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Published: March 19, 2015 at 12:56 p.m.
Updated: March 20, 2015 at 11:22 a.m.

Top 20 fantasy point-per-touch running backs

Fantasy football success is all about points ... the more points you score, the better chance you have to win. However, simply looking at points as a basis for success isn't enough. Instead, you need to look at a player's touches and what he does with them. Does a player produce with fewer touches, or does he need a lot of work to make an impact? Let's take a look at the top 20 fantasy runners from 2014 and rank them not by total points, but by their point-per-touch average. The results are interesting to say the least ...

20 Photos Total

  • <p>Yikes ... this is further proof of what a disappointment McCoy was last season. While he rushed for over 1,300 yards, he finished just 12th in fantasy points among runners and experienced a 0.16-point decline in his PPT average compared to 2013. Part of that was due to his loss of work on passing downs and near the goal line, but he should resume those two duties with the Bills under new coach Rex Ryan.</p> 20

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    20. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles (0.50 PPT)

    Yikes ... this is further proof of what a disappointment McCoy was last season. While he rushed for over 1,300 yards, he finished just 12th in fantasy points among runners and experienced a 0.16-point decline in his PPT average compared to 2013. Part of that was due to his loss of work on passing downs and near the goal line, but he should resume those two duties with the Bills under new coach Rex Ryan.

  • <p>Ellington had his share of good performances last season, but he also had poor averages based on touches and carries (3.3 yards per attempt) before missing the final four contests due to hernia and foot ailments. If he remains the featured runner for coach Bruce Arians, the Clemson product will be worth a top-50 pick. However, Ellington's lack of size and past problems with injuries will make him a real risk-reward option.</p> 19

    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    19. Andre Ellington, Arizona Cardinals (0.53 PPT)

    Ellington had his share of good performances last season, but he also had poor averages based on touches and carries (3.3 yards per attempt) before missing the final four contests due to hernia and foot ailments. If he remains the featured runner for coach Bruce Arians, the Clemson product will be worth a top-50 pick. However, Ellington's lack of size and past problems with injuries will make him a real risk-reward option.

  • <p>Gore has seen his PPT average decline in each of the last three seasons, but that's to be expected for a runner in his 30s. Now in Indianapolis, I'm expecting his numbers to rise ... even if it's just a small increase. Keep in mind that fellow veteran Ahmad Bradshaw, who touched the football 128 times last season, averaged a ridiculous 0.91 fantasy points as the featured runner in the Colts offense.</p> 18

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    18. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (0.56 PPT)

    Gore has seen his PPT average decline in each of the last three seasons, but that's to be expected for a runner in his 30s. Now in Indianapolis, I'm expecting his numbers to rise ... even if it's just a small increase. Keep in mind that fellow veteran Ahmad Bradshaw, who touched the football 128 times last season, averaged a ridiculous 0.91 fantasy points as the featured runner in the Colts offense.

  • <p>Morris has seen his carries decline in each of his three NFL seasons, and his PPT average has suffered due in part to the loss of some goal-line work. He is entering a contract year, though, and the addition of new offensive line coach Bill Callahan could be good news. Just keep in mind that Morris has never averaged more than 0.69 fantasy points per touch at the pro level, so he needs more work to push his value.</p> 17

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    17. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (0.61 PPT)

    Morris has seen his carries decline in each of his three NFL seasons, and his PPT average has suffered due in part to the loss of some goal-line work. He is entering a contract year, though, and the addition of new offensive line coach Bill Callahan could be good news. Just keep in mind that Morris has never averaged more than 0.69 fantasy points per touch at the pro level, so he needs more work to push his value.

