2016 Outlook: Forte racked up an NFL-high 2,522 touches and 12,718 yards from scrimmage during his eight years with the Bears. He was on the field for 5,868 snaps, whereas no other RB exceeded 5,400. That's an impressive r'sum', but it also raises questions about whether Forte will hold up as he enters his age-30 season. Forte isn't very effective at the goal line or as a blocker, and he will cede snaps to Bilal Powell and Khiry Robinson. Still, he should get 15-plus touches per game in a Jets offense that finished sixth in snaps and in TDs last season, making him a solid RB2.
2016 Outlook: A popular first-round pick in 2015 fantasy drafts, Anderson disappointed, but a slow start and personnel mismanagement were the primary culprits. During the first six weeks of the season, Anderson managed only 180 yards on 67 carries and failed to score a touchdown. Fifty-seven running backs had more fantasy points. During the final 11 weeks of the regular season, though, Anderson averaged 6.4 ypc, which included 2.8 after contact. Both were tops at the position. Denver matched Miami's expensive offer sheet to retain Anderson, which suggests he's in line for a big workload and a breakout season.
2016 Outlook: Lewis suffered through four injury-plagued seasons before finally emerging as a fantasy asset in New England last season. During the seven weeks he was active, Lewis accrued 234 rushing yards on 49 carries and 388 receiving yards on 50 targets, ranking fourth among RBs in fantasy points (second in PPR). With LeGarrette Blount likely to handle most of the work between the tackles, Lewis is in position for a significant role on passing downs. His durability remains a major concern, but Lewis will be operating in one of the league's top offenses. He belongs in the RB2 mix and has RB1 upside in PPR leagues.
2016 Outlook: Hill was a popular breakout candidate last year after a rookie campaign in which he ranked third among RBs in TDs and ninth in fantasy points. But he struggled badly with efficiency, averaging just 3.6 ypc last season. Only a position-high 11 rushing TDs--thanks to 13 carries within 3 yards of the goal line--bailed out Hill's owners. That goal-line load was the third highest in the NFL, so barring a major increase in effectiveness, Hill won't likely match his 12 overall TDs. He isn't much of a factor as a receiver either (20 targets last season), which leaves Hill as a risky RB2.
2016 Outlook: Murray's success in 2015 was a testament to the importance of durability and volume. In what was an injury-plagued season for Oakland at running back, Murray made it through 16 games as the team's workhorse. He finished the season third in carries, sixth in rushing yards and 11th in rushing TDs. His rate stats weren't quite as impressive; he averaged 4.0 ypc, including just 1.9 after contact. Murray posted only six top-20 weeks, making him a better flex option than RB2. He is still only 26 and is a size-speed freak, but he must fend off competition from rookie DeAndre Washington.
2016 Outlook: Mathews didn't play a lot in his first season with the Eagles, but he was easily the team's most effective RB. He averaged 5.1 ypc (sixth in the league), including 2.2 after contact (13th), but he was on the field for only 21 percent of Philly's offensive plays. With DeMarco Murray joining the Titans, Mathews should get a much heavier workload in 2016. But he has to show he can handle it: He was injury-prone in his five seasons with San Diego and missed three more games with the Eagles last year. Those doubts mean Mathews should be viewed as a fringe RB2.
2016 Outlook: Longtime starter Matt Forte is now a Jet, which puts Langford in position to lead the Bears' backfield. Although volume breeds fantasy points, there are red flags. A 2015 fourth-round pick, Langford showed a few flashes as a rookie but mostly underwhelmed. He averaged 3.6 ypc, including 2.9 against base defenses (third worst in the NFL). According to Pro Football Focus, he forced only seven missed tackles on 148 rushes. Langford doesn't catch the ball consistently either (his 54 percent catch rate was worst among RBs), so he seems to be a better bet to lose the starting gig than to emerge as a fantasy star.
