RB Index, Week 14: Lindsay among best undrafted RBs since '10

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Phillip Lindsay came into the league with a lot to prove after going undrafted last April.

Signed by the Denver Broncos, the 5-foot-8, 190-pound running back has been an explosive ball carrier since Day 1 and established himself as the starter in Denver's backfield by Week 8. Now, just three-quarters of the way through his rookie season, he leads the entire AFC and sits fourth in the league with 937 rushing yards. Playing a huge role in Denver's recent surge for a playoff spot, Lindsay has scored seven rushing TDs in his last six games and averages a whopping 6.08 yards per carry for the season.

Through 12 games, Lindsay already has the third-most rushing yards in a season among undrafted rookies in the Super Bowl era. His current pace would put him at 1,250 by season's end, which would be the most by an undrafted rookie in NFL history, surpassing Dominic Rhodes (1,104 in 2001) and LeGarrette Blount (1,007 in 2010).

There's no doubt he's one of the best undrafted players I've seen in a while. That got me thinking about the best-performing undrafted running backs since 2010, and if Lindsay would make my list. So here it is: My top five undrafted running backs of the decade:

Note: This list is about the best on-field output by undrafted running backs since 2010, which means it CAN include players who entered the league before 2010.

1) Arian Foster (Texans, Dolphins): The four-time Pro Bowler was one of the best running backs in the league during his prime and a huge reason the Texans made playoff appearances in both 2011 and 2012. At the time of his retirement in October 2016, Foster ranked first in yards from scrimmage per game (115.2) and 100-yard rushing games (31) and was tied for the lead in touchdowns from scrimmage (65) among all players with a minimum of 1,000 touches since 2010, per NFL Research. And among undrafted running backs since 2010, he currently has the most rushing yards (6,270) and rushing yards per game (84.7), and he ranks second in rushing attempts (1,422) and rushing TDs (51).

2) LeGarrette Blount (Buccaneers, Patriots, Steelers, Eagles, Lions): Winning the last two Super Bowls with the Patriots and Eagles, the 6-foot, 247-pound running back has a surprisingly elusive style that allowed those teams to lean on him during their championship runs. Blount has had two 1,000-yard rushing seasons since coming into the league in 2010, and he led the NFL in rushing touchdowns (18) during the 2016 season while with the Patriots. Among undrafted running backs since 2010, Blount ranks No. 1 in rushing attempts (1,454) and rushing touchdowns (56).

3) Fred Jackson (Bills, Seahawks): Jackson called it quits after a successful nine-year career. With a powerful running style, Jackson led the Bills in rushing yards during four of his eight seasons in Buffalo despite sharing a backfield with Marshawn Lynch and C.J. Spiller. He still ranks third in Bills franchise history with 5,646 yards rushing and 15 100-yard games, and fourth with 30 touchdowns rushing.

4) C.J. Anderson (Broncos, Raiders): The Pro Bowler has had one 1,000-yard season (2017) since entering the league in 2013, and he provided consistency in the Broncos' backfield from 2013 to '17. Anderson, who signed with the Oakland Raiders earlier this week, played a major role in Denver's Super Bowl 50 run. During the 2015 playoffs, Anderson averaged 78 rush yards per game and added two rushing TDs, including a game-sealing 2-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 50.

5) Phillip Lindsay (Broncos): As I mentioned above, Lindsay is having himself a banner year in his first NFL season. The reason he sits at No. 5 is simply because he has only played 12 games. Those above him have been effective in some way for most of their careers. If Lindsay continues to be lightning in a bottle beyond the 2018 season, he could give Foster a run for his money.

Former NFL rushing leader and current NFL Network analyst Maurice Jones-Drew will survey all running backs and rank his top 15 each week of the 2018 season. His rankings are based on this season's efforts alone. Here is MJD's list heading into Week 14.

NOTE: Arrows reflect changes from Week 13's rankings.

1
Ezekiel Elliott
RB
Cowboys

Previous rank: No. 1

Zeke has been one of the most productive running backs since the start of November and has the highest percentage of his team's scrimmage yards (37.0) of any player in the league this season. He has put the Cowboys in good position with a crucial matchup with the Eagles on Sunday.

2018 stats: 12 games | 240 att | 1,150 rush yds | 4.8 ypc | 6 rush TDs | 53 rec | 423 rec yds | 3 rec TDs

2
Todd Gurley
RB
Rams
3

Previous rank: No. 5

After a sluggish performance against the Chiefs in Week 11, Gurley was back to his normal ways Sunday. He carried the team offensively and put the game away late in the fourth quarter. Heading into the final month of the regular season, Gurley has a league-leading 19 scrimmage touchdowns.

2018 stats: 12 games | 233 att | 1,175 rush yds | 5.0 ypc | 15 rush TDs | 46 rec | 474 rec yds | 4 rec TDs

3
Saquon Barkley
RB
Giants
1

Previous rank: No. 4

Barkley is slowly climbing this list while making a case to be named Offensive Rookie of the Year. With four games left on the slate for 2018, he ranks third in the league in rushing yards (954) and scrimmage yards (1,556).

2018 stats: 12 games | 195 att | 954 rush yds | 4.9 ypc | 8 rush TDs | 74 rec | 602 rec yds | 4 rec TDs

4
Christian McCaffrey
RB
Panthers
2

Previous rank: No. 6

McCaffrey, who had another big performance Sunday, has been one of the most productive backs since Week 7; in that span, he leads the NFL in scrimmage yards (939) and is tied for the lead in scrimmage TDs (10). Already with 80 receptions this season, he is on pace for 106 by season's end, which would set the all-time single-season record for receptions by a running back.

