lewis right now in dynasty. Contender, rebuilder, whateverer.

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But looking at a 4 game sample IS meaningful when calling Lewis a RB1, surpassing established RBs like Marshawn Lynch, and predicting dynastic (FF) studliness?

We have a 3 game sample (with Blount back), BBs historical usage of his RBs (since the offense became centered on Brady), and the # of catches, catch rate, and TD rate that are abnormally high. If you believe Lewis' talent outweighs those factors, then you view him as a RB1, if you don't, you view him as a RB2. I'm not saying which view will end up accurate, just posting information that I've thought about.

I can't speak for anyone else, but me calling Lewis an RB1 and predicting dynasty studliness has very little to do with his stat lines the last four games, (though those certainly don't hurt), and a hell of a lot to do with the fact that he is playing football on a completely different level from nearly everyone else in the league. It'd be like chastising the Todd Gurley fans for having him as the #2 dynasty RB over "just" 314 rushing yards. I mean, sure, the 314 rushing yards certainly don't hurt, but there's kind of a lot more going into it than that.

Lewis is just 25 years old at a position where most of the best producers are much older. Bob Henry- the most accurate projector in fantasy football last year- had him projected as the #5 PPR RB for the rest of the season last week. (No clue where he is this week, since the top 200 forward isn't out yet, but I'm betting he hasn't gone down.) He is dominating snaps, (if you count the snaps White got after Dion Lewis got pulled against Jax, he's gotten 75%, 85%, 65%, and 70%), on arguably the best offense in the NFL. He leads all NFL running backs in passing targets per game despite sitting out most of the second half against Jacksonville, (where his direct backup added four more targets). He leads the NFL in broken or missed tackles forced, having one more than runner-up Devonta Freeman on half as many touches. He's averaging five yards per rush despite not having a single carry go for longer than 13 yards. And he looks every bit as good on film as those facts suggest, leaping off the screen every time he touches the ball. He joined Rob Gronkowski as the only offensive players New England felt were important enough to be worth resting in the blowout against Jacksonville. The Patriots beat writer for ESPN says "they love Dion". He got a contract extension after just three games.

And, oh yeah, he's also put up a lot of fantasy points. But mostly all of that other stuff about him being an arresting young talent on an explosive offense.

And all of that is well and good, but another fact is that he is "only" getting 15 touches/game.

It's tough for a RB to put up RB1 numbers over the course of a season with that few touches. Hill, Charles, and Anderson did it last year (assuming 12 team, PPR league), only Woodhead did it in 2013, no RB did it in 2012, Sproles did it in 2011, & no RB did it in 2010. So, in the last 5 years, 5 out of 60 RBs (8.3%) managed to be a RB1 with the limited amount of touches Lewis is getting. Plus, this isn't an anomaly for BB; since 2007, he hasn't given his "pass-catching, smaller" RB much more than 100 carries.

Again, if you, or anyone else wants to believe that Lewis is going to buck both of those trends, more power to you. But don't (not directed at you, but rather the previous poster who criticized me for using a "4 game sample") say a 4 game sample isn't enough to say his carry potential looks capped, when he others are taking that same 4 game sample (with very high catch, catch rate, and TD rate #s) to support the "he's a RB1" claim.

And that's standard. I've tried to always be clear that the majority of my hype for Dion Lewis is in PPR. (I still think he's a top-12 dynasty RB in standard, but not anywhere like he is in PPR). In PPR scoring, those 5.75 receptions per game can be expected to produce as many extra fantasy points as an additional 20.30 rushes. (TWENTY POINT THREE ZERO RUSHES.) Meaning a guy averaging 9 carries and 5.75 receptions should be about as productive, all else being equal, as a guy averaging 29.30 rushes per game. (TWENTY NINE POINT THREE ZERO.)

BOOM. Another great post. Getting the same value in touches as a guy who gets 30 rushes a game without the injury risk or breakdown wear and tear a 30 carry back would experience. Also factor in that his 9 or so rushes is presenting more value than the average rusher as he makes so many people miss to a point he is on anotehr level making his point per rush value much higher than avg. Also factor in his offense is puttign him in scoring position more than an average back. Its a recipe for success, long term success a 30 carry per game back would not have. Oh and he is only 25. :thumbup:

Edited by mnmplayer
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Haven't studied this in detail, but I'm getting a strong Moreno '13 vibe from him. He's getting the job done for an offense that's firing on all cylinders.

