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According to the Data: At What Age Do Running Backs Decline?

Keith Platte

Keith Platte

Keith Platte writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.


How many of you have heard the old "Running backs are done at age 30" line? As a 10-year fantasy football veteran, I've heard this adage too many times to count, but I always wondered if it were true. I decided to research the data surrounding this topic to determine if there is any truth to this age-old rule of thumb.


The initial data set comprised the top 100 rushers every year from 1961 to 2010 (data gathered from I then applied a minimum standard of 100 rushing attempts in a season to the data set. This captured a total of 673 running backs (RBs). Then, I re-included any season for those 673 players which did not meet the 100 rushing attempts minimum. Thus, the final data set includes 3,767 records from the 673 qualifying RBs.

Analysis of the Data

In order to analyze this data, I required a modeling technique. The technique most suitable for this analysis is called Segme

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