Efficiency is great and all, but when it comes to fantasy football, we just need volume.
Without volume and touches, our fantasy football assets can't rack up high point totals. None of this should be a surprise to anyone who's played our game before.
But on a similar note, volume can help identify regression when we dig into running back performance. Rather than trusting that players will score touchdowns at a similar rate year-to-year, we can look deeper at the numbers and see what a player should've scored based on his yardage.
Rushing efficiency is kind of a paradox in today's NFL. According to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric -- the points a player adds to his team's expected output -- the average running back carry leads to negative expected points for a team's offense (around -0.02 points in 2017). So while we used our NEP metric to identify regression candidates at the wide receiver position (both positive and negative regression candidates), that doesn't do us a ton of good with running backs.
But that's okay because, for running backs, volume and touchdowns are tied together quite nicely, especially when we look past just rushing and factor in receiving.
Here's how total yards and total touchdowns since 2009 (among players with at least 100 touches) looks when graphed.
Photo by theestgeorge