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Fantasy points per touch analysis: Top 30 2016 RBs

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Fantasy football is all about points. The more you score, the better chance you have to win.

(It ain't rocket science, folks).

While traditional scoring leader lists offer a look at how well a player did overall during a given season, it doesn't take into effect such factors as games missed and injuries. So, let's take a deeper look into the numbers to see how our heroes performed when the football was in their hands. In the case of the running backs, we examined how well players performed on a per touch basis with notes on snap percentage as well. This exercise helps us find which runners did the most with their opportunities to produce points, and which ones needed lots of chances to be relevant.

Here is a look at your top 30 fantasy running backs from last season, ranked based on their fantasy-point-per-touch averages (minimum 350 snaps).

1. Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons (1.13 FPPT): Coleman barely saw enough snaps (353) to make our list, but his FPPT touch total is impressive nonetheless. That was due in large part to the fact that he found the end zone 11 times, or an average of almost once per contest last season.

2. James White, New England Patriots (1.07 FPPT): A Super Bowl hero, White was an effective fantasy point producer when he had the football in his hands. He did most of his damage as a receiver though, as 84 percent of his points came when he caught the football out of the backfield.

3. David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals (0.88 FPPT): How good was Johnson for owners last season? Well, he led all runners in touches (373) and snaps (964) and ranked third in points per touch. That means he was able to turn his vast number of opportunities into huge fantasy point totals.

4. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (0.87 FPPT): Despite missing a game and being limited at times, McCoy still ranked third in points and fourth in points per touch among backs last season. He saw 319 fewer snaps than Johnson, but he was every bit as effective when he touched the rock.

5. Chris Thompson, Washington Redskins (0.84 FPPT): Thompson didn't make a big impact (RB37) in standard leagues, but he did produce when he got his hands on the football. Still, the versatile runner is going to be more attractive in PPR formats after catching 49 passes last season.

6. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (0.83 FPPT): No surprise here, as Zeke was a prominent fantasy producer when the Cowboys put the football in his hands. Along with finishing sixth in points per touch, he also tied for second in points per snap (0.41) among qualified running backs.

7. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons (0.82 FPPT): Freeman lost a good number of opportunities to Coleman, but he was still one heck of a point scorer with the rock in his hands. The talented Florida State product has now been a top-10 fantasy running back in each of the last two years.

8. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay Packers (0.80 FPPT): Montgomery averaged 5.1 yards per attempt and caught 44 passes last season, but his touches were limited overall. In fact, 33 runners had more chances to touch the football. His 2017 fantasy draft value remains very much up in the air.

9. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints (0.78 FPPT): Ingram was inconsistent at times last season, but he was able to produce for fantasy fans when he had the football in his hands. The Alabama product also ranked sixth in points per snap among running backs who had 350 or more snaps.

10. Latavius Murray, Oakland Raiders (0.77 FPPT): Murray's 12 rushing touchdowns were the real foundation for his fantasy value last season, as he ranked 10th in points per touch and 15th in points per snap. He'll remain a No. 2 fantasy runner now that he's signed with the Vikings.

11. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles (0.76 FPPT): Sproles led all Eagles backs in snaps last season, bettering Ryan Mathews by 224. The latter had a better FPPT average (0.78), though.
12. Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions (0.75 FPPT): Riddick received 65 percent of Detroit's running back snaps last season, but that should change with Ameer Abdullah coming back into the mix.
T-13. LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots (0.74 FPPT): Blount, who rushed for 17 touchdowns a season ago, is almost certain to see a decrease in FPPT if he lands with another team.
T-13. Bilal Powell, New York Jets (0.74 FPPT): Powell saw just two percent fewer snaps than Matt Forte (0.62 FPPT) last year, but he was far more effective when he touched the football.
T-15. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers (0.72 FPPT): Bell missed four games last season, but he still finished third in snaps (781) and ranked fourth in touches (336) among qualified running backs.
T-15. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (0.72 FPPT): Howard was seventh in snaps (654) and tied for 12th in touches (281) last year. The latter number should rise a bit in 2017, too.
T-15. Duke Johnson, Cleveland Browns (0.72 FPPT): Johnson ranked far behind Isaiah Crowell in terms of overall fantasy points, but he was slightly better with the football in his hands.
18. Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers (0.71 FPPT): Gordon was ninth in touches (295) among running backs last season, and he would have ranked higher had he not missed three contests.
19. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans (0.70 FPPT): Murray ranked second in snaps (861) behind David Johnson a season ago, while also finishing third in touches (346) among running backs.
20. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns (0.69 FPPT): Crowell was 14th in snaps and averaged almost five yards per carry last year ... and his offensive line is now better than it was before.
T-21. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco 49ers (0.68 FPPT): Hyde ranked 15th in fantasy points among runners last season, but he won't reach his full potential until he's able to avoid injuries.
T-21. Christine Michael, Green Bay Packers (0.68 FPPT): Michael was an effective fantasy point producer while with Seattle, but a move to Green Bay turned him into waiver-wire fodder.
T-23. Jay Ajayi, Miami Dolphins (0.66 FPPT): Ajayi was tied for ninth in snaps (582) and ranked 10th in touches (287) among running backs, so volume is a major factor in his success.
T-23. Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (0.66 FPPT): Jerick McKinnon had more touches (202) and snaps (511) than Asiata, but the former's touchdown totals (six) made him a better fantasy scorer.
25. Spencer Ware, Kansas City Chiefs (0.65 FPPT): Ware saw 60 percent of Kansas City's backfield touches last season, and that could rise with the release of veteran Jamaal Charles.
T-26. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (0.64 FPPT): Bernard saw 14 percent more snaps than his teammate, Jeremy Hill, but the LSU product received far more touches a season ago.
T-26. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (0.64 FPPT): Hill and Bernard were equally as productive on a point-per-touch basis, but Hill's workload and red-zone work made him more valuable.
28. Matt Forte, New York Jets (0.62 FPPT): Forte saw slightly more snaps than Powell last season, but the veteran wasn't as effective with the football. A committee could happen soon.
29. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers (0.61 FPPT): Stewart had a 62 percent snap share in Carolina's backfield a season ago, but that could change if the team drafts a back in April.
30. Terrance West, Baltimore Ravens (0.60 FPPT): West was second in snaps among Ravens runners a year ago, but the addition of Danny Woodhead will shake things up in a crowded backfield.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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