Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Running Back Efficiency Leaders - Phillip Lindsay, Kerryon Johnson & More

The NFL Next Gen Efficiency stat (EFF) is a measure of how efficient a rusher is with the total amount of running he does on each play. It takes the total distance traveled by a player throughout a run and divides it by the amount of rushing yards gained. The lower the number, the more efficient that player is with his rushing.

For example, if a player runs a total of ten yards on a play, maybe on an outside run toward the sidelines, and only gains two yards, his EFF on that play is 5.0. Conversely, if a player runs a total of four yards on a play, maybe right up the middle, and gains two yards, he has a better EFF of 2.0.

The players that have the best EFF numbers are the ones who are the best north-south runners, the ones who can resist dancing around in the backfield and can return the most tangible value out of all the energy they are expending. Everyone included on the list below ranked amongst the top of the league in the stat last year, amongst rushers with 85+ attempts on the year.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!


Tier One

The First Tier guys below are running backs currently being drafted somewhere between RB15 and RB25 with an ADP (Average Draft Position) within the top 60. If their efficiency trends continue, it could allow them to return the value of a top-12 RB or better.


Phillip Lindsay, Denver Broncos 3.39 EFF

Lindsay was the most efficient rusher amongst any running back who is currently going in the top 30 at the position last year. Christian McCaffrey (3.44) and the next guy on the list were right behind him. Lindsay currently has an ADP just outside the top 50 right now, but could certainly return low-end RB1 production, which he already did last year when he finished 12th among RBs in non-PPR and 13th in PPR.

Kerryon Johnson, Detroit Lions3.41 EFF

The fact that Johnson was able to be so efficient with his rushes, despite the long history of the Lions’ struggles to provide holes for rushers is a major testament to his talent. If the Lions can make any strides in their running game overall, which is a focus of head coach Matt Patricia’s direction, and Johnson can stay healthy and manage a full workload, he could be in for a huge season.

Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers3.45 EFF

Currently being drafted as RB15 and as the 25th overall player, Jones offers a ton of upside. He’s a great north-south runner who plays in an offense that should put up a good amount of points this year. Like Johnson, he has some health concerns, but, also like Johnson, he could easily produce like an RB1 if he stays healthy.

Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts3.5 EFF

Mack brought the Colts’ running game alive in ways we hadn’t seen for a number of years last season. He missed four games, but still rushed for 908 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards-per-carry. His upside takes a hit without Andrew Luck leading the offense, but his best-case scenario is still low-end RB1/high-end RB2 production because the talent is undeniable and the workload should certainly be there.

Mark Ingram, Baltimore Ravens3.51 EF

Despite being somewhat underwhelming last year, mostly due to sharing a backfield with the incomparable Alvin Kamara, Ingram still managed to make the most out of his touches. He actually had a much better EFF rating than Kamara, who had a 3.96 EFF last year. Ingram is a smart rusher who will return to being a team’s #1 RB in Baltimore this year and could end up delivering a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 type of season.


Tier Two

The Second Tier guys below are deep sleepers being drafted outside the top 50 RBs, with ADPs around 200. They’re worth targeting in deep leagues and could be absolute steals if the proper workload comes their way.


Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens2.78 EFF

There you have it. Last year’s league leader in efficiency among eligible rushers. Bet that wouldn’t have been your guess, huh? Edwards was a huge surprise as an undrafted rookie last year, helping out thankful fantasy owners significantly down the stretch with some big games. With the addition of fellow EFF star Mark Ingram in Baltimore, Edwards doesn’t have the appeal he could have had if the Ravens hadn’t bulked up at the position this offseason. Still, with a current ADP outside 200 and more than 60 running backs going ahead of him, it’s fair to say that Augustus is being significantly undervalued.

Frank Gore, Buffalo Bills3.13 EFF

That wily veteran just keeps popping back into your world, doesn’t he? Gore was #2 in EFF last year behind Edwards, but it was a year where Gore was used much more sparingly than he’s used to. With 156 rushes on the year, 2018 was the first season in which Gore had under 200 rushes since his rookie year (back in 2005). With an ADP around 200, Gore has some value, especially early in the season while flashy rookie Devin Singletary is still likely being eased into his role.

Mike Davis, Chicago Bears3.49 EFF

While his teammates in Seattle last year, Chris Carson (3.66) and Rashaad Penny (3.87), both had solid, above-average EFF ratings in 2018, Davis was the most efficient of the bunch. Now, Davis will be battling for touches with David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen in Chicago. It’s hard to know how the split is going to be broken down, but if Davis is able to squeeze out 10 or more touches per game, he has some sneaky upside in deeper leagues, especially with his ADP currently at 200.

