2013 Fantasy Running Back Rankings

Doug Martin, 2013 Fantasy RB Rankings

Do the 2013 Fantasy Running Back Rankings even matter anymore? I mean, we’ve beaten you over the head recently with quotes on passing statistics, and how the NFL had a record 11 quarterbacks with over 4,000 passing yards last season.

So obviously, running backs are about as useful as a Fantasy writer and skinny jeans.

“But Dave,” you say, “can you just cut the crap and talk about running backs already?”


This current set of running backs is a good one. It’s strong at the top, without nearly as many pitfalls and question marks as last year’s crop.

At the very top of the draft, you have a pair of running backs to debate over, in Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson. We saw three running backs battling for the top spot last season, with LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice battling with Foster.

Comparing the 2012 Offseason to 2013

In 2012, we were reaching for running backs like Ryan Mathews and Darren McFadden – players we KNEW were problematic because of injuries and underperforming. But we couldn’t help ourselves.

But this season, in these 2013 Fantasy RB Rankings, we’re looking at one of the best second tiers of running backs in recent memory. Rather than Mathews and McFadden, we’re getting to pick from players like Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch, Trent Richardson and McCoy.

Adrian Peterson, 2013 Fantasy Running Back Rankings

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson came up nine yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. What can he do for an encore? Photo Credit: Vikings Frenzy

Part of the boost in veterans comes from three stellar sophomores joining the rankings, with Richardson, Doug Martin and Alfred Morris entering 2013 as one of the top 10 Fantasy running backs. Unfortunately, we’re likely not going to see the same kind of production from this year’s group of rookies as we did last year’s. (Heck, we never saw that kind of rookie production in NFL history, so why would we think it would happen again?)

There aren’t quite as many injuries that we have to deal with this summer either (not yet, at least). Last year, we were trying to figure out what to do with Peterson, Charles and Rashard Mendenhall. This year, the biggest injury problem comes from what would have been the top rookie running back in the rankings, as Marcus Lattimore tries to return from a totally reconstructed left knee. Joel Bartilotta discusses all of the running back injuries to be aware of in this article.

Last season, we dealt with the retirement of LaDainian Tomlinson, the holdout of Maurice Jones-Drew and the perceived shared running back duties of teams like Atlanta, Buffalo, Carolina, Denver, New Orleans and Pittsburgh. While a few of those teams still have committees, the Bills, Falcons and Steelers look like they’ll be going with featured backs.

Scoring Trends Among Fantasy Running Backs

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!

Here are some things to consider before looking at the 2013 Fantasy Running Back Rankings:

  • The following running backs will be playing as 30-year-olds in 2013, which is an arbitrary indicator of a possible dropoff in production: Frank Gore, Steven Jackson, Darren Sproles and DeAngelo Williams. Others that are already north of 30 include: Cedric Benson, Fred Jackson, Willis McGahee and Michael Turner.
  • Notice that Foster, Martin and Peterson are the top three Fantasy RBs in the rankings, and they also happen to be the only running backs that got over 350 touches in 2012.
  • The Lions now have one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL, now that Reggie Bush is in Motown. That should benefit an already awesome passing game.
  • Mendenhall left a crowded running back situation in Pittsburgh for what has turned out to be a crowded situation in Arizona, with Ryan Williams and rookie Andre Ellington.
  • Shonn Greene joined the Titans, where he’ll work behind Chris Johnson, and possibly steal some short yardage and goal-line touches.
  • Back in East Rutherford, the Jets will turn to Chris Ivory (or Mike Goodson or Bilal Powell).
  • The Packers will have two rookies battling for carries in Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. This reminds me a little of the Rams, who added both Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson last season. The difference being – there’s no one in front of Lacy/Franklin. The lead ball carrier here could be a strong RB2 this season.
Doug Martin, 2013 Fantasy Running Back Rankings

Doug Martin turned in one of the best rookie RB performances of the past decade in 2013 — and he gets back two Pro Bowl guards this sesson. Photo Credit: HumpDaddie

2013 Rankings: Top 60 Overall

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DST

Offensive Lines | IDP: DL | LB | DB

Rookie Rankings: Top 30 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE


2013 Fantasy RB Rankings

These 2013 Fantasy Football rankings are for standard non-PPR leagues, scoring four points for a touchdown pass, starting 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K and 1 DST. These rankings are powered by the fine folks at FantasyPros.com. The term “ECR” stands for “Experts Consensus Rankings,” which is an average ranking from over 35 Fantasy writers/websites.

Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

2013 Rankings: Top 60 Overall

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DST

Offensive Lines | IDP: DL | LB | DB

Rookie Rankings: Top 30 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE


These 2013 Fantasy Running Back Rankings will be updated regularly throughout the offseason, training camps and preseason, so bookmark this page and come back each week.

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