  • <p>The fact that Ivory was a top-20 fantasy runner last season shows how thin the position has become around the league. While he can be an asset when the matchup is favorable, the veteran has had his share of injuries and isn't much of a threat as a pass-catcher. On a positive note, Ivory is just 26 year old and has minimal competition for early-down and goal-line work ... at least at this point in time.</p> 16

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    16. Chris Ivory, New York Jets (0.62 PPT)

    The fact that Ivory was a top-20 fantasy runner last season shows how thin the position has become around the league. While he can be an asset when the matchup is favorable, the veteran has had his share of injuries and isn't much of a threat as a pass-catcher. On a positive note, Ivory is just 26 year old and has minimal competition for early-down and goal-line work ... at least at this point in time.

  • <p>Ingram is going to be in a great position to find fantasy success in 2015. While his PPT average isn't great, his expected increase in touches in what could be a more balanced offense bodes well for his value. Also keep in mind that Ingram averaged 19.6 touches in 13 games last season, which would equate to around 195-200 fantasy points over a 16-game campaign. He'll be on the RB2 radar in the third round.</p> 15

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    T-14. Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints (0.64 PPT)

    Ingram is going to be in a great position to find fantasy success in 2015. While his PPT average isn't great, his expected increase in touches in what could be a more balanced offense bodes well for his value. Also keep in mind that Ingram averaged 19.6 touches in 13 games last season, which would equate to around 195-200 fantasy points over a 16-game campaign. He'll be on the RB2 radar in the third round.

  • <p>Bell recorded a career-high 257 touches last season, but he averaged a mere 3.9 yards per carry and didn't put up a huge PPT average either. And while he looks like the unquestioned favorite to start next season, the Lions are almost certain to add another runner to the mix before training camp. Bell, who will be 29 in August, is also coming off knee and Achilles procedures. There's some risk here, as you can tell.</p> 14

    Todd Rosenberg/NFL

    T-14. Joique Bell, Detroit Lions (0.64 PPT)

    Bell recorded a career-high 257 touches last season, but he averaged a mere 3.9 yards per carry and didn't put up a huge PPT average either. And while he looks like the unquestioned favorite to start next season, the Lions are almost certain to add another runner to the mix before training camp. Bell, who will be 29 in August, is also coming off knee and Achilles procedures. There's some risk here, as you can tell.

  • <p>Forte's touches have increased in each of the last four seasons, culminating in a 368-touch campaign in 2014. If there's one concern with the veteran for next season, however, it's that he received far more touches under former coach Marc Trestman than he did in the previous three seasons. If you look at his PPT and decrease his opportunities, well, Forte will be hard pressed to duplicate his 2014 totals.</p> 13

    Todd Rosenberg/NFL

    T-12. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (0.66 PPT)

    Forte's touches have increased in each of the last four seasons, culminating in a 368-touch campaign in 2014. If there's one concern with the veteran for next season, however, it's that he received far more touches under former coach Marc Trestman than he did in the previous three seasons. If you look at his PPT and decrease his opportunities, well, Forte will be hard pressed to duplicate his 2014 totals.

  • <p>This one is eye opening, as it took Murray 449 touches to lead all running backs in fantasy points. Now in Philadelphia, he could experience a 100-touch (or more) decline sharing some of the workload with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. When you also factor in his potential to breakdown after having such a huge 2014 workload, and Murray will come with a while lot of risk. He's no longer on the first-round radar.</p> 12

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    T-12. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys (0.66 PPT)

    This one is eye opening, as it took Murray 449 touches to lead all running backs in fantasy points. Now in Philadelphia, he could experience a 100-touch (or more) decline sharing some of the workload with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. When you also factor in his potential to breakdown after having such a huge 2014 workload, and Murray will come with a while lot of risk. He's no longer on the first-round radar.

  • <p>Bernard finished 18th in fantasy points among running backs last season, though he lost his top spot to Jeremy Hill. He turned out to be more effective in a complementary role, catching 15 passes and averaging 4.7 yards per rush attempt in his last three contests. Furthermore, Bernard averaged an impressive 0.88 fantasy points per touch during that time. Let's hope the Bengals keep him in that role moving forward.</p> 11

    Don Wright/Associated Press

    11. Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (0.69 PPT)

    Bernard finished 18th in fantasy points among running backs last season, though he lost his top spot to Jeremy Hill. He turned out to be more effective in a complementary role, catching 15 passes and averaging 4.7 yards per rush attempt in his last three contests. Furthermore, Bernard averaged an impressive 0.88 fantasy points per touch during that time. Let's hope the Bengals keep him in that role moving forward.