Not to be ruede or harsh but ... Moreno is not allowed to be compared to Dion. Moreno is a guy with a lot of heart that year, but the talent/style of play inst even close. Moreno doesn't make anyone miss.

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Offered Jamal Charles for him today to a 1-6 team in a league in which I have the best record and, obviously, just lost Jamal Charles.

Why would a rebuilder give a thought to that offer?

If they think Lewis is a locked in top 10-15 dynasty RB, they likely wouldn't. Or if they think a 29 year old RB coming off an ACL is a losing proposition.

If they think Charles has a couple of years left as a top RB, and have lingering concerns that Lewis is a product of the offense, and that Belichick could changes things up at any moment, or at the very least, the roster might look differently a year from now, they would.

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1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant

IMO you seem to be starting with a faulty assumption, which is to split BB RBs into two categories: pass catching backs and big backs, or whatever terminology you prefer. You aren't the only one, plenty of posters were doing the same early on, and they have been gradually receding into the background as Lewis continues to perform.

I posted previously in the thread a list of all of the RBs who received significant touches under BB, and I stated that IMO Lewis is arguably the most talented and complete RB BB has had other than Dillon. BB did not slot Dillon into either the big back or pass catching back category. He used Dillon as a three down back for as long as he held up. That illustrates that BB is not wed to a platoon system with specific roles, which should not be surprising, since BB is obviously a very smart coach, not an idiot.

If it is true that Lewis is more talented and more complete than guys like Faulk, Vereen, and Woodhead, it stands to reason that BB may use him differently and that he may perform differently. That is my expectation, barring injury or a major fumbling problem.

Given that I think you start from a faulty assumption, I cannot give your conclusions any real weight, since they too are consequently faulty. As you like to say, if you don't agree, you can disregard. :shrug:

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Dion Lewis leads list of top offseason bargains:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000556608/article/dion-lewis-leads-list-of-top-offseason-bargains

Excerpt:

1. Dion Lewis, New England Patriots running back: Somewhere between Darren Sproles and former Chiefs return ace Dante Hall (nicknamed The Human Joystick for stop-start ability that consistently embarrassed would-be tacklers), Lewis has joined Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman as the playmaking "triplets" in Tom Brady's league-leading aerial attack.

Pro Football Focus should rename their Elusive Rating the "Dion Lewis Factor," as the quarter-season All-Pro scat back is threatening to break the scale, which measures a runner's impact independent of blocking. No running back has forced more missed tackles than Lewis' 28.

The Patriots acquired one of their most valuable players late last December, signing Lewis to a reserve/future contract after he failed to find a team for the entirety of the 2014 season.

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This was an excellent post. I do have two questions, though, one for the thread in general, and one for Adam, in particular:

1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant, and the fact that Lewis has a historically high TD/touch rate (top-10 for RBs in a single season) is irrelevant, but the fact that it is a historical trend that RBs that average 6 targets/game are top-12 PPR RBs is relevant?

**For the record, I'm not directing this at Adam; I feel that his posts have been excellent in this thread. I'm also not dismissing the points he made in this post; I think they are very significant-I'm just curious why these historical trends/facts are worthwhile, but others are not**

2-For Adam: Is the NE beat writer you refer to Kevin Duffy, or someone else? If it's Duffy, I'm assuming you are referring to this article. If that's the case, I am not sure it's entirely accurate to portray what Duffy said as Lewis would see the "strong majority of the snaps going forward." His point, which he reiterated in the final paragraph was "Lewis won't end the season getting 74 percent of the backfield touches. But, for the reasons outlined above, it's completely reasonable to expect Lewis to see the ball more than Blount, a la Faulk/Antowain Smith in 2003." IMO, that's not saying Lewis will get "a strong majority of the snaps going forward.

