7 Backup Running Backs Who Might Be Better Than the Starter

These players aren't topping the depth chart, but their advanced metrics suggest they might be the best on the team.

A successful running game isn't just the result of having a good running back.

Talented rushers can get stymied behind a poor offensive line. Good lines can create gaping holes that end up wasted if the back doesn't hit it the right way.

Sometimes a good line and a good running back will get stuffed because the quarterback isn't a threat.

So it can often be difficult to pinpoint how good a running back is when all variables are considered, but our metrics help solve that problem. Net Expected Points (NEP) indicates how well a player performs relative to expectation level. That is to say that NEP measures how many points above or below average a player secures for his team.

If we dig into the metrics, we can see that there are some backup players who might be able to perform better than players higher on the depth chart. Of course, sample sizes may vary, but the exercise is a telling one nonetheless.