From a Fantasy Football standpoint, 2012 was an up year for running backs! These 2013 Fantasy Football RB Rankings are obviously somewhat based on what running backs did this past season. Just like the 2011 season affected the 2012 running back rankings.
I know it sounds like I’m talking in circles – but stick with me!
(UPDATE: Our most recent 2013 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings are posted here! We will keep these updated throughout the summer, in training camps and preseason!)
The 2011 season was a stinker of a season for running backs – and that meant that the 2012 rankings had more non-RBs climbing into the upper tiers. Suddenly, a few quarterbacks made their way into the first round, and a couple tight ends slid up into the second round of many drafts.
This year’s early rankings are a little different, although you’ll notice that more running backs are slowly working their way back up into the top tiers.
Last year, we saw one running back in the 300-Fantasy-point range, and nine others scored at least 200 Fantasy points (in non-PPR leagues).
That’s a nice jump from 2011, where there was one 300-point guy and five other 200-pointers.
But 2011 was a big dropoff from 2010, where there was just one 300-point guy, but 12 other 200-point running backs.
The years previous to 2010 were different than 2011 also. In other words – the 2012 Fantasy Football rankings were based off of a very low year for running backs. Don’t think that way coming into the 2013 season!
Quick thoughts on my 2013 Fantasy Football RB Rankings:
- Next season, we’ll see several running backs turn 30 years old, which is a relatively arbitrary number that many people use to project a drop in production. Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, Darren Sproles, DeAngelo Williams and Jackie Battle will all be playing as 30-year-olds next season. Meanwhile, Cedric Benson, Ronnie Brown, Fred Jackson, Willis McGahee and Michael Turner are already north of the 30-year line.
- Arian Foster, Doug Martin and Adrian Peterson were the only running backs in 2012 to go over the 350-touches mark in the regular season.
- Usually, the incoming class of rookies sprinkle the running back rankings for an upcoming season. And it will happen again this year – only not nearly at the level we saw in 2012. Martin, Alfred Morris and Trent Richardson ended up being one of the best rookie running back classes of all time.
- Steven Jackson takes his talents to the Dirty South, where he’ll be lining up in an absolutely stellar offense. He’ll be 30 years old, and Jacquizz Rodgers will take some snaps away, but this is a great situation for SJ39.
- Reggie Bush heads to Motown to play with Matthew Stafford and company, which is a nice boost for Stafford, but Bush will have to fend off touches from Joique Bell and Mikel Leshoure. Bush remains a good RB2, however, especially in PPR leagues.
- Rashard Mendenhall heads out to Arizona, but Fantasy owners should be leery of him as anything higher than an RB3.
- The Titans picked up Shonn Greene to work behind Chris Johnson, which frees up Bilal Powell to be the Jets’ starting RB for now.
Rookies aren’t in these rankings, but we’ll add them after the draft – and bump down the veterans whose jobs are suddenly in danger!
2013 Fantasy Football Draft Prep
|Rankings: Top 200 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DST | Sleepers|
|PPR Rankings: Top 200 Overall | RB | WR | TE | Offensive Line Rankings|
|IDP Rankings: Top 195 Overall | DL | LB | DB | Auction Dos/Don'ts|
|Rookie Rankings: Top 30 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE|
|3rd-Year Wide Receivers: History | 3 to Target | The Big 3 | Avoid|
|All-Reliable Team: QB | RB | WR | TE | All-Risk Team: QB | RB | WR | TE|
|Injured Players on the Mend: QB | RB | WR | TE|
|NFL Coaching Changes: Pt 1 and Pt 2 | Strength of Schedule: 9 Players|
2013 Fantasy Football RB Rankings
These 2013 Fantasy Football RB Rankings should give you a nice idea of what you’re looking at for the upcoming season. Do you think I missed the boat on a couple guys? Is someone too high or too low? Let us know what you think.
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.