2013 Updated Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings

Jun 12, 2013

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Adrian Peterson 2012
Training camp will be here before you know it. It’s a perfect time to revisit the 2013 fantasy football running back landscape.
1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
What more is there to be said about All Day. An injury that could threaten the career of most NFL running backs was shrugged off like a hangnail. All Peterson did was challenge the NFL record with 2,097 yards while posting his sixth straight season with double-digit touchdowns.
2. Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Foster scored 17 touchdowns last year, 15 on the ground. He had 1,424 yards rushing and 217 yards receiving. That’s three straight monster years for Foster. He did see a 400-yard drop in receiving yards, which is a slight cause for concern.
3. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns
Richardson had 1,317 total yards and 12 touchdowns despite dealing with knee, rib, and ankle injuries. If he can stay healthy, I believe he can challenge All Day for the top spot.
4. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While I believe Richardson will be even better in 2013, I think Martin takes a small step back. Simply because the 1,926 total yards and 12 touchdowns set his bar so high. That said, this dual threat should remain one of the top fantasy backs.
5. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills
Spiller averaged a ridiculous 6.0 yard per carry. He gained 1,703 total yards on 250 touches. He should get closer to the 300 mark, which should put him over 2000 total yards.
6. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Lynch doesn’t typically give you the monster games like some of the other elite backs can produce, but he’s about as steady as they come. He had 1,786 total yards and 12 touchdowns last year.
7. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Lost in Peterson’s incredible season was Jamaal Charles’ similarly impressive return from his own knee injury. At times the Chiefs went away from Charles, but he still managed to produce 1,745 total yards. Another season removed from the injury, Charles should be even better in 2013.
8. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens may have officially made the transition from Rice being the focal point on offense to Joe Flacco, but Rice isn’t out of the picture just yet. He remains one of the most dynamic running backs in the league with an ability to produce on the ground and in the passing game while having a strong nose for the end zone.
9. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins
Morris is coming off a 1,690 total yard, 13 touchdown season, but he does have the stigma of playing for Mike Shanahan. I think that is less of an issue than Robert Griffin III’s health. That and defenses adjusting to the Pistol offense.
10. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
2012 was a season to forget for Eagles fans and McCoy owners alike. Shady should be much better in Chip Kelly’s offense.
11. David Wilson, New York Giants
Wilson should have the chance to carry the load for the G-Men. He has the tools to breakout in a big way.
12. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars
Mojo’s season was a complete disaster, but he’s still on the right side of 30 (28 in March). I expect him to be the focal point of the Jaguars’ offense once again and a strong bounceback candidate.
13. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Johnson was held under 25 yards rushing in four of the first five games, but managed to get back on track. He averaged 92.2 total yards per game. His window is closing (he’ll be 28 in September), but he should still have a couple of good seasons in him.
14. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears
Forte is an impressive talent, and while he is able to play through injuries, how often is he limited by them? He also doesn’t punch the ball in frequently enough to be even a mid-level RB1.
15. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick is even harder to figure with running backs than Mike Shanahan. Ridley had an impressive 12 touchdowns, but he does little in the passing game to help his yardage total.
16. Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons
Michael Turner ran for 800 yards and ten touchdowns last year for the Falcons. Steven Jackson had 1,363 total yards and four touchdowns last year for an inferior St. Louis Rams team. With Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez commanding so much attention, S-Jax should be able to put up even better numbers than last year.
17. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
Gore finished with 1,448 total yards and nine touchdowns. Gore turned 30 so it shouldn’t be a surprise if his touches decline a little during the season. With his massive offensive line, that shouldn’t stop Gore from turning in another solid year.
18. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
Murray brings as much risk as reward to the table. He has shown flashes, but has also missed nine games in two years. He averages 4.8 yards per carry and has 61 receptions in two years.
19. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
Bush hasn’t reached 300 yards receiving since 2009, but that should change in Detroit’s offense. Matthew Stafford attempted 727 passes last year, and is fond of throwing to running backs. Bush will have to share with Mikel Leshoure, which limits both backs’ values.
20.  Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
Speaking of risk vs. reward, Run DMC is the epitome of that scenario. With all of the hype he’s received, he still just has had just one productive season. If you own McDadden, you’ll have to worry about his availability all year.
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12 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. GRO
    August 14th, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    Where do you have Sproles in a PPR League? I’m the 6th pick in a 12 team league and I’m trying to decide if he is worth a second round pick or if I should grab one of the other availables… Ridley, MJD, possibly Brandon Marhall.

  2. LestersLegends
    August 15th, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    I like them all better than Sproles, even in PPR

  3. Somewhere over Dwayne Bowe
    August 23rd, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Yo Les! Great to see this year’s projections. I’ll be hitting you up for advice all year long again lol. So my draft is this sunday. 10-teamer PPR. I have the 2nd overall pick. Assuming AP goes 1, i have been pulling my hair out trying to decide who to take at 2. If Foster was healthy, i would snag him. But i am a little leery. I see you are as high on TRich as i am. (Though i’m biased seeing as i live in Cleveland).
    Am i nuts to take him 2nd overall in a PPR? I think JMail, the Muscle Hamster, CJ Spiller, and Lynch are all in the convo at 2, and all the RB’s in the top 10 seem to be kind of on=par with each other. They are all a step down from Peterson.
    Who would you take at 2? I have a gut feeling TRich is gonna have a solid year.

  4. LestersLegends
    August 23rd, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    I think they all have the potential to be #2. Foster is a little scary. I think it’s personal preference as 2-7.

  5. Somewhere over Dwayne Bowe
    August 25th, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    Draft day. I’m hoping the guy that picks first has a brain fart and picks someone not named Peterson at 1, making my pick a no-brainer….Gun to your head Les. Who would you draft at 2?

  6. ll
    August 25th, 2013 at 6:38 am #


  7. Somewhere over Dwayne Bowe
    August 25th, 2013 at 7:19 am #

    Hey II…Foster? who has’nt played at all?… the usage (most touches the past three years), the declining yards per carry, the presence of Ben Tate, the knowledge that the Texans have Super Bowl aspirations so they’ll be super-cautious with him, plus all the injury concerns. That’s enough for me to feel nervous about taking him at No. 2, especially when you have lots of good, safer options to choose from. If he was healthy i would take him. He’s not healthy.

  8. LestersLegends
    August 25th, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Personally I go with him, but I have no problem going any of the top 7 in that spot.

  9. Somewhere over Dwayne Bowe
    August 26th, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

    Cam, TRich, CJohnson, Dez, BMarsh, Olsen, Cobb at flex or Sproles, Houston D/ST, and Blair Walsh.

  10. LestersLegends
    August 26th, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

    Wonderful looking squad.

  11. gary
    September 5th, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Hey lester just wanted your opinion on a trade I was contemplating. In an auction draft I ended up with 3 qbs manning, rg3 & r. Wilson so I put wilson on the block. I have been offered david wilson & rams D for russel wilson (who I probably wont use & lacy? Thoughts please?

  12. LestersLegends
    September 5th, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    I would do that. I love Wilson.

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