Don’t buy into Andre Ellington’s hype


(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington had a productive NFL debut last season, rushing 118 times for 652 yards and three touchdowns plus 39 receptions for 371 yards and another touchdown. And according to Coach Bruce Arians, Ellington is set to be the go-to option in the backfield in 2014, which the head coach envisions to be 25-30 touches per game.

If that sounds like a lot it is because it is. The most touches Ellington had in a game during his rookie season was 17 and he did that twice: Week 8 against Atlanta and Week 15 against Seattle.

It isn’t just a lot for Ellington, it is a lot for any running back. In the last decade, just 12 backs have averaged more than 25 touches (rushing attempts plus receptions) per game, and none since 2011 when Arian Foster carried the ball 278 times and caught 53 passes.

Don’t upgrade him on your fantasy football boards just yet.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.

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Neil Greenberg · May 28, 2014