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Top 20 fantasy RB seasons of the PFF era, Nos. 11-20

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 10: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball during an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks at TCF Bank Stadium January 10, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

In between catching up with the whirlwind that is NFL free agency and looking ahead to next month’s draft, there is plenty to keep tabs on for fantasy players. But we can also take some cues from the past, and so this month we are revisiting the best fantasy seasons of the PFF era (since 2007).

In case you missed it, we kicked things off last week with the top-20 fantasy seasons by a wide receiver. This week, we’ll tackle the top-20 running back seasons, beginning today with Nos. 11-20 (check back Friday for the top-10).

So, what does it take to make the cut? For a baseline, here are the averages of the top-20 RBs:

AGE PPR AVG. PPO ELUSIVE RATING YAC
25 356 22 0.51 42.4 2.6

PFF Glossary

PPR: total fantasy points per reception
AVG: average PPR points per game
PPO: average fantasy points per opportunity
Elusive rating: breaks down a runner’s success beyond help from blockers
YAC: yards after contact per attempt
MT Rate: touches / missed tackles forced (the lower the better)
Snap %: percentage of offensive snaps played
Inside 10 Att: carries inside the opponent’s 10-yard line

20. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (2016)

322 rush, 1,631 yds (5.1 YPC), 15 TD; 32 rec, 363 yds, 1 TD

G GS PPR AVG. PPO ELUSIVE RATING YAC MT RATE SNAP % INSIDE 10 ATT
15 15 322 21.5 0.55 37.0 2.9 7.9 71.8 24

The only rookie to make this list, Elliott was clearly drafted into an ideal situation behind the Cowboys’ dominant offensive line. However, he also created plenty on his own, as he ranks among the leaders on this list in both yards after contact (2.9) and fantasy points per opportunity (0.55). He tied LeSean McCoy in big runs (15-plus yards) in 2016, with seven of his 16 TDs scored from 10-plus yards out. Elliott’s total of 32 receptions also happened to be the lowest of any member of the top-20. While his PFF overall grade was far better in 2016, he actually played a much higher snap share (85.5 percent) when active this past season. Barring another six-game suspension, we can likely expect the Cowboys’ coaching staff to manage Elliott’s workload a bit more in 2018.

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