There are all kinds of strategies to assembling a fantasy football team, but an approach I seem to find myself sticking to across all fantasy sports is ensuring to balance my high risk picks with what I consider safe and reliable options.
I kicked off my All-Reliable QBs already and for the purpose of this 2013 Fantasy Football All-Reliable Team, players who are projected in the top third of required starters at their positions based on FantasyPros consensus rankings and standard league roster formats aren’t included.
For example, Marshawn Lynch is beastly and the Seahawks are all the rage, but he is currently ranked 6th, so he isn’t eligible.
2013 Fantasy Football All-Reliable Team: Running Backs
Frank Gore, San Francisco
The bruising back is coming off back-to-back 1200 yard, 8 TD seasons and was huge in the play-offs for the Niners as well. Gore’s single season low in YPC is 4.2 and although, he isn’t the duel threat of his younger years, he will still grab a few balls in the passing game.
San Francisco will have another strong season in 2013 and Gore will be a big part of it. Gore will have weeks where he is a top running back, but you’re off to strong start if he is your second fantasy running back.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati
The Law Firm is by no means explosive, but he is relatively fresh coming off his first 250 touch season. As expected, the Bengals added another back in the draft, which shouldn’t hurt Green-Ellis, as he is more of a between the tackles and straight ahead power back. As long as The Law Firm maintains goal-line duties he’ll be fantasy relevant.
Green-Ellis is at best a very low end second running back in fantasy and boasts little upside, but he’ll get touches and has been solid out of a committee in the past.
Vick Ballard, Indianapolis
The Colts best running back didn’t get double digit touches until Week 7 and didn’t get 20 again until Week 16, finishing with 211 total in this rookie season. Ballard runs hard, breaks tackles and has earned his coaches trust.
He’ll be the lead man in Indianapolis going forward and the offense is only going to get better in 2013. Draft Ballard with confidence as a middle tier number 2 fantasy running back based on his fresh legs, opportunity and the upside for a big season.
Reggie Bush, Detroit
The move to Detroit should raise Reggie’s fantasy stock significantly, especially if he gets involved in the passing game as much as Jim Schwartz is forecasting. Bush answered all questions of whether or not he could handle being an every down back with his solid, yet unspectacular play for the Dophins.
During his 2 seasons Reggie missed only 1 game and is coming off the first season in which he started every game. Mikel Leshoure could vulture some TDs, but Reggie Bush is a solid number 2 fantasy back.
Early Thoughts on Fantasy Running Backs
I’ll be taking a Running Back with my first pick and targeting one of the above mentioned as my 3rd fantasy back in Rounds 4 and 5. The position is plundered by fantasy owners as if they’re Roman Soldiers ram sacking Carthage, although, I’m not sure if that even happened.
Regardless, I’ll be joining them in the attempted fantasy running back conquest and trying to secure as many 3 down backs as I can early.
Unless Calvin Johnson is still available in the mid to late 2nd Round, it is likely that I’ll have 2 running backs heading into Round 3. It’ll be interesting to see where the recently drafted rookies fit into the Rankings, but no one is forecasting Doug Martin or Trent Richardson production right now.
I have always been a huge RB early and often guy and last season, in one draft I abandoned the approach and it was awful. No offense Felix Jones, Bryce Brown, Rashad Jennings and Jalen Parmele, but streaming running backs is depressing, especially when you’re lining them up next to Ryan Mathews.
I’m a Loyal Leafs, Cubs, and Cowboys fan for decades. I wear the C for The Fake Hockey, in addition to contributing to The Fake Baseball and The Fake Football in more of a Timmy Try Hard role. You can also find my weekly fantasy baseball preview here at davidgonos.com and can reach me on Twitter @naparker77.