It's also important to note that since Duffy made this prediction (which wasn't based on any reports or interviews from NE coaches/players, as far as I could determine), Blount has out-touched Lewis, 32 touches to 27, in the 2 subsequent games.

ETA-I'm not down on Lewis, I just don't think I'm as sky-high as some people in this thread. I think he is doing great so far, and I'm hoping he will be a high-end RB2 when all is said and done at the end of the season; that means that I'm thinking/expecting his production to regress some from his hot start. I'd love to be wrong, but I'm trying not to be blinded by my ownership of him. Perhaps, as a result, I'm focusing on negative things that are out-weighed by his positives. Time will tell.

I know #1 wasn't necessarily directed at me, but I don't really view the "RBs who get 6 targets a game are fantasy RB1s" as some sort of historical trend. I just meant it as an illustrative example of the power of receptions in PPR. As I mentioned, each reception is 3.53 times as productive as a carry, from a fantasy standpoint. If a guy gets 5 catches a game, and averages 8 yards per catch, and scores just 4 receiving touchdowns on the season, that's 168 fantasy points from receiving alone. The gap from "168 points" to "top-12 fantasy RB" last year was less than 40 points. Which means like 300 rushing yards and a couple rushing scores, and the guy's a fantasy RB1. If you're getting that many targets, it's difficult *not* to be a top-12 fantasy RB, just because each reception is so disproportionately valued. And that's true whether Michael Pittman finished 2003 as RB17 or RB7 or RB71. PPR places a ton of weight on receptions. Dion Lewis gets a ton of receptions. His role is tailor-made to excel in that scoring system, even at a relatively low volume overall.

As for #2, it wasn't Duffy, it was Mike Reiss.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/183085/fantasy-mailbag-trust-dion-lewis-and-antonio-gates

In response to "is Dion Lewis a good pickup?":

Yes, he is. New England Patriots reporter Mike Reiss, who knows how frustrating the Patriots' unpredictable use of running backs has been to fantasy owners over the years, said he feels "pretty strongly" about Dion Lewis, whom the team just signed to a two-year extension.

Reiss said Lewis has earned the trust of the coaching staff and is the "new Shane Vereen," who played 52.9 percent of the Patriots' snaps last year as a runner and receiver out of the backfield.

"You know they have wild swings in terms of the snaps that they play their guys. But Dion Lewis is their clear-cut No. 1 passing back, third-down, change-of-pace guy. And that's the guy that really plays the most for them anyway because they're throwing so much," Reiss said. "And it's take-it-to-the-bank solidified that as long as Dion Lewis is healthy, that's the guy. He's not gonna get supplanted all of a sudden by James White. That's not happening. They love Dion."

As for LeGarrette Blount, he is still "clearly" New England's top power runner. But Reiss said, "I'd be more hesitant to invest in him, because the Patriots are more apt to be throwing it than power running. The Week 2 game against Buffalo is a great example. LeGarrette Blount took seven snaps in the game. I find it hard to believe there will be a game when Dion Lewis plays seven snaps."

Oh, like I posted, I think your post was great, those facts give me more confidence than I previously had that Lewis might sustain his current production (or at least not regress as much as I previously feared).

With regards to the Reiss quote, thanks for the clarification. I still am not interpreting it the way you did (I read it as him saying Lewis is this years version of Vereen, & he will be the RB in passing situations) but I appreciate the info.

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1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant

IMO you seem to be starting with a faulty assumption, which is to split BB RBs into two categories: pass catching backs and big backs, or whatever terminology you prefer. You aren't the only one, plenty of posters were doing the same early on, and they have been gradually receding into the background as Lewis continues to perform.

I posted previously in the thread a list of all of the RBs who received significant touches under BB, and I stated that IMO Lewis is arguably the most talented and complete RB BB has had other than Dillon. BB did not slot Dillon into either the big back or pass catching back category. He used Dillon as a three down back for as long as he held up. That illustrates that BB is not wed to a platoon system with specific roles, which should not be surprising, since BB is obviously a very smart coach, not an idiot.

