Explosive start: Dalvin Cook favored to lead NFL in rushing yards

Profile Picture: Dan Halverson

October 11th, 2019

BetAmerica has released fresh new odds for who will win the NFL's regular season rushing title. Let’s look at four of the top contenders and examine their ability to run away from the competition.

Odds to lead the NFL in rushing yards

Dalvin Cook
Christian McCaffrey
Leonard Fournette
Ezekiel Elliott
Nick Chubb
Marlon Mack

Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings)

Minnesota's Dalvin Cook is second in the league with 542 rushing yards. Cook is an explosive running back and maybe the fastest running back in the league. Matt Breida of San Francisco is in that conversation as well, but when it comes to yards after contact and explosive plays, nobody is more dangerous than Cook.
For those who have followed his career, this is not a surprise. Cook was a five-star high school recruit and excelled at Florida State. Cook often bailed his team out with big plays in college, even when defenders appeared to have appropriate positions and angles. He has continued that trend in the NFL, where his bowling-ball stature and compact running style seems to deceive defenders. He is a powerful back who can go the distance at any time, and he leads the league with 5.9 yards per carry. He has come a long way from the +2000 he sat at before the season started.

Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers)

The second favorite to win the rushing title is the league's current rushing leader, Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers running back does it all, but also has the most rushes in the league, so if usage is your preferred indicator for future output, McCaffrey is your best bet. My one concern is he is already battling some back issues, and increased carries will do little to alleviate any pains.

Marlon Mack (Indianapolis Colts)

The next player who looks intriguing is Marlon Mack. Mack is a tremendous talent and is running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. While Colts head coach Frank Reich’s reliance on analytics and the value of passing probably negates some of Mack’s value, there is no denying he has the tools and blocking needed to have some huge games. For a price you could do worse than Mack running behind that line.

Josh Jacobs (Oakland Raiders)

Jacobs was my longshot pick prior to the season, when he was +4000, and while he still has a long way to go, he is only 157 yards behind McCaffrey. Jacobs is a great back and has seen the bulk of the carries in what has turned out to be a better-than-expected Raiders offense. He is capable of breaking a big runit just hasn’t happened yet. When it does, and he picks up some chunk yardage, his odds should improve.