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2013 fantasy football profiles and projections (RBs 1-16)

RB RANKINGS 17-32![](

Statistical projections are provided by EA Sports/

  • Player
  • Analysis

Peterson is coming off what can be defined as an absolutely miraculous 2012 campaign. Less than a year removed from major knee reconstruction, A.D. proved his critics wrong by rushing for an amazing 2,097 yards and scoring a combined 13 touchdowns. Those totals were good enough for him to finish No. 1 in fantasy points at his position. Peterson was also the lone non-quarterback to rank among the top 10 overall fantasy players in 2012. The veteran will no doubt be the top overall pick in countless drafts -- that's a status he has earned. Owners should keep in mind that no running back who has rushed for 2,000-plus yards has rushed for even 1,500 yards the following season. Regardless, it's going to be difficult to pass on Peterson with one of the top two overall choices in all formats.

Lynch followed up an enormous statistical season in 2011 with an even more impressive campaign last year, as he posted a career-best 1,590 rushing yards with 12 total touchdowns. Those numbers were good enough to rank him among the four-best running backs in fantasy football based on points. The talented runner nicknamed "Beast Mode" recorded 100-plus rushing yards 10 times, and was one of the most consistent point producers in fantasy land. The 27-year-old Lynch is in his prime, and playing in a suddenly explosive offense led by Russell Wilson does nothing but improve his value for 2013. The former California standout is now a virtual lock to be selected in the first round in just about every fantasy draft this season -- he'll even be considered a top-five selection in many leagues.

Foster has been the most consistent running back in fantasy football over the last three seasons; he's ranked no worse than fourth in fantasy points at his position in that time. He's averaged 1,900 scrimmage yards and put up an impressive 47 total touchdowns since becoming the featured back for coach Gary Kubiak, who has altered his offensive attack to make Foster the centerpiece. In his prime at age 27, Foster should continue to fill up the stat sheets for the Texans and fantasy owners alike. Unfortunately, calf and back ailments have kept him off the field in the preseason, and his status for Week 1 is in some question. That makes Foster a bit more of a risk, so look for him to slide toward the end of Round 1

One of the top runners in fantasy football, Rice followed up a career season in 2011 with better than 1,500 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns last year. The versatile Rutgers product also hauled in 61 receptions, which ranked second at the position behind Darren Sproles. Rice, who has finished in the top 10 in fantasy points at his position in three straight seasons, is in his prime at age 26 and will continue to see a major role in the offense under coordinator Jim Caldwell. While there is a chance he could lose some work to Bernard Pierce, it's tough to envision a scenario where Rice still doesn't see better than 300 touches. A legitimate top-five overall pick in both standard and PPR leagues, Rice will continue to be one of the most coveted players at his position in the first round.

A preseason sleeper on in 2012, Martin exceeded expectations with over 1,900 scrimmage yards, 12 total touchdowns and the second-most fantasy points among running backs. The Boise State product also had one of the best single-game fantasy performances since 2000, as he scored a ridiculous 51.20 fantasy points in a blowout win over the Oakland Raiders. Martin, also known as the "Muscle Hamster," will remain the centerpiece of an offense for coach Greg Schiano that is intent on leaning on the run. Sure, the dreaded sophomore slump does loom over Martin and all of the 2012 rookies who produced big numbers, but it's going to be tough to pass on him in the first round based on his immediate NFL success. Whether it's a standard or PPR league, fantasy owners should expect Martin to be a top-10 overall draft pick.

One of the most explosive running backs in the NFL, Spiller is coming off his best statistical season with over 1,600 scrimmage yards and eight total touchdowns. He also finished among the top 10 runners in the NFL based on fantasy points, while averaging the most points per touch at his position among those backs. The return of Fred Jackson from a knee injury will keep Spiller from seeing a true featured role, but he'll see more than enough touches to produce under coach Doug Marrone, whose offenses at Syracuse finished with more rushing attempts than pass attempts in each of his four seasons. At just 25 and with a favorable schedule, Spiller still has plenty of statistical upside. The versatile Clemson product will be worth a first-round selection in standard and PPR leagues..

Adrian Peterson received most of the press for his amazing return from a major knee reconstruction, but Charles did well in his own return from a similar procedure. Though he was inconsistent in the stat sheets at times, the Texas product still rushed for a career-best 1,509 yards and finished eighth in fantasy points among running backs -- despite scoring just six touchdowns. The Chiefs offense will have a new look under coach Andy Reid, who likes to use a one-back system (Brian Westbrook, LeSean McCoy) and will no doubt allow Charles more opportunities to produce as a pass catcher out of the backfield. As a result, owners can expect the talented Charles to have another solid season in the stat sheets. A surefire first-round selection in both standard and PPR formats, Charles is one of fantasy's most valuable runners.

McCoy is coming off a disappointing 2012 season; he missed four games with a concussion and finished outside of the top 20 among running backs based on fantasy points. Regardless, the future is bright for the Pittsburgh product in the offense of new coach Chip Kelly. Running backs thrived in Kelly's system at Oregon, as his teams ranked fourth, first and fifth in the nation in total rushing yards over the last three years. So while Bryce Brown is also expected to see his share of backfield touches, McCoy is still a good bet to see 250-300 total touches in 2013. At 24, he's still a young runner with a versatile skill set that will make him a valuable asset in standard and PPR leagues. Despite his mediocre 2012, McCoy is still worth a first-round pick and should be considered a top-10 selection.

