Which NFL Running Backs Got the Best Chances in Week 1?

It’s a common misconception that we don’t care about trailing quantized types. while the analyst often pointed out he is from production status more easily replaceable Compared to other players, ball-carriers still play an important role in the modern game. forcing the defense to honor the run, and a big way that plays out is How an RB is Deployed by His Team,

After a week of play, we know what to expect from some of the running back corps in the league. But how many teams use their rush is unclear. To reduce the noise and identify the real leads of each team running behind, we thought we’d use some math to figure out where some of the more confusing backfields are going in Week 2.

For this, we will use a metric created by That’s what Sidlowski and Tan Ho I call the Opportunity-Based Expected Score (OEP). Now you might be wondering: “What is OEP, and why should I care about it?” OEP measures the expected point value of each opportunity that receives a running back on a play, independent of the outcome of the play, In the NFL, much of a running back’s value is derived from the types of opportunities he is offered. For example, a carry from the 3-yard line is worth a lot more than a one in 45 because red zone carries have a higher chance of scoring. Other factors can affect how many yards we expect to gain in play, including how much time is left in play, how close the offense is down first or if the defense expects a pass.

In other words, OEP helps us see which running backs are getting primo opportunities. And according to the OEP, few conditions are less clear-cut than in Jacksonville. Lead back James Robinson was responsible for 12 of the Jags’ 22 points on Sunday, catching and scoring a 3-yard touchdown from quarterback Trevor Lawrence. 11 yards in the fourth quarter To play Jaguar just run to up to 8 in less than 12 minutes. (Being the Jaguars, they would lose anyway, dropping 14 points straight after collecting in the fourth quarter. 85.5 percent chance of winning,

Looking at the box score, you would be forgiven for thinking that Robinson is the clear No. 1 in Jacksonville. after all he Done 11 times for 66 yards To go with those two touchdowns. But Jerob can finally finish the Jags’ bell-cow backHe was tied with second-year Travis Etienne in the OEP on Sunday – despite Etienne receiving seven fewer carries.

Despite the low carry, Etienne played Robinson’s OEP . almost matched

Getting Hurry and Stats and Opportunity-Based Expected Points (OEP) for the top two running Jacksonville Jaguars in the first week of the 2022 season

Name To YDS td TGT rec YDS td OEP
James Robinson 1 1 66 1 2 1 3 1 12
Travis Etienne 4 47 0 4 2 18 0 1 1

Source: Sidlowski and Ho

Against the commanders, Etienne’s opportunities were worth 11 expected points despite only four carries and four goals being scored, mainly because three targets were in the red zone. In the first quarter, with the Jags offense at the Washington 15-yard line, quarterback Trevor Lawrence targeted Etienne in the end zone — but Overthrow your former college teammate for an incompleteness. Later, when Jacksonville was at the 3-yard line, Etienne dropped a certain touchdown In the right flat on a swing pass. His two other targets came when the offense was on the commanders’ 14 and 32 – occasions in which each held a comparatively high expected value. Meanwhile, only three of Robinson’s 13 chances were in the red zone (but he scored on two of them!). In the end, an additional opportunity inside the scoring range was taken almost entirely for Etienne to look five short.

The Detroit Lions are another team with an uncertain backfield pecking order. Detroit fans are fighting for D’Andre Swift get more carryAnd it’s easy to see that after the Swift is 144 yards – a . including – why 50 yard gallop On the Lions’ inaugural campaign – and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

But Swift didn’t get the ball in 1 week in several high-priced situations. Instead, that honor went to Jamal Williams.

Swift got the stats, but Williams got better opportunities

Stats and Opportunity-Based Expected Points (OEP) for the top two Detroit Lions running in the first week of the 2022 season and achieving

Name To YDS td TGT rec YDS td OEP
Jamal Williams 1 1 28 2 2 1 2 0 15
D’Andre Swift 15 144 1 3 3 31 0 13

Source: Sidlowski and Ho

Williams had four fewer carries than Swift and scored two goals for Swift’s three, but Williams’ five carries were in the all-important red zone. And when you think about it, running only 28 yards makes some sense in that context. After all, when two of your 11 attempts are at the 1-yard line, it’s hard to get a lot of yards.

The Swifts look like a back with the juice in their feet to lead the league in a row and earn a spot among the league’s elite. but that need to be healthy And get more Red Zone opportunities to work your way into the MVP discussion. Unfortunately for Swift, head coach Dan Campbell gets to decide who gets those high-priced touches — and so far, Campbell has given Williams more quality chances.

There is one team, however, that seems to have a clear priority in handing out high-value touches among their running backs—even if it’s not the preference we expected. Denver Broncos RB Jevont Williams doubles down on Melvyn Gordon’s OEP during team troubling loss Monday night for the Seattle Seahawks.

Jevont Williams is the clear lead in Denver

Hurry and Obtained Statistics and Opportunity-Based Expected Points (OEP) for the top two Denver Broncos in Week 1 of the 2022 season

Name To YDS td TGT rec YDS td OEP
javonte williams 7 43 0 12 1 1 65 0 26
melvin gordon 12 58 0 2 2 14 0 13

Source: Sidlowski and Ho

Gordon bested Williams’ running attempts at 12 to seven overall, but only two of Gordon’s carries came in the red zone (Gordon thunder one of the attempts). Meanwhile, Williams dominated the passing game, scoring 12 goals and catching 11 of them, including the game setting up Denver. Disastrous 64-yard field goal attempt to end the game.

some analyst (ahem) thought Gordon was a good bet for catching high-value touches in the Denver offense, but through Week 1 the prediction has widened like a 60-yard boot from Brandon McManus. OEP numbers are spoken, and Javonte stans — of which there are many – You should breathe comfortably.

And in case you’re curious, here’s the OEP in searchable form for each running back from week 1:

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