Over the past 10 seasons, Fantasy's RB1 has averaged 380.2 PPR points. Seven of the 10 backs to finish as RB1 during that time topped 370 PPR points, with Devonta Freeman (316.4 PPR points in 2015) and Jonathan Taylor (360.6 PPR points in 2021) standing out as outlier RB1 finishers during seasons where there was no dominant Fantasy RB.
Finishing as the actual RB1 in any individual season is rather arbitrary -- Freeman's 2015 would have ranked him outside of the top five at the position in three of the past 10 seasons, for instance. For the purposes of my article on SportsLine highlighting the importance of RB targets and identifying key players to target in drafts, I chose to focus on backs who have scored 370 PPR points, rather than backs who finished as the RB1 in any given year. It felt like a truer representation of the type of upside we are searching for -- even if it is admittedly still somewhat arbitrary.
There have been 10 backs to reach the 370 PPR point mark over the past 10 seasons, and that group had one important commonality: They all earned 80-plus targets, with the average actually coming in at 112. Only two of those 370-plus point seasons (both belonging to Todd Gurley) were not accompanied by 100-plus targets; Gurley got there with a cool average of 20 touchdowns during his two 370-plus point seasons.
So, to finish as the RB1 in Fantasy, running backs have typically needed at least 80 targets (17-game pace of 85 targets). I believe 85-plus targets are reasonably within the range of outcomes for 12 different backs, who I dive into on SportsLine. You can find an excerpt from that article below, and also be sure to check out the full SportsLine Fantasy Football Draft Bible.
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Why Breece Hall's passing-game upside could make him a league winner
Breece Hall is certainly a risky pick. We don't know what his role or effectiveness will look like after a rookie-season ACL tear. We also don't know what the effectiveness of New York's offense will look like with a new quarterback and offensive coordinator. And to top it off, the Jets gave Dalvin Cook a one-year deal worth up to $8.6 million.
I have to at least mention Hall in this space, though. What we saw during his rookie season leaves open the possibility of just about anything for Hall as a receiver in 2023. He drew a target on a ridiculous 28.7% of his 108 routes run, and in the three games Hall was allowed to run more than 12 routes, he finished with target totals of 6, 9, and 11. For reference, the only other running backs to record multiple games with nine-plus targets in 2022 were Christian McCaffrey (five such instances), Austin Ekeler (also five), Alvin Kamara (three), Joe Mixon (three), and Leonard Fournette (two). Hall did it in 2 of 3 opportunities. Among running backs with 100-plus routes run, only D'Andre Swift (29.7%) and Austin Ekeler (29.5%) had a higher target per route run rate than Hall.
20.7% of Aaron Rodgers' pass attempts were targeted at the RB position in 2022, the NFL's seventh-highest rate. Over the past three seasons, only Justin Herbert and Derek Carr have targeted the position at a higher rate than Rodgers. It's worth noting that Joe Flacco's rate was all the way up at 25.8% through Week 7, at which point Breece Hall was lost for the season. So, Rodgers doesn't necessarily present a target distribution upgrade over Hall's 2022 situation. But, as far as replacement quarterbacks go, Hall couldn't have asked for much better.
With Dalvin Cook added to the equation, there's a good chance that Hall is eased into action in Year 2. His probability of hitting 85-plus targets is extremely low with Cook factored into his projection. However, it absolutely would not surprise me if Hall was averaging well over five targets per game (the number required to hit 85 targets over 17 games) over the season's final 6-8 weeks. I updated my rankings to reflect the Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook signings (find them here), and Hall came in ranked as the RB14 for half-PPR formats. When it really matters, during the Fantasy playoff stretch run, I expect that Hall will be the clear lead back and a featured part of the passing attack for a high-scoring Jets offense.
Read Jacob Gibbs' full article on passing-game targets determining which RBs are most worth drafting at SportsLine.