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Backfield touches gained and lost entering 2019

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Fantasy football is all about the stats, right?

You win, simply, by scoring more points than your opponent. It's not rocket science. And how do NFL players score fantasy points? It's all about the touches. The more touches a player receives, the greater his point potential. The greater his point potential, the better your chances are to win.

Case in point ... Ezekiel Elliott (381), Saquon Barkley (352), Christian McCaffrey (326) and Todd Gurley (315) led all running backs in touches a season ago. Alvin Kamara ranked seventh with 275 touches. Not surprisingly, all five backs finished in the top five in PPR fantasy points at the position.

After a rampant offseason that has seen a lot of free-agent movement and the conclusion of the NFL draft, depth charts have changed across the league and in turn, opportunities have shifted. So, which offenses have seen the biggest transformations, and who figures to benefit or suffer as a result? Well, this is your one-stop shop for all of the answers you have for those exact questions.

Below is a list of all 32 NFL team, ranked in order of the squads with the most available backfield touches (quarterbacks, running backs) compared to 2018 rosters down to the teams with the least. So, teams on the positive side of the numbers have touches available, while those on the negative side will field crowded situations that could cause headaches for fantasy owners. Keep these numbers in mind when you're drafting your 2019 fantasy football teams because touches mean fantasy points!

1. Houston Texans (328)


Notable additions: Duke Johnson
Notable losses: Lamar Miller (IR), D'Onta Foreman, Alfred Blue

Breakdown: The loss of Miller to a torn ACL opened up significant touches (235) for the rest of the backfield. Most of those should land in the lap of Johnson, who was acquired in a trade with the Browns. He's never been a true featured back at the NFL level, but volume does dictate that Johnson is now on the RB3/flex starter radar..

2. Atlanta Falcons (188)


Notable additions:
Notable losses: Tevin Coleman

Breakdown: No team in the league has more available touches based on 2018 totals than the Falcons, but keep in mind that Devonta Freeman had just 19 a season ago. He's slated to return to a featured role, so expect the veteran to see 250-touches. He could be a nice third- or fourth-round bargain. The loss of Coleman opens the door for Ito Smith to see more opportunities. From 2015-2017, when Freeman played an average of 15 games, Coleman averaged 140 touches per season.

3. Detroit Lions (180)


Notable additions: C.J. Anderson
Notable losses: Theo Riddick, LeGarrette Blount

Breakdown: The Lions attempted to add Malcolm Brown from the Rams but were unsuccessful, so the team added another former Ram, Anderson. He figures to fill the role Blount secured a season ago, which equated to 164 touches. He'll slide in behind Kerryon Johnson, who is a popular breakout candidate in fantasy circles. Over the final five games of his rookie campaign, he averaged a solid 17.4 touches and over five yards per rush. Johnson should be seen as a viable No. 2 fantasy back, esecially with Riddick out of the mix, who'll come off the board within the top-50 overall picks.

4. Minnesota Vikings (163)


Notable additions: Alexander Mattison
Notable losses: Latavius Murray

Breakdown: Dalvin Cook, a popular breakout candidate, figures to earn 275-plus touches this season ... if he can avoid injuries. He's missed a total of 17 games in his first two NFL seasons. The loss of Murray makes Mattison a popular late rounder as either a handcuff for Cook owners or a flier for those who believe he could see extended work if Cook can't avoid the trainer's room.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars (159)


Notable additions: Nick Foles, Alfred Blue, Ryquell Armstead
Notable losses: Blake Bortles, T.J. Yeldon, Carlos Hyde

Breakdown: The Jaguars backfield will have a new look, as Foles takes over for Bortles and the combination of Blue, Benny Cunningham, and Armstead will battle for touches behind Leonard Fournette. The L.S.U. product, who missed half of last season due to injuries/suspension, could be a third-round steal if he can avoid long-term ailments. He's averaged 21.8 touches in 21 NFL games.

6. Miami Dolphins (142)


Notable additions: Josh Rosen, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Walton
Notable losses: Ryan Tannehill, Frank Gore

Breakdown: Miami turned their quarterback position around when it added Rosen and Fitzpatrick and sent Tannehill to Tennessee. None of the three have a lot of re-draft value, however. The running back position lost 168 touches (25.3 percent) when Gore signed with the Bills, leaving plenty of opportunities for both Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage. The former has never eclipsed the 200-touch mark in a single season, but I could see him getting up into the 225-250 range in a best-case scenario. He's an upside flex option in re-drafts. Ballage will push for added touches as well, making him a worthwhile late rounder in 2019.

