Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Attention all you math wizards, statistical gurus and fantasy owners! In fantasy football, 36 inches can equal up to 150 yards.
I am talking about the one-yard touchdown run.
In the fantasy world where a rushing touchdown is equal to six points and 10 rushing yards equals one point, a short 1-yard scamper into the end zone is worth the same as a dynamic 60-yard run in the middle of the field.
Or in the case of a quarterback, the same score is equal to his throwing 150 passing yards given a standard 25 yards passing equals one point league.
The art of the red zone carry and corresponding short touchdown run has a huge effect on a running back's fantasy value.
Look at two running backs who rushed for similar yards last season: Reggie Bush (986) and Trent Richardson (950).
Richardson, at 228 lbs, is given almost all his team's goal line carries and scored 11 times last season, while Bush at barely 200 lbs scored just six times all year long and only once from inside the 5-yard line.
Fantasy owners have noted the difference and Richardson's current ADP is 8.7, a first rounder, while Bush is going in the beginning of the third round (ADP 22).
The reason is the short touchdown run.
Houston's Arian Foster is another example of the value of the touchdown. He was sixth in rushing yards last season (1,424), but led the league with 15 rushing touchdowns, including 11 from five yards-or-less, and finished third among fantasy backs last season. He is the second running back off the draft board in most leagues this preseason.
Two running backs, Andre Brown and Mike Tolbert got almost all of their fantasy value from short touchdown runs last year. Brown scored eight times (five times from the 1-yard line), but rushed for just 385 yards. Tolbert was even more dependent on the touchdown. He rushed for 183 yards, but scored seven times. The Carolina back was 77th in rushing yards (among all backs), but finished as the 37th-ranked fantasy back.
How will this help you in your upcoming draft?
It's a matter of knowing which teams have a short-yardage specialist who will "vulture" your workhorse running back's glory and which running backs will be rewarded with the easy touchdown to "pad" his statistics.
And note that the "vulture" can also be a quarterback.
There were seven quarterbacks who ran for at least four scores, headed by Cam Newton's eight rushing touchdowns. Those were scores that DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart and Tolbert didn't get.
Even "non-runners" like Matthew Stafford and Tom Brady scored four times last season, most of them from in close. Fantasy owners of Stevan Ridley and Mikel Leshoure had to cringe every time it happened.
The bottom line for fantasy owners - you must do the research to know who will be the short-yardage guy on each team, to accurately evaluate a player's fantasy value.
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