The best measurement of a running back is how they fared against a defense relative to all others that also faced that defense. That removes the element of schedule strength because the best game that the Steelers allowed may only be an average one from a lesser defense.
The Top-8 fantasy performances against each defense were arrayed and each running back was recorded for how often they were in the Top-8, the Top-4 and Top-1 versus a defense last season.
Adding up those numbers yields a BTA score since they are better than the average running back that faced a defense. It also weighs the performances since a Top-1 also counts as a Top-4 and a Top-8.
Bottom line – this is about how well a player did against a defense relative to all the others in his position did when they faced them.
All the same names at the top from last year, other than Alvin Kamara having his every-other big year and David Montgomery vastly improving from a curiously underused rookie year. James Robinson ended up nearly exactly like Leonard Fournette did the year before, so just another twist of the knife for anyone drafting Leonard Fournette last summer and then missing on the scramble to acquire James Robinson.
Jonathan Taylor was the only notable rookie though all of Cam Akers Top-8 games came at the end of 2020. Mark Ingram and Todd Gurley disappeared from this metric after ranking No. 11 and No. 12 last year.
These are the running backs that scored the highest fantasy points that a defense allowed last season.