7. Seattle Seahawks (138)


Notable additions: Geno Smith
Notable losses: Mike Davis

Breakdown: Davis (Bears) left as a free agent during the offseason, leaving behind 18 percent of the team's backfield touches. Those touches should move into Rashaad Penny's workload, as the Seahawks will use him behind Chris Carson to form a nice 1-2 punch. The Ravens are the only team that averaged more carries per game a season ago, so Carson and Penny should see enough chances to make an impact. In fact, Penny could have standalone flex value in 2019.

8. Chicago Bears (137)


Notable additions: David Montgomery, Mike Davis
Notable losses: Jordan Howard

Breakdown: The Bears have 136 available touches based on last year's totals, but this backfield could be crowded with the additions of Montgomery and Davis to replace the loss of Howard. The rookie looks like the favorite to take a good number of Howard's 270 touches, making him worth a middle rounder. Tarik Cohen, who saw 170 touches a season ago, could still be a bargain as a flex starter in the middle rounds. Remember, he was the RB11 in PPR last season.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (110)


Notable additions: Blaine Gabbert
Notable losses: Ryan Fitzpatrick

Breakdown: The Buccaneers were considered one of the most running back needy teams in the NFL, but the team didn't add a single impact player at the position. Sorry, Andre Ellington. As a result, the duo of Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber will form a likely backfield committee in 2019. The latter averaged just 3.7 yards per rush a season ago, while Jones came in at a miserable 1.9 per tote. Still, the USC product figures to be the first Bucs back picked in re-drafts. Of course, neither will be selected until the late rounds as a No. 4/5 runner.

10. Oakland Raiders (108)


Notable additions: Josh Jacobs, Isaiah Crowell (IR)
Notable losses: Marshawn Lynch

Breakdown: Jacobs is in a great position to lead the Raiders backfield in touches, ahead of veterans Doug Martin (who was signed after Crowell tore his Achilles in a workout) and Jalen Richard. The rookie projects to see 275-plus touches and could push for RB2 value in the offense of coach Jon Gruden.

11. New York Jets (105)


Notable additions: Le'Veon Bell, Ty Montgomery
Notable losses: Isaiah Crowell

Breakdown: One of the biggest additions of the offseason, Bell is a virtual lock to see 300-350 touches as the centerpiece of the Jets offense. While he might not put up the same monster totals he did while in Pittsburgh, Bell will remain a first-round fantasy pick based on volume alone. Montgomery and Elijah McGuire will battle for backfield scraps behind Bell in 2019.

12. Kansas City Chiefs (100)


Notable additions: Carlos Hyde, Darwin Thompson
Notable losses: Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware

Breakdown: The Chiefs seem content with Damien Williams as the team's top runner, making him a potential breakout player in fantasy circles. He thrived in a featured role at the end of last season, posting a combined 12 total scores over his final six games including the playoffs. Hyde could factor into the mix if Williams struggles, but he won't be worth more than a late-round selection.

13. Baltimore Ravens (90)


Notable additions: Mark Ingram, Justice Hill
Notable losses: Joe Flacco, Alex Collins, Javorius Allen, Ty Montgomery

Breakdown: The Ravens backfield was blown up in the offseason, as the trio of Collins, Allen and Montgomery were replaced by Ingram and Hill. Ingram will be the leader of the pack and should see around 275 touches, which will make him a borderline RB2/RB3 in most leagues. Incumbents like Gus Edwards and Kenneth Dixon are also in the mix, but Hill will be picked ahead of them in re-drafts.

T-14. Carolina Panthers (38)


Notable additions: Jordan Scarlett, Elijah Holyfield
Notable losses: None

Breakdown: There's not much to project in the Carolina backfield, as Christian McCaffrey is the clear leader and projects to see around 300 touches. Cameron Artis-Payne, Scarlett and Holyfield are all in the mix for the second and third spots on the depth chart, but none of the trio will be picked in re-drafts.

T-14. Green Bay Packers (38)


Notable additions: Dexter Williams
Notable losses: None

Breakdown: Aaron Jones showed signs of breaking out last season, as he averaged 5.5 yards per attempt in his 12 games. He figures to be atop the depth chart when the 2019 season begins, making him an attractive RB2 in fantasy land. Jamaal Williams, who was somewhat productive at the end of 2018, should also see his share of the work. In fact, new coach Matt LaFleur has said that a "committee approach" is possible. Still, Williams won't be worth more than a late flier.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (32)


Notable additions: Benny Snell
Notable losses: Le'Veon Bell

Breakdown: James Conner did a tremendous job in Bell's absence in 2018, averaging 20.7 touches in his 13 games. He figures to lead the Steelers backfield in touches once again in 2019, though there has been talk of a committee with Jaylen Samuels and Snell. Coach Mike Tomlin has always leaned on a true featured runner, however, so this is a situation to monitor during training camp.

