Fantasy football analysis continues to develop and evolve as we become more and more advanced. No longer is it limited to a simple look at the rank of defenses against the pass and the run to determine starts or sits, as it was back in the late 1990s. (Wow, that seems like so long ago!) Now in the Information Age, the level of statistical projections, algorithms, metrics and research used to project a player's points and fantasy value are almost on the level of an NFL scout. While some information can be paralysis by analysis, a lot of it is useful in our quest to become champions.
In an effort to be a one-stop shop for the most important information as it pertains to your fantasy draft preparation, here's a look at my running back projections for the 2017 season. I've also included a few of the more vital team stats from last season, including each team's run percentage, the number of rushing attempts and the actual targets that went to running backs. In order to grade offensive line effectiveness as it pertains to backs, I've also included rushing yards before contact and the average of that category. And of course, fantasy points against (strength of schedule) information is also included at the end.
Also included are a few nuggets, tidbits and analysis (for those who might be sick of all the numbers) on the most important fantasy players, in addition to the tendencies and trends of their coaches and coordinators. In some cases, you'll even see a quick historical breakdown of how well players have done (based on points) under the coaches and coordinators who'll be calling their plays in 2017.
NOTE: The projections for the players are listed twice, once in the image and once in straight text, as the images don't display in some formats.
David Johnson 1,278 rush yards, 14 rush TDs, 73 rec, 823 rec yards, 4 rec TDs, 314.1 fantasy points
The Cardinals ranked 21st in rushing attempts last season, running the football on almost 37 percent of the their offensive snaps. ... David Johnson was the centerpiece of the attack, as he led all runners in touches including a league-high 80 receptions. That was more than all but 16 wide receivers recorded last season. ... Running backs were targeted 8.9 times a game, which ranked third in the league and means more catches are to come for Johnson. ... In coach Bruce Arians' last nine years as a head coach or offensive coordinator, he's had a top-20 fantasy back seven times. The three best finishes were Johnson (1st - 2016, 7th - 2015) and Rashard Mendenhall (13th - 2010).
Devonta Freeman: 1,028 rush yards, 9 rush TDs, 50 rec, 426 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 209.4 fantasy points
Tevin Coleman: 603 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 25 rec, 292 rec yards, 3 rec TDs, 139.5 fantasy points
The Falcons ranked 12th in rushing attempts a season ago, running the rock on 42.3 percent of their offensive plays. ... Atlanta also ranked second in the league in red-zone targets to running backs (30). ... New offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian likes to use screens and short passes to his running backs, which is good for Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman as pass catchers. Freeman ranked fifth in catches and was tied for 12th in touches among runners last season, averaging 17.6 touches per game and 6.1 more than teammate Tevin Coleman (11.5). Freeman will continue to lead the backfield attack, but Coleman will see his share of touches and brings No. 2/3 back potential.
Terrance West: 782 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 21 rec, 171 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 135.3 fantasy points
Danny Woodhead: 382 rush yards, 3 rush TDs, 58 rec, 523 rec yards, 4 rec TDs, 130.4 fantasy points
The Ravens ranked 30th in rushing attempts last season, which is no surprise when you consider the offense was first in pass attempts. ... Danny Woodhead should lead the team in backfield targets, making him a prime candidate for fantasy owners in PPR formats. ... Kenneth Dixon will now miss the entire season with a torn meniscus, making Terrance West a much more viable flex starter in drafts. ... Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg likes to throw the ball, and his system helped Brian Westbrook and LeSean McCoy find fantasy success in their time with the Eagles. In fact, both running backs combined to produce five top-10 finishes based on fantasy points at the position.
LeSean McCoy: 1,198 rush yards, 11 rush TDs, 47 rec, 349 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 228.7 fantasy points
Jonathan Williams: 446 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 8 rec, 48 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 71.4 fantasy points
The Bills ranked second in the league in rushing attempts in 2016, just seven behind the Dallas Cowboys. ... New offensive coordinator Rick Dennison employs a zone blocking scheme that should fit well based on the skill set of McCoy, who ranked 11th in touches and third in fantasy points among running backs. He was also eighth in red-zone touches and tied for fifth in goal-to-go touches. Dennison's system helped Arian Foster finish in the top four in fantasy points at the position in three straight seasons (2010-2012) in Houston. ... The Bills offensive line ranked first in the league in rushing yards before contact, which helped McCoy achieve such immense statistical success.
