Among the finest methods to seek out potential worth or breakouts for the upcoming fantasy football season is by inspecting backfields and their unaccounted or vacated carries. Going over all 32 NFL groups and seeing which working backs misplaced or gained touches begins to color a clearer image of which backfields to focus on and which to fade in upcoming drafts.
2021 Vacated Working Again Touches
Listed below are the vacated touches for each backfield getting into the 2021 season.
Baltimore Ravens – 85 carries (15.3%) and 93 whole touches (5.8 per/sport)
Buffalo Payments – 16 carries (3.8%) and 20 whole touches (1.2 per/sport)
Cincinnati Bengals – 140 carries (34%) and 199 whole touches (11.7 per/sport)
Cleveland Browns – 9 carries (1.8%) and 10 whole touches (0.6 per/sport)
Denver Broncos – 127 carries (28.7%) and 141 whole touches (8.3 per/sport)
Houston Texans – 88 carries (25.8%) and 128 whole touches (7.5 per/sport)
Indianapolis Colts – 39 carries (8.4%) and 39 whole touches (2.3 per/sport)
Jacksonville Jaguars – 15 carries (4.4%) and 39 whole touches (2.3 per/sport)
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs – 70 carries (17.3%) and 90 whole touches (5.3 per/sport)
Las Vegas Raiders – 93 carries (20.3%) and 114 whole touches (6.7 per/sport)
Los Angeles Chargers – 109 carries (23.3%) and 146 whole touches (8.6 per/sport)
Miami Dolphins – 145 carries (33.8%) and 165 whole touches (9.7 per/sport)
New England Patriots – 73 carries (14.5%) and 106 whole touches (6.2 per/sport)
New York Jets – 216 carries (53.2%) and 248 whole touches (14.6 per/sport)
Pittsburgh Steelers – 169 carries (45.3%) and 212 whole touches (12.5 per/sport)
Tennessee Titans – 27 carries (5.1%) and 28 whole touches (1.6 per/sport)
Arizona Cardinals – 239 carries (49.8%) and 270 whole touches (15.9 per/sport)
Atlanta Falcons – 358 carries (87.7%) and 449 whole touches (26.4 per/sport)
Carolina Panthers – 213 carries (52.3%) and 292 whole touches (17.2 per/sport)
Chicago Bears – 99 carries (325.1%) and 101 whole touches (5.9 per/sport)
Dallas Cowboys – 29 carries (6.7%) and 29 whole touches (1.7 per/sport)
Detroit Lions – 243 carries (66.2%) and 291 whole touches (17.1 per/sport)
Inexperienced Bay Packers – 135 carries (30.5%) and 185 whole touches (10.9 per/sport)
Los Angeles Rams – 154 carries (32.5%) and 187 whole touches (11.0 per/sport)
Minnesota Vikings – 11 carries (2%) and 13 whole touches (0.8 per/sport)
New Orleans Saints – 21 carries (4.2%) and 25 whole touches (1.5 per/sport)
New York Giants – 294 carries (73.6%) and 365 whole touches (21.5 per/sport)
Philadelphia Eagles – 76 carries (18.8%) and 82 whole touches (4.8 per/sport)
San Francisco 49ers – 125 carries (28.6%) and 177 whole touches (10.4 per/sport)
Seattle Seahawks – 95 carries (23.1%) and 115 whole touches (6.8 per/sport)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 12 carries (3.2%) and 31 whole touches (1.8 per/sport)
Washington Soccer Crew – No vacated carries or working again targets
Which working backs are in favorable conditions heading into 2021?
Now that we’ve got all of this knowledge, who’re some working backs that presumably gained touches together with fantasy worth?
Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons
Whereas Davis was a shock in 2020, that received’t be the case in 2021. With Christian McCaffrey lacking all however three video games final season, Davis turned an enormous worth as he inherited the RB1 position in Carolina. As a first-time starter, he turned 165 carries into 642 yards and 6 touchdowns. Davis additionally confirmed worth as a receiver, catching 59 of 70 targets for 373 yards and a pair of extra scores. Within the 12 video games Davis began, he averaged 15.18 factors per sport and ended the 12 months because the RB12 in PPR.
Now with the Falcons, Davis has an enormous alternative in entrance of him. He steps right into a backfield with 88% of its carries vacated together with 72.4% from contained in the five-yard line (21). On what must be an offense that rushes extra beneath head coach Arthur Smith, Davis ought to achieve extra touches than practically some other working again within the NFL. He may find yourself being an unimaginable worth on draft day (RB36 on Sleeper and RB29 on NFC).
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals
Whereas the offseason hype surrounding Chase Edmonds following the departure of Kenyan Drake has died down a contact, there’s purpose to be optimistic. There are issues that Edmonds may share a majority of his carries with James Conner, however which may not be the case. PFN’s NFL Insider Adam Beasley reported on July 7, “the Cardinals’ training camp battle at working again is likely to be a battle in identify solely.”