More Fantasy Football Analysis

More Recent Articles


ADP Cost Analysis - Luis Robert vs Kyle Tucker

With spring training games officially underway, excitement around the fantasy baseball season simultaneously hits a new peak. As batting orders begin to map out and pitching rotations start to take shape, a lot of movement happens on ADP lists. Prospects tend to gain the most helium around this time of year because we have a... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Josh Lindblom

Josh Lindblom began his professional baseball career at 21-years-old in the Dodgers’ minor league system more than a decade ago, but the pitcher was never able to gain a foothold in the major leagues. Over his career so far, Lindblom has thrown 147 major league innings to go along with 497.1 minor league innings, owning... Read More

Four More Sleeper Prospects for 2020 Redraft Leagues

MLB Spring Training is here. The sights and sounds of baseball are everywhere. That also means fantasy baseball season is just around the corner. And with that comes hundreds of minor league players with dreams of breaking into the major leagues during the coming season. Many will. But others will not. Last week, we took... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers – Jo Adell

The most coveted type of player in fantasy baseball is the batter who can hit home runs, steal bases and hit for contact. Stolen bases are harder to find, as more big-league teams are opting to take a cautious approach to baserunning. Additionally, batting average has declined because hitters are striking out more often, as... Read More

ADP Cost Analysis - Gleyber Torres vs. Corey Seager

Fantasy baseball players acquire draft position through osmosis. The more drafts that take place, the larger sample we gain of how owners of all experience levels feel about someone. Granted, inexperienced players often rely on rankings from experts, which goes to form ADP into something resembling common rankings, but the outcome is unimpeachable, collected data... Read More

ADP Cost Analysis – Aaron Nola vs Lance Lynn

With fantasy baseball draft season in full swing, those of us who partake in this joyous game are now looking through as much draft data as possible in a bid to find players we love who have lower average draft positions (ADP) than we believe they should. All this to eke out as much draft... Read More

2020 Regression Candidates: Breakout Outfielders

Every season in MLB you can count on the fact that you will have breakout performances from players. Sometimes these breakout performances can be seen coming a mile away and sometimes they catch you entirely by surprise. Regardless of which type of breakout we see, you will almost always have to pay up for that... Read More

Bases Loaded Podcast - Quality Start Episode 1

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) and Matt Williams (@MattWi77iams) of the Turn Two Podcast come together for a new co-pod series called "Quality Start". This will be a joint effort and episodes will be found on Bases Loaded as well as the Turn Two Podcast. We are joined by Jorge Montanez (@Roto_Nino) as well for this one.... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers - Adrian Houser

In life, there seem to be two kinds of people, the flashy and the boring. “Flashy” people like high-end materialistic things such as nice clothing or an expensive car. "Boring” people prefer the simpler things in life like spending time with their loved ones. This seems to be true when it comes to fantasy baseball,... Read More

Taking Out the Trash: Pitchers Who Should Junk Their Worst Pitch

Pitch mix changes can make or break a player’s season. That obviously goes for fantasy value as well as real-life. We've already seen how throwing an effective pitch more often could make a huge improvement a la Patrick Corbin. Sometimes pitchers just need to eliminate a pitch to see their numbers improve. Consider the following: Mitch... Read More

ADP Showdown – Trevor Story vs. Trea Turner

Pitchers and catchers have officially reported and position player workouts are getting underway, which means baseball season is officially upon us! Maybe you haven’t started prepping for your drafts, but fortunately for you, there have already been plenty of drafts, which means that fantasy players out there have already started dealing with tough draft position... Read More

Using Sabermetrics for Fantasy Baseball: Pitcher Statcast

Statcast metrics such as Barrels and Brls/BBE are great ways to evaluate a batter's performance, so it is only natural to assume that the metrics would be predictive for pitchers as well. As much as batters want to hit a Barrel every time, pitchers want to avoid them at all costs. Yet there is evidence... Read More

2020 Fantasy Baseball Staff Rankings

Below you will find RotoBaller's 2020 fantasy baseball rankings, tiers and auction dollar values for the 2020 MLB season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Mixed, Head-to-Head, Points, AL/NL Only, Two-Catcher Top 2020 prospects, Dynasty leagues, Keeper values Export the rankings easily... Read More

Bases Loaded Podcast - All Things Fantasy Baseball w/ Nick Pollack (@PitcherList)

Mike Kurland (@Mike_Kurland) is  joined by Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) and they discuss all things fantasy baseball! Subscribe to the Bases Loaded podcast, part of RotoBaller Radio's Podcast Network. Like and Subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune... Read More

Finding Combo-Player Values Using Z-Scores and ATC Projections

Towards the end of last season, I asked the question – “Draft Speed or Pound the Power?” Loaded in this seemingly simple query are two contradictory approaches – one for power and one for speed. Power Approach 1: Home run totals are dramatically up in baseball these days. Therefore, there are many power bats available... Read More