Here are the Lester’s Legends running back rankings for the AFC and NFC championship games of the 2012-13 NFL playoffs.
1. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
The Atlanta Falcons had the worst run defense (123.2, 16 rushing touchdowns) of the remaining playoff teams. They allowed 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns to a similarly constructed Seattle Seahawks team.
Meanwhile, Gore ran for 119 yards and a touchdown last week to go with 48 receiving yards. I give him a slight edge over Ray Rice in the top spot.
2. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
Rice was a workhorse last week, dropping 131 yards and a touchdown on the Denver Broncos.
The Ravens will try to give him another heavy workload against the New England Patriots.
Rice didn’t catch a pass last week. I expect he’ll be more active in that area in the championship game. Arian Foster had seven receptions last week against the Pats. Baltimore will try to exploit that as well.
Rice had 150 total yards and a touchdown in the first meeting with New England.
3. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
Shane Vereen stole the show with three touchdowns, but Ridley was still the leading runner with 82 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
The Pats mix it up better than anybody, but Ridley has been consistent. The Ravens allowed 122.8 rushing yards per game and 15 scores on the ground.
4. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons
Turner is easily the starting back that I have the least amount of confidence in despite running for 98 yards on 14 carries against the Seattle Seahawks.
The 49ers have the best run defense (94.2 yards, seven rushing touchdowns) of the playoff teams.
5. Shane Vereen, New England Patriots
Vereen scored a trio of touchdowns last week, but Bill Belichick loves to mix and match. It’s hard to imagine that Vereen won’t see double-digit touches, but you never know.
6. Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons
Rodgers had a 45-yard run, which made his final numbers look respectable (10 carries, 64 yards), but was pretty much bottled up the rest of the day.
It was only his fourth time topping 70 total yards. I don’t have a lot of faith going up against San Francisco’s defense.
Also check out:
- 2012-13 Conference Championship Fantasy Football QB Rankings
- 2012-13 Conference Championship Fantasy Football WR Rankings
- 2012-13 Conference Championship Fantasy Football TE Rankings
- 2012-13 Conference Championship Fantasy Football K Rankings
- 2012-13 Conference Championship Fantasy Football DEF Rankings