Top 30 fantasy running backs ranked by 2015 FPPT

Last week, I discussed and ranked which quarterbacks were the most efficient when it came to scoring fantasy points during the 2015 campaign. Now it's time to move on to the running backs, who have taken a step back in positional importance in the world of fantasy football.

Some of the results won't be a surprise, some of them will ... and others will get you fired up for a few of the younger backs who will no doubt be mentioned in breakout and sleeper conversations in the months to come. Owners should also note which veterans or committee backs made the most of their touches and could become good late-round values in 2016 drafts.

Here are the top 30 fantasy running backs from 2015 ranked not by total points, but by their fantasy point per touch (FPPT) average.

1. Karlos Williams, Bills (1.09 FPPT): Williams received just 104 touches last season, but he scored a touchdown on nearly one of every 10 touches. In the three games that he saw 10-plus touches, he averaged 0.84 fantasy points per touch or 0.22 more than LeSean McCoy produced. Williams will no doubt be considered one of the top backfield handcuffs in 2016 drafts.

2. David Johnson, Cardinals (1.08 FPPT): Get excited, fantasy fans. Johnson finished in the top 10 in fantasy points among running backs last season, and he did it despite the fact that he saw a mere 161 touches! That's fewer than Charcandrick West and Antonio Andrews. Johnson will be one of the most popular breakout candidates in fantasy leagues as a sophomore.

3. Danny Woodhead, Chargers (0.92 FPPT): While it was a weak season in the stat sheets for runners, it is notable that Woodhead finished 11th in fantasy points at the position despite touching the football fewer than 180 times. No one is going to break down the walls to select Woodhead as a high-round draft pick, so the veteran could become a nice bargain.

4. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs (0.87 FPPT): Charles missed most of last season due to a torn ACL, but it's notable that he was putting up great totals before going down. In fact, he projected to lead all runners in fantasy points based on the totals he recorded in his first five games. The downside is that Charles has now had two ACL surgeries in the last five seasons.

T-5. Ryan Mathews, Eagles (0.83 FPPT): The trade that sent DeMarco Murray to the Titans opens the door for Mathews to become the featured back in Philadelphia, assuming the team doesn't pick a high-impact runner in the NFL draft. The fact that he had a high point-per-touch average last season makes Mathews a legitimate No. 2 fantasy runner. Well, at least for now.

T-5. Shane Vereen, Giants (0.83 FPPT): Vereen didn't make much of an impact in standard leagues, finishing 37th in fantasy points among running backs. Much of that production came as a receiver, as he finished fifth at the position in catches (59). Unfortunately, the Giants are unlikely to feature Vereen with Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams in the backfield.

7. Charles Sims, Buccaneers (0.82 FPPT): Sims, who finished seventh in catches (51) among runners last season, also scored double-digit fantasy points five times in standard scoring leagues. New coach Dirk Koetter also believes Sims can be an "every-down back," but his value is still limited to that of a backfield handcuff for all owners who select Doug Martin.

T-8. DeAngelo Williams, Steelers (0.80 FPPT): If last season proved anything, it's that Williams is a No. 1 fantasy runner when he's featured in the Steelers offense. Of course, much of his value will depend on the status of Le'Veon Bell after last season's knee ailment cost him several weeks. Regardless, Williams will be a popular fantasy handcuff in all drafts.

T-8. Theo Riddick, Lions (0.80 FPPT): The Lions released Joique Bell this offseason, so will Riddick see more work in the team's backfield moving forward? Time will tell, but an increase in his workload could make him a draft steal for fantasy owners. Woodhead (81) is the lone running back to catch more passes out of the backfield than Riddick (80) a season ago.

10. Lamar Miller, Dolphins (0.77 FPPT): Miller had 241 touches in what was his final season in Miami, so imagine his statistical potential if the Texans utilize him as a true featured back? Heck, Alfred Blue saw 198 touches in 15 games last year! If there's a breakout candidate among runners, Miller is atop or near the top of the list. He's a lock top-20 choice.

11. Thomas Rawls, Seahawks (0.76 FPPT): Rawls is going to be another popular breakout candidate among runners after he showed flashes of brilliance as a rookie. In the six contests he started and finished, he averaged just under 0.80 fantasy points per touch. Barring a setback in his return from a broken ankle, Rawls will come off the board in the top-20 picks.

T-12. Todd Gurley, Rams (0.75 FPPT): The potential for Gurley next season is huge. Remember, he didn't start his first game as a pro until Week 4 after blowing out his knee during his final collegiate season. If Bell's knee becomes a huge issue, Gurley becomes the top overall pick in drafts.

T-12. Bilal Powell, Jets (0.75 FPPT): The addition of Matt Forte will keep Powell's value low in most standard drafts, but he can be an asset in PPR formats. Remember, he caught 47 passes in just 11 games last season. And when you factor in his high FPPT, well, Powell could become a bargain.

14. Jeremy Langford, Bears (0.74 FPPT): Langford showed flashes of brilliance as a rookie, but he averaged a mere 3.6 yards per rush. Also, the Bears don't seem to consider him a true featured back after offering C.J. Anderson $19 million. As it stands, Langford is a high-to-mid end No. 2 runner.

15. Devonta Freeman, Falcons (0.72 FPPT): Freeman averaged a bonkers 1.13 fantasy points per touch during his historic four-game stretch were he scored nine times. In his other 11 games, however, the FSU product averaged 0.52 FPPT. That's a cause for at least some concern.

16. Mark Ingram, Saints (0.71 FPPT): Ingram averaged 18 touches and 12.8 fantasy points per game last season, which projects to 204.5 points over a full 16 games. That's more than Martin and Gurley. Here's the problem ... Ingram has never started more than 10 games in a pro campaign.

17. Tim Hightower, Saints (0.69 FPPT): Hightower touched the ball 12 times heading into Week 14 of last season. He would go on to compile 96 touches over the final four weeks with Ingram out of action. Don't expect that level of involvement again in 2015, however. Hightower might not even be drafted.

18. Darren Sproles, Eagles (0.68 FPPT): Sproles failed to finish in the top 40 in fantasy points among runners last season. He could see more work in the absence of Murray, but that depends on whether or not the Eagles pick a runner in the 2016 NFL Draft. Sproles will also turn 33 this summer.

19. C.J. Anderson, Broncos (0.66 FPPT): Anderson had a slow start to last season, but take a look at what he did down the stretch. In his final nine contests, the Cal product put up an average of 0.91 fantasy points per touch. As it stands, I can see Anderson putting up high RB2 numbers next season.

T-20. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (0.65 FPPT): This one might seem odd, but Peterson also averaged 0.66 fantasy points per touch in his previous full season (2013). Fantasy owners need not worry though, as he is a true touches machine. A.D.'s  statistical success should continue.

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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