Fantasy Points Per Reception
Running Back Edition Part 2
Before you go any further if you haven’t read the previous articles from this series, we recommend you do so. You can find those articles here:
Points Per Rush Attempt Analysis for 2021 Fantasy Football
Point Per Rush Attempt Analysis – Regression Candidates
Fantasy Points Per Reception – Running Back Edition Part 1
In this article, we break down Fantasy Points Per Reception or FPPR regression candidates from 2020 at the running back position. This should help you identify players to potentially fade in 2021.
As a reminder, the league average for FPPR over the past 10 seasons is 1.49. For a running back to see a half point less per game they need to catch 40 passes and see a drop in FPPR of .2.
2021 FPPR Negative Regression Candidates
Player: Chris Carson
2020 FPPR: 1.92
Career avg. FPPR: 1.75
FPPR Variance: 10%
2021 Projected PPG
Chris Carson has been as consistent as they come over the past three seasons seeing his PPG range from 14-14.8. However, somewhat of a red flag heading into 2021 was Carson’s big drop in touches. From 2019 to 2020 Carson saw his touches decrease from 21.5 to 14.8. Carson was able to keep up his PPG by seeing a 16% increase in his PPRA and a 10% increase FPPR vs. his career norms. Based on what we learned over these past few articles one if not both will drop in 2021.
The next question we need to answer is “what does the floor for Carson look like if he were to return to his career norms without an uptick in touches”. The short answer is 12.4 PPG. That would put him outside the top 25 running backs in PPG last season. Currently, Carson’s ADP is RB18 which isn’t a terrible price to pay based on his PPG over the past three seasons. Currently, backup RB Rashaad Penny is out again so Carson could be leaned on early. This makes it likely for him to see a bump in touches potentially justifying his ADP in 2021.
Player: Nyheim Hines
2020 FPPR: 1.63
Career avg. FPPR: 1.41
FPPR Variance: 16%
2021 Projected PPG
2020 marked the first time in Nyheim Hines’s career that he cracked the double digits fantasy point mark in .5 PPR. Last season led by check down artist Philip Rivers the Colts were 5th in running back targets and target percentage. In the previous two seasons with Andrew Luck and Jacoby Brissett, the Colts ranked 20th and 19th. This resulted in Hines only producing 8.1 and 5.4 PPG in .5 PPR finishing outside the top 40 in PPG in both seasons.
Insert Carson Wentz who over his career has averaged a 17.2% target rate to his RBs with an average rank of 22nd. This is an immediate red flag for Hines who saw 65% of his fantasy points in the passing game in 2020. Currently being drafted as the RB46 Hines still can return value. That being said, his upside is capped so we believe your draft capital is better off being spent elsewhere in 2021.
Player: Myles Gaskin
2020 FPPR: 1.74
Career avg. FPPR: 1.48
FPPR Variance: 17%
2021 Projected PPG
Myles Gaskin broke out last year basically out of nowhere. Both Matt Breida and Jordan Howard were being drafted as the potential top RB in MIA. However, it was Gaskin who became the guy. The question becomes is he a one-hit-wonder or can he repeat in 2021. Last season Gaskin ranked 9th in touches per game while finishing 11th in PPG. What made Gaskins a weekly borderline RB1 was his workhorse usage.
Early indications from Dolphins camp say new offseason acquisition Malcolm Brown is going to handle goal-line and short-yardage work. This would be a hit to Gaskin’s TD production as he handled most of the carries inside the 5 as a starter in 2020. Another factor is Salvon Ahmed. Ahmed earned a role in this offense by his play while Gaskin was out. In the lone game in 2020 that Gaskin played with Ahmed they split touches 11 to 9. Overall, Gaskin will lead this backfield, but if he falls short of his 18 touches a game, the question becomes how low will his production fall?
Player: Darrell Henderson
2020 FPPR: 1.87
Career avg. FPPR: 1.65
FPPR Variance: 13%
2021 Projected PPG
The loss of Cam Akers would seem to have made Darrell Henderson nearly a slam dunk to be a top 24 RB. Yet he hasn’t cracked the 4th round in ADP. So what gives? Last year Henderson made big strides in his efficiency both as a rusher and a pass catcher. The stats above clearly don’t tell the whole story. If we focus just on the games where Henderson played at least 40% of snaps his points per game jumps to 12 PPG.
Before Akers injury, he was going at the back of the first round. Meanwhile as stated above Henderson is going in the 5th. In 2020 Henderson had a better PPRA than Akers so he could theoretically have a higher ceiling than Akers with this workload. I know Henderson is supposed to be a regression candidate, but with the lack of pass-game involvement, it might not matter. Call it a hunch but Henderson is coming at a ridiculous discount.
Gus Edwards and Latavius Murray
Ok, neither of these guys has a big passing game role but let’s address the potential of each without an injury to the starter.
Gus Edwards played seven games last year with Mark Ingram either out or not involved. In those games, Edwards averaged 10.4 PPG with 4 games in double digits. Even though 10.4 PPG would have only been the RB 30 last season it’s fair to wonder if Edwards’s solid floor with Dobbins justifies his ceiling without him in the 10th round.
For Latavius Murray his story is a bit tougher. The first and only question we should ask is how he has produced in New Orleans without Drew Brees in the lineup. The good news is we have a solid sample size of 10 games without Brees and with Alvin Kamara in the lineup. In those games, Murray average 6.4 PPG with only three games over 6 points .5 PPR. Based on that information it’s best to fade Murray in drafts in 2021.
Sources: Razzball, Pro Football Focus, Pro Football Reference, FFToday, and Football Outsiders