Zach Zenner
Zach Zenner
27-Year-Old Running BackRB
Detroit Lions
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Few tailbacks simultaneously serve as special-teams ace and highly-efficient offensive depth, but that's exactly what Zenner was down the stretch last season when he produced three touchdowns and 4.8 YPC over 55 attempts. His viability as a fill-in starter also gained steam after Zenner closed the season with a 123-total-yard performance against Green Bay in Week 17. Zenner's problem is that his primary competition for the No. 2 role ahead of this campaign (C.J. Anderson) had an even better finish to 2018 in the form of a two-game stretch that saw Anderson rack up 299 rushing yards on 7.0 YPC to help propel the injury-riddled Rams into postseason play. The pecking order for carries - and even roster spots - behind Kerryon Johnson likely won't be settled until the preseason, and even then it could be a fluid situation. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year contract with the Lions in March of 2019.
Gets competition from CJA
RBDetroit Lions
April 2, 2019
Zenner and recent signee C.J. Anderson figure to compete for carries behind Kerryon Johnson,'s Michael Rothstein reports.
The Lions also have Theo Riddick in a crowded backfield, though the pass-catching specialist might be traded or released before Week 1 to free up $3.7 million in cap space. Johnson is the only one of the bunch signed beyond 2019, and he already proved his merit as a lead back with 5.4 yards per carry and 32 catches in 10 games during his rookie season. Zenner's wealth of experience on special teams could allow him to stick on the 53-man roster even if he lands fourth on the depth chart at running back.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Zach Zenner's 2018 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Broken Tackle %
Positive Run %
% Yds After Contact
Avg Yds After Contact
Rushing TD %
Touches Per Game
% Snaps w/Touch
Air Yards Per Game
Air Yards Per Snap
% Team Air Yards
% Team Targets
Avg Depth of Target
-0.2 Yds
Catch Rate
Drop Rate
Avg Yds After Catch
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Detroit LionsLions 2018 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Zach Zenner lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2018 Zach Zenner Split Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
It's been a long time since Zenner lit up the 2015 preseason to the tune of a league-leading 183 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Since then, the running back hasn't done much more than establish himself as a productive special-teams player who can occasionally lend a hand as a short-yardage ballcarrier. Furthermore, the Lions backfield -- currently headlined by LeGarrette Blount, Theo Riddick and second-round rookie Kerryon Johnson -- is suddenly much more crowded than it's been in a number of years, and Zenner is not guaranteed to stick around in 2018. Even if he does make the cut, the South Dakota State product is highly unlikely to see a significant number of touches on offense, leaving Zenner far off the fantasy radar.
After the Lions lost Ameer Abdullah to a season-ending foot injury in the second game of the season, they then spent the next several weeks auditioning a slew of running backs for their vacant lead-back role. After trying and failing with rookie Dwayne Washington and veteran Justin Forsett, Detroit ultimately turned to Zenner, who finished the year as the team's workhorse. Nonetheless, Abdullah has recovered in full and enters the 2017 campaign as the team's stated starter at running back, leaving Zenner at least an injury away from gaining fantasy relevance.
Zenner vaulted himself into the Lions' RB mix with an outstanding 2015 preseason performance as a rookie and stayed in the rotation through much of the subsequent regular season. He figures to move up in that mix in 2016, with a shot at getting more touches, particularly in short yardage situations, behind an improved offen-sive line.
Zenner impressed during the preseason, leading the league with 183 rushing yards. With Joique Bell, Theo Riddick and fellow rookie Ameer Abdullah ahead of him on the depth chart, however, regular season carries will be hard to come by.
More Fantasy News
Re-signs with Lions
RBDetroit Lions
March 12, 2019
Zenner is re-signing with the Lions, Kyle Meinke of reports.
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Finishes season strong
RBDetroit Lions
January 11, 2019
Zenner's strong finish to the 2018 season likely strengthened his position with the Lions, Mike O'Hara of the team's official site reports.
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Blows past 100 yards, scores in win
RBDetroit Lions
December 30, 2018
Zenner rushed for 93 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries, adding a 30-yard reception during Sunday's 31-0 win against the Packers.
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Leading rusher in convincing loss
RBDetroit Lions
December 23, 2018
Zenner rushed eight times for 45 yards and added two catches for 22 yards on three targets in Sunday's 27-9 loss to Minnesota.
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Primed for more work if Blount sits
RBDetroit Lions
December 21, 2018
With Kerryon Johnson (knee) on injured reserve and LeGarrette Blount (calf) listed as questionable, Zenner and Theo Riddick are the Lions' only healthy running backs heading into Sunday's game against Minnesota, Kyle Meinke of reports.
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