2011’s Highest Number of 20+ Yard Runs
Being elusive in the NFL is what makes good running backs great. The offensive line pulls and blocks to create holes for it’s running backs to run through, but after the first wave of defenders it’s up to the ball-carrier to bust loose.
It’s no surprise we see the league’s best fantasy running backs atop this list, yet players like Ryan Mathews, DeMarco Murray, C.J. Spiller and Ben Tate are definitely sleepers brewing.
What’s important to remember is that any running back can break a big one on any given Sunday, but the RB’s who can do it consistently have that x-factor that fantasy owners love.
Chris Johnson didn’t have the same sort of season we all expected in 2011, although he did tie for 3rd in the leagues with eleven 20+ yard carries.
One thing to take note of when looking at these statistics is the potential for greater things to come. These numbers can showcase the best of the best at making people miss, but also show us the guys who never caught a break. I don’t know about you, but Ryan Mathews stands out to me on this board. The San Diego RB had an excellent season with 1,091 yards 6 touchdowns but never broke off a big run greater than 39 yards. That’s quite amazing for a guy that was 10th in the league for rushing yards. Matt Forte had 12 carries that went for 20+ yard runs and 4 that went 40+ yards, yet his longest run of the season was only 46 yards.
Padding the stats happens each and every week, one big run that pushes a fantasy RB’s performance over the 100 yard mark, yet some guys are just workhorses, and while we may pigeonhole them as “not a home run threat” talent, all it takes is a little luck before they go from top 10 performers, to leading the league in yards.
*Cam Newton was added to the list to remind us all we should ignore any sort of sophomore slump talk leading up to the start of the season. The rookie Panthers QB was a bigger threat on the ground than most of the RB’s in the league, including Jonathan Stewart who he tied for most 20+ yard runs.
Mike is the founding member at Gridiron Experts with over 1000+ articles credited to his name. With over 25 years of fantasy experience, Mike has a very unique style when picking sleepers and gems. He has always had an outside the box look on the NFL and rarely gets sucked into the hype over players or buzzing offenses. Mike has three kids and lives on the West Coast. He’s happily married to a beautiful woman who also loves sports. Sundays are spent with friends and family watching games from opening kickoff to well into the evenings.