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  1. #16
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    I'll also drop this here, because I do think Chubb is generally underrated. It's why I have my pom poms.

    If you've got a little time during this quarantine and a bit unfamiliar, here is a comprehensive breakdown of Chubb's elite vision, how he deceives defenders, and maximizes body angles to be really good. Honestly, I'd love to see this for other RBs too. Feel free to get acquainted:

    The Baker has come. Believe the hype.


  2. #17
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    Yea but Vee-Rex, what is your opinion of Nick Chubb.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigers.6 View Post
    Yea but Vee-Rex, what is your opinion of Nick Chubb.
    I'm so glad you asked! That breakdown shows how he gets his 5.0 ypc average against stacked boxes with defenders in his face. They show a lot of 4-8 yard carries and break it down... dude's gooooood.
    The Baker has come. Believe the hype.


  4. #19
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    RB is a position that's impossible to rate without qualifiers. Like there's some elite pass catching backs (James White, Austin Ekeler, Tarik Cohen), there's some elite pure runners (Nick Chubb, Derrek Henry, Zeke Elliott), there's some elite well rounded guys (CMC, Barkley, Kamara). There's some guys who are great at both and a pretty good overall back, but their replacements tend to do just as well as they did (San Fran RB's under KS, Bell/Conner/Samuels). There's some teams that just suck at picking running backs but if they end up on other teams they turn out to be ok backs (guys that come from Miami, Detroit).

    TL;DR RB's are next to impossible to rank because some are elite in areas others aren't.

  5. #20
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    Running Back Tiers

    Quote Originally Posted by warfelg View Post
    RB is a position that's impossible to rate without qualifiers. Like there's some elite pass catching backs (James White, Austin Ekeler, Tarik Cohen), there's some elite pure runners (Nick Chubb, Derrek Henry, Zeke Elliott), there's some elite well rounded guys (CMC, Barkley, Kamara). There's some guys who are great at both and a pretty good overall back, but their replacements tend to do just as well as they did (San Fran RB's under KS, Bell/Conner/Samuels). There's some teams that just suck at picking running backs but if they end up on other teams they turn out to be ok backs (guys that come from Miami, Detroit).

    TL;DR RB's are next to impossible to rank because some are elite in areas others aren't.
    Agreed, the RB position is very hard to rank because there’s so many factors to consider. Most fans also tend to rank running backs higher just because they get more carries. More carries=more yards so must be better, right? Not necessarily. It just means that they are getting more volume stats. Also, like you said some are better in other areas, like the receiving game, but don’t get as much credit as guys that are just pure traditional workhorse running backs because this era of utilizing running backs in the receiving game a lot is still a pretty new concept.

    Also, I know people on PSD (especially cowboy fans) hate the word “context” but every teams situation is different which is why I hate it when people just look at stats alone and say “this guy has better stats so he must be better”. Obviously stats matter but, what also matters is the context behind stats. How good is the O-Line, how many injuries did the O-Line sustain, how good is the QB, what other weapons are there on offense that a defense needs to focus on, what injuries did the running back have, what is the offensive scheme etc.

    So if you just look at the stat sheet without looking at context who would you take?

    Player A:
    1272 total yards rushing and receiving/8 total TDs

    Player B:
    1545 total yards rushing and receiving/9 total TDs

    If you didn’t know who these guys are and didn’t know the context behind these players I bet most people would probably take player B because player B had more carries which equals more yards. But understanding the context, I bet 10/10 people would probably take player A because player A is saquon Barkley

    Your baby can't do this

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaydubb View Post
    Agreed, the RB position is very hard to rank because there’s so many factors to consider. Most fans also tend to rank running backs higher just because they get more carries. More carries=more yards so must be better, right? Not necessarily. It just means that they are getting more volume stats. Also, like you said some are better in other areas, like the receiving game, but don’t get as much credit as guys that are just pure traditional workhorse running backs because this era of utilizing running backs in the receiving game a lot is still a pretty new concept.

    Also, I know people on PSD (especially cowboy fans) hate the word “context” but every teams situation is different which is why I hate it when people just look at stats alone and say “this guy has better stats so he must be better”. Obviously stats matter but, what also matters is the context behind stats. How good is the O-Line, how many injuries did the O-Line sustain, how good is the QB, what other weapons are there on offense that a defense needs to focus on, what injuries did the running back have, what is the offensive scheme etc.

    So if you just look at the stat sheet without looking at context who would you take?

