Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Offseason Extra: The year after 400-plus touches

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

As Fantasy owners, we all want our running backs to get touches. Work, work and more work is our mantra, and we hate when our running back comes off the field -- especially when they lose touchdowns to a vulture.

But sometimes too much work can be a problem, and Marshawn Lynch is coming dangerously close to a number no running back wants to hit. Barring an injury early in Super Bowl XLVIII -- or a complete shocker of a game plan by the Seahawks against the Broncos -- Lynch is going to reach 400 total touches for the season, and that's a bad thing.

He comes into this game with 388 touches through 16 games in the regular season and two in the playoffs (351 carries and 37 catches), so Lynch has seen his share of work this year, which was great. But next season, based on our research, he could be headed for a significant downturn in production.

Check out our Fantasy Football podcast!
There is no better source for entertaining Fantasy advice than our Fantasy Football Today podcast. Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Adam Aizer will help you pass the time as you anticipate Draft Day 2014!
Latest episode | Subscribe today!

We went back and looked at the past 10 years for running backs who had 400 touches in a season, including the playoffs, and found 27 occasions where it happened for 17 different running backs. Of those 27 times, only five -- Edgerrin James (2004), LaDainian Tomlinson (2005), James again (2005), Adrian Peterson (2009) and Ray Rice (2011) -- produced an increase in Fantasy points the following season, and you can see all the data in our chart below.

The 22 other examples where a running back hit 400 touches over that span showed varying results -- all negative. Two running backs -- Tiki Barber and Ricky Williams -- retired following consecutive seasons with 400 touches. And nine times a running back suffered an injury -- Arian Foster (2013), Peterson (2013), Michael Turner (2009), Steven Jackson (2007), Larry Johnson (2007), Shaun Alexander (2006), Clinton Portis (2006), Curtis Martin (2005) and Jamal Lewis (2004) -- that caused him to miss games following a 400-touch campaign. Some of those injuries could be attributed to the heavy workload the year before.

Statistically, the Fantasy point decline was staggering. Of the 20 times a running back played the year after getting 400 touches and saw a decline in production, 15 had their Fantasy points drop by at least 30 percent and 10 by at least 40 percent. The worst was Johnson, who went from 329 Fantasy points in 2006 over 17 games on a staggering 475 touches -- the highest total during the past 10 years -- to 95 Fantasy points in 2007 on 188 touches in just eight games due to a foot injury.

If you want recent history, there were three running backs from the past two years who had 400 touches in Foster, Peterson and Rice, who all hit that mark in 2012 and faltered in 2013. Foster had 460 touches over 18 games in 2012 for 247 Fantasy points and then finished with 86 points this past season on 143 touches in just eight games due to a back injury. Peterson went from 293 Fantasy points on 411 touches over 17 games to 203 points on 308 touches over 14 games, missing two because of a groin injury.

And Rice, despite playing 15 games this season -- including dealing with a hip problem -- had just 120 Fantasy points on 272 touches after scoring 206 points the year before on 410 touches through 20 games, as he helped the Ravens win the Super Bowl. Rice actually had three seasons in a row with 400 touches (414 in 2011 over 18 games for 284 Fantasy points and 411 in 2010 over 18 games for 197 points). He went up in production after his first 400-touch campaign but declined the following season, and all the work from that three-year stretch is likely catching up with him now.

Foster and Peterson are fair comparisons to make with Lynch based on their age. Foster was 26 during his 400-touch season, and Peterson was 27 when he did it in 2012. Lynch is 27 now, and he likely will finish close to the 411 touches Peterson had last season if the Super Bowl goes as planned. On the positive side for Peterson, despite his 90-point decline in Fantasy points in 2013, he still finished as the No. 8 running back, which isn't horrible -- it's just not exceptional. You just hope Lynch has that kind of season and not like Foster or Rice. Both fell off dramatically in their production and didn't finish in the Top 25 at running back in 2013.