Richardson proved to be a workhorse in his first NFL season. Despite undergoing a knee a scope in August, suffering broken ribs and missing one game due to an ankle sprain, he played on 702 offensive snaps -- ninth-most among running backs. He reached at least 20 touches nine times and scored 12 touchdowns as well, proving that he is a true featured runner. With new coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner now calling the shots, Richardson has a boatload of upside heading into his second season with the Browns. He's a candidate to finish among the top five running backs based on fantasy points. The Alabama product is well worth a first-round pick in both standard and PPR leagues and would be a terrific bargain if he somehow fell into the second round.

One of the biggest and best surprises of the 2012 fantasy season, Morris came out of nowhere to post 1,613 rushing yards (a Redskins record) and 13 touchdowns as the featured back for coach Mike Shanahan. Not bad for someone with an average draft position of Round 15 on The Florida Atlantic product won't go unnoticed this season, however, as his immense totals helped him rank fifth in fantasy points among running backs in standard leagues. Despite catching just 11 passes, he even finished eighth at his position in PPR formats. Surprisingly elusive, Morris also caused the third-most missed tackles among backs -- only Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch caused more. As long as there's no return to Shanahanigans, Morris will continue to be the bell cow this season and is worth a first- or second-round draft selection..

Forte hasn't posted elite fantasy totals since his rookie campaign of 2008, but he's still been one of the better No. 2 fantasy backs in the league in recent seasons. In 2012, he rushed for 1,000-plus yards for the third time in his career and finished 12th in fantasy points at his position despite missing one game with a bum ankle. The versatile veteran does come with some risk, though, as Forte has been more prone to injuries in recent seasons and will no doubt lose some short-yardage and goal-line work to his bruising backfield mate, Michael Bush. Still, the Tulane product has averaged close to 20 touches per game since 2010 and will remain prominent in the offense of new coach Marc Trestman. While he's a bit less appealing as a No. 1 fantasy runner, Forte is attractive as a No. 2 option and well worth a look in Round 2.

Johnson, once an elite fantasy runner, had a roller-coaster ride of a season in the stats sheets in 2012. After a slow start that saw him score six or fewer fantasy points in four of his first five games, CJ2K caught fire with six straight games of 11-plus points (including three with 17-plus). He was inconsistent down the stretch, though, and hurt the title hopes of countless owners with a 4.10-point dud in fantasy championship week. Johnson has now averaged a respectable 1,145 rushing yards over the last two seasons, but he's only scored a combined 10 touchdowns in that time -- that's not likely to improve with the addition of Shonn Greene. On a positive note, the Titans added OGs Andy Levitre and rookie Chance Warmack to what should be a better offensive line. Overall, C.J. will be a high-end No. 2 runner in drafts.

A preseason fantasy sleeper on, Ridley had a tremendous statistical season with 1,263 rushing yards and 12 visits to the end zone in 2012. Those are impressive numbers when you consider that the Louisiana State product caught just six passes on 14 targets, and was rarely on the field on third downs. He was clearly the most prominent runner in the backfield for Bill Belichick: Ridley's 290 carries were 214 more than Danny Woodhead. Though his season ended with a scary-looking hit that caused a concussion in the AFC Divisional Round, there's no reason to believe Ridley won't continue to serve as the lead back in a Patriots offense that was one of the league's most successful in running the football. Look for him to be picked in either Round 2 or 3..

Once considered to be a brittle running back, Jackson has missed just two games over the last four years and has averaged 292 carries per year in that time. Though he is getting up there in age (Jackson will be 30 at the start of the season) the Oregon State product is one of the few featured runners left in the league. He's also consistent, rushing for 1,000-plus yards in each of the last eight years. On the downside, Jackson has averaged a very mediocre 4.7 touchdowns rushes per season since 2009. That should change as a member of the Falcons, though -- their offensive attack is much more prolific and will allow Jackson more chances to find the end zone. Michael Turner rushed for no fewer than 10 touchdowns during his five years in Atlanta. Overall, owners should consider Jackson a nice No. 2 runner in drafts.

Wilson's fantasy value is clearly on the rise heading into the 2013 campaign, as the Giants parted ways with Ahmad Bradshaw in the offseason and will now use Wilson in a more prominent backfield role. The Virginia Tech product showed flashes as a rookie, averaging five yards per carry with five touchdowns in limited time out on the gridiron. An electric athlete with amazing speed, Wilson is the clear-cut starter with Andre Brown out of action due to a fractured leg. In this new featured role, Wilson has breakout candidate written all over him. Draft him a No. 2 fantasy running back who possesses a gigantic amount of statistical potential in a New York offense that will run the football.

The 2012 season was a forgettable one for Jones-Drew, both on the field and from a fantasy perspective. First, he held out of training camp over a contract dispute. Upon his return, he averaged just 69 yards on the ground before missing the final 10 games with a foot ailment that required an operation. Now entering a contract year, "Pocket Hercules" should be back in plenty of time for the start of the regular season and will be a risk-reward choice in fantasy leagues. Remember that in the three years prior to 2012, Jones-Drew averaged 1,440 rushing yards and scored a combined 34 touchdowns. At age 27 and with at least one or two more good seasons left in the tank, the Jaguars runner is going to be well worth a roll of the dice in the second or third round in standard and PPR drafts.

RB RANKINGS 17-32![](

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