1.  
Rush Att
252
Rush Yds
1126
Rush TD
10
Rush Avg
4.5
Rec
88
Rec Yds
767
Rec TD
4
Rec Avg
8.7
After not missing a game through his first three NFL seasons and seeing heavy workloads in the last two, McCaffrey signed a big contract extension last summer and promptly broke down. Ankle, shoulder and thigh injuries limited him to only three weeks of action in 2020, and while he scored six touchdowns in those three contests and was still his usual electric self when he was on the field, it was not what Carolina expected when it made him the highest-paid running back in the league. When he's in top form, McCaffrey is an elite pass-catching option out of the backfield who is tough for defenders to get their hands on in the open field, and new head coach Matt Rhule showed no hesitation in using his superstar at the goal line, as all six of McCaffrey's TDs came from inside the 10-yard line. His per-game workload was essentially the same as his usage under the previous regime, and none of last year's injuries appear to be long-term concerns. The Panthers also did little to add backfield depth apart from fourth-round pick Chuba Hubbard, a strong indication McCaffrey will once again handle the type of role that could lead to 400-plus touches if he plays 15 or 16 games.
2.  
RB  MIN
Rush Att
290
Rush Yds
1366
Rush TD
12
Rush Avg
4.7
Rec
56
Rec Yds
477
Rec TD
2
Rec Avg
8.5
Cook once again did not suit up for a full schedule, missing Week 6 last year with a minor groin strain before leaving the team in Week 17 after the death of his father, but his production when he was on the field was phenomenal. He finished second in the league in rushing yards and rushing TDs, behind only Derrick Henry, and no back saw more carries inside the five-yard line or broke more tackles than Cook. His combination of strength, elusiveness and breakaway speed makes him perhaps the most dangerous pure runner in the NFL, and while Cook doesn't have the route-running ability of some other three-down backs, he's recorded at least 40 receptions in three consecutive seasons, proving capable as a pass catcher. The circumstances around him remain extremely favorable as well. The offensive line figures to get better with Ezra Cleveland and Garrett Bradbury solidifying the middle, while coach Mike Zimmer is still predisposed to a ground-and-pound gameplan. New offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak did come up through the ranks focused on the passing game, but his father Gary was no stranger to dominant rushing attacks during his coaching career. One of these years Cook is going to play 16 games, and 2,000-plus scrimmage yards likely will follow.
3.  
RB  DAL
Rush Att
298
Rush Yds
1366
Rush TD
12
Rush Avg
4.6
Rec
50
Rec Yds
451
Rec TD
1
Rec Avg
9.0
Last season was almost a perfect storm of things going wrong for Elliott. As expected, he saw fewer carries than in prior years as new coach Mike McCarthy preferred putting the ball in his quarterback’s hands, and the team’s woeful defense didn’t allow for many situations where Elliott was needed to kill the clock in the second half of an easy victory. Injuries along the offensive line reduced the effectiveness of the offense as a whole, and the early loss of Dak Prescott left Elliott with little help in the backfield. The end result was a career low in rushing yards, fewer even than 2017 when he was suspended for six games. On the bright side, Elliott still possesses a well-rounded skill set that allows him to stay on the field in all situations, and there was little evidence that the loss of production was a result of him losing a step or wearing down after years of heavy workloads, as his average of 2.1 yards after contact was right in line with the last two campaigns — it was his average yards before contact that took the big plunge. With Prescott expected back at 100 percent health and the offensive line likely in better shape, Elliott’s overall efficiency should rebound, but his days of routinely seeing 350-plus touches are probably over, especially if backup Tony Pollard continues to flash off the bench.
4.  
RB  NO
Rush Att
185
Rush Yds
885
Rush TD
9
Rush Avg
4.8
Rec
77
Rec Yds
722
Rec TD
3
Rec Avg
9.4
Kamara did everything he could to make sure Drew Brees' swan song would be memorable. The running back finished last year with career highs in rushing yards, rushing TDs, receiving yards and catches as he took on an even larger role in the Saints offense while WR Michael Thomas battled through injuries. Putting one of the most elusive open-field runners behind one of the best offensive lines in the league made for a very dangerous combination, and Kamara finished eighth among RBs in average yards before contact (2.8), his highest ranking in the last three years. However, Brees retired, and that creates a level of uncertainty for the whole offense in 2021, especially considering the difficulty Kamara had getting in sync with Taysom Hill when Brees was sidelined last season. In the first three games with Hill as the starting QB, Kamara caught only three of six targets, totals which might have represented a mediocre half for the Brees-Kamara duo. Hill did target Kamara 10 times in his fourth and final start, but if Jameis Winston wins the No. 1 job, there could be a whole new learning curve for the star back to navigate. Kamara will be the centerpiece of the team's attack regardless, and he's already shown he doesn't need the massive touch volume of some other backs to produce massive numbers.
5.  
RB  IND
Rush Att
274
Rush Yds
1340
Rush TD
12
Rush Avg
4.9
Rec
47
Rec Yds
409
Rec TD
2
Rec Avg
8.7
When Marlon Mack ruptured his Achilles in Week 1 it was assumed Taylor would immediately erupt, and while the rookie did post his first 100-yard rushing game in Week 2, it took him a while to get going after that. Between Weeks 3 and 10, he failed to top 68 yards as he adjusted to the NFL, but down the stretch Taylor broke through and became the player Indianapolis thought it was drafting in the second round. Over his final six regular-season games, Taylor amassed 741 rushing yards and seven TDs, including a mammoth 253 yards and two scores in Week 17 to help the Colts lock up a playoff spot. The 22-year-old has an enviable blend of power, speed and agility, and he showed good patience in waiting for Indy's elite offensive line to open holes that would allow him to explode into the second level. Taylor isn't a natural pass catcher, but he's adequate in that area, and with Nyheim Hines on the roster he won't have to handle the bulk of those duties. Mack also signed a one-year deal to return and provide some insurance, but after the way Taylor closed out 2020, it's hard to see him working in any kind of committee. He hasn't yet reached his ceiling, and more work at the goal line (he barely saw half of the Colts' red-zone carries, a rate well behind the likes of Josh Jacobs or Ezekiel Elliott) could push his production into the stratosphere.
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