If it is true that Lewis is more talented and more complete than guys like Faulk, Vereen, and Woodhead, it stands to reason that BB may use him differently and that he may perform differently. That is my expectation, barring injury or a major fumbling problem.

Given that I think you start from a faulty assumption, I cannot give your conclusions any real weight, since they too are consequently faulty. As you like to say, if you don't agree, you can disregard. :shrug:

Dillon was not a RB during this "era" of NE football that I'm referring to. I've made it clear that I'm talking about NE from. 2007 on (when the offense became "Brady-centered"). It was when Dillon got older & left when they turned the offense over to Brady that BB began to use the big & small RBs this way. Prior to that point, he used A Smith similarly to Dillon, but he hasn't really done so since. Again, you're free to ignore the last 8 years of BBs handling of his RBs & focus on how he handled then before it became obvious that his offense should be focused on his great QB, who happens to still be his QB, but I'm less inclined to do so. Edited by Bayhawks
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Great posts in this thread! Now this is the kind of information one cherishes to read. I enjoyed the research on how receptions are more valuable than carries too!

Now, in a non-ppr, TD heavy league, where does this guy Lewis fit into the mix? In the 10-15 range? I already play Brady and Gronk, and Lewis is on my bench with Ingram and Gurley being the two primary starters, and Ivory is another starter / bench / fill in player. I like to see more rushes = opportunity, but with Lewis getting 7-10 rushes and 4-7 catches I'm having a hard time ranking my 4 RB's moving forward. Certainly not who do I start question, it's all about Lewis moving forward and where he ranks out without all my eggs in the NE offense.

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1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant, and the fact that Lewis has a historically high TD/touch rate (top-10 for RBs in a single season) is irrelevant, but the fact that it is a historical trend that RBs that average 6 targets/game are top-12 PPR RBs is relevant?

Because Adam wasn't pointing out a historical trend, he was simply showing how receptions and the higher yardage per touch that comes with those receptions add up quickly in ppr leagues.

As far as the "history of how BB uses his 'pass-catching' RBs, I don't think it's irrelevant but as I tried to point out to you earlier with a loaded question that you ignored - you are using only the numbers that support your argument and ignoring all other factors that don't support your view. It's not a "fact" that Lewis is being used just as past "pass catching" running backs were. If you watch the games he's being used much more as a traditional running back, as well as a pass catcher, and is more heavily involved in the red zone packages than those other backs were. Some of you stats are heavily skewed by the Jax game where Blount was used as a second half closer and Lewis was pulled to help keep him healthy. Do you know who the only other offensive player that was hardly on the field in the second half of that game was? It was Gronkowski. That should tell you something as well.

And before you try and use the strawman argument of bias, again, yes the stats are also skewed in the opposite direction somewhat by the Week 1 game where Blount was suspended.

I don't think anyone discounts Blount's presence capping Lewis to some extent. And as to your "bias" claim - I do own Lewis in 3 dynasties but in the one where I do not own Lewis, I do own Blount and I am 4-1 in that league and started Blount last week, and will be starting him again this week, so I'm certainly not rooting against him and I obviously don't think he's going away.

This is a stats based hobby. I understand that, but sometimes you have to pay attention to what is happening on the field. No one can watch Lewis play and think he's the equivalent of Vereen, Woodhead or Faulk (and I'll be the first to admit they were vastly under-rated talents). Belichick sees Lewis differently as well. You can tell by how he talks about him and how he's been using him. Those other guys did get carries from time to time and sometimes filled in in a pinch as a feature back (Faulk in particular had some success doing so) - but while watching the games one would assume Lewis is the feature back as Blount has been mostly used to spell him when the games are close and in a mop up role when the Pats pull away. I do think Blount is a favorite of Belichick as well, and will surely be a part of the offense and perhaps will be a magor part of the redzone packages - but I'm really not sure we can write that down in pen. Lewis is much more versatile in that role and gives the offense major flexibility. The little guy runs pretty powerfully and we've seen how dynamic he can be. Blount doesn't offer nearly as much.

I'm not ready to crown Lewis as a top 5 dynasty back yet or predict a top 5 finish this season, but if you look over the running back landscape in the league right now neither position is outlandish at all.

