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NFL running back rankings Week 11: Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones in the mix

NFL running back rankings Week 10 edition. We’ve seen a ton of players at this position perform at a high clip over the past several weeks.

Saquon Barkley has returned to pre-injury form for the surprising New York Giants and looks like a true All-Pro. Multi-time rushing champion Derrick Henry is turning in a tremendous 2022 season. Meanwhile, new San Francisco 49ers star Christian McCaffrey remains the best dual-threat player at this position.

It’s in this that we provide you our NFL running back rankings heading into Week 11 of the 2022 season.

Related: Sportsnaut’s NFL wide receiver rankings for Week 11

10. Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals

nfl running back rankings: joe mixon
Sam Greene / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Joe Mixon stats: 151 attempts, 585 rushing yards, 3.9 average, 585 rushing yards, 38 receptions, 272 yards, 857 total yards, 8 TD

Coming off a five-touchdown outing against the Carolina Panthers last week, Mixon is finally living up to the hype. In the eight games prior to that this season, Mixon averaged just 3.4 yards per rush.

However, a lot of that has to do with the Bengals’ lackluster offensive line play. Just ask quarterback Joe Burrow (30 sacks this season). With that said, Mixon is still on pace to put up a career-best 1,618 total yards in 2022. This has him on firm standing in our latest NFL running back rankings.

Related: Sportsnaut’s Week 11 NFL QB rankings

9. Kenneth Walker, Seattle Seahawks

nfl running back rankings; kenneth walker
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Kenneth Walker stats: 121 attempts, 587 rushing yards, 4.9 average, 18 receptions, 103 yards, 690 total yards, 7 TD

Since taking over for the injured Rashaad Penny, this reigning Heisman finalist has looked every bit the part of the NFL Rookie of the Year. In fact, he’s tied the great Curt Warner for the most consecutive games among rookies with rushing touchdowns (five) in Seahawks history.

With that said, Walker is coming off an ugly 17-yard performance in which he averaged 1.7 yards per rush against the Buccameers. In the four games prior to that, Walker tallied 424 rushing yards at a clip of 4.8 yards per run while scoring six touchdowns.

8. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

nfl running back rankings: aaron jones
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
  • Aaron Jones stats: 131 attempts, 738 rushing yards, 5.6 average, 34 receptions, 228 yards, 966 total yards, 5 TD

Jones has been able to play in all 10 games this season despite dealing with nagging injuries. That paid off big time this past Sunday with the Pro Bowler putting up 138 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay’s surprising win over the Cowboys.

Through 10 games, this former mid-round pick is on pace for what would be a career-high 1,600 total yards. It has him as one of the best NFL running backs heading into Week 11.

7. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

nfl running back rankings: josh jacobs
Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Josh Jacobs stats: 159 attempts, 821 rushing yards, 5.2 average, 31 receptions, 200 yards, 1,021 total yards, 7 TD

Yet another impending free agent, Jacobs also couldn’t have picked a better time to enjoy a career-best performance. He’s also one of the only feel-good stories for a disappointing Raiders team this season. That includes three 100-yard rushing performances through nine games.

Jacobs, 24, is averaging a resounding 3.1 yards after contact, up from 2.0 a season ago. He also has 223 yards after the catch through the air, which is simply insane given that Jacobs has put up just 200 receiving yards on the season. Yeah, this former first-round pick from Alabama is on one right now.

6. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

nfl running back rankings: dalvin cook
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
  • Dalvin Cook stats: 145 attempts, 727 rushing yards, 5.0 average, 22 receptions, 146 yards, 873 total yards, 7 TD

Consistently good. That’s been the name of the game for Cook since Minnesota made him a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Florida State product has tallied north of 1,300 total yards in each of the past three seasons. He’s now on pace to do just that again in 2022 despite dealing with nagging injuries.

Cook is coming off a tremendous 114-yard rushing performance in Minnesota’s surprise Week 10 win over the Buffalo Bills. It’s this type of balance that has helped Kirk Cousins lead a vastly improved offensive attack in Minnesota. Whether that continues Sunday against a defense that ranks in the bottom eight stopping the run remains to be seen.

