Another week with our honorary stat boy, Zach Fein of Fein Sports. A contributor with as much stat muscle as anyone in the business. You may not understand what he's says and use it for you fantasy leagues, but if you're in the mood to be baffled and confused, then boy does he have you covered. Because life is one big spreadsheet. There is nothing worse than your team's running back getting three carries because his coach decided to give the ball to his backfield mate. If you own a back who is only good for a long run now and then (see: Jones, Felix), you realize the frustration of this almost every other week. Look, I don't hate Felix Jones. Or Jerious Norwood. Or, sometimes, Maurice Jones-Drew. All I'm saying is that you can remove the frustration if you have someone you know will get five, or seven, or ten, carries a game, every game. Take a look at the following table. It lists the top-50 running backs' carries per game, the standard deviation of their carries each week, and the value of those numbers (computed as carries divided by SD). A lower SD means that their carries are more consistent, and thus a higher value is better than a lower one.
- Chris Johnson has been amazing this year. He's played five games; his carry totals, from low to high: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.
- Derrick Ward, with 7.25 yards per touch on the year, is a must-own in all leagues, especially if you own Brandon Jacobs (who is No. 4 on this list).
- If in an argument between Clinton Portis and Marion Barber, you can point to consistency to argue for Portis, who is No. 3, over Barber, who is No. 23. For the record, I like Portis more.
- Sammy Morris is the RB to own in New England. He's the most productive, and is most consistently getting carries.
- It is interesting to see McGahee far ahead of Le'Ron McLain. However, that is likely due to McLain's getting only two carries last week when he had 19, 17, 16, and 11 in the first four games.
- Ryan Grant would have moved up 15 spots if his 33-carry game last week was changed to 23 carries. Don't worry about his low spot on the list.
- Likewise, Earnest Graham would have moved up 10 spots if he had had 15 carries instead of five last week.
- Most of the backs in the bottom 10 of the list were either a) injured mid-game (like Addai), or b) backups planted into a bigger role in one or two games due to injuries or another player (like Pittman).