    Player A:
    1272 total yards rushing and receiving/8 total TDs

    Player B:
    1545 total yards rushing and receiving/9 total TDs

    If you didn’t know who these guys are and didn’t know the context behind these players I bet most people would probably take player B because player B had more carries which equals more yards. But understanding the context, I bet 10/10 people would probably take player A because player A is saquon Barkley
    It's not just that.

    Like when I wrote that, I was think James White deserves recognition. But based on just looking at RB stats you wouldn't. 2019:
    67 carries, 263 yards, 1 TD. But then consider: 72 catches on 95 targets, 645 yards, 5 TDs.

    Things start to change when you look at is as 139 touches, 908 yards, 6 TD's. That's actually not all that bad and turns him into a better running back.

    Then there was the other situation I was thinking about.

    2017 Bell: 15 games, 321 Rushes, 1291 yards, 4.0 Y/A, 9 TD, 85 catches, 655 yards, 7.7 Y/R, 2 TD, 3 fmb, 3 20+, 0 40+
    2018 Conner: 13 games, 215 Rushes, 973 yards, 4.5 Y/A, 12 TD, 55 catches, 496 yards, 9.0 Y/R, 1 TD, 4 fmb, 9 20+, 0 40+
    2019 Bell: 15 games, 245 Rushes, 789 yards, 3.2 Y/A, 3 TD, 66 catches, 465 yards, 7.0 Y/R, 1 TD, 1 fmb, 0 20+, 0 40+

    Around 2018 is when Bell was being considered the best or at least top 3 at the RB position. DeAngelo Williams always filled in well for him when he was in there. Over the year Conner came close to replacing the production almost on the dame. So it becomes a challenge to properly rate a guy like Bell when another RB comes in and produces like that, then he ends up on another team and doesn't produce t the same level.

    Part of RB rankings is so tied to the system they are in and the OL they play with. Vee accidentally made my point perfectly on this part when talking about Chubb. 2018 the Browns had a better OL and ran a 1 cut ZB scheme. He had a great rookie year. Then in 2019 the OL took a drop, they went to a power run scheme, and while he put up respectable numbers, it wasn't as good.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by warfelg View Post
    It's not just that.

    Like when I wrote that, I was think James White deserves recognition. But based on just looking at RB stats you wouldn't. 2019:
    67 carries, 263 yards, 1 TD. But then consider: 72 catches on 95 targets, 645 yards, 5 TDs.

    Things start to change when you look at is as 139 touches, 908 yards, 6 TD's. That's actually not all that bad and turns him into a better running back.

    Then there was the other situation I was thinking about.

    2017 Bell: 15 games, 321 Rushes, 1291 yards, 4.0 Y/A, 9 TD, 85 catches, 655 yards, 7.7 Y/R, 2 TD, 3 fmb, 3 20+, 0 40+
    2018 Conner: 13 games, 215 Rushes, 973 yards, 4.5 Y/A, 12 TD, 55 catches, 496 yards, 9.0 Y/R, 1 TD, 4 fmb, 9 20+, 0 40+
    2019 Bell: 15 games, 245 Rushes, 789 yards, 3.2 Y/A, 3 TD, 66 catches, 465 yards, 7.0 Y/R, 1 TD, 1 fmb, 0 20+, 0 40+

    Around 2018 is when Bell was being considered the best or at least top 3 at the RB position. DeAngelo Williams always filled in well for him when he was in there. Over the year Conner came close to replacing the production almost on the dame. So it becomes a challenge to properly rate a guy like Bell when another RB comes in and produces like that, then he ends up on another team and doesn't produce t the same level.

    Part of RB rankings is so tied to the system they are in and the OL they play with. Vee accidentally made my point perfectly on this part when talking about Chubb. 2018 the Browns had a better OL and ran a 1 cut ZB scheme. He had a great rookie year. Then in 2019 the OL took a drop, they went to a power run scheme, and while he put up respectable numbers, it wasn't as good.
    Can a guy like James White run between the tackles 300 times a year and produce the similar stats as someone like Zeke or Chubb? Then flip it around - if Chubb or Zeke were in a system that force fed them the ball through short passes, could they produce similar stats as White?

    Look at Derrick Henry. 1500 yards running, 16 touchdowns. However, he only had 200 yards receiving. At the same time, he had a 75% catch percentage and averaged 11 yards per reception. Could he have put up James White-like numbers if he was simply targeted more? Could James White put up stats on the ground like Henry? Which is more valuable?

    One could look at Henry and assume he isn't good at catching but that's not the case. Tennessee led the league in how much they used their RB to block in passing situations. Henry is an excellent pass blocker and their PA scheme called for that quite a bit. I'd bet Henry could do a lot more damage as a receiving option than White could do as a pure runner.