Related: Sportsnaut’s Week 11 NFL offense rankings

NFL running back rankings: The elite five

5. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars

nfl running back rankings: travis etienne
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
  • Travis Etienne stats: 131 attempts, 725 rushing yards, 5.5 average, 22 receptions, 202 yards, 927 total yards, 4 TD

Some questioned Jacksonville’s decision to deal James Robinson ahead of the trade deadline. Apparently, head coach Doug Pederson and general manager Trent Baalke knew what they had in Etienne, because, he’s been dominant since.

In the three games since said trade, the former first-round pick from Clemson has registered 361 total yards and three touchdowns. Etienne is now on pace for north of 1,500 yards as a sophomore. That’s insane given he missed his entire rookie season and it has Etienne in the top five of our most-recent NFL running back rankings.

4. Christian McCaffrey, San Francisco 49ers

nfl running back rankings: christian mccaffrey
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
  • Christian McCaffrey stats: 125 attempts, 563 rushing yards, 4.5 average, 47 receptions, 395 yards, 958 total yards, 6 TD

After playing in all of 10 games over the past two seasons, McCaffrey has returned to form as one of the top NFL running backs in the game. That’s now on the verge of being taken to a whole new level since he was acquired by San Francisco in a blockbuster trade with the Carolina Panthers.

CMC made his initial impact with the 49ers in a Week 8 outing in which he threw a touchdown, ran for another score and caught a touchdown from Jimmy Garoppolo. That game also saw McCaffrey put up 149 total yards. Through nine games, he’s now on pace for north of 1,800 total yards. He’s also on pace to catch 90 passes out of the backfield. That’s insane.

Related: Week 11 NFL power rankings

3. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

nfl running back rankings: nick chubb
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
  • Nick Chubb stats: 160 attempts, 904 rushing yards, 5.7 average, 13 receptions, 88 yards, 992 total yards, 11 TD

Speaking of our NFL running back rankings, Chubb could very well be higher if it weren’t for the other two listed below. After all, we’re talking about a dude who has put up north of 100 rushing yards five times in eight games this season. That’s no small thing with Cleveland still waiting to get quarterback Deshaun Watson back from suspension.

After averaging nearly 1,400 total yards in each of his first four seasons, Chubb is in the midst of a career-best performance. He leads NFL running backs with 11 touchdowns and is averaging 2.7 yards after contact. That’s some elite-level stuff.

2. Saquon Barkley, New York GIants

nfl running back rankings: saquon barkley
Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
  • Saquon Barkley stats: 198 attempts, 931 rushing yards, 4.7 average, 29 receptions, 197 yards, 1,128 total yards, 6 TD

Sensing a theme here? Multiple players in our Week 11 NFL running back rankings have returned to form after recent injuries. Barkley, 25, has put up triple-digit yardage six times in nine games. He’s catching 80% of his targets in the passing game and has only put the ball on the turf one time this season.

A dual-threat if there ever was one, Barkley’s performance is one of the reasons New York finds itself at a surprising 7-2. His absurd 35-rush, 152-yard outing in a Week 10 win over the Houston Texans adds another layer to this, and it has Barkley No. 2 in our most-recent NFL running back rankings.

Related: Top 100 NFL players of 2022

1. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

nfl running back rankings: derrick henry
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
  • Derrick Henry stats: 202 attempts, 923 rushing yards, 4.6 average, 16 receptions, 154 yards, 1,077 total yards, 9 TD

The NFL rushing champ in 2019 and 2020 before an injury-plagued 2021 campaign, Henry has more than returned to earlier-career form. He leads the league in rush attempts, rushing yards, rushing yards per game and total touches. That’s just insane.

More to the point. Henry has put up a six-game span that’s seen him tally 731 rushing yards at a clip of 5.3 yards per while scoring seven touchdowns. He’s on pace for 2,147 total yards, which would be a career high. This has King Henry topping our most-recent NFL running back rankings.

NFL running back rankings: Just missed out

  • Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans: 678 rushing yards, 4.6 average, 3 TD
  • Rhamondre Stevenson, New England Patriots: 618 rushing yards, 4.8 average, 4 TD
  • Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears: 586 rushing yards, 6.0 average, 4 TD
  • Jeff Wilson, Miami Dolphins: 519 rushing yards, 5.1 average, 5 TD
  • Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys: 506 rushing yards, 6.2 average, 5 TD
  • Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers: 130 rushing yards, 5.4 average (two games)
  • Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles: 710 rushing yards, 5.0 average, 6 TD
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