Using Vacated Touches to Identify Opportunity

Apr 22, 2019
Using Vacated Touches to Identify Opportunity

Opportunity is one of the major factors I consider as I evaluate free agent signings and trades, and attempt to identify impact rookies in any given season. Typically, I’ll gauge this opportunity holistically—e.g. the Chiefs cut Kareem Hunt so there are touches available in Kansas City—but this season I thought I’d go through the process of calculating vacated running back touches to see if it would identify opportunity that wasn’t readily apparent.

Be sure to check out Part 1 of this opportunity study: Using Vacated Targets to Identify Opportunity.

Others have studied this in the past and normally I’d just leverage their work to double-check my aforementioned holistic findings, but I thought I’d do the legwork this time to see if there was anything I could add to the process. Given injuries, trades and Week 17 weirdness, I realized that it’s a little tricky to calculate total vacated touches, but I think the numbers below provide a good roadmap to find 2019 opportunity.

The numbers below include all running back touches through Week 16. I’ve added some notes below the table and there’s also a chart that provides the same information graphically.

Vacated RB Touches (2018)
Team Vacated Tchs/G Vacated Tchs % Key Additions
KC 18.7 79.4% Carlos Hyde
OAK 18.2 64.4% Isaiah Crowell
NYJ 17.0 63.9% LeVeon Bell, Ty Montgomery
CHI 17.0 62.0% Mike Davis
JAX 16.8 61.0% Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham
BAL 13.7 52.8% Mark Ingram
ATL 12.7 55.7% Kenjon Barner
MIA 11.9 48.5%
NO 11.5 36.4% Latavius Murray
HOU 11.2 42.7%
DET 10.7 39.6% C.J. Anderson
MIN 10.7 44.7%
SEA 9.5 29.2%
CLE 8.0 29.1% Kareem Hunt
BUF 7.5 29.1% Frank Gore
SF 6.8 23.6% Tevin Coleman
PHI 5.7 22.0% Jordan Howard
TB 4.5 19.5%
GB 2.8 12.4%
DAL 2.6 9.3%
WAS 2.2 8.3%
PIT 2.1 8.8%
CAR 1.7 7.2%
NE 1.6 5.1% Brandon Bolden
LAR 1.4 5.3%
NYG 1.3 4.9%
CIN 1.3 5.1%
IND 0.6 2.2%
ARI 0.3 1.1%
LAC 0.0 0.0%
DEN 0.0 0.0%
TEN 0.0 0.0%

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