Running Backs with Surprisingly High Miles

There is no position in fantasy football with a shorter career than running back. They are the most coveted position, and when you get a good one, you want to squeeze out as much value from them as possible, and then ideally trade them before the bottom falls out. They are like a car, once they start to have high mileage, things start to break down and their efficiency starts to decrease.

Back on January 26th, I showcased the backs with the most mileage college + NFL touches (rushes + catches). A few of those backs (Le'Veon Bell and Todd Gurley) have already seen the bottom fall out, while a couple others (Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry and Melvin Gordon) may be there soon. This list is of players who are still very young and have a decent amount of mileage left, but maybe not as much as you would think due to very heavy usage in college. Those touches matter, just ask David Johnson. After only two full seasons in the NFL he seemed to have his athleticism sucked right out of him, and I think it had a lot to do with his heavy usage in college. So, I'm not saying you need to run to your dynasty league and try to trade these guys right away, but keep it in the back of your mind.

Myles Gaskin (MIA) 1,236 Touches 

TEAM RUSH YDS REC YDS
College Touches WASH (4 yrs) 945 5,323 65 465
NFL Touches MIA (2 yrs) 178 717 48 439

 

I was very surprised to see how heavy a workload this compact 205 pound back had at Washington. He already has more than a full season's worth of touches more than fellow 2019 rookie Josh Jacobs. He was able to handle it in college, but you have to wonder if that small frame can hold up in the NFL.


Chase Edmonds (AZ) 1,326 Touches 

TEAM RUSH YDS REC YDS
College Touches FORDHAM (4 yrs) 938 5,862 86 905
NFL Touches AZ (3 yrs) 217 959 85 610

 

Some of these small-school backs completely dominated their team's touches, and that was the case for Chase Edmonds. His 1,326 career touches are actually 183 more than his Cardinal teammate Kenyan Drake who entered the league 2 years earlier.


Jonathan Taylor (IND) 1,261 Touches 

TEAM RUSH YDS REC YDS
College Touches WISC (3 yrs) 926 6,174 42 407
NFL Touches IND (1 yr) 232 1,169 36 299

 

Wisconsin has a history of using the heck out of their starting running backs. Both Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon had heavy workloads there before entering the NFL. Taylor would have blown them away had he played his senior season. He had an absurd 968 touches in just three seasons. He has equally insane athletic measurables that should help him withstand the large number of touches more than most running backs.


James Robinson (JAC) 1,144 Touches 

TEAM RUSH YDS REC YDS
College Touches ILL ST (4 yrs) 797 4,444 58 428
NFL Touches JAC (1 yr) 240 1070 49 344

 

Similar to Chase Edmonds, Robinson played at a small school where he dominated the running back touches. Only Jonathan Taylor has more career touches from the 2020 rookie class than the UDFA from Illinois State. However, I feel comfortable with Robinson being able to absorb the usage thanks to his heavy compact frame and 89th percentile BMI.


David Montgomery (CHI) 1,275 Touches 

Again....small school....heavy usage. That's the case with Montgomery. I think he is built to handle the load, but I do worry about his athleticism, or rather lack there of catching up with him at some point. He feels a little bit like Jordan Howard to me. He's a player I'd be looking to move in dynasty.


Compare 200+ career touches and much more with the 2021 Dynasty Guide, and if you're looking to join or start your own dynasty league, be sure to check out the League Finder page. Start drafting TODAY!

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