17. Arizona Cardinals (29)


Notable additions: Kyler Murray
Notable losses: Josh Rosen

Breakdown: The biggest change to the Cardinals backfield is under center, as Murray will take over as the starter after Rosen was dealt to the Dolphins. The rookie's dual skill set makes him a potential breakout candidate in fantasy circles. David Johnson, coming off a disappointing 2018 campaign, should see 300-plus touches as the lead back for new coach Kliff Kingsbury. He'll remain in the first-round mix in most re-drafts. Edmonds projects as his handcuff.

18. Washington Redskins (26)


Notable additions: Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins
Notable losses: None

Breakdown: Keenum and Haskins will battle for the top spot on the depth chart during camp, but neither has re-draft value in traditional leagues. The big question marks for fantasy purposes are with the running backs, as Derrius Guice is slated to return from last season's knee ailment and joins what could be a three-headed backfield monster with Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson. Guice as the most upside and is the Redskins back to target in drafts, but you can't underestimate Peterson after he rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018.

19. Cincinnati Bengals (19)


Notable additions: Trayveon Williams, Rodney Anderson
Notable losses: Mark Walton

Breakdown: There won't be much change in the Bengals backfield, as Joe Mixon will lead the way and could see 300-plus touches. He's a borderline first rounder in fantasy land, though he will slide into Round 2 in 10-team leagues. Giovani Bernard will remain the backup and worth a late-round look. Rookies Williams and Anderson will battle for third on the depth chart in 2019.

20. Cleveland Browns (16)


Notable additions: Kareem Hunt
Notable losses: Duke Johnson, Carlos Hyde

Breakdown: Nick Chubb was a fantasy star as the Browns featured back a season ago, averaging over five yards per rush attempt while also rushing for eight scores as a rookie. He figures to lead the team in backfield touches once again in 2019, making him a popular second rounder in re-drafts. The big question mark, however, comes in the form of Hunt. A fantasy star during his time with the Chiefs, Hunt has been suspended eight games and won't be available to the Browns until Week 10. We could see a committee upon his return, so there will be some late-season concerns for fantasy fans who draft Chubb. Johnson was traded to the Texans, opening up more pass-catching chances for Chubb.

21. Los Angeles Rams (-4)


Notable additions: Blake Bortles, Darrell Henderson
Notable losses: C.J. Anderson

Breakdown: Todd Gurley and the health of his knee has been the biggest offseason topic this summer. That's due to a combination of events that includes the emergence of Anderson at the end of last season, the retention of Malcolm Brown and the addition of home-run hitting rookie Darrell Henderson in the NFL Draft. As a result, Gurley is now seen as more of a second rounder in fantasy land with Henderson quickly moving up the draft board. If you do grab Gurley, you have to target the rookie in the middle to late rounds as insurance.

22. New England Patriots (-6)


Notable additions: Damien Harris
Notable losses: None

Breakdown: The Patriots backfield should still be led by the combo of Sony Michel and James White, at least for fantasy purposes, but the addition of Harris could hurt the value of the former. Michel is coming off a knee scope, and he'd had a history of knee trouble that could open the door for Harris at some point in the regular season. The rookie is well worth a late-round flier in re-drafts and best-ball leagues, while Michel and White will be RB2/flex starters.

23. Los Angeles Chargers (-8)


Notable additions: Tyrod Taylor
Notable losses: Geno Smith

Breakdown: The offseason has been much ado about nothing as it pertains to the Chargers backfield. Melvin Gordon will remain the main man and a top-8 pick in fantasy re-drafts. Austin Ekeler, who averaged over five yards per rushing attempt last season, will come off the board in the late rounds.

24. Tennessee Titans (-27)


Notable additions: Ryan Tannehill
Notable losses: Blaine Gabbert

Breakdown: The Titans backfield remained the same for all intents and purposes, at least for fantasy purposes. Derrick Henry, who averaged 21.8 carries and 7.0 yards per rush over his final four games of the 2018 regular season, has moved up into the RB2 level in fantasy re-drafts. His lack of pass-catching chops will keep his touch totals to around 230, however. Dion Lewis will fill in as the top receiving option out of the backfield, but he's fallen into the RB4 tier in PPR leagues as a game-flow dependent player who has a low touchdown ceiling.

