The 33rd Team’s weekly top-10 RB rankings are a snapshot of where the league’s best running backs are right now, taking into account the player’s recent production, health, and an evaluation by our scouting department, led by former NFL team executive T.J. McCreight and assisted by scouts Justin Casey, Kevin Cohn and Evan Pritt. (Explosive plays are runs of 20-plus yards.)
1. Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
Carries: 81 | Yards: 459 | TD: 5 | Explosive Plays: 15
Chubb leads the league in first downs, while second in TDs and yards per game. This is a hard-running back with size and speed who can break through tackles and is always moving north-south.
2. Saquon Barkley, N.Y. Giants
Carries: 84 | Yards: 463 | TD: 2 | Explosive Plays: 12
Barkley leads the league in yards and is one of the more talented backs in the league. He has an elite ability to make guys miss in space and is capable of taking it the distance from anywhere on the field.
3. Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta Falcons
Carries: 58 | Yards: 340 | TD: 3 | Explosive Plays: 11
Patterson, who was placed on injured reserve this week by the Falcons, is second in the league in rushing first downs. A former wide receiver who has made the transition to running back, Patterson runs hard and isn’t afraid to stick his nose into contact. He is capable of catching the ball out of the backfield with easy, natural hands.
4. Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
Carries: 72 | Yards: 356 | TD: 3 | Explosive Plays: 11
Sanders is currently tied for third in rushing first downs. He has tremendous balance, feet and body control. This is an explosive player who can plant his foot in the ground and go.
5. Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
Carries: 70 | Yards: 336 | TD: 2 | Explosive Plays: 8
Jacobs is fifth in the league in total yards. A bell cow type of back with great vision and instincts, Jacobs runs hard and does not shy away from contact. He combines that with good quickness to elude defenders.
6. Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers
Carries: 48 | Yards: 327 | TD: 1 | Explosive Plays: 12
Jones is currently second in qualifying rushers in YPC. He does not have elite speed but runs hard and has deceptive strength. Jones’ strong lower body enables him to kick through arm tackles, and he has a nose for the first-down marker.
7. Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
Carries: 76 | Yards: 306 | TD: 11 | Explosive Plays: 9
Henry seventh in the league, and third among RBs, in total yards. He has a rare combination of height/weight/speed. And once he gets going he is almost impossible to bring down. You do not want to meet this man in the open field. He has a truly elite stiff arm.
8. Rashaad Penny, Seattle Seahawks
Carries: 49 | Yards: 292 | TD: 2 | Explosive Plays: 9
Penny is Averaging 6.0 yards per carry. A good sized player with strength to break through tackles and gain extra yards, Penny is a very instinctive back and capable of finding holes.
9. Khalil Herbert, Chicago Bears
Carries: 52 | Yards: 317 | TD: 3 | Explosive Plays: 11
Herbert is third in qualifying rushers in YPC. He is a sneaky fast runner who has thrived after earning his opportunity. Herbert does not have ideal size, but shows good speed and very good lateral quickness.
10. Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans
Carries: 60 | Yards: 313 | TD: 2 | Explosive Plays: 6
Pierce has the longest rush of the year for a RB at 75 yards. More of a grinder than a burner, this player is not afraid to gain the tough yards.
WATCH MORE: Eric Dickerson on Comparison Between Saquon and Barry Sanders