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Correlation Between Offensive Line And Running Back Success In Fantasy

Correlation Between Offensive Line And Running Back Success In Fantasy

Importance of offensive lines in the football is has gone unnoticed no longer. It is consensus these days that success for a team’s running game goes hand and hand with a solid unit in the trenches in most cases. But is there a direct correlation with this marriage in fantasy football? Let’s take a look.

We’ll start with the best statistical season ever on the ground. He posted out of this world numbers for the year with 1,815 yards, all time record 28 rushing touchdowns, additionally throwing two touchdowns and receiving three. This all totals 453.1 fantasy points in half-PPR formats and Tomlinson is the only player to register upwards of 420 points in half-PPR EVER. But Tomlinson didn’t do it alone. Seeing as this was not only one of the best season’s for a running back, but as a team, one of the most complete it’s no secret that they were solidified by elite offensive line play. There are some vague parralels between this unit and the current iteration of the 49ers’. A heavy emphasis on trailing the full back, in the case Lorenzo Neal and capitalizing on space made with the left side of the line with counter runs to that side, helped Tomlinson showcase his immense talent and outstanding statistical output.

Now, this anomaly of a performance was over a decade ago and the game of football has evolved greatly, with a large significance given to the ability of a running back to be dynamic, run routes and catch passes, seeing as it is a passing league. With that being said, let us defer to a more recent example, 2016 David Johnson. He led all non-QB’s in half-PPR scoring (367 points), accompanying that with 100 all-purpose yards in the 15 games he played. This comes out to 1239 rushing yards, 80 receptions and a whopping 20 all-purpose touchdowns. Once gain the question is posed, what role did the Cardinals offensive line play in this success? Well the answer is not much of one actually. According to Pro Football Focus they ranked near the bottom the NFL as a unit at 26th. Whilst Center A.Q Shipley was able to stay healthy and produce there was a heavy rotation of bodies around him, including 10 different starters throughout the season.

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) scores a touchdown as San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Nick Bellore (50) pursues during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

So, in conclusion, is there a mutually inclusive relationship between good offensive line play and fantasy football output at the running back position? No. While it may help obviously in the case of Ladanian Tomlinson or to a lesser extent Coleman and Breida this year, a runner can also rely on his passing catching ability, ability to make space or even good quarterback play.

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Correlation Between Offensive Line And Running Back Success In Fantasy

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