On the other hand, Lynch could end up like James, who was 27 in 2003 when he had 431 touches over 16 games and finished with 214 Fantasy points. He then came back at 28 in 2004 and had 426 touches over 18 games for 254 points. One thing of note for the running backs who improved after 400 touches: they all had standout quarterback play during that season with James and Peyton Manning, Peterson and Brett Favre and Tomlinson and Philip Rivers. Maybe that could happen with Lynch if Russell Wilson continues to progress, but Wilson likely isn't of that caliber of the previous three just yet.

The problem is it's just hard for running backs to recover after doing so much heavy lifting, and Lynch actually has 1,079 touches (987 carries and 92 catches) over the past three seasons heading into the Super Bowl. Lynch, known as "Beast Mode" for his physical style of running and absorbing contact, could definitely be in for a letdown in 2014, which is frustrating given his potential.

But the stats tell us that running backs with 400 touches don't fare well the following season, which means you'll want to watch the battle between Christine Michael and Robert Turbin closely this offseason. The No. 2 running back in Seattle could be a sleeper next year.

As for Lynch, he's likely still worth the gamble toward the end of the first round on Draft Day depending on what happens in the Super Bowl. When he's on the field, he should produce at a high level, but there could be some missed time if the workload catches up to him.

Just know that if you draft Lynch, handcuff him to Michael or Turbin -- or hope he surprises us and somehow improves following the dreaded 400-touch season. It's happened before, maybe it will happen again.

The history of RBs after 400-plus touches
Here is a look at the running backs who have reached 400 total touches over the past 10 years. Only four times has a running back seen an increase in Fantasy points the following year, so Marshawn Lynch could be in trouble in 2014. The Fantasy points listed are for regular season only.
Year Age GP Touches Fantasy Pts. Year GP Touches Fantasy Pts. Differential
Arian Foster 2012 26 18* 460 247 2013 8** 143 86 -161
Adrian Peterson 2012 27 17* 411 293 2013 14** 308 203 -90
Ray Rice 2012 25 20* 410 206 2013 15** 272 120 -86
Ray Rice 2011 24 18* 414 284 2012 20* 410 206 -78
Ray Rice 2010 23 18* 411 197 2011 18* 414 284 +87
Rashard Mendenhall 2010 23 19* 412 202 2011 15 246 144 -58
Chris Johnson 2009 24 16* 408 328 2010 16 360 214 -114
Adrian Peterson 2009 24 18* 412 262 2010 15 319 226 -36
Adrian Peterson 2008 23 17* 424 224 2009 18* 412 262 +38
Michael Turner 2008 26 17* 401 261 2009 11** 183 136 -125
LaDainian Tomlinson 2007 28 19* 410 308 2008 17* 349 209 -99
Tiki Barber 2006 31 17* 413 236 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Steven Jackson 2006 23 16 436 324 2007 12** 275 165 -159
Larry Johnson 2006 27 17* 475 329 2007 8** 188 95 -234
LaDainian Tomlinson 2006 27 17* 429 427 2007 19* 410 308 -119
Shaun Alexander 2005 28 19* 448 361 2006 12** 315 129 -232
Tiki Barber 2005 30 17* 427 303 2006 17* 413 236 -67
Edgerrin James 2005 29 16* 422 265 2006 16 365 166 -99
Clinton Portis 2005 24 18* 418 242 2006 8** 145 111 -131
Edgerrin James 2004 28 18* 426 254 2005 16* 422 265 +11
Curtis Martin 2004 31 18* 457 273 2005 12** 244 140 -133
LaDainian Tomlinson 2004 25 16* 444 282 2005 16 390 320 +38
Ahman Green 2003 26 18* 461 334 2004 16* 321 189 -145
Edgerrin James 2003 27 16* 431 214 2004 18* 426 254 +40
Jamal Lewis 2003 24 17* 429 296 2004 12** 245 153 -143
LaDainian Tomlinson*** 2003 24 16* 414 344 2004 16* 444 282 -62
Ricky Williams*** 2003 26 16 442 222 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
* - includes playoff games
** - missed games due to injury
*** - indicates player also had 400 touches in 2002 (Tomlinson had 451 touches for 300 Fantasy points ... Williams had 430 touches for 309 Fantasy points)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Raiders place LaMarr Woodley, Usama Young on IR
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:45 pm ET) The Raiders placed defensive end LaMarr Woodley (bicep) and safety Usama Young (knee) on the season-ending injured reserve list Saturday.

