- Derrick Henry has opened as the favorite to win the 2020 NFL rushing title after doing so last season
- Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey is the second choice after finishing third in the league in 2019
- Odds for all the running backs can be found below
Derrick Henry led the NFL in rushing last season while helping the surprising Tennessee Titans reach the AFC Championship Game.
Henry finished with 1,540 yards despite sitting out the next-to-last game of the regular season because of injury. He wound up with 46 more yards than the second-place finisher, Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns, who finished 1,494 yards on the ground.
Not surprisingly, Henry is the favorite to again top the league in rushing in 2020.
2020 NFL Rushing Leader Odds
|Derrick Henry (Titans)||+600|
|Christian McCaffrey (Panthers)||+700|
|Nick Chubb (Browns)||+800|
|Dalvin Cook (Vikings)||+1000|
|Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys)||+1000|
|Saquon Barkley (Giants)||+1400|
|Chris Carson (Seahawks)||+1600|
|Joe Mixon (Bengals)||+1600|
|Leonard Fournette (Jaguars)||+1600|
|Josh Jacobs (Raiders)||+1600|
|Kenyan Drake (Cardinals)||+1800|
|Austin Ekeler (Chargers)||+1800|
|Melvin Gordon (Broncos)||+1800|
|Mark Ingram (Ravens)||+1800|
|Alvin Kamara (Saints)||+1800|
|Raheem Mostert (49ers)||+1800|
|James Connor (Steelers)||+2000|
|Marlon Mack (Colts)||+2000|
|Todd Gurley (Falcons)||+2200|
|Phillip Lindsay (Broncos)||+2200|
|Le’Veon Bell (Jets)||+2500|
|Lamar Jackson (Ravens)||+2500|
|Aaron Jones (Packers)||+2500|
|Miles Sanders (Eagles)||+2500|
|Devin Singletary (Bills)||+2500|
|Jordan Howard (Dolphins)||+2800|
|Sony Michel (Patriots)||+2800|
|Latavius Murray (Saints)||+2800|
|Damien Williams (Chiefs)||+2800|
|David Johnson (Texans)||+3300|
|Kerryon Johnson (Lions)||+3300|
|Adrian Peterson (Redskins)||+3300|
|Derrius Guice (Redskins)||+4000|
|Darrell Henderson (Rams)||+4000|
|Kareem Hunt (Browns)||+4000|
|Ronald Jones (Buccaneers)||+4000|
|David Montgomery (Bears)||+4000|
Odds taken April 8
Season to Remember
Henry finished the 2019 regular season in a big way. He rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries in a 35-14 victory over the Houston Texans. The win enabled the Titans to slip into the AFC playoffs as the sixth and final seed.
In the first two rounds of the playoffs, Henry again put up big number as the Titans pulled consecutive road upsets.
In a 20-13 victory over the New England Patriots in the divisional round, he had 182 yards and a touchdown in 34 carries. A week later, he finished with 195 yards on 30 carries as the Titans stunned the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens 28-12.
— Hundred Yard Report (@100YardReport) April 6, 2020
Henry, though, managed just 69 yards in 19 carries in a 35-24 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC title game.
The Titans to be run-heavy again in 2020 even after signing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a four-year, $118-million extension. Henry was assured of returning when Tennessee put the franchise tag on him last month.
Though general manager Jon Robinson has made it clear the Titans would like to re-sign Henry, he is eligible for free agency at the end of next season. Thus, the 26-year-old should have plenty of motivation to have a big 2020.
McCaffrey Does It All
The Carolina Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey is the second choice to be the 2020 NFL rushing leader. He, too, is coming off a fine season.
McCaffrey was third in the league with 1,387 rushing yards last season. He also scored 15 touchdowns in his 287 attempts.
New coach Matt Rhule is excited to have McCaffrey on his roster.
"I think Christian McCaffrey is a centerpiece player that you can build a team around. He's one of those guys that can do anything and I think he really builds to the culture that you want to have within the building."
-Matt Rhule pic.twitter.com/jgFeb2eOeJ
— The Riot Report (@RRiotReport) April 8, 2020
McCaffrey is also a major receiving threat. He has had two straight 100-reception seasons, including catching 116 passes for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns last year.
The Panthers have been forced to be reliant on the running and short-passing games in recent seasons while quarterback Cam Newton battled injuries. However, Newton was released, and Teddy Bridgewater takes his place.
While McCaffrey should still shoulder a lot of the offensive load, the Panthers could be somewhat more diversified with Bridgewater.
McCaffrey will also be just 24 when the season starts so he figures to have plenty of tread left the tires.
Chubb, Elliott Contenders
Chubb just missed out on the rushing title a year ago and has established himself as one of the NFL’s best backs just two seasons into his career.
As a rookie in 2018, he barely missed a 1,000-yard season as he finished with 996 yards in 192 attempts. Chubb became much more of a workhorse last season when his carries increased to 298 while finishing 46 yards short of Henry.
Nick Chubb > Jim Brown 🤘😈 pic.twitter.com/BxcEoC5c4y
— Michael (@LibraMikey) April 5, 2020
The Browns needed as much production as they could from Chubb last season when quarterback Baker Mayfield regressed in his season. If new coach Kevin Stefanski can get Mayfield on track, Chubb’s carries could go down.
The Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott topped the NFL with 1,437 rushing yards in 2018 and his 1,631 yards as a rookie in 2016 also paced the league.
Elliott had another fine campaign a year ago as he compiled 1,357 yards and 12 scores on 301 carries after opening the season as the favorite to win the title. He should again be a threat to win the rushing title this year as the Cowboys are likely to be rejuvenated under new coach Mike McCarthy.
Can Gurley Bounce Back?
The Los Angeles Rams, in a somewhat surprising move, cut star running back Todd Gurley last month and he signed with the Atlanta Falcons. While Gurley has been slowed by a knee injury the last two seasons, he is an intriguing choice at +2200.
The signing made at least one Falcons’ fan happy.
— Todd Gurley II (@TG3II) April 6, 2020
While the inclination is to play the chalk here with Henry, he seems certain for decline after enduring such a heavy workload late last season.
Thus, the choice here is be the 2020 rushing leader is McCaffrey, the NFL’s best all-round back.
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