The 2020 NFL Draft is complete! The 2020 NFL Schedule has been released! The fantasy football analysts are now looking to find which players will excel in their new opportunities. We are excited about the opportunities and the NFL season to come. Of all the positions I do believe running back is the best opportunity for rookies to make the most impact initially. Today I want to review the Touchdowns aspect of the site and how previous years results could shed some light on what’s to come in 2020 for our running backs. If you would like to familiarize yourself with last season results and recaps go checkout the: TDs, TD’s (Touchdowns) – 2019 Regular Season and TD’s (Touchdowns) II – 2019 Regular Season posts.
As I have said before, Touchdowns are a very hard stat to predict. Although as you go through a season sometimes you can see a trend of certain players getting the luck of the touchdowns. Below I have an image that shows a few things for us over the last 5 years for Touchdowns and how they relate to Running Backs.
Top 20 Running Back Touchdowns, last 5 years
Initially, I was looking from one year to the next to see how many of the previous years running backs made the following year list. As you follow the colors (Grey – 2015, Green – 2016, Red – 2017 and Blue – 2018) it helps to pick out who stayed on the list from the previous year. In 2016, 10 running backs from 2015 made it. In 2017, 9 running backs from 2016 made the Top 20 list. While in 2018, 8 running backs from 2017 made it. For 2019, 13 running backs from 2018 made the Top 20.
The pattern looked like 2019 would give us 7 running backs from the previous year but it jumped up to 13 instead. Over half of the running backs from the year before made the Top 20 in 2019. As an average over those years, 10 running backs from the previous year Top 20 will make the current year list.
The second piece I was curious about was the opportunity for rookie running backs to crack this Top 20 list each year. I notated the rookies with the highlight of yellow beside their name if they were a rookie in the year they made the Top 20 Touchdown list. In 2015, 4 rookies made it. While for 2016, 1 rookie made it. In 2017, 4 rookies made the Top 20 list. In 2018, 3 rookies made it while in 2019 no rookies made the Top 20 Touchdown list. The averages lean towards 2 rookie running backs in 2020 to make the list. While the pattern says maybe we get upwards of 4 rookie running backs on the list in 2020.
So a quick use of averages would say that 10 running backs from the Top 20 list in 2019 will repeat in 2020. There will probably be 2 rookie running backs that will be in the Top 20 list in 2020. Then 8 new running backs that were not even on the list in 2019 will show up in 2020. Now just because they are new in 2020 may not mean that they haven’t been on the list in 2018 or previous years. We certainly see names of running backs come and go through the years with injury, use, offensive scheme, etc. Touchdowns will be something to keep in mind as you think about who may be your Running Backs to ride to fantasy football success in 2020.
Rookie Running Backs
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Jonathan Taylor
- Cam Akers
- D’Andre Swift
- Ke’Shawn Vaughn
- J.K. Dobbins
- Zack Moss
- Anthony McFarland Jr.
These eight rookie running backs are the guys that I think have the most opportunity heading into the 2020 NFL Season (as I noted in my 2020 NFL Schedule post) to end up on Top 20 list of Touchdowns. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, drafted by one of the most offensive teams in football. Jonathan Taylor finds himself in an opportunity with the Indianapolis Colts. Cam Akers on another offensive team that we have seen have great running back success in the past. D’Andre Swift will push for reps in a backfield that needs consistent rushing.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn will get a chance to step into a backfield with a quarterback that will take the running back check down if it’s there. J.K. Dobbins an added piece to the strongest rushing attack in the NFL. Zack Moss looks like a compliment back at the very least with his chance in Buffalo. Anthony McFarland Jr. in a backfield that has had it’s injuries and has shown the next player up mentality before.
Running Back TDs Final Thoughts
It is tough to predict exactly which Running Backs will be getting Touchdowns each year. There are so many variables to take into consideration but if you are able to use previous year information to help you moving forward then by all means keep it in mind. Also, be aware during the season of trends or tendencies for players to find the end zone. If you believe a player is in line for a good many Touchdowns this season, you know I would be interested in them!
If you missed the 2020 NFL Schedule post from last week give it a look as you get your mind focused on fantasy football opportunities!
I hope everyone continues to stay safe and healthy!
Reference the Targets and TDs pages to see who had the opportunities and end-zone appearances through the 2019 regular season. If you enjoyed the article please share it with others (via the social media links).