NFL Most Rushing Yards Market: Could A Longshot Break Through?

Written By Staff on August 23, 2022
Most rushing yards odds

After an extremely impressive sophomore season that resulted in rushing for over 1800 yards, Jonathan Taylor remains the favorite to prevail in the NFL’s Most Rushing Yards market for a second consecutive season. Below we will examine the likelihood that Taylor could repeat, as well as offer betting analysis on young longshots like Travis Etienne Jr.

NFL Most Rushing Yards Odds

Here are NFL Most Rushing Yards odds for the 2022 season. Titans RB Derrick Henry, Vikings RB Dalvin Cook and Browns RB Nick Chubb join Taylor atop most boards. Check out more NFL RB prop bets here.

Taylor and Henry the favorites

Jonathan Taylor (">): Taylor’s 1811 yards on the ground last season were 522 more than Cleveland running back Nick Chubb, the NFL’s second leading rusher. That yardage disparity was the largest the NFL has seen between its No. 1 and No. 2 rushers since 2009. 

The former Badger went on to break a franchise record in just his second season, breaking Hall of Fame halfback Edgerrin James’ 1700 yards in his 2000 season with the Colts. In addition to Taylor leading all other rushers in just his second season in the league, he also led all running backs in a number of other statistical categories, including: rushing attempts, rushing touchdowns, rushing yards per game, rushing first downs, and longest rush.  

At just the age of 22, Taylor became the youngest player in NFL history to have over 20 touchdowns, while also recording over 2000 yards from scrimmage in a single season. After a 2021 season consisting of a unanimous first-team AP All-Pro selection, the Colts running-back should pick up right where he left off in 2022. 

Derrick Henry (">): Henry was off to an unbelievable start with nearly 1000 yards and 10 touchdowns in just 8 games last season but a broken bone in his foot derailed his regular season. Behind his 1500 rushing yards in 2019, followed by over 2000 in his 2020 season, “King” Henry won back-to-back rushing titles. Had he not missed the latter half of last season, he was on pace to easily record his fourth consecutive 1000-yard rushing season. 

When asked about his foot injury at Titans mini camp last week, Henry insisted that “it has definitely fueled him this offseason.” Also, Henry added that he “has been training like crazy” and has been “doing everything he can to get his body right.” The Titans halfback is very intent on regaining his rushing title this season. The former Alabama back is currently second in the market at +650 to win “Fedex Ground POY” as the NFL’s leading rusher. 

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The next tier

Dalvin Cook (): Since being drafted in the second round of the 2017 Draft, Dalvin Cook has consistently been one of the best halfbacks in all of football. Cook has posted over 1000 rushing yards in each of his past three seasons, scoring 35 touchdowns in the process. 

Upon consideration of the injuries that have kept him out for 13 games over the course of his first five NFL seasons, Cook’s career numbers are beyond impressive. This past season, Cook was on pace to rush for 1800 yards prior to suffering a torn labrum. If he can, in-fact, play all 17 of the Vikings’ games in the upcoming season, Cook is as good of a pick as any to lead the NFL in rushing yards.

Nick Chubb (): Chubb has dominated on the ground in every season since coming into the league as a second round draft pick out of Georgia in 2018. The RB has rushed for over 1000 yards in each of his last three seasons, having been just 4 yards shy of the feat as a rookie. 

Chubb followed up his 996-yard rookie season numbers with 1494 yards on the ground in 2019, 1067 in 2020, and 1259 this past season. If Kareem Hunt’s role in the backfield is diminished this season, 10-1 is a great price on Chubb to lead the NFL on the ground in 2022.  

Najee Harris (): Harris enters his second NFL season with a ton of promise after a stellar rookie season with the Steelers. The Alabama product rushed for 1200 yards in 2021, ranking fourth among all running backs.  

With the retirement of longtime Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this offseason, Tomlin’s bunch enters the 2022 season having drafted a quarterback in the first round in Heisman runner-up Kenny Pickett out of Pittsburgh. Whether the job is given to their rookie QB, or Mitch Trubisky, the Steelers offense will likely revolve around Harris and their rushing attack. Harris should get even more carries in his second season, which makes 14-1 a great price on the Steelers’ RB.

High-upside value picks

Christian McCaffrey (): McCaffrey is far from a sleeper in this market, but at 35-1 he has incredible value to lead the NFL in rushing yards this season. On pure talent alone, this is a no-brainer; McCaffrey may be the most athletically gifted and versatile player in the entire National Football League, but considering how injury-prone he has been in recent years, it’s understandable as to why the number is this steep.

McCaffrey recorded less than 100 rushing attempts in each of his last two seasons for the Panthers but the risk is certainly worth the reward if he is, in-fact, able to remain healthy.

Saquon Barkley (): Upon gaining recognition as a superstar halfback for Penn State, having rushed for nearly 4000 yards in his three-year stint as a Nittany Lion, the Giants selected Barkley No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. From the get-go, Barkley excelled on the ground, rushing for over 1000 yards in each of his first two seasons.  

Barkley has had a number of lingering injuries though, including: a torn ACL, an MCL strain, and high-ankle sprains ever since his third season in the NFL. Although reports from Giants camp are predominately optimistic, his form is too difficult to evaluate as of right now. That said, the former Nittany Lions star certainly has betting value in the NFL’s Most Rushing Yards market solely based on talent alone. 

If Barkley is able to avoid the injury bug in 2022 and start at halfback in all 17 games, then his ceiling could easily be one of the highest amongst all running backs in the entire NFL. If we see 15-to-20 carries while also gaining over 100 yards on the ground, Barkley’s betting value in this market would evaporate. At upwards of +3000, Saquon is very bet-able here.

Young longshots

Travis Etienne Jr. (): Etienne will likely share the workload with James Robinson, who is coming back from a torn Achilles, this season. The former Clemson back is incredibly explosive with deadly breakaway speed, and that poses as a huge threat to defending secondaries who can’t catch him after he finds his hole through the offensive line. Etienne’s actual likelihood to lead the NFL on the ground may be minimal compared to some of the league’s top backs, but he might be worth a flier if Robinson is not fully healthy.

Etienne missed all of last season with a foot injury, so this is more or less his rookie season. It’s not unprecedented for a first-year player to lead the NFL in rushing as we recently saw Kareem Hunt accomplish the feat in 2017, and Ezekiel Elliott pull it off in 2016.

Kenneth Walker III (): Walker III burst onto the scene in East Lansing, rushing for over 1600 yards and 18 touchdowns in his senior season as a Spartan. Transferring to Michigan State could not have worked better for the young RB, as 2800 yards and 35 touchdowns turned him into a Heisman hopeful and onto the radar of NFL scouts. Many expected Walker to be drafted in the first round of this past NFL Draft after running a 4.38 time in the 40-yard dash; the Seahawks were very fortunate to select him at the start of the second round. 

With the departure of Russell Wilson to Denver, it is very likely that Pete Carroll will turn this team into a run-first offense rather than relying on Drew Lock or Geno Smith to make big plays. Walker and Rashaad Penny are competing for the majority of touches in that backfield, though Walker has been said to be a “big standout” at training camp.   

If Walker III is getting at least 80 percent of touches, he will have an extremely high ceiling with potential for a massive breakout. If you are considering betting on Walker, be sure to keep in mind that he is currently dealing with a hernia issue that could impact his early-season status.

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