T-25. Dallas Cowboys (-66)


Notable additions: Tony Pollard, Mike Weber, Alfred Morris
Notable losses: Rod Smith

Breakdown: The Cowboys backfield will remain status quo with Ezekiel Elliott leading the offensive attack. He'll be a top-3 pick in drafts. With Smith now in New York, Pollard and Weber will battle Darius Jackson to be the second back on the depth chart. None of the three will have much re-draft value.

T-25. New York Giants (-66)


Notable additions: Daniel Jones, Rod Smith
Notable losses: Jonathan Stewart

Breakdown: Saquon Barkley saw almost 48 percent of the Giants touches a season ago, and that's not going to change in 2019. He's the consensus No. 1 pick in fantasy drafts. The lone question mark in this backfield is whether or not the Giants will continue to lean on Eli Manning under center or hand over the reins to first-round pick Jones. It's much ado about nothing in re-drafts, however.

27. Indianapolis Colts (-73)


Notable additions: Spencer Ware, D'Onta Foreman
Notable losses: None

Breakdown: The Colts added Ware, who was then placed on the reserve/PUP list, and then added Foreman after he was released by the Texans. Foreman will compete for a roster spot in camp behind Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines (and maybe) Jordan Wilkins. Mack, who averaged 4.7 yards per rush and scored 10 total touchdowns last season, will be the big target in drafts. In fact, he's a locked and loaded RB2 who should see 275-plus touches as long as he avoids a long-term ailment. Hines, who caught an impressive 63 passes as a rookie, will be on the late-round PPR radar.

28. San Francisco 49ers (-86)


Notable additions: Tevin Coleman
Notable losses: Alfred Morris

Breakdown: The Niners backfield added Coleman to what is already a very crowded position that includes Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida. Coleman does have a history with coach Kyle Shanahan from their time together in Atlanta, however, so he's the Niners back to target. This does project to be a committee, though Coleman appears to be the preferred option in drafts. He should push for 200-220 touches, while McKinnon and Breida battle for touches behind him.

29. Denver Broncos (-101)


Notable additions: Joe Flacco, Drew Lock, Theo Riddick
Notable losses: Case Keenum

Breakdown: The biggest change to the Broncos backfield is under center, as Flacco will take over for the departed Keenum. Flacco won't be picked in most re-drafts. Lock could see starts as a rookie, but he's a dynasty-only option. Phillip Lindsay remains the favorite for carries after averaging a ridiculous 5.4 yards per attempt in 2018. Royce Freeman will push for touches, however, and is worth a late rounder. Riddick will compete with Devontae Booker for a roster spot, but neither player has significant re-draft value in a crowded backfield.

30. New Orleans Saints (-130)


Notable additions: Latavius Murray, Rob Kelley, Jacquizz Rodgers
Notable losses: Mark Ingram, Mike Gillislee, Javorius Allen

Breakdown: The loss of Ingram opens up 159 touches, or 13.25 per game, for 2019. While Alvin Kamara will pick up some of them, which adds to his fantasy value, Murray is likely to eat up more as he takes over Ingram's role in the offense. He isn't nearly as versatile, however, so Murray won't put up the same sort of numbers as Ingram in the offense. He's more of a RB4/5 in drafts. The Saints added Allen only to place him on injured reserve, so Kelley and Rodgers will compete for a roster spot during the preseason. Neither player has value in re-drafts.

31. Buffalo Bills (-164)


Notable additions: Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon, Devin Singletary
Notable losses: Chris Ivory

Breakdown: The additions of Gore, Yeldon, and Singletary to a backfield that features LeSean McCoy makes this a situation to avoid (if possible) in fantasy drafts. While he expects to see a similar role to the one he saw a year ago, McCoy could struggle to hit the 200-touch mark. He's a low-end RB3 at best. Singletary would be the upside pick of the quartet, but he's likely a season away from making a fantasy impact. Gore and Yeldon won't be picked in most drafts.

32. Philadelphia Eagles (-229)


Notable additions: Jordan Howard, Miles Sanders
Notable losses: Nick Foles, Jay Ajayi

Breakdown: The Eagles added Howard in a trade with the Bears, but his role in the offense took a massive hit when the team drafted Sanders. Assistant head coach Duce Staley has said that a committee approach is likely, so fantasy fans shouldn't expect a true featured runner in this situation. Sanders is the clear back to target due to his upside, but he's no more than a No. 3 option for fantasy purposes due to the crowded RB room. Howard will be a late-round choice, while Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement won't be picked in most drafts.


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. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for the latest fantasy football news and analysis!

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