Where Forte, Tate should be drafted

Examining RBs who should be drafted higher or lower because of GBYPA

Originally Published: July 26, 2012
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
ForteKyle Terada/US PresswireMatt Forte is back with the Chicago Bears, but how high should he be drafted?

When it comes to building an effective rushing attack, many personnel people follow the philosophy of Al Davis, who believed that the key to ground productivity was stockpiling as many top-flight run-blockers as possible.

The numbers show Davis was right in many ways, as multiple studies I have done over the years indicate that no running back can consistently average 3 yards per carry on plays with bad run blocking (which is very loosely defined as when the offense allows the defense to do something to disrupt the rush attempt).

As effective as this approach is in NFL team building, when it comes to building a fantasy football team, fantasy owners need to take a different tack. Their concern isn't overall effectiveness but rather how often a back can break off a home run.

That ability is measured via the good blocking yards per attempt (GBYPA) metric and top-flight productivity in this department should be pursued with vigor on draft day.

Five backs whose GBYPA marks indicate their draft-day value should be much higher include:

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (ADP: No. 17)

It's probably a bit early to place too much stock in a player's average draft position (ADP), but Forte's current No. 17 rank in that category shows that he still seems to have some doubters.

The question is: What is there to doubt? Forte's 10.7 GBYPA ranked second among qualifying running backs and was the highest among backs with 70 or more good blocking rush attempts. That led to his scoring 156 fantasy points in the 11 games in which he was healthy, which is a mark that pro-rates out to 226 points over the course of a 16-game season. That mark would have placed him in the top five scorers in the running back category last year. Since his contract situation has been resolved and he was healthy enough to play in the Pro Bowl in January, there really is no reason Forte should fall out of the first round in any draft room.


To read more about where Matt Forte, Ben Tate, Reggie Bush and other running backs should be drafted, plus to get access to all of Insider's NFL coverage, sign up today.