It’s finally time to give football fans what they’ve all been waiting for: the official rankings of all starting players ahead of the 2022 NFL season.
Unfortunately, last year, injuries undermined my rating. However, this year the feeling is different. This time I got it right.
Let’s not waste any more time. Here is the ranking of all 32 RB1s this year.
Note: If the team is working with a runners committee, I simply pick the player I think will do the best in 2022.
Statistics for 2021: 8 games | 219 | 937 peak yards | 4.3 years | 10 urgent Fri | 18 rivers | 154 recording yards | 0 TD records
Henry missed nine games last season and still finished ninth in the league with 937 yards. At the time of his midseason foot injury, he was one step ahead to amass 1,991 yards on the season. He’s in a league of his own, and after listening to his interview on the NFL Network Inside the training campit’s clear to me that he’s not going to slow down in 7th grade.
Statistics for 2021: 17 games | 332 at | 1811 yards | 5.5 years | 18 urgent Fri | 40 rivers | 360 yards of recording | 2 TD records
Last season, Taylor led the NFL in nearly every major rush category, as well as practice yards and touchdowns. He is the main – MAIN – part of the Colts offense and should continue to be relied upon in 2022, even with former MVP Matt Ryan leading the offense as a quarterback. The question for Taylor is if he can produce another season like his 2021 campaign? And can he take his team to the playoffs (as Derrick Henry does)?
Statistics for 2021: 14 games | 228 at | 1259 yards | 5.5 years | 8 urgent Fri | 20 rivers | 174 recording yards | 1 TD entry
Chubb will have to work hard while Deshawn Watson is away. Cleveland’s RB1 has been exceptional during his first four seasons, averaging 5.3 yards per carry in 908 career attempts, so there’s a lot of confidence in his ability to lead this team. Expect another season of monsters from the whole world running back.
Statistics for 2021: 13 games | 249 | 1159 yards | 4.7 years | 6 urgent TDs | 34 entries | 224 yards of record | 0 rivers TD
Cook is one of the most explosive running backs in the NFL. As of 2019, he ranks second in rushing yards per game (120.9) in the league. The Vikings are at their best offensively when Cook splits the defense and I expect new head coach Kevin O’Connell to stick to a three-time pro bowler early on and open play action often.
Statistics for 2021: 17 games | 237 at | 1002 yards peak | 4.2 years | 10 urgent Fri | 47 rivers | 287 river yards | 2 TD records
Many people are unhappy with Zeke and hold Tony Pollard in high regard after the latter beat Zeke by 1.3 yards for a carry in 2021. But to me, Zeke is still the best guy in Dallas. He was a little shabby last season, but he still does everything the Cowboys need and looks to be in good shape for 2022. When I look at the top defensemen on my list, I see a big difference between Zeke and Henry, but Zeke still lands in the top five thanks to his contribution to the passing game as a catcher and blocker.
Statistics for 2021: 13 games | 240 at | 898 yards | 3.7 years | 4 urgent Fri | 47 rivers | 439 rivers | 5 note APs
Kamara has gained 24.6 percent of total scrimmage yards in 2021 and the Saints no doubt expect him to be a big part of the offense again after jumping after his hearing in connection with the February arrest was postponed. The five-time professional bowler is one of the most versatile playmakers in any backfield, and Camara should stay fresh all season long, with Mark Ingram returning to action for New Orleans last season.
Statistics for 2021: 16 games | 292 | 1205 yards | 4.1 gpc | 13 urgent Fri | 42 records | 314 rivers | 3 TD records
Don’t expect quarterback Joe Barrow to be the only Cincinnati player to benefit from a revamped offensive line. Mixon and the Bengals, who finished 23rd in the NFL last season, will also benefit from the arrival of Alex Kappa, Lael Collins and Ted Karras. Cinsi was at her best last season when Mixon kicked the ball 15-20 times a game, so I was a little surprised when the Bengals turned to Samaya Perina in their last drive Super Bowl LVI. Perin then participated in back-to-back draws that ended their hopes of winning the franchise’s first Lombardi. I expect Mixon to get a slightly bigger role in bigger games in the future. All in all, the veteran should have another stellar season.
Statistics for 2021: 16 games | 206 at | 911 peak yards | 4.4 years | 12 peak TD | 70 entries | 647 yards of recording | 8 recorded APs
Ekeler hit 20 touchdowns in scrimmage last season and he still (somehow) seems to be sleeping on an offense designed to throw with Justin Herbert and high-profile receivers. He is a proven double-threat playmaker and a perfect match for Joe Lombardi’s offense.
Statistics for 2021: 17 games | 307 at | 1200 yards | 3.9 gpc | 7 urgent Fri | 74 entries | 467 river yards | 3 TD records
With a player who isn’t Ben Roethlisberger at center full-time for the first time since 2003, the Steelers offense is poised to go through number 22. He had an outstanding rookie campaign with zero fumbles in 381 regular season touches. He is resilient and ready to lead the squad in the running game and improve his passing game significantly in Year 2.
Statistics for 2021: 7 games | 99 at | 442 peak yards | 4.5 years | 1 peak TD | 37 rivers | 343 recording yards | 1 TD entry
CMC is in 10th place because we don’t know what we’ll get. He’s incredibly talented – remember, he ran 1,000 yards. as well as 1,000 receiving yards in 2019, but he’s missed 23 games in the last two seasons. McCaffrey is so important to the success of the Panthers. If he stays healthy throughout the season, he will undoubtedly be in the top 3 runners. It just needs to be available.
Statistics for 2021: 17 games | 203 at | 903 peak yards | 4.4 years | 4 urgent Fri | 43 rivers | 316 rivers | 3 TD records
My understanding is that the Broncos were traded for quarterback Russell Wilson to bring the offense back into the NFL’s top tier. But the unit’s success is based on the running game opening the passage with game action. Javonte Williams enters. As a rookie, he was super-productive with 63 missed tackles forced on runs (second in the NFL) and 694 yards after contact (eighth in the NFL) according to Pro Football Focus. Williams and the running game, which also features veteran quarterback Melvin Gordon, will remain a big part of what the Broncos do this fall; I’m looking forward to a career season for the second year of the pros.
Statistics for 2021: 15 games | 171 at | 799 yards | 4.7 years | 4 urgent Fri | 52 records | 391 rivers | 6 note APs
Jones and A.J. Dillon were nearly on par with their results last season, with each player over 1,100 yards in scrimmage, but I still have Jones in the RB1 position in Green Bay. Jones is a special player in the running game, but his ability to catch passes will be more important than ever with the departure of wide receiver Davante Adams this offseason.
Statistics for 2021: 13 games | 151 at | 617 peak yards | 4.1 gpc | 5 urgent TDs | 62 records | 452 recording yards | 2 TD records
Jamaal Williams was a good addition last year for Detroit, but I believe Swift is the right guy if he can stay healthy. Combining dual threat, explosive power and great speed, Swift is ready for a breakthrough year. If he’s available throughout the season, Detroit has every chance of getting better…