Fantasy football is all about the stats, right? You win by scoring more points than your opponent. It's not rocket science ... or even trying to remember the names of all the characters on "Game of Thrones." NFL players score fantasy points when allowed opportunities. The more opportunities a player receives, the better the chance he'll help you compete in fantasy land.
As it pertains to the running back position, the biggest "opportunities" in the NFL's statistical world are carries. The top five leaders in rushing attempts in 2015 included Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin and Devonta Freeman. It's not a coincidence that this trio also finished in the top three in fantasy points at the position, right? After a hectic offseason that saw a number of notable runners change teams, rush distributions are likely to change as well.
So, which teams had the biggest percentage of lost carries heading into the 2016 campaign, and who figures to cash in on them?
Here's a look.
1. New York Jets (63 percent): No surprise here, as the Jets lost former starter Chris Ivory (247 carries) to the Jaguars this offseason. Of course, the addition of Matt Forte should more than fill the void in their backfield. In fact, he should eat up all of Ivory's carries (and then some). Bilal Powell and Khiry Robinson shouldn't be seen as a real threat to Forte's carries, either.
2. Miami Dolphins (57 percent): The Dolphins lost Lamar Miller (194 carries) to the Texans, leaving a major hole in their backfield. When the Broncos matched Miami's offer for C.J. Anderson, the top spot on the depth chart fell to Jay Ajayi. He's a good bet to see 200-plus carries and is now on the No. 2 fantasy runner radar, even after the team added Kenyan Drake in the 2016 NFL Draft.
3. Washington Redskins (47 percent): The Redskins backfield will have a new look with Alfred Morris (202 carries) out of the mix. In his place, sophomore back Matt Jones looks like the de facto No. 1 and should see a massive uptick in both opportunities and fantasy value. He's a RB2/flex starter based on volume alone, as Jones should push for 250 carries in coach Jay Gruden's offense.
4. Chicago Bears (46 percent): Almost half of Chicago's carries from last season walked out the door when the team released Forte, leaving a huge number of opportunities for the next man up on the depth chart. That appears to be Jeremy Langford, who has RB2/flex value in fantasy drafts. However, don't be surprised if rookie Jordan Howard makes a run at some of Forte's lost carries.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (43 percent): The Eagles traded away DeMarco Murray and a huge chunk of the team's carries from a season ago, leaving a lot of chances for Ryan Mathews to re-emerge into a valuable fantasy asset. With little competition behind him, the veteran runner should push for 250-plus carries under new coach Doug Pederson ... as long as he can avoid the trainer's room.
6. Detroit Lions (25 percent): Detroit's backfield will look a lot like it did last season, with the exception of Stevan Ridley coming in to replace Joique Bell (90 carries). Ameer Abdullah looks to be the projected leader in carries, but can he bounce back from a lackluster rookie campaign? Time will tell, but Theo Riddick looms on the depth chart and is a possible PPR superstar back.
7. Seattle Seahawks (22 percent): This percentage would be a lot higher had Marshawn Lynch not missed more than half the 2015 season. When you consider that he had averaged 295 carries the previous four seasons, it's obvious that Seattle's backfield offers a massive chance for Thomas Rawls to become a fantasy star. C.J. Prosise is more likely to make his impact as a pass catcher.
8. San Diego Chargers (15 percent): The one change to the Chargers backfield is the loss of Donald Brown (59 carries), so look for Melvin Gordon to once again lead the team in carries next season. Of course, news that he had a microfracture procedure on his knee doesn't breed a lot of confidence after his poor rookie campaign. Consider him a risk-reward flex option, at least for now.
9. New Orleans Saints (14 percent:) The absence of Khiry Robinson and his 56 carries from last season isn't a huge loss for the Saints or fantasy owners, so Mark Ingram should once again lead the team in carries moving forward. Tim Hightower, C.J. Spiller and rookie Daniel Lasco will fall behind him on the depth chart, but Ingram has borderline No. 1 or 2 fantasy runner value in 2016 drafts.
10. Houston Texans (13 percent): Houston would have lost a much greater percentage of carries had Arian Foster not missed most of the 2015 campaign. When you consider that he averaged 20 carries per game in 13 games the previous season there's a good bet that Miller could push for 275 carries in his first run with the Texans. He's going to be in the mix as a potential No. 1 fantasy runner.
T-17. Green Bay Packers (2 percent):Eddie Lacy should see his rush attempt totals return to the 200-250 range next season.
T-17. San Francisco 49ers (2 percent):Carlos Hyde will see all the carries he can handle under new coach Chip Kelly.
T-19. Cleveland Browns (1 percent):Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson will share the work under new coach Hue Jackson.
T-19. Pittsburgh Steelers (1 percent):Le'Veon Bell should easily see 275-plus carries, as long as his knee holds up.
T-19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 percent):Doug Martin will be in line for another 275-plus attempts for the Buccaneers.
T-22. Atlanta Falcons (0 percent):Devonta Freeman will continue to lead Atlanta's backfield, but Tevin Coleman looms.
T-22. Baltimore Ravens (0 percent): Don't be shocked if Kenneth Dixon leads the team in carries in his rookie season.
T-22. Carolina Panthers (0 percent):Jonathan Stewart has little competition to lead the Panthers in attempts again.
T-22. Denver Broncos (0 percent): The addition of Devontae Booker has to be a small concern for C.J. Anderson's value.
T-22. Kansas City Chiefs (0 percent): Look for Jamaal Charles to return from an ACL and lead the Chiefs in attempts.
T-22. Los Angeles Rams (0 percent):Todd Gurley is a good bet for 275-plus carries as the centerpiece of the offense.
T-22. Minnesota Vikings (0 percent):Adrian Peterson should once again see 275-plus carries in his age-31 campaign.
T-22. New England Patriots (0 percent):Dion Lewis was on pace for 82 catches ... but just 112 carries last season.
T-22. New York Giants (0 percent):Rashad Jennings projects to lead the Giants in carries, but watch for Paul Perkins.
T-22. Oakland Raiders (0 percent): The Raiders should feed Latavius Murray with another 250-plus carries next season.
T-22. Tennessee Titans (0 percent):DeMarco Murray could struggle to see 250 attempts with Derrick Henry in the mix.