NFL Power Rankings: Best Rookie Running Backs in Week 9

We’re past the midway point of the 2022 NFL season, and several rookie running backs are making their presence felt. 

Here are the best of the bunch after Week 9, considering recent performance and future opportunities.

Rank Player Team
1. Kenneth Walker III SEA
2. Dameon Pierce HOU
3. Tyler Allgeier ATL
4. Brian Robinson WSH
5. Caleb Huntley ATL
6. Rachaad White TB
7. James Cook BUF
8. Isaiah Spiller LAC
9. Isiah Pacheco KC
10. Jaylen Warren PIT

1) Kenneth Walker III – Seattle Seahawks

Walker III continues to impress, rushing for 109 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns as the Seattle Seahawks downed the Arizona Cardinals 31-21 for their fourth consecutive victory. It was the fifth straight week the Michigan State grad found the end zone and his second two-touchdown effort. For the year, the second-round draft pick has carved out 571 yards on the ground on 111 attempts (5.1 YPC) with seven touchdowns, adding 48 yards on 12 receptions.

2) Dameon Pierce – Houston Texans

The Texans’ workhorse had 27 carries for 139 yards, albeit in a losing effort, as Houston fell to the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles 29-17 at home on Thursday night football. The 22-year-old continues to surpass expectations and has now totaled 678 yards rushing on 148 attempts (4.6 YPC) with three touchdowns in eight games. He has added 98 yards receiving on 12 receptions.

3) Tyler Allgeier – Atlanta Falcons

Allgeier was outstanding in a losing effort in Week 9, carrying the ball ten times for 99 yards and catching one pass for 24 more as the Falcons dropped a heartbreaking 20-17 decision at home to the Los Angeles Chargers. Falcons lead back Cordarrelle Patterson returned to the lineup and scored two touchdowns, but Allgeier made the most of his 38% snap share, suggesting he will continue to have a meaningful role going forward.

4) Brian Robinson – Washington Commanders

Robinson rushed for 44 yards on 13 carries and caught two passes for six yards as the Commanders fell 20-17 to the Minnesota Vikings. Since his seasonal debut in Week 5, the former Alabama standout has gained 219 yards on the ground on 67 attempts (3.3 YPC), splitting time with Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic in the Commanders’ backfield.

5) Caleb Huntley – Atlanta Falcons

Joining Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier in the Falcons running back by committee, Huntley gained 34 yards on seven carries in Sunday’s last-second loss to the Chargers. Though Patterson’s return will likely reduce Huntley’s workload, the Falcon’s run-heavy attack will continue to present opportunities for the undrafted free agent out of Ball State.

6) Rachaad White – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

White had eight carries for 27 yards and caught all three of his targets for seven yards as the Bucs staged a thrilling last-minute touchdown drive to edge the Los Angeles Rams 16-13 at Raymond James Stadium. White had just one less carry than lead back Leonard Fournette, and with a 35% snap count, could be in line for a more significant share of the workload as the Bucs look to get their offense in gear.

7) James Cook – Buffalo Bills

Cook saw limited action on Sunday, rushing for 15 yards on four carries while adding 18 yards receiving on two receptions as the Bills were stunned 20-17 by the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium Sunday.

With the acquisition of Nyheim Hines from the Indianapolis Colts, Cook’s role is somewhat uncertain. He has contributed when given the opportunity and could see more time pushing lead back Devin Singletary in the running game while Hines takes on his familiar passing down role.

8) Isaiah Spiller – Los Angeles Chargers

Spiller saw action for just the second time this season, gaining 29 yards rushing on seven carries against the Falcons. The fourth-round pick out of Texas A&M was on the field for 13 offensive snaps. With Joshua Kelly on IR, Spiller and veteran Sony Michel will likely both push workhorse running back Austin Ekeler.

9) Isiah Pacheco – Kansas City Chiefs

Pacheco managed just five yards on five carries as the Chiefs rallied to defeat the Tennessee Titans 20-17 on Sunday Night Football. The rookie added one catch for four yards, garnering a 22% snap share in Kansas City’s crowded backfield. The Chiefs all but abandoned the run in this one, running backs in total carrying the ball just 13 times for a minuscule 14 yards.

10) Jaylen Warren – Pittsburgh Steelers

Warren and the Steelers were on a bye in Week 9 and host the New Orleans Saints this Sunday.