Can Christian McCaffrey Lead The NFL In Rushing Yards Again?

2024 Rush Leader Odds: McCaffrey's The Favorite This Year

Last season, Christian McCaffrey won the Offensive Player of the Year Award after leading the NFL in rushing yards with 1,459. It was 292 more yards than Derrick Henry, who has 1,167 and came in second place.

This year, oddsmakers expect the same with the 2024 Rush Leader Odds. McCaffrey is in the best situation with the Niners and has shown an elite ability to get free down the field. It’s why he recently signed a record-setting $38 million deal over the next two seasons with the 49ers.

While McCaffrey projects to be the best rusher in the NFL in 2024, is there any chance another running back can earn more rushing yards than him this season?

Let’s break down the 2024 Rush Leader Odds below.

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Christian McCaffrey

  • To Lead NFL in Rushing: +275

Christian McCaffrey is first on the odds board and the first player we’ll break down as a result. McCaffrey was tied in second place with 272 carries but added 1,459 yards rushing. He averaged 5.4 yards a carry and also scored 14 touchdowns to help the 49ers get into the Super Bowl last season.

If we were computing all-purpose yards, backing McCaffrey would be a no-brainer. He also grabbed 67 receptions for 564 yards and added 8.5 yards per reception last season. Overall, McCaffrey accumulated more than 2,000 all-purpose yards in 16 games.

However, we’re only talking about rushing yards. We have to leave out his receiving yards when contemplating backing McCaffery here.

Realistically, McCaffrey hadn’t earned more than 1,350 yards since 2019. In 2020 and 2021, he was injured and missed many games. Then, in 2022, he played six games with Carolina and 11 with San Francisco to produce more than 1,000 yards rushing.

In 2023, the 49ers figured it all out. He averaged a career-best 5.4 yards per rush and scored 14 touchdowns with only two fumbles lost.

That said, the Niners didn’t pay him record-breaking money to block. He’ll be used just as much as he was last season.

Jonathan Taylor

  • To Lead NFL in Rushing: +600

The NFL has been waiting for a healthy Jonathan Taylor. Heading into 2024, he should be ready to go.

Taylor hadn’t had a full, healthy season since 2021 when he added 1,811 yards rushing and scored 18 times for the Indianapolis Colts. We would be be a little worried with Anthony Richardson at quarterback. Despite his stocky build, Richardson can run as a quarterback. That’ll potentially take some attempts away from Taylor. However, we’ve already seen Taylor add multiple 1,000 yard seasons in his first two years in the league.

Now that he’ll be in his 5th year, expectations are very high. It’s just a matter if he can stay healthy.

He still played in ten games last season and only rushed for 741 yards. He averaged 4.4 yards a carry, which won’t be enough if he wants to lead in rushing. He’ll need to rush for way over five yards a carry. We’d stay away from Taylor and consider some other options.

Saquon Barkley

  • To Lead NFL in Rushing: +650

Saquon Barkley gets a lot of love for someone who hasn’t earned more than 4.6 yards per carry since his rookie season.

Granted, Barkley never played behind a terrific offensive line or even an incredible offense in general. But it’s unlikely Barkley ever has a season where he outplays every other running back in the NFL. He’s added a career average of just 4.3 yards per carry and didn’t even get to 1,000 yards in 14 games last season with New York.

Now he’s with the Eagles, who will run plenty of times with Jalen Hurts. That probably won’t help Barkley reach the goal of becoming the leading rusher.

Breece Hall

  • To Lead NFL in Rushing: +800

Breece Hall is a fun option at +800. The Jets’ running back will be the No. 1 rusher for the Jets this season. He’ll play behind Aaron Rodgers in a revamped New York offense. The offensive line has a few new veteran pieces, and Hall has already averaged 4.8 yards per carry in two seasons with New York.

The NFL scores for the Jets will be higher offensively than in previous seasons.

Derrick Henry

  • To Lead NFL in Rushing: +1200

Derrick Henry on the Ravens will be something else. But like Barkley and Taylor, Henry is playing with a mobile quarterback that will likely steal some yards from him.

Additionally, Henry has earned no more than 4.4 yards per carry in the last three seasons. The Ravens could help improve that, but unless he gets 300 carries this season, it’ll be hard to solidify backing Henry with Baltimore.

He’s had a 2,000-yard rushing season. But he’s also aging a bit. Thirty years old for a running back isn’t exactly young. Henry would not be one of our top NFL picks here.

Sleeper: Bijan Robinson

  • To Lead NFL in Rushing: +1200

It really felt like the Atlanta Falcons mishandled Bijan Robinson last season with one of their top NFL draft picks. Yet, he still added 4.6 yards a carry and earned 976 yards rushing. Robinson averaged 4.6 yards a carry in his rookie season, which wasn’t bad considering everything that happened in Atlanta last season.

This year, Robinson will play behind Kirk Cousins and have different coaches, with Raheem Morris as head coach and Zac Robinson as offensive coordinator. Robinson should surely improve from his stats last season with this regime. Consider Robinson when looking at the 2024 rush leader odds.

For NFL betting news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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