So you "feel free to disregard" the other non statistical evidence - since you feel so special when you throw that line out for your evidence like you've done about ten times in this thread already.

Edited by Dr. Octopus
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This was an excellent post. I do have two questions, though, one for the thread in general, and one for Adam, in particular:

1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant, and the fact that Lewis has a historically high TD/touch rate (top-10 for RBs in a single season) is irrelevant, but the fact that it is a historical trend that RBs that average 6 targets/game are top-12 PPR RBs is relevant?

**For the record, I'm not directing this at Adam; I feel that his posts have been excellent in this thread. I'm also not dismissing the points he made in this post; I think they are very significant-I'm just curious why these historical trends/facts are worthwhile, but others are not**

2-For Adam: Is the NE beat writer you refer to Kevin Duffy, or someone else? If it's Duffy, I'm assuming you are referring to this article. If that's the case, I am not sure it's entirely accurate to portray what Duffy said as Lewis would see the "strong majority of the snaps going forward." His point, which he reiterated in the final paragraph was "Lewis won't end the season getting 74 percent of the backfield touches. But, for the reasons outlined above, it's completely reasonable to expect Lewis to see the ball more than Blount, a la Faulk/Antowain Smith in 2003." IMO, that's not saying Lewis will get "a strong majority of the snaps going forward.

It's also important to note that since Duffy made this prediction (which wasn't based on any reports or interviews from NE coaches/players, as far as I could determine), Blount has out-touched Lewis, 32 touches to 27, in the 2 subsequent games.

ETA-I'm not down on Lewis, I just don't think I'm as sky-high as some people in this thread. I think he is doing great so far, and I'm hoping he will be a high-end RB2 when all is said and done at the end of the season; that means that I'm thinking/expecting his production to regress some from his hot start. I'd love to be wrong, but I'm trying not to be blinded by my ownership of him. Perhaps, as a result, I'm focusing on negative things that are out-weighed by his positives. Time will tell.

I know #1 wasn't necessarily directed at me, but I don't really view the "RBs who get 6 targets a game are fantasy RB1s" as some sort of historical trend. I just meant it as an illustrative example of the power of receptions in PPR. As I mentioned, each reception is 3.53 times as productive as a carry, from a fantasy standpoint. If a guy gets 5 catches a game, and averages 8 yards per catch, and scores just 4 receiving touchdowns on the season, that's 168 fantasy points from receiving alone. The gap from "168 points" to "top-12 fantasy RB" last year was less than 40 points. Which means like 300 rushing yards and a couple rushing scores, and the guy's a fantasy RB1. If you're getting that many targets, it's difficult *not* to be a top-12 fantasy RB, just because each reception is so disproportionately valued. And that's true whether Michael Pittman finished 2003 as RB17 or RB7 or RB71. PPR places a ton of weight on receptions. Dion Lewis gets a ton of receptions. His role is tailor-made to excel in that scoring system, even at a relatively low volume overall.

As for #2, it wasn't Duffy, it was Mike Reiss.

http://espn.go.com/blog/nflnation/post/_/id/183085/fantasy-mailbag-trust-dion-lewis-and-antonio-gates

In response to "is Dion Lewis a good pickup?":

Yes, he is. New England Patriots reporter Mike Reiss, who knows how frustrating the Patriots' unpredictable use of running backs has been to fantasy owners over the years, said he feels "pretty strongly" about Dion Lewis, whom the team just signed to a two-year extension.

Reiss said Lewis has earned the trust of the coaching staff and is the "new Shane Vereen," who played 52.9 percent of the Patriots' snaps last year as a runner and receiver out of the backfield.

"You know they have wild swings in terms of the snaps that they play their guys. But Dion Lewis is their clear-cut No. 1 passing back, third-down, change-of-pace guy. And that's the guy that really plays the most for them anyway because they're throwing so much," Reiss said. "And it's take-it-to-the-bank solidified that as long as Dion Lewis is healthy, that's the guy. He's not gonna get supplanted all of a sudden by James White. That's not happening. They love Dion."