Edmonds averaged 4.6 yards per carry and caught 53 passes in 2020, each first amongst Arizona working backs. He was by way more environment friendly on his touches, averaging 1.02 fantasy factors per contact to Drake’s 0.73. There may be additionally the priority of Conner from an damage facet. One of the best ways to maintain him on the sector is likely to be to maintain him off of it.
A essential part of that is that the Cardinals enter 2021 with 72.4% of the red-zone carries up for grabs. Though I do suppose Kyler Murray may snag just a few, Edmonds may exceed expectations by gaining the vast majority of these touches.
Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
Let’s play a reputation sport. You inform me to cease after I say the identify of a working again who deserves an ample workload. Prepared? Kalen Ballage, Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland Jr., and Jaylen Samuels. Should you remained silent, you’re right and received your self a rookie breakout candidate by the identify of Najee Harris.
Okay, jokes apart, Harris has an unimaginable alternative in 2021. Not solely do the Steelers have 45.3% of their carries vacated, however there’s a whole lack of talent on the place that can push Harris for touches. Nobody must be stunned if he averages between 18 to twenty alternatives per sport in 2021. I’d like to selfishly undertaking him for 99% of the working again touches, however he isn’t Derrick Henry, so this should do.
A.J. Dillon, Inexperienced Bay Packers
The mixture of Jamaal Williams and Tyler Ervin averaged 10.5 touches per sport final season. It’s an inexpensive assumption that A.J. Dillon sees practically all of that workload in 2021. It’s nonetheless the Aaron Jones present, however as long as Aaron Rodgers returns, 9 to 10 touches on a high-powered Packers offense is a priceless commodity in fantasy.
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants and Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
I convey them up for instance that numbers want context behind them. Whereas the Giants and Panthers have a metric ton of carries obtainable (294 and 213), that’s solely as a result of Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey missed the vast majority of 2021. You possibly can ignore these groups as each RBs will resume their typical workhorse roles come Week 1.
Who’re some working backs which may have misplaced carries heading into 2021?
Not all offseason strikes find yourself being constructive for a participant’s workload. These working backs doubtless misplaced touches in 2021.
Melvin Gordon, Denver Broncos
With Phillip Lindsay leaving in free company, Melvin Gordon was arguably my favourite worth on the working again place. The Broncos signed working again Mike Boone, however Gordon appeared primed to obtain 16 to 18 touches getting into the brand new 12 months. However then the NFL Draft hit, and the Broncos chosen Javonte Williams.
Williams is a bruising working again out of UNC who will finally take over the Broncos’ backfield probably sooner than we think. Whereas Gordon is likely to be value a begin early on, his touches and snap share will steadily lower till he has misplaced most of his worth as a fantasy working again.
David Johnson, Houston Texans
What if I advised you that David Johnson was approach higher than you thought final season? He was the RB19 with a 13.6 ppg common. Moreover, he was an RB2 or higher in 9 of 12 video games. Nevertheless, issues rapidly change within the NFL.
Most fantasy managers are already fading the Texans usually, given the uncertainty at quarterback. Nonetheless, the backfield is a large number. Not solely did they signal Phillip Lindsay within the offseason, however additionally they introduced in veteran Mark Ingram. It’s arduous to think about a path the place Johnson will match his 16.1 alternative common from the earlier season. He has misplaced as a lot worth as a working again by means of touches as he has as a result of emblem on his helmet.
Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Regardless of having the third-most carries (273) and the second-most touches contained in the purple zone (64), Josh Jacobs noticed his worth plummet after the Raiders signed Kenyan Drake. Even if you happen to don’t consider Drake is something greater than a JAG or a backup, that doesn’t matter. The one factor that issues is what the Raiders consider him. Based mostly on the two-year, $11 million contract, I’m going to say they like him fairly a bit.
For fantasy, this stinks as Jacobs was one of many few gamers you knew would obtain all of the work they might ask for each sport. Sadly, with the addition of Drake, Jacobs has misplaced a sizeable chunk of that quantity and goes from being an RB1 to hovering round RB2/RB3 consideration.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles have made it abundantly clear they are going to function with a committee-style strategy as soon as once more subsequent season. It was at all times irritating if you happen to have been invested in Miles Sanders. He has all of the expertise however averaged 16.3 alternatives by means of his profession, with 115 of these coming within the receiving sport. That’s unlikely to enhance in 2021 as they signed Kerryon Johnson within the offseason and drafted Kenneth Gainwell.
One more reason so as to add Sanders to the record of working backs who’ve misplaced alternatives in 2021 is Jalen Hurts. It’s dangerous sufficient when it’s simply RBs, however whenever you add a dynamic QB like Hurts into the combination, the chance of Sanders returning worth diminishes much more. In his restricted work over 5 video games to shut the season (three begins), Hurts rushed 51 occasions for 301 yards and three touchdowns. That yardage was the second-most amongst QBs throughout that stretch. Sanders now has to take care of that for a complete 18-Week season.
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Tommy Garrett is a author for Pro Soccer Community overlaying the NFL and fantasy soccer and a member of the FSWA (Fantasy Sports activities Writers Affiliation). You possibly can learn more of his work here and observe him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.