Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte had an amazing start to his 2011 season.
Through the first eight games, Forte had 805 rushing yards (5.4 yards per carry) and 436 receiving yards on 41 receptions. Or, in other words, Forte was averaging 100.6 rushing yards and 54.5 receiving yards per game.
Since then, Forte has only 234 yards from scrimmage (180 rushing yards and 54 receiving yards), which is an average of only 78 yards from scrimmage per game in his past three games. He is averaging only 3.6 yards per carry during that span.
Based on his first-half production, Forte was on pace for 2,482 yards from scrimmage. Only Chris Johnson, who broke Marshall Faulk's record, had more (2009). Three games later, Forte's now on pace for 2,145.
With Jay Cutler breaking his thumb in Week 11, the Bears will likely try to run the ball more than usual until Cutler returns. However, Forte won't be the sole beneficiary.
Backup running back Marion Barber has averaged nearly 10 carries per game (56 attempts) in his past six games in addition to getting the goal-line work. Barber has three games with double-digit carries during that span, and he had only two carries less than what Forte had last week. Considering Barber has four rushing touchdowns in the past six games, he could become worth a flex play if he consistently gets 10 or so carries down the stretch.
Here are some more running back notes for Week 13:
- Running back Michael Turner had 19 carries for only 60 yards and no touchdowns in Week 12. Before last week's game, Turner had a touchdown and/or 96 rushing yards in nine of his first 10 games. Turner has a tough matchup this week against the Texans, who have allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
- Texans running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate each have four 100-yard rushing games this season. In addition, Foster has three 100-yard receiving games. In Week 13, they face the Falcons, who are one of three teams to not allow a 100-yard rushing game this season. Take our poll on how many rushing yards Foster will have.
- Although Joseph Addai got the start last week, Donald Brown was the more effective and productive runner. Brown had 14 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown, while Addai had only seven carries for 23 yards. This week, the Colts face the Patriots, one of the three teams to not allow a 100-yard rusher this season.
- The other team to not allow a 100-yard rusher this season is San Francisco. In fact, the 49ers have not allowed a running back to gain more than 64 yards this season. And they have allowed only four running backs to rush for 40-plus yards: Cedric Benson (64), Ray Rice (59), Brandon Jacobs (55) and Roy Helu (41). Rams running back Steven Jackson has only 106 rushing yards in his past two games combined and will try to break out of his slump against the league's top run defense.
- For the third time this season, Bengals running back Cedric Benson has rushed for 100-plus yards. He finished last week's game with 21 carries for 106 yards and a score. He now has three touchdowns in his past two games.
- Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams scored his second and third touchdown of the season last week against the Colts. Williams finished the game with a season-high 15 carries for 69 yards. Fortunately for Williams and his fantasy owners, the Panthers have another favorable matchup against the Bucs this week.
- Titans running back Chris Johnson rushed for a season-high 190 yards this week. Before this week's game, he had twice as many games (four) with less than 25 rushing yards than 100-yard games. CJ2K has a few favorable matchups coming against Buffalo, New Orleans and Indianapolis.
- Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew finished with 18 carries for 99 yards in Week 12. He also led the Jags in receiving with four receptions for 67 yards. MJD has at least 80 rushing yards in every game this season except one.
- Cardinals running back Beanie Wells had a career-high 228 rushing yards in Week 12. Interestingly enough, Wells' season high and season low (20 rushing yards) have come in his two matchups against the Rams this season.
- Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis had 14 carries for only 44 yards last week, but he scored two touchdowns, which ended a five-game scoring drought for the Law Firm. As a three-touchdown favorite over the Colts this week, Green-Ellis could be in store for many goal-line carries.
- LeGarrette Blount rushed for 103 yards on 20 carries last week and finished second on the team in receiving (56 yards) behind Mike Williams. It was Blount's second straight 100-yard game, and this week he faces the Panthers, who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.
- Chargers running back Ryan Mathews had 22 carries for 137 yards last week. In his previous four games, Mathews had 45 carries for only 167 yards and had less than 40 rushing yards in three of those four games.
- Oakland running back Michael Bush had another heavy workload (24 carries), but he finished with only 69 rushing yards and one score. It was the first time in the past five weeks that Bush did not rush for at least 96 yards.
- Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch rushed 24 times for 111 yards. Although he had a receiving touchdown, it ends a six-game streak of scoring a rushing touchdown in games that Lynch has played. Lynch has 23-plus carries in four consecutive games and has 100-plus yards in three of those four games.
- Redskins running back Roy Helu rushed 23 times for 108 yards and a score, and caught seven passes for 54 yards. So, you know that means? Shanahan will bench him next week, right?
Here are our fantasy running back rankings for Week 13:
1. Ray Rice, Ravens (at CLE)
2. LeSean McCoy, Eagles (at SEA)
3. Arian Foster, Texans (vs ATL)
4. Frank Gore, 49ers (vs STL)
5. LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers (vs CAR)
6. Matt Forte, Bears (vs KC)
7. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars (vs SD)
8. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys (at ARI)
9. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks (vs PHI)
10. Chris Johnson, Titans (at BUF)
11. Michael Turner, Falcons (at HOU)
12. Michael Bush, Raiders (at MIA)
13. Reggie Bush, Dolphins (vs OAK)
14. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers (vs CIN)
15. Willis McGahee, Broncos (at MIN)
16. Beanie Wells, Cardinals (vs DAL)
17. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots (vs IND)
18. Ryan Mathews, Chargers (at JAX)
19. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (at TB)
20. Steven Jackson, Rams (at SF)
21. Shonn Greene, Jets (at WAS)
22. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers (at TB)
23. Darren Sproles, Saints (vs DET)
24. Roy Helu, Redskins (vs NYJ)
25. Cedric Benson, Bengals (at PIT)
26. Peyton Hillis, Browns (vs BAL)
27. Brandon Jacobs, Giants (vs GB)
28. Mark Ingram, Saints (vs DET)
29. C.J. Spiller, Bills (vs TEN)
30. Toby Gerhart, Vikings (vs DEN)
31. Donald Brown, Colts (at NE)
32. Mike Tolbert, Chargers (at JAX)
33. James Starks, Packers (at NYG)
34. Marion Barber, Bears (vs KC)
35. Pierre Thomas, Saints (vs DET)
36. Ben Tate, Texans (vs ATL)
37. Maurice Morris, Lions (at NO)
38. Kevin Smith, Lions (at NO)
39. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants (vs GB)
40. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (vs DEN)
41. Daniel Thomas, Dolphins (vs OAK)
42. Joseph Addai, Colts (at NE)
Note: Our running back rankings will be updated before the Thursday night game and again before the Sunday games. To view the updates, visit our running back rankings page.
If you're in a point-per-reception (PPR) league, here are our running back PPR rankings for Week 13.
For more positions and/or flex rankings, visit our fantasy section.
Good luck in Week 13!