As for LeGarrette Blount, he is still "clearly" New England's top power runner. But Reiss said, "I'd be more hesitant to invest in him, because the Patriots are more apt to be throwing it than power running. The Week 2 game against Buffalo is a great example. LeGarrette Blount took seven snaps in the game. I find it hard to believe there will be a game when Dion Lewis plays seven snaps."

Oh, like I posted, I think your post was great, those facts give me more confidence than I previously had that Lewis might sustain his current production (or at least not regress as much as I previously feared).

With regards to the Reiss quote, thanks for the clarification. I still am not interpreting it the way you did (I read it as him saying Lewis is this years version of Vereen, & he will be the RB in passing situations) but I appreciate the info.

The Patriots have a 160:94 Pass:Run ratio right now (63%). I am also pretty confident that Lewis will be in on a higher percentage of running plays than Blount will be on passing plays.

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1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant

IMO you seem to be starting with a faulty assumption, which is to split BB RBs into two categories: pass catching backs and big backs, or whatever terminology you prefer. You aren't the only one, plenty of posters were doing the same early on, and they have been gradually receding into the background as Lewis continues to perform.

I posted previously in the thread a list of all of the RBs who received significant touches under BB, and I stated that IMO Lewis is arguably the most talented and complete RB BB has had other than Dillon. BB did not slot Dillon into either the big back or pass catching back category. He used Dillon as a three down back for as long as he held up. That illustrates that BB is not wed to a platoon system with specific roles, which should not be surprising, since BB is obviously a very smart coach, not an idiot.

If it is true that Lewis is more talented and more complete than guys like Faulk, Vereen, and Woodhead, it stands to reason that BB may use him differently and that he may perform differently. That is my expectation, barring injury or a major fumbling problem.

Given that I think you start from a faulty assumption, I cannot give your conclusions any real weight, since they too are consequently faulty. As you like to say, if you don't agree, you can disregard. :shrug:

I'm one of the early posters talking about the Big Back / Rec back split. I don't think the Dillon comparison is a good one, because I don't expect that we'll ever see Lewis with a regular 15-20 rush total. He is getting more between the tackles rush attempts than Vereen ever did ( with the small window last year with Vereen as the lead back before Gray / Blount ), but about the same as Woodhead used to get. In general, these backs have received about 7-10 carries / game, which is exactly where Lewis is in games that Blount has played.

None of this discounts his value as a PPR RB1. As Adam has pointed out so completely, his usage is fairly comparable to the receiving back role in NE over the past few years - nearly identical carry totals, higher target totals - with greater results. I don't know that he'll maintain his reception rate, but with the quick passing game working so well, he may. He is the RB that will be on the field in a majority of their personnel groups, so he should continue to see significant opportunities.

The way the NE offense as constructed now is very different than in the Faulk years, and the role that Lewis has in it is a more prominent one than any of the backs that preceded him in a similar role ever had. I think that may be the disconnect. Lewis will see a large chunk of arguably the best offense in the NFL, much of that through the air. He just won't be leading the team in rush attempts.

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1-For everyone: Why is it that discussing the history of how BB uses his "pass-catching" RBs is irrelevant, and the fact that Lewis has a historically high TD/touch rate (top-10 for RBs in a single season) is irrelevant, but the fact that it is a historical trend that RBs that average 6 targets/game are top-12 PPR RBs is relevant?

Because Adam wasn't pointing out a historical trend, he was simply showing how receptions and the higher yardage per touch that comes with those receptions add up quickly in ppr leagues.

As far as the "history of how BB uses his 'pass-catching' RBs, I don't think it's irrelevant but as I tried to point out to you earlier with a loaded question that you ignored - you are using only the numbers that support your argument and ignoring all other factors that don't support your view. It's not a "fact" that Lewis is being used just as past "pass catching" running backs were. If you watch the games he's being used much more as a traditional running back, as well as a pass catcher, and is more heavily involved in the red zone packages than those other backs were. Some of you stats are heavily skewed by the Jax game where Blount was used as a second half closer and Lewis was pulled to help keep him healthy. Do you know who the only other offensive player that was hardly on the field in the second half of that game was? It was Gronkowski. That should tell you something as well.

