NFL Power Rankings- Top 25 Running Backs
Power Rankings: Top 25 Running Backs in the NFL
It’s not easy to decide who the best running backs are in the league, especially in a league that puts so much significance on the quarterback and the passing game. Sometimes, the running backs seem to be forgotten. With injuries always having an impact, we have seen some big names go down, like Maurice Jones Drew and Fred Jackson. Jones Drew has yet to see the field, and Jackson may have lost his starting job due to the showing of C.J. Spiller through the first four weeks.
After ten weeks, we have seen injuries and we have seen disappointing seasons develop. On the upside, we also have seen young running backs break into the spotlight and make it onto the Top 25 running backs list, like Doug Martin who has been running around the field making defenses look silly. Trent Richardson and Alfred Morris have also been bright spots on struggling teams. They have shown that hard work and determination can still make a team successful as both the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins continue to rebuild around these running backs.
It’s hard to believe that it is already week 10 of the NFL. It is a bittersweet sound as the anticipation builds for which team will make it to the playoffs, but also meaning that for a lot of teams, it is time to start thinking about next year. Will Ray Rice be able to help quarterback, Joe Flacco, out of his funk and keep the Baltimore Ravens atop the division? Will Maurice Jones Drew try and get back onto the field or will he ride out the rest of the season because the Jacksonville Jaguars have a lot of problems.
Regardless of how the team is doing, these running backs have made the Top 25 because they make plays on their own and give teams a better chance to win. Let’s take a look at the Top 25 running backs through 10 weeks.
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25- BenJarvus Green-Ellis
BenJarvus Green Ellis has yet to break a 100 yards in a game this season and is only averaging 3.4 yards a carry. He will need to step it up in order to help an inconsistent Andy Dalton if the team hopes to land a wildcard spot.
24- Ryan Matthews
His numbers haven’t been great this season , as he has only rushed for 421 yards, but he also in valuable in the passing game as well. With only one touchdown this season, Matthews needs to pick it up if the San Diego Chargers have any hope of making it to the playoffs.
23- Shonn Green
- Unfortunately for New York Jets running back, Shonn Greene, he is on a dysfunctional team that is struggling on offense. He stands in the shadows behind the Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow saga, but he has 5 touchdowns on the season and if they Jets decided to ever go back to their ground and pound culture, he could reemerge as a threat in the league again.
22- Mikel LeShoure
The Detroit Lions can be happy that they finally hammered down a decent running game. Leshoure had three touchdowns last week but still has a lot to prove before he can be considered a top running back in the NFL, but the Lions are much more dangerous with a running game to help out quarterback Matthew Stafford
21- Steven Ridley
- His dependability makes him reliable. Ridley is ranked first in the league in rushes that result in a first down, with 47. On a team that has never focused on the running game, like the New England Patriots haven’t, the team finally has confidence that Ridley can be their guy.
20- Doug Martin
Anyone who had Doug Martin sitting on their bench in fantasy is thanking their lucky stars as Martin has moved his way up the ranks quite a bit. In their win over the Oakland Raiders, Martin had rushing touchdowns of 1 yard, 45 yards, 67 yards, and 70 yards. It has been an impressive two weeks for Martin but there needs to be more consistency before he is considered a top running back in the league.
19- Alfred Morris
He came out of nowhere this season. After beating out Roy Helu for the starting position, Alfred Morris has been very productive and helps the team to being second in the league in rushing and he is averaging 88.1 yards per game.
18- Willis McGahee
A solid runner, who, through 9 weeks has run for 620 yards. He has the ability to make big plays but he also has the ability to fumble the ball too making him unreliable at times.
17- Michael Turner
The Atlanta Falcons have an 80% winning rate when Michael Turners rushes for at least 100 yards. He can be inconsistent in the game and sometimes looks a little sluggish but if the Falcons commit to running the ball he is bound to break through a couple times for big yards.
16- Ahmad Bradshaw
- Bradshaw is having a good year now that he is the sole running back for the New York Giants. Averaging 4.6 yards a carry and finding the end zone four times, Bradshaw is an average running back the Giants can depend on.
