Since signing with the Colts in 2015, Frank Gore has been the ultimate value pick for any fantasy players willing to put their faith in the aging legend. He was more often than not one of the final starting backs to come off draft boards but finished these last two years 11th and 12th in standard scoring. At this point, it might seem wise to just ride him until the wheels have visibly fallen off, because up until now he’s defied all expectations. The tail end of 2016 spelled out a dismal future for the tailback, however. In fact, one might argue that much of his success last year was something of a fluke.
The main attraction of RBs is their ability to score touchdowns consistently. This is magnified deeper down the rankings, where workload and opportunity become paramount to the success of roleplayers who don’t have a team centered around them. When the star backs are all taken, do you want the guy who averages high YPC, or do you want the guy who you know for a fact is going to be fed the rock at the goal line time and again? Bilal Powell averaged 5.5 YPC in 2016, and his teammate Matt Forte only had 3.7. Powell was the superior talent on a per-touch basis, but Forte got the lion’s share of the volume, especially at the goal line, allowing him to finish the year ahead of Powell in total fantasy points scored (in standard scoring, at least). LeGarrette Blount scored so many touchdowns that he finished as a top-10 back even in PPR, despite catching a grand total of seven passes for 38 yards on the season.
Photo by Aaron Sholl