    Ultimately, it depends on what we value most, and if we can look outside of just pure yards and stats to put together a conclusion (which is why I posted that video of Chubb - it evaluates things that stats cannot). As I watch Chubb, the only thing I see he's not good at is route running pre-catch. His receptions and yards could easily be a lot higher if more plays were designed to target him there.
    The Baker has come. Believe the hype.


  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Rex View Post
    Can a guy like James White run between the tackles 300 times a year and produce the similar stats as someone like Zeke or Chubb? Then flip it around - if Chubb or Zeke were in a system that force fed them the ball through short passes, could they produce similar stats as White?

    Look at Derrick Henry. 1500 yards running, 16 touchdowns. However, he only had 200 yards receiving. At the same time, he had a 75% catch percentage and averaged 11 yards per reception. Could he have put up James White-like numbers if he was simply targeted more? Could James White put up stats on the ground like Henry? Which is more valuable?

    One could look at Henry and assume he isn't good at catching but that's not the case. Tennessee led the league in how much they used their RB to block in passing situations. Henry is an excellent pass blocker and their PA scheme called for that quite a bit. I'd bet Henry could do a lot more damage as a receiving option than White could do as a pure runner.

    Ultimately, it depends on what we value most, and if we can look outside of just pure yards and stats to put together a conclusion (which is why I posted that video of Chubb - it evaluates things that stats cannot). As I watch Chubb, the only thing I see he's not good at is route running pre-catch. His receptions and yards could easily be a lot higher if more plays were designed to target him there.
    I mean....that keeps proving my point though that if you think changing players from one system to another causes some problems then ranking them head to head is a futile thing.

    Henry is pretty close to elite in what he does, White is pretty elite in what he does. White doesn't just catch out of the backfield. He lines up at the X, Y, and Z WR positions. That's what makes him pretty elite in what he does is you can move him all around the formation and he still does what he does.

    Of course Henry would struggle being a pass catching back and White might struggle between the tackles (FWIW, White was pretty good between the tackles in college) to some degree. But that's why is so hard to rate them like that in head to head.

    Add in the RBBC approach most teams take these days, and it makes the rankings even more blurred. Counters like you put out there makes me feel even more solidified in what I feel that RB's should be split a little more in ranking's based on how they get used.

    I guess that said I'll reveal my tiers:
    We lean heavily on this being the guy, aka these are the elite all around backs:
    Joe Mixon (plays behind the worst OL in the NFL and still produces)
    Christian McCaffery
    Alvin Kamara
    Saquan Barkley

    Your main job is to run the ball as the bellcow, but they still catch passes here and there:
    Mark Ingram*
    Nick Chubb*
    Melvin Gordon
    Marlin Mack
    Josh Jacobs*
    Sony Michel
    Derrek Henry*
    Todd Gurley
    Ezekiel Elliott*
    Delvin Cook*
    Chris Carson
    Phillip Lindsay

    This usually will end up the largest group. * = Elite pure runners of this group

    We use you for everything, but you aren't elite, aka I like them because they are versitile:
    Duke Johnson
    David Johnson
    Austin Ekeler
    LeVeon Bell
    James Conner
    Kenyon Drake
    Aaron Jones
    Miles Sanders (side note, I think he's most likely to change categories this year)
    Kareem Hunt

    Elite/Really good pass catching backs, but asked to run a little, aka 3rd down backs:
    Gio Bernard
    Nyheim Hines*
    Jalen Richard
    James White*
    Jalen Samuels
    Tarek Cohen*
    Jamaal Williams
    Boston Scott (I think he's up there this year)

    * = Elite's of this group

    Jury is still out for whatever reason, such as injuries, lack of touches, or just a rookie:
    Leonard Fournette
    Jonathan Taylor
    Jordan Howard
    Benny Snell
    Todd Gurley (Was in that top group, ut injuries have taken their toll)
    David Montgomery
    D'Andre Swift
    Chris Carson
    Darius Guice
    Ronald Jones
    Darrell Henderson
    Devin Singletary

    You're team seems to have everyone produce, so sliding you in is tough:
    Le'Veon Bell*
    James Conner*
    Damien Williams
    Clyde Edwards-Helaire
    Matt Breida
    Tony Pollard
    Raheem Mostert
    Telvin Coleman

    * = These guys fit in two categories due to production being better than backups, but still part of a system

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by warfelg View Post
    I mean....that keeps proving my point though that if you think changing players from one system to another causes some problems then ranking them head to head is a futile thing.
    I mean, doesn't this apply to nearly every position? Why even discuss QB rankings? Other than like kicker/punter, what's the point of comparing guys head to head? I'm pretty sure I've seen you discussing Ben as a top-whatever QB in the league at some point.

