2013 Fantasy Football: Ranking Top Running Backs for Your Draft

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2013 Fantasy Football: Ranking Top Running Backs for Your Draft
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The 2013 fantasy football season is rapidly approaching. We already know that Adrian Peterson is the best running back and quite possibly the best player in the NFL. He will be the first player selected in the majority of the upcoming drafts. Assuming you don't get lucky enough to have the first pick, you need to start focusing on other guys at the running back position.

The first round should be solely dedicated to running backs, as these guys are the prized players who will make or break your team. 

Aside from Peterson, the next best guy out there, to me, is C.J. Spiller. In 2012, he averaged six yards per carry. His production was limited because he split time with Fred Jackson in the backfield. There's a good chance the Bills give him 25 carries per game this year as the backfield belongs to him. Don't forget his great hands and ability to make plays through the air.

We have already seen LeSean McCoy do some damage under Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense early in the preseason. Expect big things from Shady this year, as he will rack up yards on the ground and through the passing attack.

I am not so sure about Jamaal Charles this year. There is no denying the fact that he is one of the most talented running backs in the league. If Andy Reid's offense in Kansas City is anything like what he ran in Philly, there is a good chance Charles doesn't get more than 20 carries a game on average. His ankle strain in practice also brings up a red flag.

David Wilson and Lamar Miller are two guys I expect to have breakout seasons. Both will see increased snaps this year and could flourish with the talent alongside them. Both players are similar, and as long as they continue to improve in pass protection, there won't be much reason for either of their coaches to take them off the field.

Miller's success will also go hand-in-hand with the protection provided by Miami's offensive line. If they can't protect Ryan Tannehill enough to help him use his arm that can make all the throws, the Dolphins will be playing catchup most of the year. This would result in less carries for Miller.

Steven Jackson could be poised for a breakout year, which seems weird to say considering his age. Atlanta's running backs have steadily put up solid fantasy numbers. He didn't have the opportunity to run the ball as much as you'd like a star like Jackson to in St. Louis because the team was always playing from behind. 

Now that Jackson is finally on a competing team, he will get a chance to run the ball more later in games.

Giovani Bernard could be this year's Doug Martin. As long as he can prove he deserves more carries than BenJarvus Green-Ellis, he will be able to showcase his explosive speed the same way Martin did in 2012. 

Mark Ingram may finally get a chance to prove to the New Orleans Saints that they made the right decision taking him with a first-round pick back in 2011. With Sean Payton back on the sideline, look for a potential breakout year from the former Heisman winner

Players I am not high on this year are Ray Rice, Darren McFadden, DeMarco Murray and Maurice Jones-Drew. 

Here are my overall running back rankings for the 2013 fantasy football season.

Rank Player Position Team
1 Adrian Peterson RB MIN
2 CJ Spiller RB BUF
3 Arian Foster RB HOU
4 LeSean McCoy RB PHI
5 Doug Martin RB TB
6 Trent Richardson RB CLE
7 Marshawn Lynch RB SEA
8 Matt Forte RB CHI
9 Steven Jackson RB ATL
10 Jamaal Charles RB KC
11 Stevan Ridley RB NE
12 Alfred Morris RB WAS
13 Frank Gore RB SF
14 Ray Rice RB BAL
15 Lamar Miller RB MIA
16 David Wilson RB NYG
17 Reggie Bush RB DET
18 Chris Johnson RB TEN
19 DeMarco Murray RB DAL
20 Le'Veon Bell RB PIT
21 Maurice Jones-Drew RB JAX
22 Darren McFadden RB OAK
23 Ryan Mathews RB SD
24 Daryl Richardson RB STL
25 Chris Ivory RB NYJ
26 Mark Ingram RB NO
27 Giovani Bernard RB CIN
28 Montee Ball RB DEN
29 BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB CIN
30 Darren Sproles RB NO
31 Rashard Mendenhall RB ARI
32 Jonathan Stewart RB CAR
33 Pierre Thomas RB NO
34 Eddie Lacy RB GB
35 Ahmad Bradshaw RB IND
36 Christine Michael RB SEA
37 Kendall Hunter RB SF
38 Bernard Pierce RB BAL
39 Bryce Brown RB PHI
40 Shane Vereen RB NE
41 Ben Tate RB HOU
42 Ronnie Hillman RB DEN
43 Andre Brown RB NYG
44 Robert Turbin RB SEA
45 Fred Jackson RB BUF
46 Vick Ballard RB IND
47 LeGarrette Blount RB NE
48 Joseph Randle RB DAL
49 Roy Helu RB WAS
50 Isaac Redman RB PIT
51 Mikel Leshoure RB DET
52 Ryan Williams RB ARI
53 Isaiah Pead RB STL
54 Joique Bell RB DET
55 Daniel Thomas RB MIA
56 Michael Bush RB CHI
57 Mike Gillislee RB MIA
58 Mike Goodson RB NYJ
59 Jacquizz Rodgers RB ATL
60 Danny Woodhead RB SD
61 Justin Forsett RB JAX

Stats courtesy of ESPN.

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