Best/worst run-blocking teams

Analyzing the fantasy implications of RBs on good or bad blocking teams

Originally Published: June 18, 2013
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider

C.J. SpillerRonald C. Modra/ Getty ImagesThe Buffalo Bills gave running back C.J. Spiller great blocking last season.

Since only 13 running backs averaged 10 or more fantasy points per game last year and the pickings could be just as slim this season, fantasy team owners are going to be on the lookout for any type of upside edge at running back. At the same time, they must also be wary of situations that could even marginally deplete what may already be diminished fantasy point value.

One metric that can assist with both of those goals is good blocking rate (GBR). This is a tape review-based statistic that gauges how often a team's blockers give a ball carrier good blocking (which is loosely defined as when the offense does not allow the defense to disrupt a rushing attempt).

This is important because in the multiple years of research I've done on this subject, it has become clear that good blocking is possibly the most important factor in determining whether a running back will be successful. The evidence for this can be found in comparing the league-wide yards per carry average on plays with good blocking (7.6) versus with bad blocking (1.7).

So which are the best and worst teams in the GBR category? Let's take a look at the numbers and detail how those totals are likely to impact the fantasy value for the running backs on those clubs.

Best run-blocking offenses

No. 1 -- Buffalo Bills (52.3 percent GBR in 2012)