Sunday, 02 April 2017 00:00

Fantasy Film Projector: Samaje Perine

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Editor's note: The Fantasy Film Projector is a process that identifies player traits typically correlated with fantasy football success. Those traits include receiving ability, route running, (points per reception leagues), play strength (goal line touchdown ability) and explosiveness (long distance touchdown ability). You can read past editions of the Fantasy Film Projector by clicking the links below.

Jeremy McNichols, Boise State RB

Christian McCaffrey, Stanford RB

When it comes to goal line backs, we often think of famous touchdown snipers like John Kuhn, Michael Bush, Brandon Jacobs and, most recently, LeGarrette Blount and Latavius Murray. These backs aren't usually the star players on your fantasy teams, but they're every bit as reliable and can make for great RB2's or flex plays depending on how many teams are in your league. For example, Murray scored five touchdowns in his first four games last season. That's the kind of stability a goal line back can bring to your fantasy lineup.

Blount and Murray possessed a few traits that made them effective goal line backs last season. With Blount weighing 250 lbs and Murray coming in at 230 lbs, both delivered a serious punch when facing contact from multiple defenders near the end zone. Both running backs were also very sure-handed, with only 2 fumbles lost between their 494 total attempts in 2016.

Blount and Murray's effectiveness when absorbing contact in short yardage situations translated to the scoring sheet as well. They finished in the Top 14 for fantasy scoring among running backs, with Blount finishing as a clear RB1 (218 points) and Murray hovering around RB1/2 status (164 points). They each scored more than 10 touchdowns (Blount 18, Murray 12) and were featured in successful offenses that ranked in the Top 6 for points per game (New England 27.6, Oakland 26).

Touchdowns often make the difference between an average fantasy performance and a great one, which is why it's important to find those guys early and draft them to your team. In this edition of the Fantasy Film Projector, we take a look at an upcoming rookie who's likely to be equally menacing as a goal line back, and that player is none other than Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine.

When it comes to measurables, Perine has everything you'd want out of a goal line back. Per Mockdraftable, Perine tested in the 98th percentile for strength (30 bench press reps), the 92nd percentile for weight (233 lbs). Both Murray and Blount were decent goal line options and both of those running backs ranked in the 74th percentile or above for weight when they came out.

The height and weight measurables show you how much force Perrine could generate when coming into contact with bigger defenders on the goal line, but hand size is a factor as well. Perine tested in the 91st percentile for hand size (10").

You might think hand size might not matter for goal line backs, but it makes a big difference when it comes to not fumbling, which is often one of the quickest ways a young running back can find himself benched. Turnovers are one of the most costly stats when it comes to loss of points, and fumbling was not an issue in college for Samaje Perine as he only coughed up the ball 6 times in 725 career attempts.

When it comes to an ideal offensive fit for Perine, I'd look for an offensive team that already has an established offensive line, runs a gap scheme to take advantage of Perrine's downhill running style, and has an offense that scores consistently.

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 April 2017 09:47
George Banko

George Banko started talking about fantasy football shortly after graduating college. He started as an intern at before working as a staff writer for Fantasy Knuckleheads. He currently contributes to the Fantasy Hot Read podcast, which is available on itunes. He also educated himself on player evaluation and is a graduate of The Scouting Academy in 2015, which is an online course run by former NFL Scout Dan Hatman. He started Fantasy Football Helpers as a blog in 2011 and converted it to a full-scale website in 2014. Read more.

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We believe Fantasy Football success comes down to two things — opportunity and talent. You will have Fantasy Football mastered once you understand how good a player is and how good of an opportunity he has to gain yards and score touchdowns. The thing is, you'll never master Fantasy Football. But you can get pretty darn good at it when you have even a slightly better understanding of opportunity and talent than the average Joe. That's what Fantasy Football Helpers is dedicated to doing.

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