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In one of the most ‘up-in-the-air’ season-long prop bets you can find, there is no shortage of candidates with a legitimate claim to the rushing throne in the 2019 NFL season. Ezekiel Elliott was the likely favorite before his holdout, but it’s a totally wide-open race now that his availability for Week 1 seems to grow questionable by the day, Melvin Gordon was one of the favorites as well but he seems even more unlikely to suit up at the start of the regular season than Elliott.
These are some of the guys that I will be targeting to win the rushing title in 2019.
Marlon Mack (IND): +3200
Mack will carry a three-down workload for the Colts in 2019 after proving his worth at the end of the 2018 season. Mack averaged nearly 5.0 yards per rush and seemed to run even better in games where he carried the ball 15 times or more. He’s playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the league with one of the best offensive minds in football with Frank Reich at the helm. I do not see a lot of hype surrounding Mack heading into this season, and I still don’t fully understand why given the situation. I love Mack in 2019, and at 32/1, he is absolutely worth taking a flier on.
Leonard Fournette (JAC): +2600
Fournette has received nothing but rave reviews in his third training camp with Jacksonville. Apparently, he has completely revamped his training methods to the point where almost every local beat writer has made a comment on it. Here’s the thing about Fournette, he is arguably one of the most talented runners in the NFL today. I think people forget just how talented this guy was in college and even in his rookie season. His biggest issue has been his health, as he’s struggled to stay on the field in any sort of a consistent manner since being drafted two years ago. But this is still a team that is going to run the ball more than most, which makes his upside appealing. And now that they have a respectable quarterback at the helm with Nick Foles, hopefully, teams will not be stacking the box with seven or eight defenders on first and second down. His upside is immense if he can stay healthy for the entirety of the season.
Saquon Barkley (NYG): +340
Barkley is the favorite now that Elliott’s availability is in question, and rightfully so. There’s a legitimate chance he touches the ball 400 times this season. Betting on volume is always one of the safest ways to handicap season-long player prop bets, and no one will receive more volume than Barkley at the running back position. I’m concerned about how defenses are going to gameplan for him, as the Giants have literally no other weapons on their offense that command respect. I think Daniel Jones will inevitably end up taking over for Eli Manning at some point this season and, hopefully, he can jumpstart their passing game back to at least an adequate level so Barkley won’t have to face so many loaded boxes. His situation isn’t great, but the volume alone makes him really appealing. It would be a surprise if he isn’t in the hunt for the rushing yards title coming down the stretch, which is all you can really ask for with season-long player props.