Christian McCaffrey: 625 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 52 rec, 477 rec yards, 4 rec TDs, 156.3 fantasy points
Jonathan Stewart: 657 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 9 rec, 62 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 105.9 fantasy points
The Panthers had a 43.1 rushing percentage last season, which was down from a 49.6 mark the previous campaign. ... Offensive coordinator Mike Shula has served in that role in eight seasons at the NFL level, but just one of his running backs (Warrick Dunn, 1998) has reached 1,000 rushing yards. Jonathan Stewart would have reached that mark in each of the last two seasons had it not been for injuries, however. ... The veteran has seen his yards per attempt average decrease in each of the last three seasons, down to 3.8 in 2016. ... Stewart's 39.9 percent touch share is in danger with Christian McCaffrey in the mix. The rookie could become a major PPR machine for fantasy owners.
Jordan Howard: 1,264 rush yards, 7 rush TDs, 33 rec, 261 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 198.5 fantasy points
Benny Cunningham: 269 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 16 rec, 141 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 59.0 fantasy points
The Bears ranked 25th in rushing attempts last season, but Jordan Howard still tied for 12th in touches among running backs. In his final nine games, he averaged 20 carries for 107 yards, scored five touchdowns and boasted a 5.4 yards-per-attempt average. Those totals put to bed the idea that coach John Fox is a stickler for backfield committees. ... Howard was 23rd in red-zone touches and 25th in goal-to-go touches among backs, so there is room for improvement in his touchdown totals. The longest of his six rushing scores was nine yards, so gaining some explosive plays would also add to Howard's appeal. ... Chicago's offensive line ranked 14th in rushing yards before contact.
Joe Mixon: 876 rush yards, 8 rush TDs, 24 rec, 201 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 157.7 fantasy points
Giovani Bernard: 304 rush yards, 1 rush TDs, 32 rec, 335 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 73.9 fantasy points
Jeremy Hill: 435 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 5 rec, 43 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 69.8 fantasy points
The Bengals finished 22nd in rushing attempts in their first season under offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. Jeremy Hill led the offense in backfield touches (243), ranking 18th among running backs, but his 3.8 yards-per-attempt left much to be desired. ... The Bengals offensive line lost Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler as free agents in the offseason, which is bad news when you consider the team ranked 22nd in yards before contact with them on the roster. .... With Hill's decline and Giovani Bernard coming off knee surgery, Joe Mixon is considered the favorite to lead this backfield moving forward. Based on his upside as a play maker, he could be a top-30 selection in some drafts.
Isaiah Crowell: 1,023 rush yards, 8 rush TDs, 36 rec, 287 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 183.0 fantasy points
Duke Johnson: 328 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 51 rec, 491 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 103.9 fantasy points
The Browns ranked next to last in rushing attempts last season, due in large part to the fact that the team had to throw in order to attempt to erase deficits. ... In his seven seasons as either a head coach or coordinator, Hue Jackson has produced five top-15 running backs including three who finished in the top 10. That includes Darren McFadden (6th, 2010), Michael Bush (9th, 2011) and Jeremy Hill (10th, 2014). Furthermore, his top fantasy back hasn't finished worse than 14th (Isaiah Crowell - 2016, Hill - 2015) in the last 10 seasons. ... With the addition of Zeitler and J.C. Tretter, the Browns boast one of the NFL's best offensive lines. That makes Crowell a prime breakout pick.
