Fantasy Football 2013: Future Benefits from Andre Elllington
There were 30 minutes still to be played on Sunday afternoon, and Arizona was in complete cruise control with a 27-3 halftime cushion. This was the ideal time for head coach Bruce Arians to let Andre Ellington EAT up yardage and game clock…right? Apparently not. Ellington was out-carried by zero upside veteran Rashard Mendenhall seven to three in the second stanza. Heck, even Stepfan Taylor got more run than Ellington. The message from Arians is once again clear: this is not an issue of going with the experienced hand or easing Ellington into more action. He simply views the 2013 6th rounder as a change-of-pace back only; an assessment 99.9% of the football universe disagrees with. Arians will see the light – eventually. Keeper owners will be fortunate to have AE rostered a year from now.
Ellington is the 10th rated running back (8.9) according to Pro Football Focus: Here’s why:
- Ellington ranks 1st in breakaway percentage among backs, with 55% of his rush yards coming off gains of 15 or more. He’s racked up nine runs of 15+ (five 20+) for 243 yards – that’s a clip of 27 per.
- In PFF’s measure of running production independent of blocking effort, Ellington ranks 7th in Elusive Rating.
- He leads the NFL in yards per carry at a clean 6 per rush.
- 26% of his carries have resulted in a first down. If this rate wasn’t impressive enough under normal conditions, keep this in mind: 56 of his 73 carries have come on first down or 2nd down and 6+ to go. Ellington has gotten ZERO cheap first downs: three carries for four yards on third and 3 or less.
Running Style Misconceptions
- At 5 foot 9 and 199 pounds, Ellington is not a finesse runner. He’s carried the ball 35 times “up the middle” for 201 yards, and 48 of his carries have come in between the tackles. Of course his speed plays effectively outside as well, accumulating 224 yards on 36 wide left/wide right runs.
- He’s 2nd in the league in yards after contact per attempt at 3.1, behind only Rashad Jennings.
Pass Receiving Prowess
- Ellington doesn’t simply catch security blanket throws out of the backfield – he lines up as a receiver and runs routes of substance. He averages 1.52 yards per route run, good for the 12th among running backs; and he’s been a party to a TON of routes, 163 to be exact against just 18 pass blocking snaps.
- Given the above information, dropped passes are a more frequent part of his repertoire. He’s dropped five of 33 catchable balls for a drop rate of 15%.
Activity & Opportunity Last 4
|Week /Opponent||% of Snaps||Run Count||Pass Count|
|Week 8 vs. ATL||62.5%||16||13|
|Week 10 vs. HOU||44.9%||11||16|
|Week 11 @ JAX||41.4%||8||17|
|Week 12 vs. IND||42.9%||11||16|
A la his namesake, “Sir Duke” Ellington, Andre will be playing sweet music with his feet for years to come. When opportunity meets preparation… or when Bruce Arians tosses his ego out the window.
*Premium Stats provided by ProFootballFocus.com*
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