2013 – Rushing Attempts Breakdown

LeVeon Bell received 61.9% of the Steeler's team rushing attempts in 2013, ranking top 5 in RB workload. LeVeon Bell received 61.9% of the Steeler's team rushing attempts in 2013, ranking top 5 in RB workload.

Last season studying the previous seasons’ rushing attempts by team led me to believe that Ray Rice would struggle, and it put me on LeVeon Bell and Ryan Mathews as guys that could be sleepers based on their workloads and opportunities.  In PPR leagues, both Bell and Mathews were Top 20 Fantasy RBs who performed better than their draft slots, while Ray Rice continued to see his opportunities decrease.  I was also a big fan of Daryl Richardson because I thought he would get the majority of the work as evidenced by this quote, “conservatively speaking if the Rams reach 450 carries (which is low for a Jeff Fisher coached team), and Richardson receives just 55% of those carries, he is looking at 247 carries this season. That would put Richardson in the Top 13 among RBs based on last year’s numbers”.  Well, the Rams fell short of my conservative estimate and had just 426 carries, but Zac Stacy received 58.7% of those carries, more than my projected 55% for Richardson.  I thought Richardson could see 247 carries, and Stacy had exactly 250.  My logic was spot on, but I just had the wrong player.

My point with this article is to show you exactly how NFL team’s split up their rushing attempts in 2013, and allow you to dissect the data for yourself.  See what stands out to you and what can be learned from it.  I’ll have posts up later in the week showing you which teams gave the largest percentage of the carries to their lead back, and you might be surprised.  Too often in fantasy circles I hear about how a certain player has less value because he is in a 50/50 split, and you should target guys who get 75-80% of their team’s carries.  That doesn’t happen for any team in the NFL.  As you look over the list, you will notice that Matt Forte led the NFL with 71.5% of the Bear’s carries in 2013.  No other RB had over 70%, and 2nd place (Adrian Peterson) got 66%.  There were just 9 RBs to get over 60%, and just 19 RBs to have 50% or more.  It agitates me when I hear a fantasy analyst say or tweet that a team will run the ball about 550 times (something not a single NFL team did in 2013), and that their lead back should get 75% of those carries (again something that didn’t happen last season) and that this player is looking at a ton of work (412 carries actually, which would be 5 shy of an NFL Record).  These comments are just way off base, and lead you to look at a guy who had 225 carries the previous season as a guy to avoid because he doesn’t get a big workload.  Last season, there were just 14 RBs to get 225 carries or more, so what may have been a small workload in the past, isn’t anymore.  Fantasy Football is all about opportunities, and you have to know the tendencies of coaches, and which players should get the most opportunities.  If you can find a guy who should get a lot of touches, and he’s very talented, he’ll be a Top 10 guy at his position every time.  Take a look at the table below which shows the most relevant players on each team, including QBs, because some QBs eat up a lot of a team’s carries.

