1.  
RB  IND
Rush Att
321
Rush Yds
1562
Rush TD
14
Rush Avg
4.9
Rec
44
Rec Yds
352
Rec TD
2
Rec Avg
8.0
After a solid rookie season that finished with a bang, expectations were high for Taylor coming into 2021, and he exceeded them by a mile. He won his first of potentially many rushing crowns, and he nearly lapped the field doing it, as the 552-yard gap between Taylor and second-place Nick Chubb was the largest since 2009. Taylor's the total package as a runner, showing power, agility, vision and speed, but it's the latter trait that puts him over the top among his peers. He posted three of the five fastest top speeds recorded on touchdowns last year, including an NFL-best 22.13 mph on a 67-yard scamper Week 15 against the Patriots. The power and agility were highlighted by his 2.6 yards per carry after contact, good for third in the league. If there's a flaw in his skill set, it's that Taylor isn't a natural receiver out of the backfield, but the Colts have Nyheim Hines to handle those duties, and Taylor is still capable of contributing. Indianapolis' elite offensive line showed a couple cracks in 2021, and some natural regression could be coming for Taylor's league-leading 89 red-zone carries (more than 40 ahead of second-place Austin Ekeler), but the addition of Matt Ryan to replace Carson Wentz at quarterback shouldn't change the focal point of Frank Reich's offense. Expect Taylor to see big volume again in 2022 and consistently burn defenders with those touches.
2.  
RB  TEN
Rush Att
324
Rush Yds
1543
Rush TD
14
Rush Avg
4.8
Rec
24
Rec Yds
212
Rec TD
1
Rec Avg
8.8
A foot injury that cost him the entire second half of the season might have been the only thing standing between Henry and a third straight rushing title, and maybe even a second straight 2,000-yard campaign. In only eight games, he piled up 937 rushing yards and 10 TDs despite seeing eight-man fronts over 36 percent of the time, one of the highest marks in the league. There were signs his huge workload was catching up to him though, even before he got hurt. Henry's 4.3 yards per carry was a step back from his performance the last two seasons, and the downturn largely came from the fact he wasn't blowing up as many would-be tacklers as before. He managed only 2.2 yards after contact per carry in 2021, following a 3.2 mark in 2019 and 2.8 in 2020, and his 10 broken tackles in those eight games was almost half the rate we're used to seeing from Henry. He still runs with power plus that shocking speed for a big man, as Jonathan Taylor was the only running back to post a faster top speed on a touchdown in 2021, but those 300-carry campaigns appear to be catching up with him. Henry did return from his foot injury to play in the Titans' divisional-round loss to the Bengals, and he should be 100 percent heading into training camp, but 100 percent in 2022 may not be the same as his 100 percent from a couple years ago.
3.  
RB  MIN
Rush Att
279
Rush Yds
1270
Rush TD
11
Rush Avg
4.6
Rec
47
Rec Yds
375
Rec TD
2
Rec Avg
8.0
While he wasn't able to repeat his huge 2020 performance, particularly when it came to scoring touchdowns, Cook still put up very good numbers last season. In fact, he may be the most consistent top back in the NFL, for good and for bad. He's always been a big-play threat thanks to his blend of power, speed and agility, and Cook has posted a 4.5 yards per carry or better in all five of his NFL seasons, while his nine carries of 20 or more yards last year were a career high. On the other hand, he's missed games every year, dealing with ankle and shoulder issues last season while also landing in the COVID-19 protocols. Cook's willingness to play hurt can also create some disappointing single-game performances, even when he is in the lineup. If there's reason for optimism in 2022, it's the sweeping changes the Vikings have made to their coaching staff. Gone is Mike Zimmer and his old-school approach, and in his place is former Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell. The new scheme will give the passing game a more significant boost, but Cook's all-around skill set should still fit in well with a scheme that got productive seasons out of more limited backs like Sony Michel, and he's unlikely to face as many eight-man fronts as he did with Zimmer in charge. Cook is the kind of player you draft for his floor, knowing that he might hit his ceiling in any given year.
4.  
RB  CLE
Rush Att
274
Rush Yds
1338
Rush TD
13
Rush Avg
4.9
Rec
28
Rec Yds
211
Rec TD
1
Rec Avg
7.5
Another season, another strong performance from Chubb that makes you wonder what he would be capable of with a bell-cow workload. The Georgia product has posted a 5.0 yards per carry or better in all four of his NFL campaigns, while his 3.0 yards after contact per carry in 2021 was the second-best mark in the league among backs with at least 100 carries, behind only the surprising Rashaad Penny. Chubb boasts exceptional power, speed and elusiveness, and while he doesn't get as many chances to show what he can do as a receiver as he should, he hasn't been charged with a dropped pass in three straight seasons. Therein lies the problem, however. Kareem Hunt remains a Brown, and Hunt not only handles the majority of pass-catching duties, he also gets double-digit carries more often than not when he's in the lineup. D'Ernest Johnson also flashed some upside last year too, giving coach Kevin Stefanski three backs he seems to trust to further dilute the touches. The biggest obstacle to Chubb taking a step forward will be under center, however. Deshaun Watson replaces Baker Mayfield, and it's hard to imagine Stefanski treating the former Texan quarterback as a glorified bus driver the way he did Mayfield, especially after the front office gave Watson a record-setting contract extension. If he got the volume a Jonathan Taylor or Derrick Henry does, Chubb would be in the conversation for the first overall pick. Unfortunately, his opportunities could be shrinking, not growing.
5.  
Rush Att
238
Rush Yds
996
Rush TD
8
Rush Avg
4.2
Rec
84
Rec Yds
669
Rec TD
4
Rec Avg
8.0
For the second straight year, injuries derailed what might have been another tremendous season for McCaffrey. The 25-year-old only played seven games in 2021 and only saw more than 40 snaps in four of them, but in those four contests he averaged 4.76 yards per carry and over 150 scrimmage yards a game. When he's healthy, McCaffrey remains the premier pass-catching back in the league while still being dangerous on the ground, and those skills were still somewhat in evidence in 2021. His 2.3 yards per carry after contact was comparable to the likes of Javonte Williams and Aaron Jones, and McCaffrey broke a tackle every 8.3 carries on average, a better rate than Nick Chubb or Najee Harris, albeit on much smaller volume. None of the injuries McCaffrey has sustained appear to be chronic, so it's possible his luck will turn for the better in 2022. The Panthers added D'Onta Foreman in the offseason to give them another depth option aside from Chuba Hubbard, who didn't impress as a rookie, but if McCaffrey is on the field, he'll still dominate the backfield touches. The last time new coordinator Ben McAdoo was in charge of an offense, the Giants finished in the top 10 in passing attempts four straight seasons, so the target volume should be there for McCaffrey in the team's new scheme. He only needs to be on the field to get it.
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