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The Utilization Report: Week 1 – Running Backs

Fantasy performance occurs at the intersection of efficiency and opportunity. While most fantasy players and fans can recite empty efficiency stats such as yards per carry and yards per reception by memory, most don’t have a real grasp of a player’s utilization.

Opportunity is the lifeblood of fantasy performance. Thanks to statistics such as average depth of target (aDOT), Air Yards, routes run, and quarterback dropbacks, we have a greater understanding of player utilization.

For 2020, using proprietary PFF data, readers will now have unique insights into several new utilization metrics only available in this report:

– Two-minute offense

– Four-minute offense

– Third and fourth down and long (over 7 yards to go)

– Play action

– Open and wide-open targets (two steps of separation or more)

– First, next and check-down targets

With this data in hand, fantasy players can make timely and informed decisions based on the value of a player’s role. For Week 1, we don’t have enough data to formulate trends, but it creates a base-line for moving forward.


Kenyan Drake (RB17), Arizona Cardinals

There was some concern of a split backfield with Drake’s time in a walking boot opening up the door for Chase Edmonds during camp. However, that didn’t play out in Week 1. Drake played 69% of snaps and ran a route on 49% of dropbacks. He led the backfield with 59% of attempts and shouldered all of the work inside the 5-yard-line. Edmonds did take the two-minute offense work, but Drake kept an edge in LDD snaps at 63%.

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