Fantasy Football Rankings 2013: Updated Look at Top RBs Ready to Dominate
As it is in the NFL, running backs are the workhorses of every championship fantasy football team.
Most expert fantasy analysts are exhorting the masses to pick up a cache of running backs early in the draft—and for good reason.
Fantasy owners who fail to land top producers will inevitably fail to make the playoffs, and there aren't exactly an unlimited supply of elite backs heading into the 2013 season.
With that in mind, here's an updated look at the top running backs this season, followed by a closer look at a few players who will take the NFL by storm in 2013.
|1||Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings|
|2||Arian Foster||Houston Texans|
|3||Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks|
|4||C.J. Spiller||Buffalo Bills|
|5||LeSean McCoy||Philadelphia Eagles|
|6||Ray Rice||Baltimore Ravens|
|7||Doug Martin||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|8||Jamaal Charles||Kansas City Chiefs|
|9||Alfred Morris||Washington Redskins|
|10||Trent Richardson||Cleveland Browns|
|11||Matt Forte||Chicago Bears|
|12||Chris Johnson||Tennessee Titans|
|13||Stevan Ridley||New England Patriots|
|14||Maurice Jones-Drew||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|15||Frank Gore||San Francisco 49ers|
|16||Reggie Bush||Detroit Lions|
|17||Steven Jackson||Atlanta Falcons|
|18||David Wilson||New York Giants|
|19||Lamar Miller||Miami Dolphins|
|20||Chris Ivory||New York Jets|
|21||DeMarco Murray||Dallas Cowboys|
|22||Eddie Lacy||Green Bay Packers|
|23||Darren Sproles||New Orleans Saints|
|24||Darren McFadden||Oakland Raiders|
|25||Ahmad Bradshaw||Indianapolis Colts|
Jesse Reed's Fantasy Rankings
LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles (No. 5)
After a frustrating season for McCoy and fantasy owners who were counting on him to produce last year, new head coach Chip Kelly will turn the elusive running back into a fantasy football star this year.
The Eagles will of course feature an explosive passing attack led by Michael Vick. However, Kelly's entire offensive philosophy is predicated on a relentless running game, as noted by Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
McCoy put up monster numbers in 2010, rushing the ball for 4.8 yards on average with 17 touchdowns. As the Eagles moved away from the run more and more the next couple of seasons under Andy Reid, McCoy's role within the offense diminished.
Under Kelly this year, McCoy is poised for a breakout campaign.
In addition to his ability to churn out huge gains on the ground, he's an accomplished receiver out of the backfield who has 220 catches for 1,588 yards and eight touchdowns in his four seasons as a pro.
Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (No. 8)
New quarterback Alex Smith will help Charles become a fantasy football stud in 2013.
Smith isn't exactly the most talented passer in the NFL, but he is an efficient leader who is capable of moving the offense with pin-point passes on timing routes to his receivers. Unlike what we saw from the Chiefs last year, opposing defenses will have to honor his ability to make plays through the air, which will open up running lanes for Charles.
Heck, Charles flourished even last year, playing without the benefit of a competent passing game. He rushed for 1,509 yards (5.3 yards per carry) and five touchdowns.
New head coach Andy Reid isn't exactly known for running an offense that relies on a punishing running game, as was touched on when discussing McCoy. However, any potential losses to Charles' stats in the running game this year will be more than made up for in the passing game.
Which running back will have the biggest season for fantasy owners in 2013?
A skilled receiver who caught 45 balls in 2011, Charles is dangerous in the open field. He'll be the beneficiary of many a screen pass, and given his incredible breakaway speed, he's a threat to take it to the house on any given play.
Matt Forte, Chicago Bears (No. 11)
Forte could be a sleeper as a true RB1 this year.
The Bears have been abysmal the past couple of years passing the ball, which has allowed opposing teams to crowd the box in order to shut down Forte and the running game.
However, with new head coach Marc Trestman running the show, Jay Cutler and the team's passing game should blossom this upcoming season. So far, Forte seems to be benefiting from Trestman's offensive scheme, as noted by Chris Wesseling of NFL.com:
Matt Forte should be going higher in fantasy drafts, too. Moving better this year + benefits of Trestman's offense.— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) August 24, 2013
In addition to Trestman's scheme, rookie guard Kyle Long will be a boon to Forte this season. He's looked smooth, strong and skilled thus far, and his aggressive attitude appears to be rubbing off on the rest of his teammates on the line.
Forte has looked unstoppable in the past two preseason games after making a cameo appearance in the team's first game. He's rushed the ball 14 times for 150 yards and one touchdown in those two games while catching three passes for 38 yards and another touchdown.
Based on these early numbers, Forte is a no-brainer late in the first round or early in the second.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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