The Myth of Beast Mode

Victor Cruz is widely considered to be the most surprising fantasy story of 2011, but if given a chance, I’d vote for Marshawn Lynch. Football Outsiders and Advanced NFL Stats might not agree on much, but they both considered Lynch to be one of the worst backs in the NFL in 2010 . . . and 2009 . . . and 2008.

In previewing the 2011 season, I pointed out how Skittles has made virtually every run of his life equivalent to a goal line carry against the Steel Curtain and used him as the poster child for my Pro Football Focus article examining Vision Yards.

And then Lynch went out and finished as the No. 6 back in fantasy. Continue reading The Myth of Beast Mode

Chris Johnson Poised to Bounce Back

My newest PFF article will focus on Vision Yards, the yards a running back accrues before contact. One of the focal points is Chris Johnson, a player who possesses an elite ability to see and hit the crease.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Johnson did not struggle in this area in 2011 and his disappointing season is unlikely the fault of his offensive line either. Instead, it’s most likely that Johnson’s problem was mostly a lack of confidence at the point of contact . . . and the result of random variation. Luck, basically. Continue reading Chris Johnson Poised to Bounce Back