Fantasy Football RB Rankings for 2013 (Updated 8-29-13)
This year’s crop of running backs is as diverse as always, but the seemingly sure-fire guys are few and far between. With the quarterback talent deeper than usual this season and plenty of nice tier two and three wide receivers, grabbing running backs early and late is as sound a draft strategy as you can find.
1. Adrian Peterson – Min ($9,500 Week 1 FanDuel price): — The odds of the number one fantasy player repeating that feat are quite long, but that’s the only reason I can come up with to not rank Peterson as the best back in standard leagues and that’s not really a good reason at all.
2. Jamaal Charles – KC ($8,800 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Reid will use JC Superstar better than anyone has thus far. LeSean McCoy was a top 3 fantasy running back two years running and isn’t as good as Charles.
3. Doug Martin – TB ($9,200 Week 1 FanDuel price) — The Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano loves to run the ball and play defense. Last season his team was good at stopping the run, but horrible at stopping the pass. With Darrelle Revis in the fold we should see the offense able to run more often and Martin will get to show his talents.
4. LeSean McCoy – Phi ($8,300 Week 1 FanDuel price) — I love Shady this season. Chip Kelly’s offense is run first AND extremely fast paced. If he can stay healthy his upside is enormous.
5. C.J. Spiller – Buf ($8,700 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Spiller is an elite talent and one of the hardest players to rank for me. His number of touches per game isn’t set in stone, so neither is his ranking, but his upside is top 3.
6. Trent Richardson – Cle ($8,400 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He’ll be the focus of the offense again. As long as he can stay healthy he’ll be a top 10 back.
7. Arian Foster – Hou ($9,100 Week 1 FanDuel price) — His decline in yards per carry and reception has me worried. If he stays healthy all season he’s still a lock for a top 3 finish.
8. Marshawn Lynch – Sea ($8,600 Week 1 FanDuel price) — The Seahawks offense with Russell Wilson in his second season should be able to move the ball and Lynch can’t be kept out of the end zone.
9. Ray Rice – Bal ($8,200 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He gets used less than I’d like now, but it does keep him fresh and he’s not an injury risk. His talent is still near the top.
10. Steven Jackson – Atl ($8,200 Week 1 FanDuel price) — I will most likely own Jackson many teams this season. The Falcon’s offense is perfect for him to score TDs and pick up more receptions than his Rams days and he’s still got some juice.
11. Alfred Morris – Was ($8,400 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He loses some ground since he doesn’t get used in the receiving game, but will be a yardage and touchdown machine.
12. Matt Forte – Chi ($8,100 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Forte has looked unstoppable in the preseason. He’s still not going to get goal line carries, but he’ll get plenty of receptions and more room to create.
13. Stevan Ridley – NE ($8,100 Week 1 FanDuel price) — With Hernandez in prison and Gronk in pain, I think the Patriots will run a ton. Ridley was one of the most consistent running backs last season scoring touchdowns in 10 of 16 games.
14. Chris Johnson – Ten ($7,900 Week 1 FanDuel price) — I don’t trust him, but he’s the starting running back and the Titans got some offensive line help in the draft. He’s looked good in the preseason and, well, he finished as the 13th best back last season while not playing particularly well.
15. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jac ($7,500 Week 1 FanDuel price) — I’m worried about him lasting all season, as he will once again be used heavily so I doubt I’ll take the risk on him unless he really falls.
16. Frank Gore – SF ($6,800 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He was rested quite a bit last season and it seemed to help as he had his highest rushing yardage season since 2006. Colin Kaepernick’s ability to run also helps keep defenders from keying on him. He’ll once again have his touches limited, but his offensive line and quarterback will keep him in fantasy points.
17. Eddie Lacy – GB ($6,500 Week 1 FanDuel price) — I like Lacy a lot, if he can stay healthy and get some third down work he could be a top 10 player. And now that DuJuan Harris is done for the season he has an even better chance to get that 3rd down work to go along with the always-coveted goal line attempts.
18. Reggie Bush – Det ($7,200 Week 1 FanDuel price) — His upside is great in the Lions offense where he will see a bunch of receiving targets and also be the main ball carrier. He’ll lose some short yardage work, but the way the Lions open up their offense the receptions and total yardage should be huge.
19. Lamar Miller – Mia ($6,900 Week 1 FanDuel price) — His talent is great so just let that calm any Daniel Thomas fears. But thankfully there is that fear that Thomas will take away touches so you should be able to draft him at value.
20. Darren Sproles – NO ($6,700 Week 1 FanDuel price) — In ‘11 he was the 5th best PPR back and then last season he was on pace to be the 6th best PPR back. He’s just too good in 1 point PPR not to take in the first round.
21. DeMarco Murray – Dal ($7,300 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Murray is hard to rank. He can’t seem to stay on the field, but I think he’s a top notch back. His running style seems to get him hurt, which is why I won’t reach for him to be safe.
22. David Wilson – NYG ($7,700 Week 1 FanDuel price) — His upside is great and even though Andre Brown might take away some touchdowns, Wilson is far ahead of him in ability and it will show.