Ezekiel Elliott: 908 rush yards, 8 rush TDs, 25 rec, 238 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 166.6 fantasy points
Darren McFadden: 598 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 19 rec, 157 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 107.5 fantasy points
No team had more rushing attempts than the Cowboys last season, which is no surprise when you consider the impact of rookie Ezekiel Elliott. The NFL's leader in rushing yards, Elliott was second in running back touches behind David Johnson and ranked third in fantasy points per game (minimum 12 games) at the position. He also ranked 11th in red-zone touches and 10th in goal-to-go touches. ... The Cowboys offensive line was a major factor in Elliott's fantasy success, ranking second in rushing yards before contact. Elliott has been suspended for the first six games, however, so he'll drop into the second or third round of drafts. McFadden will have RB2 value in his absence.
C.J. Anderson: 988 rush yards, 5 rush TDs, 28 rec, 224 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 155.2 fantasy points
Jamaal Charles: 452 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 27 rec, 231 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 84.3 fantasy points
Devontae Booker: 320 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 11 rec, 103 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 52.3 fantasy points
Denver finished 15th in rushing attempts last season, running the football on almost 60 percent of their offensive snaps. ... In seven games before going down with an injured knee, C.J. Anderson was on pace to rush for 999 yards and score 11 total touchdowns. The Broncos added Jamaal Charles in the offseason, but he's missed all but eight games in the last two years due to knee problems. ... Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has fielded a top-12 fantasy running back in three of his last four seasons, including Melvin Gordon who finished eighth a season ago. ... In two of McCoy's four years in San Diego, the Chargers had a running back reach the 250-rushing attempt milestone.
Ameer Abdullah: 776 rush yards, 5 rush TDs, 28 rec, 270 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 142.6 fantasy points
Theo Riddick: 294 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 62 rec, 573 rec yards, 4 rec TDs, 120.7 fantasy points
The Lions ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing attempts last season, which is no surprise when you consider the team lost Ameer Abdullah for most of the season and replaced him with more of a pass catcher in Theo Riddick. In his lone full game before being injured, Abdullah totaled 120 total yards with one touchdown. If he can avoid injuries, which has been a concern, Abdullah could turn into one of this season's best fantasy draft bargains. ... Offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter allowed Riddick 145 touches last season, but almost 37 percent of them came in the form of receptions (53). His 92 rushing attempts were the least of any team leader among running backs in the league.
Green Bay Packers
Ty Montgomery: 675 rush yards, 5 rush TDs, 45 rec, 421 rec yards, 3 rec TDs, 155.6 fantasy points
Jamaal Williams: 459 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 6 rec, 76 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 75.5 fantasy points
Aaron Jones: 278 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 6 rec, 49 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 44.7 fantasy points
The Packers finished 29th in rushing attempts last season, running the football on 36.3 percent of their offensive snaps. That's what happens when you have a converted wide receiver, Ty Montgomery, playing as the lead back (and you have Aaron Rodgers). ... Montgomery finished 38th in fantasy points among runners last season, and 29 percent of his points came in one game. He also scored double digits just three times in standard scoring systems. ... On a positive note, Montgomery did average 5.9 yards per attempt among backs (minimum 75 attempts) once he become a full-time runner. ... Jamaal Williams looks to be the favorite for the second spot on the Packers depth chart.
Lamar Miller: 1,082 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 36 rec, 286 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 176.8 fantasy points
D'Onta Foreman: 413 rush yards, 3 rush TDs, 5 rec, 41 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 63.4 fantasy points
Alfred Blue: 184 rush yards, 1 rush TDs, 10 rec, 77 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 32.1 fantasy points
Houston attempted 456 rushes last season, which ranked sixth in the league. ... Lamar Miller averaged 21.4 touches per game, up from the 15.1 he averaged in 2015, but was hurt during the second half and finished a modest 18th in fantasy points among running backs. ... Head coach Bill O'Brien, who will now take over the play calling duties, wants to lighten some of Miller's workload (he was eighth in touches among backs). ... D'Onta Foreman could be used to spell Miller more than Alfred Blue did a season ago, but the rookie won't put a big enough dent into Miller's touches to make him a committee runner. ... The Texans offensive line ranked seventh in rushing yards before contact.