2018 stats: 12 games | 163 att | 863 rush yds | 5.3 ypc | 5 rush TDs | 80 rec | 663 rec yds | 6 rec TDs

5
Alvin Kamara
RB
Saints
3

Previous rank: No. 2

Kamara has been the Saints' X-factor since he came into the league, so I was surprised when he couldn't get the offense out of a funk against the Cowboys. He was limited to 72 scrimmage yards (3.8 yards per touch).

2018 stats: 12 games | 161 att | 742 rush yds | 4.6 ypc | 11 rush TDs | 65 rec | 555 rec yds | 4 rec TDs

6
Aaron Jones
RB
Packers
2

Previous rank: No. 8

The second-year Packer has been dominant in the last four games with five rushing TDs and one receiving TD in that span. I'm interested to see how much Green Bay's offense -- Jones' role in particular -- changes with Mike McCarthy out of the building.

2018 stats: 10 games | 112 att | 642 rush yds | 5.7 ypc | 7 rush TDs | 23 rec | 178 rec yds | 1 rec TD

7
Phillip Lindsay
RB
Broncos
4

Previous rank: No. 11

With a career-high 157 rushing yards and a pair of rushing TDs Sunday, Lindsay became just the second rookie (joining Leonard Fournette in 2017) over the last three seasons to run for 150 yards and two touchdowns in one NFL game, according to Elias. He is a huge reason the Broncos are in the playoff mix heading into December.

2018 stats: 12 games | 154 att | 937 rush yds | 6.1 ypc | 8 rush TDs | 25 rec | 189 rec yds | 1 rec TD

8
James Conner
RB
Steelers
5

Previous rank: No. 13

Conner had a pair of rushing touchdowns in Sunday's loss to the Chargers, but the Steelers will have to do without him this week as he'll be sidelined with an ankle injury. It'll be an uphill battle the rest of the way for Conner, both on the field and in terms of this list.

2018 stats: 12 games | 201 att | 909 rush yds | 4.5 ypc | 12 rush TDs | 52 rec | 467 rec yds | 1 rec TD

9
Joe Mixon
RB
Bengals
1

Previous rank: No. 10

Mixon didn't have his best game statistically, but he did have his most efficient of the season by gaining 6.8 yards per carry against the Broncos.

2018 stats: 10 games | 154 att | 755 rush yds | 4.9 ypc | 5 rush TDs | 33 rec | 256 rec yds | 1 rec TD

10
Lamar Miller
RB
Texans
NR

Previous rank: Not ranked

Miller has been steady for the Texans by providing some balance within the offense. In Houston's ninth straight victory, he had 19 attempts for 103 rushing yards -- it was his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season.

2018 stats: 11 games | 176 att | 876 rush yds | 5.0 ypc | 3 rush TDs | 18 rec | 144 rec yds | 1 rec TD

11
Nick Chubb
RB
Browns
3

Previous rank: No. 14

Chubb added another touchdown in Sunday's loss to Houston, giving him nine on the year, which is tied for third-most by a Browns rookie since 1950. Trent Richardson holds the franchise record with 12 in 2012.

2018 stats: 12 games | 131 att | 694 rush yds | 5.3 ypc | 7 rush TDs | 12 rec | 133 rec yds | 2 rec TDs

12
Adrian Peterson
RB
Redskins

Previous rank: No. 12

After Colt McCoy was lost to a season-ending injury against the Eagles, Peterson kept the Redskins in the game early with a 90-yard rushing touchdown, making him the oldest player in NFL history to rush for at least a 90-yard TD, per NFL Research. Unfortunately, he was also one of just two players to not finish with 100 rushing yards in the same game in which he had a 90-plus-yard TD.

2018 stats: 12 games | 192 att | 856 rush yds | 4.5 ypc | 7 rush TDs | 16 rec | 177 rec yds | 1 rec TD

13
Tarik Cohen
RB
Bears
NR

Previous rank: Not ranked

Cohen set career highs in receptions (12), receiving yards (156) and scrimmage yards (186) against the Giants. The Bears are looking for -- and will need -- this same kind of output against the 11-1 Rams on Sunday night. He has also been used in the passing game unlike any running back this season, with twice as many air yards (327) as any other back ( James White, 161 air yards), according to Next Gen Stats.

2018 stats: 12 games | 74 att | 315 rush yds | 4.3 ypc | 2 rush TDs | 59 rec | 659 rec yds | 4 rec TDs

14
James White
RB
Patriots
NR

Previous rank: Not ranked

White had seven catches for 97 yards against the Vikings. His 659 receiving yards are tied for the second-most (with Tarik Cohen) by a running back this season. The pair sits behind Christian McCaffrey's 663.

2018 stats: 12 games | 76 att | 329 rush yds | 4.3 ypc | 4 rush TDs | 74 rec | 659 rec yds | 6 rec TDs

15
Mark Ingram
RB
Saints
6

Previous rank: No. 9

Ingram had a down performance against the Cowboys -- like the rest of the Saints' offense -- but he has a prime opportunity to rebound this weekend in Tampa. The Buccaneers, who beat the Saints in Week 1, have allowed at least 100 rushing yards in seven straight games. Prepare for a huge game from Ingram and his counterpart, Alvin Kamara.

2018 stats: 8 games | 97 att | 467 rush yds | 4.8 ypc | 4 rush TDs | 15 rec | 135 rec yds | 1 rec TD

Dropped out: Kareem Hunt, Chiefs (previously No. 3); Melvin Gordon, Chargers (No. 7); Matt Breida, 49ers (No. 15).

The Ground Index delivered by FedEx ranks NFL running back performances all season long. Check out the FedEx Ground NFL Players of the Week and cast your vote.

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