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Running Back Ceiling Rankings 20-11


Hello Fantasy Faithfuls, after the World Cup keeping track of my sports abstinence I know can't wait for the football season to begin. I can't just watch MLS and MLB and be good, we need training camp to start. I want the training camp stories, Hard Knocks, player hypes and hopefully no injuries (we know it will be injuries but still).

Today I am looking at the Running Backs that did not reach the top ten in ceilings but are in a group with a ton of talent anyway. I got a ton of questions after the last ceiling rankings about player X not being high enough and that some players have higher ceilings than others over a season.

You might feel someone should be higher that is OK, I strictly go by the numbers, if a player has the numbers to support a higher ranking he will get a higher ranking. The rankings are only for any given game, meaning that this is what you can expect him to have as a ceiling on one of his good days. He might score more and he might score less but this is his likeliest ceiling on a good day.

To understand more about the one game ceiling keep reading, otherwise skip down to the rankings.

I have taken the performances of all the Wide Receivers from the last three years, or as many games as the player have been in the league in the case that he has not played for three years. With this we get an average amount of fantasy points that the player has scored and a standard deviation.

The standard deviation is used to describe how much variation a sample size has. It tells you how far away outcomes are from the average (mean).

By combining these two numbers, (standard deviation and average) we arrive at a number that has a 16% probability of being outscored each week, that is, the player's scoring variation is not very likely to land above this number and this is why I call this the "one game ceiling" or just "ceiling". Example: Latavius Murray has a 17.2 one game ceiling, that means that there is only a 16% chance that he will score more than that on any given game. Let's dig in!


Latavius Murray tops the first group of players, he is to me not the most interesting player in this years draft but he is not the least interesting either. Dalvin Cook looked amazing when he played last year but a severe injury can impact a player and the team in the upcoming year. When I say impact the team I mean that they might be more inclined to switch it up more and give Murray more opportunities so that Cook can ease into the season and stay fresh for the entire year. Murray is currently going as 149th overall and is probably the best handcuff you can get in 2018. Be sure to check out the Minnesota Vikings Score Projection coming this weekend!

With Aaron Jones suspended for two games I expect Jamaal Williams to get the biggest share of the workload, not Ty Montgomery. Williams in the few games he played last year got a 16.7 one game ceiling which is very respectable. He should not be underestimated and with an ADP of 99th overall he is somewhat low risk low reward player. There is not too much downside drafting lets say your third Running Back in the 9th or 10th round and hoping he stays nr:1 in Green Bay.

The three other guys all are in the same situation, new teams and declining careers. Their fantasy numbers are impacted by the fact that the numbers showcase the last three years. This makes them look a little bit more valuable then what they are in my mind. C.J. Anderson has TD upside and so does LeGarrette Blount while Doug Martin is Doug Martin and will most likely mess things up in his own way. They are players that I am going to take a shot at or even look twice at in my drafts.


In this group we are starting to see some of the bigger names come in. I have in the past been a big Melvin Gordon guy and I still am even though he did not crack the top ten in one game ceilings, cause that is not why you draft him. You draft Melvin Gordon for his combination of one game floor, one game ceiling and for the fact that no one else is drafting him in the first round, that is what makes him valuable. His lack of hype is what brings him value to you as a fantasy owner.

Mark Ingram has a high one game ceiling when he plays and I would not mind picking him up in the 5th round and sitting him for four weeks. His numbers support a much higher draft pick and assuming that he will get roughly as many touches per game as last year I am willing to have him sit for a bit. Remember, last year his highest game in the first four weeks was 8.6 so it was almost as if he did not play anyway.

I love Dalvin Cook! I am currently working on the Minnesota Vikings Score Projection Video and I can tell you now already that his numbers and playing patterns are crazy. He will have a great year and mesh very well with Kirk Cousins. The only thing is that injury concern otherwise he would have been my lock in the second round.

I am not touching Carlos Hyde, too many questions in Cleveland as usual and that backfield is crowded as a New York subway cart. Lamar Miller gets too much hate in my book, I think he is what he is and his biggest problem is people though he was something he wasn't. He will get you a top 15 RB season but he won't give you a top ten that just is what he is. Draft him for what he will give you and you will see his value!

That Lamar Miller sentiment is what you should do with all players. If you assume what they are you will always be wrong. Even when it comes to the studs, you could have assumed that Gurley was going to be great last year but probably not that great. Follow the numbers and you know what they are.

Like and Re-tweet, everything is appreciated!

The spreadsheets are dark and full of terror // CSD


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