Frank Gore: 857 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 29 rec, 216 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 135.3 fantasy points
Robert Turbin: 212 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 24 rec, 185 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 67.7 fantasy points
Marlon Mack: 189 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 12 rec, 119 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 42.8 fantasy points
The Colts rushed the football just 39.4 percent of the time last season and ranked 17th in rushing attempts under offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. ... Frank Gore, even at the age of 33, still ranked seventh in touches among running backs and finished 12th in fantasy points at the position. That's just the second time a runner has finished higher than 25th in fantasy points under Chudzinski during his time as either a head coach or offensive coordinator. ... While Gore saw the most red-zone touches in the backfield, Robert Turbin was a mere two behind him in goal-to-go touches. That could somewhat limit Gore's touchdown total, as could the presence of rookie back Marlon Mack.
Leonard Fournette: 1,120 rush yards, 8 rush TDs, 25 rec, 234 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 187.4 fantasy points
T.J. Yeldon: 183 rush yards, 1 rush TDs, 36 rec, 269 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 55.2 fantasy points
Chris Ivory: 273 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 6 rec, 54 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 42.7 fantasy points
The Jaguars rushed the rock 392 times last season, which ranked 24th in the league. By comparison, Elliott had 322 rushes on his own. ... Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett has served in that role at the NFL level in three different seasons (2013-14, 2016). During that time, he's had just one top-10 fantasy runner (Fred Jackson - 2013). ... The Jaguars figure to see a major uptick in their ground attack attempts with the addition of rookie Leonard Fournette, who projects to be their new three-down back sooner rather than later. He'll need help from an offensive line that ranked 17th in yards before contact a season ago, but Fournette's talent makes him a top-30 overall selection.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kareem Hunt: 1,003 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 40 rec, 316 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 177.9 fantasy points
Charcandrick West: 341 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 15 rec, 103 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 68.4 fantasy points
The Chiefs ranked 16th in rushing attempts last season, as Spencer Ware led the team with 247 touches while finishing 16th in fantasy points among running backs. He rushed for just three touchdowns, however, and finished 30th in red-zone touches. ... The Chiefs averaged just 4.2 yards per attempt as a team a year ago, which is its lowest total since 2011. Improvement could be seen in the form of Kareem Hunt, who has major breakout appeal as a rookie. ... Since 2000, coach Andy Reid has produced a total of eight top-10 fantasy runners. Furthermore, his offensive system has also accounted for 13 top-20 fantasy runners during his time between Philadelphia and Kansas City.
Los Angeles Chargers
Melvin Gordon: 1,187 rush yards, 9 rush TDs, 43 rec, 404 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 221.1 fantasy points
Branden Oliver: 245 rush yards, 1 rush TDs, 25 rec, 194 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 53.9 fantasy points
The Chargers ranked 23rd in rush attempts last season, running the football on fewer than 40 percent of their offensive snaps. ... Melvin Gordon finished ninth in touches among running backs overall, but he was fourth in touches per game (22.7) and red-zone touches at the position. With no impact additions to the backfield, fantasy owners should expect Gordon to see another large workload this season. ... Ken Whisenhunt has had some success with backs, producing seven top-20 fantasy runners in his 13 seasons as either a coordinator or head coach. However, Gordon was the best of the bunch and the lone runner who finished in the top 10 in Whisenhunt's last eight campaigns.
Los Angeles Rams
Todd Gurley: 1,084 rush yards, 8 rush TDs, 35 rec, 274 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 187.8 fantasy points
Lance Dunbar: 213 rush yards, 1 rush TDs, 26 rec, 237 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 57.0 fantasy points
The Rams finished 28th in rushing attempts last season during what was a difficult campaign for fantasy disappointment Todd Gurley. Despite finishing fifth in touches among backs, he ranked just 20th in fantasy points and averaged 9.7 points a game. That was outside of the top 20 among backs with a minimum of 12 contests. ... New head coach Sean McVay liked to use a main runner as opposed to a committee while the offensive coordinator in Washington, however, so Gurley should see no shortage of work. ... The Rams offensive line ranked next to last in yards before contact, though the addition of Andrew Whitworth does breed at least some optimism for Gurley's prospects.