NFL Team 2013 Rush ATT Player Rush ATT % Team Carries
Buffalo Bills 546 Fred Jackson 206 37.7%
C.J. Spiller 202 37.0%
E.J. Manuel 53 9.7%
Seattle Seahawks 509 Marshawn Lynch 301 59.1%
Russell Wilson 96 18.9%
Robert Turbin 77 15.1%
San Francisco 49ers 505 Frank Gore 276 54.7%
Colin Kaepernick 92 18.2%
Kendall Hunter 78 15.4%
Philadelphia Eagles 500 LeSean McCoy 314 62.8%
Bryce Brown 75 15.0%
Nick Foles 57 11.4%
New York Jets 493 Chris Ivory 182 36.9%
Bilal Powell 176 35.7%
Geno Smith 72 14.6%
San Diego Chargers 486 Ryan Mathews 285 58.6%
Danny Woodhead 106 21.8%
Ronnie Brown 45 9.3%
Carolina Panthers 483 DeAngelo Williams 201 41.6%
Cam Newton 111 23.0%
Mike Tolbert 101 20.9%
Johnathan Stewart 48 9.9%
Cincinnati Bengals 481 BenJarvus Green-Ellis 220 45.7%
Giovani Bernard 170 35.3%
Andy Dalton 61 12.7%
New England Patriots 470 Stevan Ridley 178 37.9%
LeGarrette Blount 153 32.6%
Brandon Boldin 55 11.7%
Shane Vereen 44 9.4%
Tennessee Titans 462 Chris Johnson 279 60.4%
Shonn Greene 77 16.7%
Ryan Fitzpatrick 43 9.3%
Denver Broncos 461 Knowshon Moreno 241 52.3%
Montee Ball 120 26.0%
Ronnie Hillman 55 11.9%
Green Bay Packers 459 Eddie Lacy 284 61.9%
James Starks 89 19.4%
Washington Redskins 453 Alfred Morris 276 60.9%
Robert Griffin III 86 19.0%
Roy Helu 62 13.7%
Detroit Lions 445 Reggie Bush 223 50.1%
Joique Bell 166 37.3%
Kansas City Chiefs 442 Jamaal Charles 259 58.6%
Alex Smith 76 17.2%
Knile Davis 70 15.8%
Oakland Raiders 437 Rashad Jennings 163 37.3%
Darren McFadden 114 26.1%
Terrelle Pryor 83 19.0%
Marcel Reece 46 10.5%
St. Louis Rams 426 Zac Stacy 250 58.7%
Daryl Richardson 69 16.2%
Benny Cunningham 47 11.0%
Baltimore Ravens 423 Ray Rice 214 50.6%
Bernard Pierce 152 35.9%
Minnesota Vikings 423 Adrian Peterson 279 66.0%
Matt Asiata 44 10.4%
Arizona Cardinals 422 Rashard Mendenhall 217 51.4%
Andre Ellington 118 28.0%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 420 Bobby Rainey 137 32.6%
Doug Martin 127 30.2%
Mike James 60 14.3%
Brian Leonard 47 11.2%
Houston Texans 414 Ben Tate 181 43.7%
Arian Foster 121 29.2%
Dennis Johnson 49 11.8%
Indianapolis Colts 409 Trent Richardson 157 38.4%
Donald Brown 102 24.9%
Andrew Luck 63 15.4%
Ahmad Bradshaw 41 10.0%
Chicago Bears 404 Matt Forte 289 71.5%
Michael Bush 63 15.6%
Pittsburgh Steelers 394 Le’Veon Bell 244 61.9%
Jonathan Dwyer 49 12.4%
Felix Jones 48 12.2%
New Orleans Saints 391 Pierre Thomas 147 37.6%
Mark Ingram 78 19.9%
Khiry Robinson 54 13.8%
Darren Sproles 53 13.6%
New York Giants 381 Andre Brown 139 36.5%
Peyton Hillis 73 19.2%
Brandon Jacobs 58 15.2%
David Wilson 44 11.5%
Jacksonville Jaguars 378 Maurice Jones-Drew 234 61.9%
Jordan Todman 76 20.1%
Miami Dolphins 349 Lamar Miller 177 50.7%
Daniel Thomas 109 31.2%
Ryan Tannehill 40 11.5%
Cleveland Browns 348 Willis McGahee 138 39.7%
Chris Ogbonnaya 49 14.1%
Edwin Baker 43 12.4%
Dallas Cowboys 336 DeMarco Murray 217 64.6%
Joseph Randle 54 16.1%
Atlanta Falcons 321 Stephen Jackson 157 48.9%
Jacquizz Rodgers 96 29.9%
Jason Snelling 44 13.7%


I’m not sure what stands out to you glancing over this list, but I’d love to hear your thoughts and start a discussion in the comments below.  Often I’m encouraged when I see a guy like DeMarco Murray who had just 217 carries last season, yet was still a solid fantasy option.  Dallas ran the ball just 336 times last season, which was ridiculously low.  There is a good chance their defense is just as bad if not worse this year, so they may have to throw the ball a ton again, but it’s hard to imagine Murray’s workload decreases.  It’s also should be encouraging for LeVeon Bell fans that the Steelers ran the ball just 394 times, but gave a 61.9% workload to Bell.  He also catches the ball very well, and no one else on the Steelers had more than 13% of the team’s carries.  Bell has a chance to be a Top 5 carry guy this season, and if he catches the ball as well as he did last season, could be a steal in the 2nd round.

This data is something I look at every season and I feel it’s very beneficial to know what actually happened in the NFL last season, rather than listen to people discuss and throw out numbers that are completely unrealistic and absurd.  Let me know what stands out to you.

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