    We do it for fun. A main reason why we tend to say, "Top 5 RB" is to leave some wiggle room in there. I know I try to say stuff like "top 10'ish receiver" so that it's a flexible range. You're not wrong - there's simply too many variables in play. But it's just a discussion.

    Henry is pretty close to elite in what he does, White is pretty elite in what he does. White doesn't just catch out of the backfield. He lines up at the X, Y, and Z WR positions. That's what makes him pretty elite in what he does is you can move him all around the formation and he still does what he does.
    Right. However, for RBs, I find being an elite runner to be more valuable than being an elite receiver. I think the impact it has on a defense is much greater and causes the defense to have to make bigger adjustments. This is why all of the all-time great RBs are... elite runners. There isn't a single all-time great RB who was just meh at running the ball.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not devaluing the impact of having a back that can line up all over the place and catch well. Guys like Faulk and LT were elite at both. CMC has shown that he's elite at both. For RBs, I just put more weight into the yards made on the ground than I do on the ones made in the air. It's not much different than me putting more weight into passing yards for a QB than running yards for the QB.
    The Baker has come. Believe the hype.


  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Rex View Post
    I mean, doesn't this apply to nearly every position? Why even discuss QB rankings? Other than like kicker/punter, what's the point of comparing guys head to head? I'm pretty sure I've seen you discussing Ben as a top-whatever QB in the league at some point.

    We do it for fun. A main reason why we tend to say, "Top 5 RB" is to leave some wiggle room in there. I know I try to say stuff like "top 10'ish receiver" so that it's a flexible range. You're not wrong - there's simply too many variables in play. But it's just a discussion.
    About the only other position that's as specialized as RB is DL. You have come guys that are pretty elite run stuffers but aren't great pass rushers. Then you got some pure pass rushers. But outside of that you don't have as clear distinction between roles. It's not like you bring one QB in for run/PA then another for Shotgun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Rex View Post
    Right. However, for RBs, I find being an elite runner to be more valuable than being an elite receiver. I think the impact it has on a defense is much greater and causes the defense to have to make bigger adjustments. This is why all of the all-time great RBs are... elite runners. There isn't a single all-time great RB who was just meh at running the ball.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not devaluing the impact of having a back that can line up all over the place and catch well. Guys like Faulk and LT were elite at both. CMC has shown that he's elite at both. For RBs, I just put more weight into the yards made on the ground than I do on the ones made in the air. It's not much different than me putting more weight into passing yards for a QB than running yards for the QB.
    I'm not saying one is more important than another, but if you give an edge to one guy because of rushing stats, it minimizes the impact the other guy has.

    Say the Patriots lineup in 12 personnel. So 2 TE's, 1 RB. Back in 2011-12 they did this a lot. Woodhead in the backfield, who was an OK runner, but better pass catcher. Then they had Gronk and Hernandez at TE. That puts pressure on the defense as well. Come in with 8 in the box, so 7 between DL/LB and a SS in the box. Brady sends Woodhead in the slot....who's taking him? Come in with 7 or even 6 in the box to protect against the pass, and Brady just calls the kill and runs the ball knowing he has more blockers and bigger blockers than your defense has.

    Just because it puts pressure on a defense a different way doesn't mean it's a lesser impact.

    Now I'm not talking the impact of a guy like Faulk, CMC, LT had. I'm talking more in terms of a heavier runner vs heavier pass catcher. Like comparing a Sproles to a Blount. Both valuable. Different impacts. But it's hard to justify one against the other. So compare Sproles to other pass catchers and Blount to other runners.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by warfelg View Post
    About the only other position that's as specialized as RB is DL. You have come guys that are pretty elite run stuffers but aren't great pass rushers. Then you got some pure pass rushers. But outside of that you don't have as clear distinction between roles. It's not like you bring one QB in for run/PA then another for Shotgun.
    You're leaving out quite a bit here. There are clear distinctions all over the place. Some receivers run better go routes and stretch defenses, whereas others work the middle of the field better. Some are even designated as "slot receivers". Same with cornerbacks. Some are more suited to be "slot corners" than others. Some are better off playing in zone schemes, whereas others are only good at pure man coverage.

    Some safeties are in the box, thumpers. Others are better in coverage - single high or double high. Linebackers - lol, some are best at Will, Sam, Or Mike. QBs are still arguably weighted the same - some QBs do better in spread offenses, some work better under center.