23. Ryan Mathews – SD ($6,500 Week 1 FanDuel price) – Ugh, Mathews has the talent to be good, but can’t stay healthy. I still like his upside as the goal line and early down back and he has looked solid in preseason.
24. Darren McFadden – Oak ($7,400 Week 1 FanDuel price) — The Raiders look like a dumpster fire and I have no faith in McFadden taking this team on his back, but his talent is hard to pass up this late.
25. Giovani Bernard – Cin ($6,200 Week 1 FanDuel price) — I like him to beat out BJGE for the majority of the RB touches due to ability, but it looks to be a committee at the moment. — For dynasty I think he’s the best running back long term.
26. Shane Vereen – NE ($6,400 Week 1 FanDuel price) — I really like Vereen this season. If Woodhead can finish in the top 25 in fantasy, Vereen could finish in the top 20 at a cheap price.
27. Daryl Richardson – Stl ($6,000 Week 1 FanDuel price) –Richardson has taken the lead in the Rams running back race, but expect him to share carries as the season goes on.
28. Chris Ivory – NYJ ($6,300 Week 1 FanDuel price) — His preseason injuries and lack of production are concerning while Powell has been playing okay.
29. Ahmad Bradshaw – Ind ($6,000 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Health is the only problem for Bradshaw and he usually plays through injuries. He could be a steal with Andrew Luck at the helm.
30. Andre Brown – NYG ($5,700 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Should get the Brandon Jacobs treatment and get touchdowns in a good offense.
31. Montee Ball – Den ($6,800 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Whoever is the main guy in Denver should get plenty of opportunities for fantasy points. Ball looks like the best bet long term, but this could devolve into a RBBC all season.
32. DeAngelo Williams – Car ($6,300 Week 1 FanDuel price) — With Stewart on the PUP list he’ll at least get more looks. Tolbert and Newton will continue to steal touchdowns.
33. Rashard Mendenhall – Ari ($6,500 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He looks like the frontrunner for the starting running back job in Arizona.
34. Bryce Brown – Phi ($5,200 Week 1 FanDuel price) – He has tremendous talent and is a great handcuff for Shady. You just have to live with the mental lapses.
35. Benjarvus Green-Ellis – Cin ($6,100 Week 1 FanDuel price) — I think Bernard will beat him out for playing time, but it’s not set in stone by any means and BJGE will get some play, but his upside is barely breathing (mixed metaphor alert).
36. Mark Ingram – NO ($6,000 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He’s yet to prove himself on the field, but will get another opportunity to do so this season. The problem is he needs to put up numbers with less touches than most backs and he doesn’t have that extra something to do that.
37. Ben Tate – Hou ($5,600 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Arian Foster looks to be wearing down. Grab Tate for a lottery ticket.
38. Bernard Pierce – Bal ($5,300 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He got plenty of work while giving Ray Rice rest last season and will have some good games, but predicting those games will be tough.
39. Pierre Thomas – NO ($5,300 Week 1 FanDuel price) — I love his ability and with Ivory gone he gets a little more cushion, but he will need Ingram or Sproles to go down.
40. Roy Helu – Was ($4,500 Week 1 FanDuel price) – He looks entrenched in the third down role and will be worth flex consideration in PPR leagues at times. If Morris misses time he has pretty good upside as an every down back.
41. Danny Woodhead – SD ($5,200 Week 1 FanDuel price) — The Chargers will need all the help they can get on offense and as the receiving running back there’s a good chance he’ll be needed often when trying to catch up.
42. Knowshon Moreno – Den ($5,100 Week 1 FanDuel price) — With Hillman and Ball trying to both lose the running back competition, Moreno may have a shot.
43. Ronnie Hillman – Den ($5,800 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He’s been having fumbling issues and is slowly falling back down the rankings, but is #1 on the “depth chart” at this moment which doesn’t mean all that much.
44. Joique Bell – Det ($4,800 Week 1 FanDuel price) — If Bush goes down Bell is his direct backup and would have good value. And in deeper PPR leagues Bell should still see some targets with bush healthy.
45. Kendall Hunter – SF ($4,800 Week 1 FanDuel price) – Hunter looked good in his first preseason work after his ACL surgery. He is Gore’s backup and a good lottery ticket in a run heavy offense.
46. Michael Bush – Chi ($5,200 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Bush will be the goal line back once again in Chicago. In a more explosive offense he should have more opportunities.
47. Marcel Reece – Oak ($5,100 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He’ll be the more fantasy relevant backup for DMC, which means he’ll probably see some time. Rashad Jennings will need to get better really fast to be able to compete with Reece’s versatility.
48. Christine Michael – Sea ($4,500 Week 1 FanDuel price) — Lynch can’t last forever. Michael would be a top player if he can land the starting gig at some point.
49. Fred Jackson – Buf ($5,700 Week 1 FanDuel price) — If he’s healthy he’ll still see some work, but Spiller is the man now.
50. Isaac Redman – Pit ($4,600 Week 1 FanDuel price) — He’s still ahead of Dwyer on the depth chart so could have some value if he can win the most playing time while Bell is out, but don’t get your hopes too high.