  • <p>This is the most surprising name on our list, as Asiata wasn't even on the radar before news of Adrian Peterson's off-field situation came out. He went on to record 208 touches with 10 total touchdowns, which is the big reason he had such a positive PPT average ... he averaged a paltry 3.5 yards per attempt otherwise. With the return of Adrian Peterson, Asiata isn't even a lock to be drafted in 2015 leagues.</p> 10

    Greg Trott/Associated Press

    10. Matt Asiata, Minnesota Vikings (0.72 PPT)

    This is the most surprising name on our list, as Asiata wasn't even on the radar before news of Adrian Peterson's off-field situation came out. He went on to record 208 touches with 10 total touchdowns, which is the big reason he had such a positive PPT average ... he averaged a paltry 3.5 yards per attempt otherwise. With the return of Adrian Peterson, Asiata isn't even a lock to be drafted in 2015 leagues.

  • <p>Miller didn't even rank in the top 10 in carries or touches among running backs, but he still ranked ninth in fantasy points at the position. Entering his age-24 season, Miller is looking to earn top dollar in what is a contract year, so he'll be more motivated than ever to perform. If he can maintain a solid PPT average and sees more work in the Miami backfield, Miller could be on the verge of stardom.</p> 9

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    T-8. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins (0.73 PPT)

    Miller didn't even rank in the top 10 in carries or touches among running backs, but he still ranked ninth in fantasy points at the position. Entering his age-24 season, Miller is looking to earn top dollar in what is a contract year, so he'll be more motivated than ever to perform. If he can maintain a solid PPT average and sees more work in the Miami backfield, Miller could be on the verge of stardom.

  • <p>Forsett came out of nowhere last season, posting career bests across the board while finishing in the top 10 among running backs based on fantasy points. While he will be 30 in October, the Cal product has no major wear and tear and was pretty darn consistent when you look at his PPT average. If he can retain a featured role for new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, the veteran should bring back high-end No. 2 runner value.</p> 8

    Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    T-8. Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens (0.73 PPT)

    Forsett came out of nowhere last season, posting career bests across the board while finishing in the top 10 among running backs based on fantasy points. While he will be 30 in October, the Cal product has no major wear and tear and was pretty darn consistent when you look at his PPT average. If he can retain a featured role for new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, the veteran should bring back high-end No. 2 runner value.

  • <p>Hill's PPT average is solid overall, but let's dig a little deeper into the numbers. In the six games where he saw at least 18 carries, Hill touched the ball 135 times and scored 117.3 fantasy points. That is an average of 0.87 PPT and would have been good for the top spot on our list for 2014. The presence of Giovani Bernard is the lone factor keeping Hill out of the top five overall selections in 2015 drafts.</p> 7

    Todd Rosenberg/NFL

    7. Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals (0.74 PPT)

    Hill's PPT average is solid overall, but let's dig a little deeper into the numbers. In the six games where he saw at least 18 carries, Hill touched the ball 135 times and scored 117.3 fantasy points. That is an average of 0.87 PPT and would have been good for the top spot on our list for 2014. The presence of Giovani Bernard is the lone factor keeping Hill out of the top five overall selections in 2015 drafts.

  • <p>This one is important, friends, as Bell is in danger of missing at least two games (if not four) in 2015 due to a potential suspension. Based on his PPT, a two-game ban would still keep him in the top five in fantasy points based on his 2014 totals. As a result, he shouldn't drop too far down (if at all) in your rankings. Should the punishment be four games, however, Bell would drop into the late first round.</p> 6

    Perry Knotts/NFL

    6. Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers (0.77 PPT)

    This one is important, friends, as Bell is in danger of missing at least two games (if not four) in 2015 due to a potential suspension. Based on his PPT, a two-game ban would still keep him in the top five in fantasy points based on his 2014 totals. As a result, he shouldn't drop too far down (if at all) in your rankings. Should the punishment be four games, however, Bell would drop into the late first round.