Woodley suffered a torn bicep muscle in Week 7 against the Cardinals. Young tore his ACL and MCL in the same game.


Raiders activate D.J. Hayden, sign Denico Autry
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:42 pm ET) The Raiders activated cornerback D.J. Hayden from the PUP list Saturday and added defensive end Denico Autry to the active roster from the practice squad.

Hayden missed the first seven weeks of the season while recovering from a foot injury, but he's ready to roll for Sunday's Week 8 matchup with the Browns. Autry was signed to the team's practice squad on Sept. 1.


Rams place Brandon McGee on IR, sign Jamea Thomas
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:23 pm ET) The Rams placed cornerback Brandon McGee (foot) on injured reserve Saturday. He hasn't played since Week 2 and will miss the remainder of the season with the injury.

The team promoted defensive back Jemea Thomas from the practice squad to fill the open roster spot. He has yet to play in a regular-season game this season.


Seahawks send Derrick Coleman to IR, sign Phil Bates
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:08 pm ET) The Seahawks have placed Derrick Coleman (foot) on injured reserve, ending his season. He fractured his foot during pregame warmups in Week 7.

To replace Coleman on the active roster, the team signed wide receiver Phil Bates off the practice squad.


Dolphins activate DE Dion Jordan, waive WR Damian Williams
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(4:04 pm ET) The Dolphins activated defensive end Dion Jordan Saturday, waiving wide receiver Damian Williams in a corresponding move.

Jordan missed six games while serving a suspension caused by two failed drug tests, but he's now eligible to take the field for Sunday's game against the Jaguars. Williams caught one pass for 14 yards, logging the reception on his only offensive snap.


Robert Griffin questionable on final Redskins Week 8 injury report
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3:29 pm ET) Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (ankle) is listed as questionable on the team's final Week 8 injury report for Monday's matchup with the Cowboys.

Griffin hasn't played since Week 2 while recovering from a dislocated ankle, but he was able to get three limited practices under his belt this week. Even with the questionable tag, Colt McCoy is expected to start Monday night.

Cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) is also listed as questionable after being limited in practice all week. Safety Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) was limited in practice all week as well but is listed as probable. The team's other probables include running back Alfred Morris (ankle), defensive lineman Chris Baker (thigh), linebacker Perry Riley (knee) and offensive tackles Trent Williams (knee) and Tyler Polumbus (knee), all of whom practiced in full Saturday.


Cowboys' Week 8 injury report stacked with probables
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3:23 pm ET) The Cowboys will likely be without just two players Monday against the Redskins, with tackle Doug Free (foot) and defensive end Jack Crawford (calf) ruled out for the game on the team's final Week 8 injury report.

The Cowboys have six players listed as probable to play, including defensive end Anthony Spencer (knee, foot), who practice on a limited basis all three days this week. The team's other probables include quarterback Tony Romo (back), wide receiver Dez Bryant (shoulder), linebacker Bruce Carter (thigh), tackle Jermey Parnell (chest) and safety Jakar Hamilton (not injury related).


Ravens waive Ryan Taylor, add Phillip Supernaw
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:59 pm ET) The Ravens waived tight end Ryan Taylor and signed tight end Phillip Supernaw off the practice squad to the active roster Saturday. Supernaw will be tasked with backing up Crockett Gilmore Sunday with Owen Daniels on the sidelines.

Lions sign Jerome Couplin from practice squad
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:55 pm ET) The Lions signed safety Jerome Couplin to the active roster from the practice squad Saturday. Couplin has played 11 snaps in three games on the active roster this season.

Lions suspend DT C.J. Mosley for two weeks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(2:53 pm ET) The Lions have suspended defensive tackle C.J. Mosley for two weeks for conduct detrimental to the team and violation of team rules, DetroitLions.com reports. Mosley was sent home from London early Saturday and placed on the reserved/suspended by club list.

 
 
 
Rankings