NFL Team Rankings - Rushing Yards

Similar to the “passing yards” thread I just started - which teams will be best (or worst) at running the ball in the 2021 NFL season?

My top 5 are:

  • BAL (even if they will pass a little more, they are still easily my #1 in the rushing yards ranking)
  • TEN, NO (because Henry, Kamara)
  • CLE (because their passing game just doesn’t cut it)
  • MIN or NE or GB

SEA, PHI and SF will do okay. So will ARI, but they will struggle a little, as Kyler will run less than in 2020, Edmonds has yet to prove that he can be an RB1, and Conner will disappoint.

Bottom tier candidates are:

  • HOU (because they belong to the bottom of the ranking in every category this season - sorry Texans fans - and especially so in terms of their running game, where they were #32 last year already)
  • CIN, DET (they both have a tough schedule and will have to rely mostly on passing)
  • TB (because GOAT)
  • PIT (yes, Harris, I get it, but to rack up rushing yards, an actual o-line would help, and the Steelers don’t have one; plus they have the worst schedule in the entire league)
  • JAX (if they will indeed deploy their best RB as a receiver out of the back field)

I’m not too hot on WSH, ATL, CHI and the NYJ

Zak, overall I agree, except with your PIT comment. Remember Barry Sanders? He ran behind some awful lines. If Harris can work in spite of the O-line, he can be a successful RB.

1 Like

I’m not saying Harris won’t be a successful RB. I have him ranked well above ADP and ECR.

But will his success turn the Steelers into a run-first offense that racks up a ton of rushing yards? I don’t think so. They will remain a pass-heavy offense, and Harris will also benefit from that.

Also, Big Ben doesn’t rush at all, and Harris has virtually no competition in the backfield.

Team production and single player production are not always tied to each other. The Ravens have been the dominating team in recent years when it came to rushing production. And I don’t see that changing in 2021. Yet still, drafting Harris over Dobbins is a no-brainer. Yes, the cake is a lot bigger in Baltimore, but Dobbins will only get a slice of it. Whereas Harris feasts from a much smaller cake, but has it all to himself.

But I’m ranking cakes here, not slices. Harris will be a fine RB, Top 10 for sure. But I still see the Steelers ranking towards the bottom of the list in terms of team rushing yards.

1 Like

I expect PIT to be better rushing, even if they aren’t top tier. But they won’t be bottom tier either. If you have an RB who can break 1000 yards rushing, you won’t be bottom tier in rushing yards, and I fully expect Harris to break 1000 yards rushing.

He’d better. With 17 game seasons, it only takes 58.8 yards per game to break 1000 now.

And the leading Steelers rusher last year was James Conner, who would have gotten only 766 yards in 17 games. You were saying?

I was saying that it will be pretty easy for Najee (or anyone else) to get to 1000 yards when they only have to average 58.8 yards per game.

You made it sound like he couldn’t?

No, I was saying 1000 in a season should be easy for a bellcow RB like Harris–with 17 games, it’s only 58.8 yards per game.

1,126 yards in my projection. Still, to avoid the bottom tier in terms of team rushing yards, the Steelers will need another ~600 yards on the ground. And I don’t see who’d provide them.

Don’t really care about the Steelers as a team. If Najee fulfills your rushing projection, adds 350 yards receiving on 50 catches, and 10 total TDs, he’s a top 5 RB based on last season’s totals.

1 Like

380 yd receiving on 48 targets, 10 TDs in total - RB6 in half PPR, RB10 in full PPR.