  • <p>Foster might have missed three games due to injuries last season, but he was ultra-productive when he was on the field. In fact, he would have finished second in fantasy points among runners if we project his numbers from 13 games over a full campaign. While his age (29) and workload are a cause for concern, Foster didn't lose a step based on his PPT and will be tough to pass on among the first 15 selections.</p> 5

    Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL

    5. Arian Foster, Houston Texans (0.79 PPT)

    Foster might have missed three games due to injuries last season, but he was ultra-productive when he was on the field. In fact, he would have finished second in fantasy points among runners if we project his numbers from 13 games over a full campaign. While his age (29) and workload are a cause for concern, Foster didn't lose a step based on his PPT and will be tough to pass on among the first 15 selections.

  • <p>Lacy had a slow start to last season, but he finished on a high note and still ranked among the best runners in fantasy football. The Alabama product also saw an increase in his point-per-touch average from 0.65 as a rookie to 0.80 in his sophomore campaign. Entering his age-25 season, Lacy is a good bet to produce another solid season in an offense that helps to keep extra defensive attention to a minimum.</p> 4

    Todd Rosenberg/NFL

    4. Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers (0.80 PPT)

    Lacy had a slow start to last season, but he finished on a high note and still ranked among the best runners in fantasy football. The Alabama product also saw an increase in his point-per-touch average from 0.65 as a rookie to 0.80 in his sophomore campaign. Entering his age-25 season, Lacy is a good bet to produce another solid season in an offense that helps to keep extra defensive attention to a minimum.

  • <p>Anderson's presence in the top three should open some eyes in fantasy land. Despite starting just seven games, he still finished 11th in points among runners last season. If we project the 175 touches and 143.4 points he had in seven starts over 16 games, he would have finished with 400 touches ... and 328 fantasy points. That's the reason, despite the risk, Anderson will be a top-15 pick in 2015 drafts.</p> 3

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    3. C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos (0.83 PPT)

    Anderson's presence in the top three should open some eyes in fantasy land. Despite starting just seven games, he still finished 11th in points among runners last season. If we project the 175 touches and 143.4 points he had in seven starts over 16 games, he would have finished with 400 touches ... and 328 fantasy points. That's the reason, despite the risk, Anderson will be a top-15 pick in 2015 drafts.

  • <p>Few runners have been as massive as "Beast Mode" when it comes to statistical success, as he's finished no worse than fifth in fantasy points at the position since 2011. Of course, no back has had more carries or touches over that time either. While a potential physical breakdown at the age of 29 is possible, Lynch's impressive point-per-touch average proves that he didn't show signs of slowing down last year.</p> 2

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    2. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (0.84 PPT)

    Few runners have been as massive as "Beast Mode" when it comes to statistical success, as he's finished no worse than fifth in fantasy points at the position since 2011. Of course, no back has had more carries or touches over that time either. While a potential physical breakdown at the age of 29 is possible, Lynch's impressive point-per-touch average proves that he didn't show signs of slowing down last year.

  • <p>Charles saw his touches decrease from 329 in 2013 to 246 last season, which is the reason he experienced a decline of almost 100 fantasy points. He was still productive when he touched the football, though, as he scored more points per touch than any other top-20 running back. At 28, Charles should still have at least one more high-end fantasy campaign left. Let's hope coach Andy Reid dials up the touches.</p> 1

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    1. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (0.86 PPT)

    Charles saw his touches decrease from 329 in 2013 to 246 last season, which is the reason he experienced a decline of almost 100 fantasy points. He was still productive when he touched the football, though, as he scored more points per touch than any other top-20 running back. At 28, Charles should still have at least one more high-end fantasy campaign left. Let's hope coach Andy Reid dials up the touches.