Running Back Fantasy Football Stats: 2021 Cheat Sheet

Running backs are a very important part of fantasy football, whether you are drafting them at the top of your draft, or are going a zero running back strategy. Everyone has their opinions on them and how much they are worth, but they are highly sought after in our fantasy game. They come built in different ways and are used in various ways throughout a team’s offense. Pass catching backs have increased over the last decade or so, especially as the league has gone more pass-heavy. Those all-around workhorse backs are the cream of the crop for fantasy football, but what about the rest? See what running backs dominate on the ground, and who carries their value through receiving work. Check out how running backs are being used within a committee, and what stats they are producing the most in.

Running backs are a very important part of fantasy football, whether you are drafting them at the top of your draft, or are going a zero running back strategy. Everyone has their opinions on them and how much they are worth, but they are highly sought after in our fantasy game. They come built in different ways and are used in various ways throughout a team’s offense. Pass catching backs have increased over the last decade or so, especially as the league has gone more pass-heavy. Those all-around workhorse backs are the cream of the crop for fantasy football, but what about the rest? See what running backs dominate on the ground, and who carries their value through receiving work. Check out how running backs are being used within a committee, and what stats they are producing the most in.

Select Last Year (2020-21) for Stats

Running Back Fantasy Stats Draft Guide

Running backs have a lot of crucial stats, as they are involved in both the run and passing games. They also deal with committees and rely on positive game scripts. Under the player area, you can see where that running back ranks on the depth chart within their team. Our Lineups Rating will give you an indicator of their talent and worth to a team based on their overall stats. The bye week will give you a look at when you would need to find a fill-in as well. Getting to the fantasy points, you can see what they are producing per game, and fantasy points overall. Now getting to the snap and touches, you can see who is racking up fantasy points per touch.

The rushing and receiving numbers are very important, and we often want to look at them as a whole to gauge all of the fantasy value they bring. This does break it up to see where they are getting most of their fantasy value. The rushing stats will show you how many rushing attempts a game a back is getting, and then what they are doing with those attempts. Fantasy scoring formats might have 100+ game bonuses, and showing how often running backs hit that mark can certainly help. As it can for receiving bonuses as well. Receiving numbers will show how often a player is getting targeted, and that can indicate how often a running back is used in the passing game. The production numbers after give you the standard look at receiving yards and touchdowns.

Snaps and touches are very important for a running back. Looking at snaps within a set of running backs, you are going to see who the clear cut back is and how committees are divided. Some committees can be tricky where they are split more evenly or rely on how the game is going. Some teams will ride the hot hand game by game, so this can be tricky to predict. The worst fantasy situation is when three running backs are involved. Touches and targets are a way to figure out how those guys are involved in their offense. Red zone stats showcase how running backs are used within the opponent’s 20-yard line. It is also broken down by receiving and rushing usage.

You will have a lot of controls within the dropdowns to get where you want. If you want to go within prior seasons, you can dig back and look at a little history. If you want to look within teams to get a look at fantasy production within the Green Bay Packers, you can narrow that down. Each dropdown will bring you to basic stats, volume stats, and then red zone numbers. Scoring formats will vary between sites, and each tab will give you their default setting. You can also break down tabs between totals and per game. The weekly slider can help you pinpoint stats for a specific time period.

Running Back Efficiency Vs. Volume

We often get caught up in yards per attempt and those efficiency numbers, but volume is what we want in the long run. Rushing attempts and targets are going to be high for players that are producing big fantasy numbers. Even if the efficiency numbers are average, the volume will carry them quite a bit. It also gives those fantasy backs a very good weekly floor. When they don’t have that volume, then efficiency becomes very important. Now players can be fantasy relevant getting 10-12 touches a game, but that is when we need to look at efficiency. When they are more of a workhorse back, the efficiency numbers are not as important. However, we will, of course, be thrilled if they are also efficient.

When looking at receiving targets for running backs, volume is also very important. If they are solely a receiving back and hardly get rushing attempts, then we are going to want a lot of targets to go their way. However, not a lot of running backs are going to see eight-nine targets a game. Efficiency becomes pretty important here if they can produce a lot of yards per reception. James White for the New England Patriots has been a fantasy viable back because of his receiving abilities. His work varies from game to game, but his overall efficiency is very good. We also want to see that volume carry into the red zone because the correlation is big with red zone touches and touchdowns. White once again has excelled in this area where while he is not a big bruising red zone back, the creative use of using White in the red zone helps. Of course, we don’t get this type of creativity with all teams. Running backs will need some luck with the coaching staff and team they play for them to use them correctly.