Jay Ajayi: 1,307 rush yards, 9 rush TDs, 33 rec, 209 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 203.6 fantasy points
Damien Williams: 158 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 19 rec, 187 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 51.7 fantasy points
Kenyan Drake: 201 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 11 rec, 77 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 39.8 fantasy points
The Dolphins finished 25th in rushing attempts a season ago, running the rock on 44.4 percent of their offensive snaps. ... Despite the fact that he saw 18 rushes in his first three games, Jay Ajayi still saw 62 percent of the team's total carries and finished 10th in touches among running backs. However, 49 percent of his rushing yards came in three games. ... In his last three seasons as either a head coach or offensive coordinator, Adam Gase's top running back has finished no worse than 11th in fantasy points (C.J. Anderson - 2014, Ajayi - 2016). Furthermore, Gase's offense has produced both a top-five (Knowshon Moreno, 2013) and a top-10 (Matt Forte, 2015) fantasy runner.
Dalvin Cook: 953 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 31 rec, 271 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 162.4 fantasy points
Latavius Murray: 426 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 16 rec, 131 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 83.7 fantasy points
Jerick McKinnon: 203 rush yards, 1 rush TDs, 30 rec, 217 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 54.0 fantasy points
The Vikings didn't run the football much a season ago without Adrian Peterson, finishing 26th in rushing attempts. The offensive line wasn't effective either, ranking 24th in yards before contact. The addition of Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers (free agents), not to mention Pat Elflein in Round 3 of the NFL draft, should bolster the unit. ... Pat Shurmur has helped produced six top-20 fantasy backs in his last eight years as a head coach or coordinator. That includes three top-10 finishes. He also helped Trent Richardson to a top-10 finish as a rookie, which could bode well for Dalvin Cook. He figures to lead this backfield in touches, ahead of both Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon.
New England Patriots
Mike Gillislee: 824 rush yards, 8 rush TDs, 11 rec, 112 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 139.6 fantasy points
James White: 151 rush yards, 1 rush TDs, 52 rec, 483 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 98.0 fantasy points
Rex Burkhead: 421 rush yards, 3 rush TDs, 20 rec, 177 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 83.8 fantasy points
Dion Lewis: 273 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 20 rec, 143 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 59.6 fantasy points
The Patriots ran the football 45.6 percent of the time last season, which was far more than the 36.5 percent it ran it the previous season. ... In his 11 seasons as either a head coach or offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels has produced three top-12 fantasy runners. Three others have finished in the top 20 at the position. ... LeGarrette Blount saw 57.8 percent of the team's backfield snaps and led all running backs with 71 red-zone touches last season. The expectation is that Mike Gillislee is the favorite to take a good portion of those opportunities without Blount, making him a popular fantasy sleeper. ... James White finished with 60 catches, making him a prime mid-round PPR target.
New Orleans Saints
Mark Ingram: 723 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 38 rec, 303 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 146.6 fantasy points
Adrian Peterson: 721 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 27 rec, 231 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 135.2 fantasy points
Alvin Kamara: 221 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 36 rec, 354 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 79.5 fantasy points
The Saints ranked 19th in rushing attempts last season, running the football 36.6 percent of the offensive snaps. It's the seventh time in eight seasons that the team has run the ball fewer than 39 percent of the time under offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. Overall, his system has averaged 406 rushing attempts a season. The high water mark was 468, which came in their Super Bowl season of 2009. ... Carmichael split up the offensive touches that season between Darren Sproles (173), Pierre Thomas (165) and Mark Ingram (133). ... Ingram led the Saints with 251 touches last year, but that total seems destined to decline with Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara in the backfield.
New York Giants
Paul Perkins: 803 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 26 rec, 220 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 130.3 fantasy points
Shane Vereen: 256 rush yards, 1 rush TDs, 44 rec, 396 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 81.2 fantasy points
The Giants have run the football on 39.4 percent of their offensive plays in Ben McAdoo's first three seasons as head coach or offensive coordinator. In that time, no running back had finished better than 20th in fantasy points (Rashad Jennings, 2015) at the position. ... Over his final five games of last season, projected starter Paul Perkins averaged 14 carries and 4.5 yards per attempt. He'll be a popular fantasy sleeper in 2017 fantasy drafts. ... Shane Vereen will be used in passing situations, making him a potential late-round target in PPR formats. ... The Giants ranked 29th in red-zone targets for runners, and their offensive line finished a mere 29th in yards before contact.
