2013 Early Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings
The NFL Draft is still off in the distance, but what better time to start exploring 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 2,000 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 bounce back candidate.
13. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Johnson was held for less than 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.
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