The 10 Most Productive Running Backs of 2015
Wow. 2015 was an outrageously bad year for running backs. From fantasy football letdowns from perennial first-round draft picks, to a plague of under-performance and frustrating backfield committees, to a smattering of injuries across the position to well known commodities, there just wasn't much reliability to be found at the position this season.
So who among the field this season rose to the top of their class? By using our in-house metric for measuring performance above expectation, Net Expected Points (NEP), we can find out. NEP moves beyond simple statistics like yards gained and touchdowns scored to quantify the performance of players against historical data in similar situations using down-and-distance data.
Thus, NEP brings additional context to player performance. After all, a 3-yard run on a 3rd-and-2 is way more valuable than a 3-yard run on a 3rd-and-15, and NEP accounts for these differences in value. One results in an extended drive, likely resulting in positive NEP, the other likely results in a punt or field goal and negative NEP. The cumulative tally of these individual plays is a players NEP. You can learn more about NEP by checking out our glossary.
So without further ado, let's dig into which tailbacks (with at least 125 carries) contributed the most to their teams' expected point totals via the ground over the course of the season.