New York Jets
Bilal Powell: 706 rush yards, 5 rush TDs, 58 rec, 402 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 150.8 fantasy points
Matt Forte: 517 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 26 rec, 251 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 105.0 fantasy points
The Jets finished 13th in rushing attempts last season, running the football on 41.7 percent of their offensive snaps. ... New offensive coordinator John Morton will likely use both Forte and Bilal Powell often as pass catchers in an offense that could start Christian Hackenberg at times and lacks experienced receivers. Powell showed signs of a statistical breakout last season, as he averaged 138 scrimmage yards and 18.3 fantasy points in his final four games. The veteran also ranked fourth in receptions among running backs, making him a viable sleeper candidate in all scoring systems. ... Forte averaged a mere 3.2 yards per attempt during his final four games of last season.
Marshawn Lynch: 1,011 rush yards, 9 rush TDs, 24 rec, 197 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 176.8 fantasy points
Jalen Richard: 285 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 24 rec, 172 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 69.7 fantasy points
DeAndre Washington: 329 rush yards, 3 rush TDs, 14 rec, 110 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 59.6 fantasy points
The Raiders finished 11th in rushing attempts last season, running the rock on 41.4 percent of their offensive snaps. ... The team promoted Todd Downing from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator, but most of the system former coordinator Bill Musgrave left behind will remain intact (with a few wrinkles). ... Latavius Murray ranked ninth in red-zone touches, eighth in goal-to-go opportunities and fifth in rushing touchdowns last season. Most of those chances will now be handed to Marshawn Lynch, who returns after one season away from football. Running behind one of the league's best run-blocking offensive line, Beast Mode will be a borderline No. 1 or 2 fantasy back.
LeGarrette Blount: 811 rush yards, 7 rush TDs, 8 rec, 62 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 127.3 fantasy points
Darren Sproles: 334 rush yards, 3 rush TDs, 45 rec, 373 rec yards, 3 rec TDs, 104.7 fantasy points
The Eagles ranked 10th in rushing attempts last season, running the football on 40.6 percent of their offensive snaps. ... Offensive coordinator Frank Reich has had just one running back (Woodhead - 2015) finish higher than 11th in fantasy points over the last three years between San Diego and Philadelphia. ... Ryan Mathews (168) led the Eagles in backfield touches, though Darren Sproles (146) was a close second. ... Mathews was ninth in goal-to-goal carries; a role that now projects to land in the lap of Blount. However, Blount figures to see a massive decrease in the 71 red-zone and 41 goal-to-go opportunities he saw with New England. He's a borderline flex starter in most drafts.
Le'Veon Bell: 1,331 rush yards, 10 rush TDs, 85 rec, 678 rec yards, 3 rec TDs, 274.9 fantasy points
The Steelers ran the football 39.9 percent of the time last season, which ranked 17th in the league. ... Despite playing in just 12 games, Le'Veon Bell still finished fourth in fantasy points among running backs. He also ranked second in fantasy points per game (20), just 0.4 points fewer than David Johnson. Bell also finished fourth in touches among runners, but he was first in terms of touches per contest. ... Offensive coordinator Todd Haley has produced a combined seven top-15 fantasy runners in his last 10 seasons in the league, including five backs who finished in the top 10 at the position. ... The Steelers offensive line was tied for fifth in yards before contact (2.63) last season.
