Forecasting 2020 NFL Rookie RB Success: 3-Year Model

May 04, 2020
Forecasting 2020 NFL Rookie RB Success: 3-Year Model

The 2020 NFL Draft is now in the books, giving us dozens of new offensive players to consider for our fantasy teams. In this article, I will discuss some of the key rookie running backs to focus on going into 2020 fantasy drafts.

Other Rookie Forecasting Articles: WR | LB

Our friends over at Dynasty League Football have released post-draft rookie ADP, and we see Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jonathan Taylor battling it out for the top overall pick. This makes sense. As we will see below, Taylor is probably the best running back prospect in this class, but Helaire has the advantage of going into an Andy Reid offense. (Reid has personally compared Helaire to Brian Westbrook, making clear the opportunity he sees for Helaire in his offense.) As a result, either one of these backs is a great choice for the first overall pick.

Below, we will look at some of the running backs you can get later in the draft that also have a good chance of becoming valuable assets for your dynasty teams.

Forecasting Running Back Success

Like last season, we have predicted running back success, definied as the percentage chance that a running back finishes in the top 24 inside of three years, using a combination of three models. The first is a standard statistical model (built using logistic regression), the second is a more sophisticated machine learning model and the third is a newer statistical model that projects using different criteria depending on their categorization as a passing back, big back, or lighter back. We average the predictions of the three models to get an overall prediction.

Here are some key running backs that appear undervalued according to the combined model:

For those interested, there is a table at the end that shows the predictions of each model on all drafted running backs.

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