Thursday, March 28, 2013

Early 2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs

1. Adrian Peterson
2. Doug Martin
3. Marshawn Lynch
4. Trent Richardson

5. Arian Foster

       I may be a little low on Foster here, but there are a few things that concern me about him going into the 2013 season.  In 2012, Foster averaged less than 4.0 YPC in 9 games...not good.  His YPC has also gone down from 4.9 in 2010 to 4.1 in 2012.  Gary Kubiak has run Foster into the ground over the past three seasons (99 more carries than any other RB over the same amount of time) and it's starting to show.  Foster also took a step backward in the passing game, averaging only 5.4 YPR in 2012 compared to 11.6 YPR in 2011.  The lack of explosion as of late is worrisome to me, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit a wall in 2013.  
  As for Trent Richardson, Norv Turner is now in town as the Browns new offensive coordinator.  Turner is known to support a one back system, and has produced a league leading rusher on five different occasions (Emmitt Smith ’91-’93, Ricky Williams ’02, and LaDainian Tomlinson ’07).  I expect Richardson to have a big sophomore season, earning him a #4 spot in the rankings.

 6. C.J. Spiller
7. LeSean McCoy
8. Ray Rice
9. Jamaal Charles
10. Alfred Morris

Can Fred Jackson just get out of town already?  Honestly…there’s absolutely no reason why C.J Spiller shouldn’t be getting at least 250 carries in 2013.  His 6.0 YPC in 2012 tied him for highest in the league (with whom else but Adrian Peterson).  Spiller also averaged 10.7 YPR out of the backfield.  He’s easily one of the most explosive backs I’ve seen in recent years, and if offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett doesn’t get him at least 250 carries, I’m suing him for crimes against humanity.

Some would say this is too low for Ray Rice, but I think Bernard Pierce is going to see an increase in workload in 2013.  Pierce looked great towards the end of the season/playoffs and John Harbaugh will certainly utilize him in any way that he can.  We’ll have to keep an eye on this one though, as Harbaugh may look to Rice a little more in the passing game now that Anquan Boldin has moved to the 49ers.

Originally I was concerned about Alfred Morris when RGIII went down with that horrific looking injury in the playoffs, but according to recent reports it looks as though he may possibly be back for week one.  If RGIII is good to go, bet on Alfred Morris having a top ten fantasy season.

11. DeMarco Murray
12. Steven Ridley
13. Chris Johnson
14. Maurice Jones-Drew
15. Matt Forte

Demarco Murray could be a bargain at number 11...if he stays healthy.  His first two seasons would tell us to expect another injury in 2013, but I want to believe that he can keep it on the field this year.  Maybe my man-crush for DeMarco is getting in the way, but with the emergence of Dez Bryant as one of the game’s elite wideouts, I’m hoping it’ll open up the running game a little more for Murray, resulting in a breakout year that we all know he’s capable of.

16. Reggie Bush
17. David Wilson
18. Steven Jackson
19. Frank Gore
20. Darren McFadden

I would LOVE to move Wilson up a few spots, but Tom Coughlin’s use of Andre Brown at the goal line concerns me.  Wilson is absolutely lethal in the open field and with Amhad Bradshaw out of the picture; Wilson is the clear go to guy.  I expect a big yardage output in his sophomore season, but Brown is definitely going to cut into his TD total.  Meanwhile, Steven Jackson has plenty left in the tank to have a solid year for Atlanta.

21. Lamar Miller
22. Darren Sproles
23. Ryan Matthews
24. Rashard Mendenhall
25. Vick Ballard
26. Jonathan Dwyer
27. Mikel Leshoure
28. Daryl Richardson
29. Shane Vereen
30. Jonathan Stewart
31. BenJarvus Green Ellis
32. Bilal Powell


  1. A little low on Forte

    1. Thought about ranking Forte higher, but the TD total always seems to be an issue with this guy. In his rookie year he hit pay dirt 12 times, but in the four seasons since he's only averaging 5.75 total TDs per season....and Michael Bush is still in town to steal GL carries. I'm not worried about the yardage at all, but the TD count is somewhat concerning. Where would you put him?

    2. I think you're just about right on Forte. They're upgrading the O-line mostly to give Cutler more time, and with Marshall, Alshon and Bennett I'd say the Bears are shifting to a pass first offense. Sure, maybe that opens things up for Forte on the ground, but you can bank on more passing than rushing TDs this year (and obviously Bush vultures what few ground opportunities are left).

      Honestly I might even move Reggie ahead of Forte (in .5-1 ppr leagues definitely).