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Today I am looking at another big hit from 2018, Phillip Lindsay. I expect some really interesting numbers as he won a lot of fantasy games for me as the season went on. Let's dig in!
My conclusion in the Running Back Correlation Analysis 2018 was that when you are looking at trends to figure out what Running Backs are on the rise, the trends you should look for is productivity up the middle and how many of their runs go outside the Right Tight End. These two trends will give you an edge in figuring out who has a good chance to take the next step in their scoring in 2019.
I specifically mention Phillip Lindsay at the end of this conclusion as he has some really good numbers when it comes to rushing patterns. Especially that 5.4 yards per carry over the A-Gap to either side of the Center looks good. The 7% of runs that go outside the Right Tight End would preferably be a bit higher but it is not crazy low.
With 39% of all of Lindsay's runs going up the middle and with the yards being so high in that lane you have a ton of synergy. If more runs went outside the Right tackle you would be in trouble. I still think that they should limit those runs unless they can upgrade the position.
Back to the runs up the middle, Lindsay sees 9% more of his runs up the middle than the league average. This is what really sets him apart from other backs, he sets the standard on those though runs and with that his runs to the outside lanes are extremely productive. With so many runs going up the middle teams adjust for it and give him more spaces on the runs outside the Tight Ends. 8.5 and 6.3 yards per carry to the outside zones is 4 are 2 yards above the league average.
Lindsay was usable in 10 weeks in his rookie season. That is a great number for a back that wasn't even the end all be all guy to begin with. You can see from his performances above that he rarely had weeks where he just was terrible. That Week 3 game he was ejected from and other than that he only really struggled in the last two weeks.
You could start him on any given week and almost be sure that you at least had an RB2 week on your hands. This is very stable and rivals David Johnson and Kareem Hunt. I really like this showing, especially that the valley's aren't too deep and that his scoring wasn't just based on a few games, it was a steady production week in and week out with a few minor setbacks.
I decided to add in Todd Gurley's numbers into these two charts. I wanted to show more than just Lindsay's numbers and the league average. I think this is a better way to show how these numbers can impact your scoring.
For Lindsay you clearly see that he goes down from 1st down all the way down to 4th. That looks like what the league is doing in general but it does not gain as much as him on 1st and go down as much on 4th. Gurley on the other hand gains more yards as he gets deeper in the downs. With that in mind I think Lindsay is more of a top 10-12 back for the future than he is a top 5 back.
Again, you can see the same thing when it comes to Quarter production. Lindsay, Gurley and the league average is about the same in the 1st quarter. All three numbers go up in the 2nd and dips in the third. Lindsay's numbers go way up in the 2nd quarter to then free fall back to average in the 4th quarter. Gurley do the opposite compared to the league, he is more productive in the 4th quarter. This is of course also impacted by what team you play for, if your team is in the lead they will more likely be calling more run plays in the 4th quarter compared to a team that is behind. I don't see the Broncos being that much better with Flacco in 2019 that they will be running like crazy in the 4th quarter, so again I think he's a top 10-12 rather than top 5.
Lastly I want to acknowledge his situational trends. He scored more points on the road than he did at home which is very uncommon for Running Backs. He scored way more against the bottom 16 run defenses compared to the 16 best ones. This is somewhat concerning. It helps us to predict when he will be a better start for DFS, but it is not the best of trends to have for a seasonal fantasy player. He would be the ideal start in DFS for an away game vs. a bottom 16 run defense with a winning record. But for a seasonal pick you want him to always produce points, not 11% less than his average against the best run defenses plus 5% less at home.
I like Lindsay's rushing patterns a lot, but I don't think that we have one of the best fantasy players on our hands in him. It will be very interesting to see where his ADP takes him and I would very much like to have him on my team if I can get him for a decent price.
On Saturday I will be breaking down Saquon Barkley on the YouTube Channel so be sure to check that out. The next Correlation article will feature Tight Ends here on the website on Tuesday and next Thursday I will be looking deeper into George Kittle.
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The spreadsheets are dark and full of terror // CSD