Skip to main content

NFL running back rankings Week 13: Josh Jacobs turning heads

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh jacobs
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

NFL running back rankings Week 13 edition. We’ve seen a ton of players at this position perform at a high clip over the past several weeks.

Las Vegas Raiders back Josh Jacobs is coming off a Week 12 outing in which he registered north of 300 total yards. He ascends this list in a big way. Meanwhile, two-time rushing champion Derrick Henry remains atop the list.

It’s in this that we provide you our NFL running back rankings heading into Week 13 of the 2022 season.

Related: Sportsnaut’s NFL wide receiver rankings for Week 13

10. Travis Etienne, Jacksonville Jaguars

nfl running back rankings: travis etienne
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
  • Travis Etienne stats: 133 attempts, 728 rushing yards, 5.5 average, 22 receptions, 202 yards, 930 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 first three games following said trade, the former first-round pick registered 361 total yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, the former Clemson star suffered a foot injury in last week’s upset win over the Baltimore Ravens after attempting just two runs. While he should be good to go moving forward, it’s something to pay attention to.

9. Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

nfl running back rankings: tony pollard
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
  • Tony Pollard stats: 136 attempts, 761 rushing yards, 5.6 average, 23 receptions, 244 yards, 1,005 total yards, 8 TD

Pollard has officially entered the chat. The former mid-round pick from Memphis tallied 464 total yards with six touchdowns over just the previous three games before a lackluster outing against the New York Giants on Thanksgiving.

Back in Week 11 during a blowout win over the Minnesota Vikings, Pollard actually caught six passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Heading into Week 13, he’s on pace for north of 1,553 total yards and has officially overtaken Ezekiel Elliott as RB1 in Big D.

Related: Sportsnaut’s Week 13 NFL QB rankings

8. Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

nfl running back rankings; jonathan taylor
Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Jonathan Taylor stats: 171 attempts, 779 rushing yards, 4.6 average, 24 receptions, 109 yards, 888 total yards, 4 TD

Despite missing three games to injury and being limited in another, Taylor continues to prove that he’s one of the top running backs in the league. That includes the 2021 rushing champion putting up 393 yards and three touchdowns at a clip of 4.9 yards per rush over the past four games.

The interesting dynamic here is that Taylor is doing this without much of a passing game from quarterback Matt Ryan. A lack of balance would normally impact a running back. We’re just not seeing that with Taylor when he’s been healthy this season.

7. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers

nfl running back rankings: aaron jones, green bay packers
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
  • Aaron Jones stats: 155 attempts, 821 rushing yards, 5.3 average, 43 receptions, 304 yards, 1,125 total yards, 6 TD

Jones has been able to play in all 12 games this season despite dealing with nagging injuries. That paid off big time back in Week 10 with the Pro Bowler putting up 138 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay’s surprising win over the Cowboys.

While Jones only gained 43 rushing yards in a Week 12 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, he did add three catches for 56 yards and a touchdown through the air. Jones’ dual-threat ability continues to make him one of the top NFL running backs in the game today.

Related: Sportsnaut’s Week 13 NFL offense rankings

6. Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

nfl running back rankings: dalvin cook
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
  • Dalvin Cook stats: 156 attempts, 799 rushing yards, 5.1 average, 22 receptions, 146 yards, 945 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.

Despite his Vikings being blown out by Dallas in Week 11, Cook still averaged 6.6 yards on 11 attempts. He just didn’t get the touches with Minnesota playing from behind the starters all but pulled from this game in the second half. Cook then struggled to the tune of 42 yards on 22 attempts in a win over the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving.

Related: Week 13 NFL power rankings

NFL running back rankings: The elite five

5. 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. In five games with the 49ers, McCaffrey has tallied 443 yards with three touchdowns at a clip of 5.3 yards per touch. Though, he was limited in Week 12 with a knee issue and iffy to go for Sunday’s big game against the Miami Dolphins.

4. Saquon Barkley, New York GIants

nfl running back rankings: saquon barkley
Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
  • Saquon Barkley stats: 213 attempts, 953 rushing yards, 4.5 average, 31 receptions, 210 yards, 1,163 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. 4 in our most-recent NFL running back rankings despite some struggles in Week 11 and Week 12.

3. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

nfl running back rankings: josh jacobs
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Josh Jacobs stats: 216 attempts, 1,159 rushing yards, 5.4 average, 40 receptions, 325 yards, 1,484 total yards, 9 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 five 100-yard rushing performances through 11 games.

Jacobs, 24, is averaging a resounding 2.8 yards after contact, up from 2.0 a season ago. He’s also coming off an absolutely insane 303 total-yard outing in last week’s overtime win over the Seattle Seahawks that included a walk-off touchdown. Over the course of his past three games, Jacobs has tallied an absurd 569 total yards and three touchdowns.

2. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns

nfl running back rankings week 13: nick chubb
  • Nick Chubb stats: 174 attempts, 923 rushing yards, 5.3 average, 16 receptions, 136 yards, 1,059 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.

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: 230 attempts, 1,010 rushing yards, 4.4 average, 18 receptions, 199 yards, 1,209 total yards, 10 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 put up a seven-game span that saw him tally 818 rushing yards at a clip of 4.7 yards per while scoring eight touchdowns before struggling to the tune of 38 yards in a Week 12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.