And before you try and use the strawman argument of bias, again, yes the stats are also skewed in the opposite direction somewhat by the Week 1 game where Blount was suspended.

I don't think anyone discounts Blount's presence capping Lewis to some extent. And as to your "bias" claim - I do own Lewis in 3 dynasties but in the one where I do not own Lewis, I do own Blount and I am 4-1 in that league and started Blount last week, and will be starting him again this week, so I'm certainly not rooting against him and I obviously don't think he's going away.

This is a stats based hobby. I understand that, but sometimes you have to pay attention to what is happening on the field. No one can watch Lewis play and think he's the equivalent of Vereen, Woodhead or Faulk (and I'll be the first to admit they were vastly under-rated talents). Belichick sees Lewis differently as well. You can tell by how he talks about him and how he's been using him. Those other guys did get carries from time to time and sometimes filled in in a pinch as a feature back (Faulk in particular had some success doing so) - but while watching the games one would assume Lewis is the feature back as Blount has been mostly used to spell him when the games are close and in a mop up role when the Pats pull away. I do think Blount is a favorite of Belichick as well, and will surely be a part of the offense and perhaps will be a magor part of the redzone packages - but I'm really not sure we can write that down in pen. Lewis is much more versatile in that role and gives the offense major flexibility. The little guy runs pretty powerfully and we've seen how dynamic he can be. Blount doesn't offer nearly as much.

I'm not ready to crown Lewis as a top 5 dynasty back yet or predict a top 5 finish this season, but if you look over the running back landscape in the league right now neither position is outlandish at all.

So you "feel free to disregard" the other non statistical evidence - since you feel so special when you throw that line out for your evidence like you've done about ten times in this thread already.

Why so angry? Because I don't 100% agree with your take on the situation? Why should that bother you? If you don't agree with the conclusions I'm drawing, or you don't think the facts/data I'm discussing are relevant, ignore them. Me stating that isn't any reflection of my "feeling special" or not; I don't care to argue with you or anyone else, so I tell you to feel free to ignore my points. Why should that bother you?

With regards to the red zone stuff, it's been established that Lewis isn't being used more at the GL as other posters believed. You indicate that he's being used more in the red zone than previous pass-catching RBs; I'd love to see some stats to back that up, because my belief is that is is based on recency bias, rather than actual facts, just as the GL misconception was. As far as him being used more "between the tackles," I'd like to see those stats as well, because he is averaging about the same # of carries as those previous backs, so he must be running more between the tackles, because he isn't running more than they did.

Again, I'm not challenging you, I'd just like to see those stats that you're citing.

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Haven't studied this in detail, but I'm getting a strong Moreno '13 vibe from him. He's getting the job done for an offense that's firing on all cylinders.

Not to be ruede or harsh but ... Moreno is not allowed to be compared to Dion. Moreno is a guy with a lot of heart that year, but the talent/style of play inst even close. Moreno doesn't make anyone miss.

Yeah, I wasn't talking about running style, body type or anything like that. Just meant in terms of situation. I drafted Moreno late that year, and for the first few weeks I was never sure whether to start him; everyone kept waiting for the other shoe to drop (in the form of Ball or Hillman taking on more of a role). Finally, by about this point in the year, I realized he was a locked-in RB1 who was a key component of a prolific offense.

I think part of the initial uncertainty stems from the fact that neither guy puts up classic Peterson-style 25/130/2 stat lines. You look at Todd Gurley's box scores the past two weeks and you know that he dominated. With Lewis, it's not as immediately apparent, but when you look at your fantasy match-up and realize he got you another 15-20 points, you're just as happy.

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Why so angry? Because I don't 100% agree with your take on the situation? Why should that bother you? If you don't agree with the conclusions I'm drawing, or you don't think the facts/data I'm discussing are relevant, ignore them. Me stating that isn't any reflection of my "feeling special" or not; I don't care to argue with you or anyone else, so I tell you to feel free to ignore my points. Why should that bother you?

I'm sure when you tell people "feel free to ignore my facts" you mean it in a completely innocent and non-condescending manner.

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