15- Steven Jackson
Steven Jackson is having one of his worst seasons in his career. Trade rumors have built up tension and the franchise has looked to their rookie draft pick to split carries with Jackson. He may not be working out in St. Louis but he is still a threat to do damage if he lands with the right team.
14- Fred Jackson
The Buffalo Bills have decided to split carries between Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller, which has seemed to put Jackson on the back burner after he suffered a knee injury in the first game of the season. He is still a reliable running back but it looks like the Bills will move forward with Spiller as their main running back.
13- Jamal Charles
- One of the better running backs in the NFL, Jamal Charles had been very inconsistent. He has ran for 233 yards in a single game but then also has run for only 4 yards recently against the Oakland Raiders. He has been struggling with injuries this season which is why his value has decreased this season.
12- Maurice Jones Drew
- His value has dropped since injuring himself and he has been unable to play for three weeks. His is a game changer and the Jacksonville Jaguars have been stomped on without him. He is expected to play in a couple weeks, and his playing making abilities are evident as the Jaguars cannot win games without him.
11- Reggie Bush
After struggling to find him on New Orleans Saints team that never relied on the running game, he looks like he has landed a spot as a star running back for the Miami Dolphins. After posting his first 1000 yard rushing season last year with the Dolphins, it looks like he is on his way to having a second consecutive 1000 yard season again.
10- Trent Richardson
The young rookie has turned heads already with his strength and ability to break through tackles. With his numbers being average for a first year running back in the NFL, with 575 yards and 5 touchdowns, his effort and resilience isn’t going unnoticed on a struggling team.
9- Frank Gore
In a defensive built team, Gore continues to chip away at opposing defenses and runs a tough running game. Gore has the ability to fight through pain and injuries and remain on top of the scoreboard. Gore’s passion and mental toughness ranks him as one of the top backs through 9 weeks of the season.
8- Chris Johnson
Hasn’t been the same running back since signing for the big bucks but his mid-season jump in numbers has helped keep him as a valuable running back. He put up 141 yards against a tough Chicago Bears defense in Week 9 and will be tested again this week against the Miami Dolphins.
7- Matt Forte
Matt Forte is a solid running back who is difficult to tackle. After suffering an injury earlier in the season that slowed him down a bit, he looks to be back to 100% healthy and is a major part of the offensive surge in the Chicago Bears.
6- LeSean McCoy
He remains to be a bright spot on a team struggling to find themselves. With an offensive line that has allowed quarterback, Michael Vick, to get sacked 27 times, it is notable that he has been able to rush for 623 total yards with another 148 yards in the air.
5- C.J. Spiller
- Unfortunately for C.J. Spiller, he is on a team that isn’t doing well and doesn’t appreciate his talent. So far this season, Spiller leads the league with 7.2 yards per carry and is only behind Peterson in break out runs over 20 yards. Hidden in the shadows of a poorly coached team, Spiller is one of the top running backs in the NFL.
4- Arian Foster
With a Super Bowl contending team, Arian Foster is having one of his best seasons. He leads the league with 10 touchdowns and has run for 770 yards on the season. He is a consistent and averaging just under 100 yards per game.
3- Marshawn Lynch
- Marshawn Lynch continues to be a solid running back for the Seattle Seahawks. Rushing for 881 yards so far this season, he is second in the league in rushing yards and also is ranked second in yards after contact, making it no coincidence that he has been handed the label “Beast Mode”.
2- Ray Rice
- Averaging 4.7 yards a carry and 8.1 yards a reception, Ray Rice is a weapon in both the rushing and passing game, making it difficult for opponents to game plan. With an offensive line that has been struggling this season his numbers haven’t been as high as many would expect but he still is a difference maker that you want on your side.
1- Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson has silenced the critics that worried about him at the start of the season. After 9 weeks, Peterson leads the league in rushing yards with 957 yards on 168 attempts. If the team can get back on track, Peterson may single-handedly land them in a Wild Card spot for the first time since Brett Favre left the building.