It seems that every single year there is a couple of players in the fantasy football community that really grind my gears. I remember a few years ago a man by the name of Trent Richardson would always seem to intrigue the fantasy community come draft day, and each and every year (minus his rookie season), the man failed to reach expectations.
In 2016, Trent Richardson is no longer able to find work in the NFL. It’s time to turn my attention to another player, and quite frankly, this guy’s hype angers me even more. That man is Frank Gore of the Indianapolis Colts.
Frank Gore is currently being taken as the 28th RB in standard leagues, and 29th in PPR leagues (fantasypros.com). Gore’s production via the passing game is minimal, so let’s just focus on standard scoring here so I can prove my very simple and obvious point that this man should be viewed as a bye week fill in at best in 10 team leagues.
“As bad as the Colts were last season and as frustrating as Gore was, he still finished as the 12th-best running back in fantasy. That probably speaks more to how ugly running back was last season, but whatevs dude, it still counts. On a terrible team with a bad offensive line, and let’s call it an inconsistent offense, there were still only four players (Adrian Peterson, Todd Gurley, Chris Ivory and Devonta Freeman) who finished the regular season with more rushing yards AND more rushing touchdowns than Gore (967 and 6). He had 14 games with 15-plus touches in 2015.”- ESPN Matthew Berry’s love/hate writeup for Gore in 2016.
Throughout the fantasy football industry, I keep hearing Frank Gore’s name being mentioned as a guy that is being drafted too low. Each year for the past couple of years, the usual opinion of Frank Gore after the season has ended tends to be “man, Frank Gore is frustrating to own”. And yes, you are correct! Frank Gore is terribly frustrating to own. Then time passes, and August comes. Owners start to put together their position rankings, and Gore tends to be ranked somewhere in the 20-30 range at the position. That’s fair I guess, but not important (I’ll get to that later).
Then something happens. I don’t know what it is. Are experts over-researching? Are they getting scared of trusting players that haven’t put together a steady career like Gore? Do they see him as a type of player that fits their roster construction? Are they ****ing with us? Who knows. But whatever it is, Frank Gore each and every draft season gets labeled as a guy to target in the middle rounds of fantasy football leagues.
I respect what these “fantasy experts” do. Many of them do this for a living, which is something I hope to do someday soon. But when this annual Frank Gore theme occurs, I start to question what the term “expert” really means. I mean, many of you mock the very idea of someone being paid and labeled an expert in a thing like this, but some people really do have the ability over the long haul to stand out from the rest when it comes to projecting outcomes and building rosters (not unlike professional gamblers).
Anyways, on to the statistics. What is constantly quoted from the pro-Gore corner is his 1. ability to stay healthy (hasn’t missed a game since 2010) and 2. His surprising overall finish in total fantasy points at the position. Here are his finishes at the running back position the past 3 years:
2015- 14th average draft position: 14th
2014- 21st average draft position: 22nd
2013- 18th average draft position: 17th
Wow, look at the accuracy there by the industry. Does that mean anything? Of course not! Even though this guy appears to be a sure fire low end RB2 every year despite his age, he’s simply not! Just take a look at his points per game the past 3 years compared to the rest of the position:
2015- 23rd (14th in total points)
2014- 32nd (21st in total points)
2013- 27th (18th in total points)
The more accurate statistic you all should reference is the points per game for a player, not total points. On average, Frank Gore has finished anywhere between an RB3 to an RB4 the past 3 years. Not good.
Now, if one tried to argue against this, they probably would argue that Gore’s health cannot be overlooked considering how often running backs tend to get hurt each year. This is mostly true (although some years wide receivers have been more injury prone than running backs, reference some of my earlier posts), but for the sake of things, it’s fair to make that assessment. The issue here is, well, who cares if he’s never hurt? He’s not producing numbers that warrant you to start him.
Also keep in mind that consistent health DOES NOT mean consistent production week to week. Take a look at Frank Gore’s points ranking each week last year at the running back position:
top 5’s- 1
6 thru 10- 2
31-40 – 5
Frank Gore may play all 16 games each year. He may have the job to himself in an offense that could really impress, but Frank Gore is not what “experts” are making him out to be. These statistics are not complex. They are not hard to find (it took me less than 5 minutes). You readers need to listen to me! No matter what your strategy is come draft day, whether it’s the traditional RB heavy approach, or the up and coming 0 RB approach, PPR leagues or standard leagues, you need to avoid Frank Gore. Value can be found elsewhere, whether thats around him or later in the draft. Most importantly, value will be found during the season! Waiver wire pickups are always centered around the running back.
I’m sorry, Frank Gore. You are a great running back with a real chance of being a hall of famer one day. Your achievements should not go unnoticed. But still, even YOU shouldn’t be drafting you come draft day.