San Francisco 49ers
Carlos Hyde: 1,004 rush yards, 8 rush TDs, 31 rec, 217 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 166.1 fantasy points
Tim Hightower: 321 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 12 rec, 88 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 52.9 fantasy points
Joe Williams: 185 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 8 rec, 47 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 33.2 fantasy points
The 49ers ranked fifth in rushing attempts last season, but that total is destined to decline (at least somewhat) under new head coach Kyle Shanahan. Running backs have found success in his system, however, as three different backs have finished better than 15th in fantasy points at the position during his previous eight seasons as an offensive coordinator. That includes Freeman, who was a top-10 runner in back-to-back seasons in Atlanta. ... Carlos Hyde ranked 18th in touches per game among runners last season, but he's missed 14 games in his first three NFL seasons due to injuries. Still, the Ohio State product has high RB2 upside and is well worth a fourth-round draft pick.
Eddie Lacy: 786 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 14 rec, 116 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 112.2 fantasy points
C.J. Prosise: 261 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 38 rec, 375 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 79.6 fantasy points
Thomas Rawls: 410 rush yards, 4 rush TDs, 6 rec, 49 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 67.9 fantasy points
The Seahawks ranked 18th in run percentage last season, which was down from fourth (2015) and second (2014) in the previous two seasons under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. That had much to do with the departure of Lynch and Thomas Rawls' absence due to injuries. ... New No. 1 runner Eddie Lacy has been a yards after contact machine, but he has also missed 12 games in the last two seasons due to injuries and the presence of both Rawls and C.J. Prosise could signal a potential committee approach. ... Seattle's offensive line could be problematic too, as both Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders have ranked it in the bottom half of the league in terms of run blocking.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Martin: 724 rush yards, 5 rush TDs, 22 rec, 203 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 126.7 fantasy points
Charles Sims: 291 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 35 rec, 328 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 83.9 fantasy points
Jacquizz Rodgers: 485 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 14 rec, 91 rec yards, 1 rec TDs, 75.6 fantasy points
The Buccaneers finished eighth in rushing attempts last season under head coach Dirk Koetter, who has had a lot of success with running backs. ... In 10 NFL campaigns as a coach or coordinator, Koetter has helped Maurice Jones-Drew (2008, 2009, 2011) and Doug Martin (2015) finish in the top 10 in fantasy points among backs. Furthermore, Koetter has produced a combined eight top-20 fantasy backs overall. The two seasons where he didn't have a top-20 back were 2013-2014, when his lead runner was an aging Steven Jackson. ... Martin will miss the first three games of the season due to a suspension, so Jacquizz Rodgers could develop into a viable flex starter in his absence.
DeMarco Murray: 1,072 rush yards, 8 rush TDs, 49 rec, 339 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 199.1 fantasy points
Derrick Henry: 656 rush yards, 5 rush TDs, 14 rec, 91 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 104.7 fantasy points
The Titans finished fourth in rushing attempts and third in rushing percentage a season ago under offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie. While he's coached Marcus Allen, Bo Jackson and Eric Dickerson, Robiskie had his first 1,000-yard rusher as a coordinator last season in DeMarco Murray. He led the Titans backfield with an average of 21.6 touches per game, which was 13.4 more than Derrick Henry, and his workload should remain intact this season. ... Murray also ranked fifth in red-zone touches (57) and second in goal-to-go opportunities (36) among running backs. ... Tennessee's offensive line was one of the best in yards before contact, ranking fifth in the league.
Rob Kelley: 856 rush yards, 6 rush TDs, 15 rec, 107 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 130.3 fantasy points
Samaje Perine: 279 rush yards, 3 rush TDs, 5 rec, 48 rec yards, 0 rec TDs, 48.7 fantasy points
Chris Thompson: 233 rush yards, 2 rush TDs, 43 rec, 362 rec yards, 2 rec TDs, 81.5 fantasy points
The Redskins finished 27th in rushing attempts last season, which is no surprise in an offense that threw the football 62.4 percent of the time under head coach Jay Gruden. ... Gruden's offenses have produced just one top-15 fantasy running back (Alfred Morris, 2014) over the last six seasons between Cincinnati and Washington. ... Rob Kelley led the team in backfield touches a season ago, but 26 percent of his fantasy point total came in one contest. ... Rookie Samaje Perine has potential in Gruden's system, but Kelley appears locked into the top spot to start the regular campaign. ... The Redskins offensive line ranked a meager 30th in yards before contact last season.