Before I finish highlighting this year’s production scores, I’d like to explain how these scores work. Each player’s performance in any given category is held against the average of my sample (sample includes every running back since 2000 that has produced at least two top 12 running back seasons.) These production scores are not necessarily predictive due to the variables involved. For instance, all the runners we’re about to go over left school with remaining eligibility, thus leaving potential production to be had. I’m working on establishing certain parameters to sort production more effectively. Down the road my production scores could include multipliers for players that declare early, but for now I am simply looking at the raw numbers they produced. For this reason, I am keeping junior and senior production separate for now. When looking at the radar plots included, understand each player is being judged on his percentile rank in comparison to my model sample. Since my player sample only includes proven successful runners, a player’s percentile is held to a higher standard and may be lower than if he were compared to a larger, less elite, sample size. I hope you enjoy looking through these charts and reading my thoughts. As always this time of year, height and weight may be unofficial and are subject to change.


Saquon Barkley, Penn State, 5’11” 228

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
79%
3843
43
5.7
1195
8
11.7

Unlike our seniors who were headlined by Chase Edmonds grabbing ahold of 90% of his potential production points, Saquon leads the juniors with 79%. This is the main reason why I may consider revamping more of my scoring system next year. Despite leaving early, Barkley’s receiving production puts him in the 90th percentile when compared to my model. His 3800 yards on the ground and 1200 receiving yards make him an extremely coveted prospect. At this point I can’t find anything that makes me believe Barkley will let down owners who draft him at 1.01. He’s fixing to go in the top 4 picks of the NFL draft and I think he could be just as good as guys like Edgerrin James, Ricky Williams, LT, and Ezekiel Elliot who share similar draft pedigree.


Ronald Jones, USC, 6’ 200

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
64%
3619
39
6.1
302
3
9.4

Jones is a guy that checks a lot of boxes for me. He put up good rushing numbers for the Trojans, but he doesn’t really stand out on the stat sheet as a big producer in the receiving game. That might be due more to USC’s system than anything about him as a player, but its noteworthy for a guy that doesn’t possess an ideal build for between the tackle work. Jones is about 6 feet tall but will probably weigh around 200-205 pounds. He’s one of the leaner backs in the class and is far below the league’s average BMI for a starting running back. If he doesn’t bulk up for a heavy workload on the ground, he’ll have to win in different ways than he did in college. Given the likelihood of higher NFL draft capital, I’ll probably still recommend selecting Jones in the back half of the first round, but you won’t find me signing up to draft him in the top 6 like some people will. 


Josh Adams, Notre Dame, 6’1” 225

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
62%
3201
20
6.7
336
2
8.2

Adams has an ideal build, he was a work horse at Notre Dame and looks to have the chops to carry the ball at the next level. Tyler was onto something when he mentioned on the pod a few weeks back that it takes a bit of space for Adams to get going. He’s fast, really fast for a guy his size. Doesn’t necessarily specialize in creating his own yards, but give him an inch and he’ll take it the distance. Adams has the potential to fit a one cut running scheme very well. If he comes out for the combine and runs a fast 3-cone I’ll be more excited about his wiggle potential, but for now I’m looking at him as a between the tackles grinder. His 6.7 yards per carry give me a reason to be excited about this guy. 


Derrius Guice, LSU, 5’11” 218

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
59%
3074
29
6.5
250
3
7.8

Guice is a beast. He didn’t receive quite enough volume to make a major impact on his scores, but his efficiency running the ball was very impressive. Playing behind Fournette up until this year, his work has been fairly limited. When I see a player with limited opportunities I really want to see them stand out in efficiency, and that he did. Guice’s 6.5 yards per carry are tied for 5th in the class and fall into the 87th percentile of my model. I’ll be interested in seeing the rest of the industries more in depth statistical evaluation of him. I have a feeling he’ll receive high praise when looking at yards after contact and yards created. Because of the slight lack of production, he’ll score a few points less in my model than Chubb and Freeman, but he’s probably still my recommended RB2 in the class. I have a few questions about Guice from an intangibles perspective and hope he can mature as a man and keep his head where it needs to be, but I have very few questions about his talent as a football player. I really want to see him succeed.


Ryan Nall, Oregon State, 6’2” 235

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
59%
2216
24
5.8
563
4
10.1

Nall is an interesting guy. He’s likely to run a slower 40 and might not be fast enough to play running back at the next level, but he has a big body and could get an opportunity to make an impact on a team at some point. He appears to be a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield and was fairly efficient on a per touch basis. If he can prove me wrong and run a sub 4.6 40-yard dash I’ll be a lot more interested; but if he’s just another 4.65/4.7 plodder, I’m not sure I’ll want anything to do with him. It’s always worth looking into bigger guys that have been efficient in the running game and productive in the passing game.


