Who will be the Rushing Yards Leader in 2020?

This award has been shared around recently with eight different winners in the last eight years. With the feature back becoming a lesser commodity in the NFL, the field is narrowing however. Who do our analysts see as the back that will dominate and finish as the rushing yards leader in the 2020 season?

Our Analyst's Picks

Alex Chinery (Head of Analytics): Saquon Barkley, New York Giants

Barkley is a prestigious talent with an offensive co-ordinator that loves to run the ball. Compiling rushing yards comes one of two ways, having a good offensive line to pave the way for a running back or by running the ball a lot. For Saquon and the Giants I think it’ll be the latter.

rushing yards leader 2020
Image credit: New York Giants

Ben Rolfe (Head of NFL Content): Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

I am going out of the box in a big way on this one, but Jackson was over 1200 yards last season and could arguably go bigger in 2020. With limited recognised and reliable receiving options, Jackson may have to make plenty of running in 2020. If he has played 16 games in 2019 he would have been close to 1300 and I cannot see the Ravens having the luxury of sitting him this year.  

To hear more thoughts from Alex and Ben about what they expect in the 2020 NFL season check out the Seven Step Drop Podcast. Available on all major podcast platforms.

Callum Squires (NFL Analyst): Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

Dalvin is playing for a contract. Also, what are the Vikings going to do? Turn Kirk Cousins loose to throw it 25+ times a game?! Nope. Run, run, and run some more. I love Justin Jefferson in the slot, but I don’t think he and Adam Thielen take away from the threat of Cook blitzing teams on the ground.

Michael Norbury (NFL Betting Analyst): Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

He’ll probably have more attempts than any other running back again this season, and he’s pretty good. Simple as that really.

Paul Mainwaring (NFL Analyst): Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Most touches = most yards

Simon Carroll (Head of NFL Draft Content): Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

Kevin Stefanski showed in Minnesota he’s able to lean on a physical ground game to help aide a talented but underwhelming passing attack. Chubb was at the top of his game last year and I can only see him getting more productive in this new system, even with Kareem Hunt stealing a few carries.

Steve Moore (NFL Betting Analyst): Johnathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

They will be behind so often that both favourites, Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley, will be irrelevant in most second halves as runners. With the Titans having Derrick Henry under a multi-year deal and likely looking to protect him, expect Johnathan Taylor to be a rookie winner, running for fun behind the best line in the NFL

Tom Scott (NFL and Fantasy Football Analyst): Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers

On the ground and in the air, he is the Panthers’ offense.