2013 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: NFL Week 1

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IAugust 30, 2013

GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 05:  Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs the ball in front of nose tackle B.J. Raji #90 of the Green Bay Packers in the second half during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 5, 2013 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The smell of football is in the air. Here are the LestersLegends 2013 Week 1 fantasy football running back rankings.

1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions

All Day came up just shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. He had 102 yards and 171 yards and a touchdown in his two meetings with Detroit last year.

2. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks @ Carolina Panthers

Lynch has averaged 1,601 total yards and 12.5 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He had 94 total yards against the Panthers last year. I’m expecting much more.

3. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Jets

The Muscle Hamster racked up 1,926 total yards and a dozen touchdowns as a rookie. The Jets ranked 26th in the league last year with 133.6 rushing yards allowed per game.

4. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags ranked 30th in rushing defense with 141.0 yards allowed per game last year. They ranked 31st with 19 rushing scores allowed. Charles had 1,745 total yards last year. He should run wild.

5. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

The Bills are planning to feed Spiller the ball until he pukes. Maybe not literally, but based on volume alone, he should be solid in the opener. Throw in his explosiveness and he should pay immediate dividends.

6. Arian Foster, Houston Texans @ San Diego Chargers

Foster enters the season without taking a single preseason snap. He may have a little rust to shake off, but he is a touchdown machine with 47 scores over the past three seasons.

7. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns vs. Miami Dolphins

T-Rich enters the season healthy. He wasn’t able to say that much last year despite the 1,317 total yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s a dual threat with a nose for the goal line.

8. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills

Ridley had 204 yards and three touchdowns in two meetings with the Bills last year. Buffalo ranked 31st in run defense last year with 145.8 yards allowed per game. It also yielded the most (23) rushing touchdowns.

9. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins

Shady had a forgettable year, but he did average 117 total yards in two meetings against the Skins. Chip Kelly plans to run a ton of plays. That volume should help McCoy’s production.

10. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

Morris had 191 total yards and a touchdown in two meetings with the Eagles. Robert Griffin III likely won’t be heavily involved in the run game as he recovers from his knee injury, which should mean a heavy workload for Morris.

11. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos

Rice had 1,621 total yards and 10 touchdowns last year. The Broncos held him to 38 yards during the season. He got the last laugh by piling up 131 yards in the double-overtime playoff win.

12. Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints

Jackson gives the Falcons way more firepower at running back than Michael Turner did, both in terms of running and catching the football out of the backfield. The Saints finished last in the NFL with 147.6 rushing yards allowed per game.

13. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers

Gore isn’t a sexy pick, but he ran for 1,214 yards and eight touchdowns last year. He had 112 yards and a touchdown in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers. He later added 119 yards and a score in the playoff win.

14. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Mojo averaged 98.8 total yards with two touchdowns in his first five games before a foot injury derailed his season. He’s back healthy and should do well against a Chiefs team that finished 27th in the league with 135.7 rushing yards allowed per game.

15. David Wilson, New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

Wilson gets a chance to shine with Ahmad Bradshaw going to the Indianapolis Colts. Dallas ranked 22nd in run defense last year with 125.2 yards allowed per game. He's especially a nice option with Andre Brown out.

16. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Forte has a tough matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals, but he can supplement his production with his receiving ability. The Bears figure to be more explosive offensively under Marc Trestman.

17. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Bush has averaged 1,036 rushing yards over the past two seasons. In Detroit’s high-octane offense, he should get his fair share of carries, along with heavy involvement in the passing game. 

18. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins @ Cleveland Browns

Miller is somewhat of an unknown commodity, but gets a chance to carry the workload. The Browns finished 19th in rushing defense last year with 118.6 yards allowed per game.

19. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Johnson has a tough first draw against Pittsburgh, but he quietly finished with 1,475 total yards last year. He had 91 rushing yards and 23 receiving yards against the Steelers last year.

20. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants

Murray opened last year with 131 yards against the G-Men, who finished 25th against the run with 129.1 yards per game allowed. He enters the year healthy, which should lead to another good start.

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