2016 Outlook: Things couldn't have gone much worse for Murray in his lone season with the Eagles. He rushed for a career-low 3.6 ypc, including just 1.6 after contact, and ended up carrying the ball just 38 times in Philly's final five games. That was a far cry from Murray's four strong (albeit injury-plagued) seasons in Dallas. But life should be better in Tennessee. The Titans run a more conventional offense than Chip Kelly's scheme, in which Murray carried the ball from the shotgun 85 percent of the time. Rookie Derrick Henry is surely a threat on early downs, but Murray should be back in line for roughly 15 touches in a run-centered offense.
2016 Outlook: Jones is in position to be the featured back in Washington but carries a ton of questions. As a rookie last season, he generated a few highlight-reel plays, but much of his production came off a few receptions that went for big gains. Jones actually struggled as a rusher, averaging just 2.5 ypc against base defenses (worst in the NFL). At 6-1, 231 pounds, Jones is supposed to be a physical runner, but he averaged just 1.5 yards after contact. His role as the team's starter is enticing, but he also has serious bust potential.
2016 Outlook: After a breakout campaign in 2014 during which he finished eighth among RBs in fantasy points, the question was whether Forsett could sustain his success in 2015. He didn't. Forsett's yards per carry dropped from 5.4 to 4.2, his TDs fell from eight to two and he broke his arm in November, knocking him out for the rest of the season. He still tops the Ravens' depth chart, but the journeyman will turn 31 in October and must fend off Kenneth Dixon, Javorius Allen and Lorenzo Taliaferro for snaps. Initially Forsett will flirt with RB2 numbers, but he's far from a lock to hold down lead-back duties all season.
2016 Outlook: After rushing for 740 yards as a rookie, Yeldon looked like a breakout candidate for 2016. Then Jacksonville signed Chris Ivory as a free agent to put a damper on that outlook. Still, there are reasons to like Yeldon. He touched the ball 218 times in the 12 weeks he was healthy, and he ranked 11th among RBs in fantasy points during that span. He had only three TDs, but that total was depressed by the Jaguars' unusually high rate of scoring by the pass (88 percent). He should find the end zone more this season and projects as an excellent midround target with upside.
2016 Outlook: Dixon is one of the most intriguing additions to the fantasy landscape. At Louisiana Tech last year, he ran for zero or negative yards on one-quarter of his carries, which hardly seems like the r'sum' of a future pro. But considering that Dixon averaged just 1.2 yards before contact and 3.6 yards after contact (tops among RBs who attended the draft combine), it's plausible that offensive line woes caused those negative runs. That's what the Ravens believed after drafting him in the fourth round; he will provide them with a receiving threat and a potential heir to Justin Forsett.
2016 Outlook: Forty-one RBs racked up at least 111 carries during the 2015 regular season. Gordon was the only one who failed to score a rushing TD. That wasn't the extent of his rookie-year struggles: He also averaged just 3.5 ypc, second worst among RBs with at least 100 carries. But the Chargers' O-line was largely to blame, as Gordon forced 34 missed tackles, per Pro Football Focus, ninth among RBs. Gordon also caught 33 of his 37 targets. Danny Woodhead will again take away touches, but Gordon--the 15th pick in the 2015 draft--does enter 2016 as the team's lead back and early-down workhorse.
2016 Outlook: Johnson had little chance to succeed as a rookie. He was stuck in a dysfunctional offense with a carousel of replacement-level QBs and had to share duties as part of an RB committee. Still, he managed to make a mark as a pass-catching specialist, hauling in 61 receptions, which ranked fourth among RBs. Johnson played only 522 snaps and carried just 104 times for 379 yards, so there's a hint of breakout potential if he gets more work. More likely, he seems destined for a career as a third-down back and should be a fringe RB2 in PPR formats.
2016 Outlook: Woodhead is arguably the league's best pass-catching RB and led the position in targets, receptions, receiving yards and receiving TDs last season. That's how he ranked 11th among RBs in fantasy points despite carrying the ball just 98 times. There's a reason for the lack of rushes: Woodhead averaged just 3.4 ypc (third worst in the NFL) despite 61 percent of his carries coming against a nickel or dime defense. He averaged a league-worst 0.9 yards after contact. Woodhead is now 31, but his role as one of Philip Rivers' top targets is secure and makes him a fringe RB1 in PPR leagues.