Sunday, December 27, 2015

Short-Yardage and Touchdown Breakdown, Week 16

Since we crave touchdowns to swing our DFS tournaments, let's take a look through the top short-yardage (inside the 10-yard line) rushing projections for Week 16, based on the projection model I discussed last week:

J. Bell 4 6 22 4 2 1.03
D. Johnson 3 4 9 3 2 0.85
D. Williams 4 11 2 9 4 0.67
M. Forte 4 8 11 6 2 0.58
T. Gurley 4 6 7 5 2 0.53
S. Ware 2 4 8 2 1 0.50
J. Hill 4 18 3 13 3 0.50
T. Hightower 2 7 13 5 1 0.49
A. Peterson 4 5 4 3 2 0.46
I. Crowell 4 8 5 8 2 0.43
A. Blue 4 2 5 2 1 0.40

Some Observations
  • DeAngelo Williams looks to me like the easiest and safest back on the board, and the bulk of that confidence comes from his goal line capabilities. No RB has taken more short-yardage rushes over their last four representative games. And as a 10-point favorite, Williams is most likely looking at a game script that blows squarely his way. He'll be involved through all four quarters, and on all levels of the field.
  • Joique Bell may be back to relevance; he's the clear short-yardage preference in Detroit, and the Week 16 matchup is just golden. Over the last month, the 49ers have faced more short-yardage runs than any other team by a mile; opponents just can't help stumbling into the red zone. Bell isn't a strong bet for yardage, but his multi-touchdown upside makes him a deep GPP option.
  • Charcandrick West is the trendy Week 16 play, but Spencer West looks like a great TD bet if his snaps aren't limited by injury. He's been explosive up and down the field and successful near the goal line; there's real two-TD upside in a run-based offense looking at a very positive script outlook.
  • Some of the week's trendiest picks lack the strong goal line usage we crave. David Johnson has yet to see a rush from inside the 10 through his three starts. Neither of the Patriots' co-hammer backs (Brandon Bolden and Joey Iosefa) took a goal line carry last week, and Steven Jackson has been added to the mix, so have fun diagnosing that. And without Marshawn Lynch, Seattle has eschewed running the ball near the end zone, so we don't know how to valuate its RB options either. But all of that uncertainty makes me appreciate James White all the more - he's one of the few high-usage passing down backs who's also involved in the red zone ground game.


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