Mark Walton, Miami, 5’9” 205

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
51%
2006
26
5.1
624
2
11.1

I recently drafted Walton at the 3.11 in an early rookie mock. I was challenged with the question; how will he succeed? It’s a fair question that I think his production could answer. He’s a really tough runner and possesses a pretty thick frame. When given a chance to run the ball between the tackles he was able to run over guys as if he were bigger than he actually is. However, I don’t think he’s going to win as a between the tackles pounder. He’s showed explosive big play ability when catching the ball out of the backfield and I really think he has what it takes to be an efficient complimentary back for a team. He’s a guy that I think will have to be efficient on a per touch basis if he is going to make a fantasy impact.


Kerryon Johnson, Auburn, 5’11” 215

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
44%
2494
32
4.8
478
2
8.7

Johnson is a guy who will rely on his athleticism rather than production for points in my model. He’s scored a few touchdowns, but was otherwise limited. This is the part of the list where the restricted opportunities some of these guys received really becomes apparent. He’s the better of the two Auburn backs, but I'm still somewhat alarmed by his lower yards per carry. For many of these guys, athleticism will tell us a lot more than production. If he comes out and runs a 4.45 forty while testing well in some other areas, I’ll start to get more excited. He might find himself with an early day three or even day two selection in April, but with so much talent in this class, don’t be surprised if he slides. I think he's a fine selection in the 2nd round of rookie drafts this year.


Nyheim Hines, NC State, 5’9”200

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
44%
1400
13
5.4
933
1
10.5

Hines has a production profile that indicates he could be a good PPR back. With NFL teams running less and throwing to running backs more, a guy like Hines should get a chance at some point to try and carve out a role. I don’t see a guy who has big workload potential, but I can easily get on board with the people who will spend a late round flyer on Him.


Chris Warren, Texas, 6’4” 250

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
41%
1150
13
5.6
242
2
10.5

When speaking of Ryan Nall, I mentioned its always worth it to keep an eye on big guys that have showed efficiency both catching and receiving. Well, Nall is a runt compared to Warren. As a matter of fact, any running back is a runt compared to him. He’s seriously a massive human being who’s built more like a linebacker or defensive end. Taking him down once he gets going will be like jumping in front of a moving car for some defensive backs and safeties.


Bo Scarbrough, Alabama, 6’2” 235

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
38%
1512
20
5.7
131
0
6.2

Bo is a guy who hung around Alabama for a long time but had a ton of competition for touches and wasn’t really healthy enough to carve out a huge market share. Playing behind Derrick Henry and alongside a very talented runner in Damien Harris, Scarbrough struggled to score production points. He’s going to be an early second round pick in most dynasty rookie drafts. He could possess Derrick Henry like size adjusted speed. If he does, I’ll want at least one or two shares. I might be willing to fade the model on Scarbrough and this next runner and draft them closer to the consensus than where they are scoring right now.


John Kelly, Tennessee, 5’9” 215

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
31%
1573
15
4.8
350
0
8.1

Kelly’s production profile is nothing but a bunch of red flags. Again, many factors go into production. A player who fails to receive proper market share may struggle to gain a statistical advantage. Just because Kelly falls into the 9th percentile of my model in rushing yards doesn’t mean much in the end. Nonetheless, he’ll have to be a good athlete or get drafted higher than I expect if he’s going to succeed in my scoring model. I can see Kelly’s allure as a mid to late 2nd round rookie pick, but I might not end up with a ton of shares across my leagues. When my overall scores come out, Kelly will be the guy that the consensus will tell you I’m way too low on. 


Kamryn Pettway, Auburn, 6’ 235

% of Production Points Gained
Rush Yds.
Rush TD's
Rush Avg.
Rec. Yds.
Rec. TD's
Rec. Avg.
31%
1529
13
5.4
58
0
9.7

Pettway’s decision to declare early was one that was not advised by many. Another year with a little larger market share may have really helped showcase his abilities. He only caught 6 passes so it’s hard for me to say he has what it takes to be effective as an NFL running back out of the backfield. The limited touches have been somewhat efficient, but he’s way behind some of these other guys for me at this stage in the process.



I hope you enjoyed looking through these players. I'm always happy to answer any questions you have about my model. Find me on twitter @FFSkiBum.