    The logic you're applying specifically and solely to RBs can be applied to pretty much every position in the NFL. So again, you can't truly provide any concrete rankings for anyone. Why discuss rankings for anything? It's just done for fun.

    I'm not saying one is more important than another, but if you give an edge to one guy because of rushing stats, it minimizes the impact the other guy has.

    Say the Patriots lineup in 12 personnel. So 2 TE's, 1 RB. Back in 2011-12 they did this a lot. Woodhead in the backfield, who was an OK runner, but better pass catcher. Then they had Gronk and Hernandez at TE. That puts pressure on the defense as well. Come in with 8 in the box, so 7 between DL/LB and a SS in the box. Brady sends Woodhead in the slot....who's taking him? Come in with 7 or even 6 in the box to protect against the pass, and Brady just calls the kill and runs the ball knowing he has more blockers and bigger blockers than your defense has.

    Just because it puts pressure on a defense a different way doesn't mean it's a lesser impact.

    Now I'm not talking the impact of a guy like Faulk, CMC, LT had. I'm talking more in terms of a heavier runner vs heavier pass catcher. Like comparing a Sproles to a Blount. Both valuable. Different impacts. But it's hard to justify one against the other. So compare Sproles to other pass catchers and Blount to other runners.
    I'm saying an elite runner is more important than elite pass catcher - for running backs. An elite runner and average pass catcher will be more dangerous to a defense than an elite pass catcher and average runner.

    Feel free to disagree if you want - but I think an elite runner warps a defense into having to defend both the pass AND the run (assuming an average QB), whereas the elite pass catching RB doesn't impact the defense the same way (assuming an average QB). This is why I put more weight into the ground yards for a RB than the receiving yards for a RB. If you weigh them evenly that's fine for you though.
    The Baker has come. Believe the hype.


  12. #27
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    man, you guys went in! haha

    I think the discussion is great, do you think that the RB position is quite possibly the toughest one to rank? With so many variables of the system they are playing in, how they are utilized, etc. it seems like you can have 5 different list for RBs. Ones who are great runners, ones who are great pass catchers, etc.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigers.6 View Post
    man, you guys went in! haha

    I think the discussion is great, do you think that the RB position is quite possibly the toughest one to rank? With so many variables of the system they are playing in, how they are utilized, etc. it seems like you can have 5 different list for RBs. Ones who are great runners, ones who are great pass catchers, etc.
    I don't think it's any more tougher than ranking a linebacker. I personally think LBs are pretty tough to rank because there are so many varieties, roles, and responsibilities. Cornerbacks and safeties are pretty distinct as well.
    The Baker has come. Believe the hype.


  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigers.6 View Post
    man, you guys went in! haha

    I think the discussion is great, do you think that the RB position is quite possibly the toughest one to rank? With so many variables of the system they are playing in, how they are utilized, etc. it seems like you can have 5 different list for RBs. Ones who are great runners, ones who are great pass catchers, etc.
    I think that RB is the toughest to rank for those reasons.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vee-Rex View Post
    You're leaving out quite a bit here. There are clear distinctions all over the place. Some receivers run better go routes and stretch defenses, whereas others work the middle of the field better. Some are even designated as "slot receivers". Same with cornerbacks. Some are more suited to be "slot corners" than others. Some are better off playing in zone schemes, whereas others are only good at pure man coverage.

    Some safeties are in the box, thumpers. Others are better in coverage - single high or double high. Linebackers - lol, some are best at Will, Sam, Or Mike. QBs are still arguably weighted the same - some QBs do better in spread offenses, some work better under center.

    The logic you're applying specifically and solely to RBs can be applied to pretty much every position in the NFL. So again, you can't truly provide any concrete rankings for anyone. Why discuss rankings for anything? It's just done for fun.



    I'm saying an elite runner is more important than elite pass catcher - for running backs. An elite runner and average pass catcher will be more dangerous to a defense than an elite pass catcher and average runner.

    Feel free to disagree if you want - but I think an elite runner warps a defense into having to defend both the pass AND the run (assuming an average QB), whereas the elite pass catching RB doesn't impact the defense the same way (assuming an average QB). This is why I put more weight into the ground yards for a RB than the receiving yards for a RB. If you weigh them evenly that's fine for you though.
    The issue for those other positions you listed is you don’t rotate them with the intent of a play like you do RBs. When ranking LBs there is some distinction. ILB, OLB, Edge LB.

    And I 100% believe you have to do it because of what I laid out. I’m comfortable disagreeing here because I believed each type still impacts a defense just in different ways.

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