Rotoworld RoundupFriday, November 03, 2006
Each week, Rotoworld digs out interesting statistics from our Season Pass package
, highlighting emerging trends around the NFL. This week, we focused mostly on our workload report.Edgerrin James can complain about a lot of things (his offensive line, the lack of quality Grillz shops in Phoenix), but getting the ball isn't one of them. James leads the NFL in touches with 212. He's second in the league in offensive percentage, touching the ball on 46% of Arizona's offensive plays. Only Larry Johnson is a bigger part of his team's offense. That may explain why the Cardinals have only won a single game. Edge is on pace to have the lowest yards-per-carry (2.8) average since Jonathan Wells in 2002.
The NFL leader at wide receiver in looks is also a Cardinal: Anquan Boldin. Without Larry Fitzgerald in the lineup lately, Boldin has racked up 88 targets on the season. Boldin and James get a chance to make so many plays because Arizona leads the league in total plays. Cardinal's coach Dennis Green's teams annually rack up yards and snaps, yet struggle to score touchdowns.
James is the only player who gets 40% of his teams touches that isn't a consistent fantasy option this season. The top eight are Larry Johnson (48%), James (46%), Willis McGahee (45%), Tiki Barber (43%), LaDainian Tomlinson (43%), Steven Jackson (42%), Frank Gore (41%), and Chester Taylor (41%). Fantasy owners crave reliability, and the best way to attain it is through endless carries, no matter how productive each attempt is.
"Vultures" are short-yardage runners that steal starting running backs touchdowns by swooping in near the goal-line. The best Vultures this year are:
Marion Barber (6 TD in 52 carries)
Kevan Barlow (5 TD in 84 carries)
Brandon Jacobs (4 TD in 51 carries)
Maurice Jones-Drew (5 TD in 62 carries, 19 catches)
Julius Jones, Leon Washington, Tiki Barber, and Fred Taylor have seen many of their possible scores stolen this season.
In a year of great numbers for running backs in the passing game, Brian Westbrook is still the king of the hybrids. Westbrook is first among running backs in targets (55), second in receptions (38), first in yards (401), and first in receiving touchdowns (3). To get a feel for how good a receiver Westbrook is, his receiving stats are very similar to wideouts like T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Muhsin Muhammad, and Terry Glenn.
Despite being the 34th wide receiver drafted in April, rookie Marques Colston leads all rookie receivers in targets. Colston has been thrown to 59 times, while Greg Jennings of Green Bay is next with 47. The next closest is Houston TE Owen Daniels with 27. Colston's teammate, Reggie Bush, easily leads all rookie running backs with 54 targets. The Saints offense should be in good hands for a long time.