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Factoid

Pass-catching backs

The value of pass-catching running backs

When drafting running backs, I like guys who catch passes. It gives you another way to get decent production, even if the ground game happens to be a little off.

In PPR scoring, a seemingly harmless 4 catches for 35 yards grades out the same as a running back running for 75 yards. This is probably not an equitable way to structure a scoring system, but if that’s the way we’re playing, then let’s be sure to lean towards guys who’ll be catching some balls.

Breece Hall and Bijan Robinson, therefore, are the 2nd and 3rd running backs on my board. I’m going with Jahmyr Gibbs as my No. 4 guy (he didn’t catch a ton of balls last year, but I think they’re going to use him more in that capacity this year – I’ve heard that talked about a couple of times in the offseason).

Below see the teams for PPR scoring for last year. The top two teams (49ers, Dolphins) finished in the top 5 last year in production both as runners and as pass catchers. For the five best other pass-catching teams, I’ve got them tagged with black dots. They all finished with above-average overall production, even though four of them finished below-average in rushing production. Three of those teams finished in the bottom 10 in rushing production.

In bold, I’ve got the five teams that finished with the least pass-catching production. They all ranked lower.

Gimme pass catchers.

TEAM RUNNING BACKS PRODUCTION (PPR)
TeamRushingRkReceivingRkPPR
•• Miami398-2183-27195-664-74583.7
•• San Francisco398-1973-19390-728-93528.1
Detroit449-2157-24275-496-122490.3
• Atlanta450-1840-81088-751-66431.1
Baltimore364-1696-20461-623-219424.9
• Denver353-1431-527131-851-41413.2
Pittsburgh404-1819-12692-551-013401.0
Cleveland430-1685-14868-471-516397.6
Tennessee383-1631-14980-599-114393.0
• NY Jets322-1320-628116-801-42388.1
• Kansas City318-1295-91989-657-77380.2
• Washington298-1269-82489-782-65378.1
LA Rams414-1752-17548-344-332377.6
Buffalo381-1688-71271-645-59376.3
Indianapolis416-1807-12762-424-328375.1
New Orleans350-1238-923109-678-18360.6
New England356-1326-82192-609-210345.5
Dallas370-1425-91582-513-215341.8
Jacksonville358-1248-131469-622-118340.0
Chicago360-1519-91375-471-220340.0
Arizona339-1615-91166-371-329336.6
Cincinnati318-1294-92074-541-412335.5
Tampa Bay360-1231-63082-641-311323.2
Philadelphia344-1532-71674-454-125320.6
Seattle337-1403-91768-494-127317.7
Las Vegas356-1376-81872-537-024311.3
NY Giants330-1183-72972-449-417301.2
Green Bay368-1497-42668-526-123300.3
Houston379-1375-72263-407-230295.2
Carolina381-1380-62572-432-031289.2
Minnesota326-1319-43169-446-321287.5
LA Chargers327-1135-73267-515-126280.0

—Ian Allan

Fantasy Index