Red Zone Running Back Stats

Red zone stats are very important with running backs. Not many are scoring their touchdowns on lengthy runs. When you look at red zone rushing attempts, most of the top fantasy running back scorers have a lot of rushing attempts in the red zone. They are also tied to overall touchdowns. So you can see how red zone rushing attempts correlate with touchdowns and overall fantasy scoring numbers. The fantasy points per game and overall fantasy points within the red zone can point towards where running backs are generating their fantasy points. Receiving and rushing numbers are important. You can see both in the red zone because running backs will also get targets in the red zone. This is important for receiving down backs because they will need those red zone targets for touchdown production.

Now not all red zone opportunities are created equal. Since the red zone numbers are based on rushing and receiving inside the 20-yard line, we know that is scoring is much easier from inside the ten and the five-yard line. Seeing running backs who get those touches inside the five-yard line, that is where big touchdown production correlates with high rushing attempts. Teams will divide rushing attempts and targets within the red zone, so to get a grip of how backs are used by a team in the red zone you can see the touch percentage. This is also important for running backs within a committee.

Different Styles Of Fantasy Running Backs

The workhorse back role is a very important one in the world of fantasy football. The backs who get 20 attempts a game, and chip in with a few catches are going be the top fantasy players because they can be relied upon, but the upside is there as well. Whatever the mix is, it can be more reception heavy, but guys that get 20-25 touches a game are going to be drafted higher than others. The upside they have and weekly consistency is unmatched. There are also not as many running backs that have these types of touches because more teams balance it out with two running backs or are just extremely pass-heavy to where they don’t run the ball as often.

With the passing game being so heavy these days, receiving backs have a lot more fantasy value than they did in the past. Overall the addition of PPR formats has made this type of running back more valuable. Those playing in standard formats, these backs don’t have a lot of value, and the weekly floor is a lot lower in comparison to other formats. The receiving backs that can see over five targets a game are going to have a lot of potential. They will often add in some rushing attempts as well. These running backs rely on more how the offense is run, but also quarterbacks that do look to get them the ball.

There are running backs that just work solely on the ground, and don’t have receiving work. The value they bring has dropped over recent years, and they are better fitted for standard formats because everyone is on a flattened level of no receptions counting as points. These running backs rely a lot on the yards and touchdowns, but more so touchdowns. In a PPR setting, a running back running for 110 yards with nothing else is not considered to be a great week. We have seen those backs struggle to get to the top of the charts when the season ends for fantasy scoring. While there are few backs in the league that don’t receive work in the passing game, there are still a few.

Goal line backs were always a frustrating aspect of fantasy football, with Mike Tolbert being one of the more notable goal line backs. They are not around much anymore, but running backs that are on the smaller side do not get a ton of red zone looks if offenses go with the bigger backs in the red zone. Their red zone stats are going to be the ones to look at, as their fantasy value is going to rely a lot upon on that.

Running Back fantasy football stats FAQ

What Stats Score The Most Fantasy Points For Running Backs?

Touchdowns equate to six fantasy points and is a quick way for running backs to get a bunch of fantasy points. After that, scoring formats will dictate this, but running backs that work in the passing game can rack up receptions to churn out a big fantasy score.

What Are The Most Important Fantasy Stats For Running Backs?

Running backs really rely on touchdowns to get to the top of the fantasy rankings when it comes to scoring. However, rushing attempts and receptions funnel into big fantasy production and outcomes. After that, you will want to look at rushing and receiving yards.

How Are Running Back Fantasy Points Calculated?

Running backs score points in a few different ways. Receptions will count from zero to one fantasy point per catch depending on the scoring format. Rushing and receiving yards count for one point for every ten yards, and six points for every touchdown.

What Is Fantasy Points Per Touch?

Fantasy points per touch are simply total fantasy points divided by the amount of touch a player has played. This will show you the number of fantasy points they score per each rushing attempt or reception they have. It can point to the higher scoring fantasy players.

What Is A 100+ Yard Bonus?

Some fantasy sites and scoring formats will give fantasy points for when a player goes over 100 receiving or rushing yards. A popular daily fantasy site, draftkings, is one of the main sites who will offer up bonuses for hitting this yardage mark.

What Is Touch Percentage?

Every time a running back has a rushing attempt or a reception, it is recorded as a touch. After a game is played, the number of touches are all tallied up among players and divided into a percentage to see which player is getting the most touches among the team.