2013 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings by Tier: Level Four

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IAugust 2, 2013

May 10, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals second round draft pick running back Giovani Bernard runs with ball during the Bengals rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

We broke down the elite options, the second wave and the third level of fantasy running backs, now we look at the fourth level. They have the ability to be productive and serve as RB2s, but they will likely be drafted as backup fantasy backs.

Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

Bernard has been getting plenty of praise from the Bengals camp. If he can beat BenJarvus Green-Ellis out of the starting job, he’ll be a solid fantasy contributor. Either way he’ll yield the short-yardage touchdowns to The Law Firm. Both backs have fantasy value, though I prefer Bernard, especially in PPR leagues.

Ahmad Bradshaw, Indianapolis Colts

Health will be the key for Bradshaw as he has dealt with numerous foot and ankle injuries. Despite the durability concerns, he has averaged 1180 total yards and eight touchdowns over the past four seasons. Vick Ballard will still be in the mix, but Bradshaw is the Colt back to own.

Andre Brown, New York Giants

David Wilson is the running back you want to own from the Giants, but Brown will be in the mix as well. Brown will serve as the third down back because he’s superior in pass protection. He will also work as the goal line back. He scored eight touchdowns last year in 10 games. If he can stay healthy, a double-digit season is reasonable.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals

The Law Firm will see his workload drastically reduced from the 278 carries he had last year. After back-to-back seasons with double-digit scores, Green-Ellis only scored six times for the Bengals. He should get enough work to remain a fantasy option. While I prefer Bernard in standard and PPR leagues, BJGE is the better option in touchdown heavy leagues.

Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints

Ingram has more appeal with Chris Ivory out of the picture. He averaged 22.3 yards with one touchdown in his first eight games, but he finished strong averaging 53 yards with four touchdowns in the final eight games. The Saints will remain a pass first team, but Ingram should get plenty of opportunities to provide a balance. Plus, he’s the goal line back, which gives him an edge over Pierre Thomas. Darren Sproles will do his damage in the passing game.

Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams

Steven Jackson’s departure to the Atlanta Falcons opens the door for Richardson, who averaged 4.8 yards per carry with 475 yards on 98 carries. He added 24 receptions for 163 yards. He did not score a touchdown last year, but they only scored five rushing touchdowns as a team. Terrance Ganaway could end up get the goal line looks. Isaiah Pead will also be in the mix for early down carries.

Shane Vereen, New England Patriots

Vereen finished with 400 total yards and four touchdowns on 70 touches last year. Danny Woodhead landed with the San Diego Chargers, which should lead to an increased role for Vereen, particularly with the departure of several of Brady’s top weapons. He has added value in PPR leagues.

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers

Williams could be a real solid option if Jonathan Stewart’s ankle continues to give him issues. He’s currently on the preseason Physically Unable to Perform list. D-Will had 737 yards and five touchdowns on 173 carries. He added 187 yards and two more scores on 13 receptions. The last time he had 200 carries, he ran for 1,117 yards. Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton will siphon the short touchdowns, but Williams has the ability to break long runs.

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