Cover Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

More so than ever, NFL running backs are breaking off long runs at an epic rate. In fact, seven of them have been doing something more special than the rest. 

Headlining the list is Melvin Gordon, gashing runs at a 19.2 percent rate for the Los Angeles Chargers. It's quite the unexpected surprise for the former Wisconsin Badger, who has never averaged more than four yards per carry during the first three years of his NFL career. Now in his fourth season, Gordon is running at a 5.4 per yard clip, and also nearing a career high in touchdowns.

The next two names on that list will certainly surprise you -- Matt Breida of the San Francisco 49ers and Phillip Lindsay of the Denver Broncos. 

Breida took the opportunity left vacant by Jerrick McKinnon's ACL injury and ran with it (pun intended), going for 632 rushing yards and three touchdowns so far this season. His 5.6 yards per carry is over a full yard better than the 4.4 he went for during his rookie year. For fantasy purposes, Breida has been effective in the passing game as well, snagging 15 of the 18 targets thrown his way for 124 yards and two touchdowns. 

Lindsay will likely need one of these long runs in order to be effective this week for fantasy owners, as Royce Freeman will likely return to the Broncos' backfield. Much like the other two guys on this list, Lindsay has added fantasy value because of his work in the passing game, but he does need to hit on that long play since Freeman will likely get more carries inside the 10-yard line. 

If you're lucky enough to be a fantasy owner of these three backs, you're certainly in a nice position to strike on your opponent at any moment. 

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Al Walsh is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Al Walsh also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username 14AdotWalsh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.