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2013 fantasy football profiles and projections (RBs 49-64)

[RB RANKINGS 65-80internal-link-placeholder-0]

Statistical projections are provided by EA Sports/

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  • Analysis

Moreno wasn't even on the fantasy football radar during the first half of last season, but he came on strong after Willis McGahee went down with a leg ailment. In his absence, the Georgia product rushed for 510 yards and found the end zone three times in six games. Unfortunately, Moreno suffered an injured knee in the postseason and required an arthroscopic procedure. Considering his history of knee ailments, not to mention the addition of rookie Montee Ball and the presence of Ronnie Hillman, Moreno's value for this season will be that of a fantasy reserve.

Powell showed flashes of potential in his second NFL season, rushing for 437 yards and four touchdowns in limited time for the Men in Green. He was most effective down the stretch, scoring 11-plus fantasy points in three of his last seven games of the fantasy season. The addition of veteran Chris Ivory puts a huge dent in his value, though, so Powell won't have much draft appeal. While he did have a nice preseason, Powell isn't going to be worth much more than a late-round pick as a No. 4 or 5 fantasy runner in most formats.

A top-10 fantasy running back based on points in 2011, Bush fell to 43rd at his position in his first season with the Bears. The bruising runner out of Louisville averaged fewer than nine carries in 13 games, including just 12 attempts in goal-to-go situations. That's one fewer than starter Matt Forte, who remained a featured back for all intents and purposes. While Bush will have a bit more value in touchdown-based formats due to his goal-line prowess, he is no more than a reserve in most leagues. He's also a nice late-round handcuff for those owners who draft Forte.

Thomas, once considered a legitimate sleeper in fantasy football, has failed to make a significant statistical impact in his first two seasons at the pro level. His career 3.5-yards-per-carry average leaves much to be desired, and the presence of Lamar Miller in the backfield means no more than a committee role for the former Kansas State standout. Unless Thomas has a gangbusters training camp and pushes for a more prominent role in the offense under coach Joe Philbin, he isn't going to be worth much more than a late-round look as a No. 4 or 5 fantasy runner in most drafts.

Helu was invisible in the stat sheets in his second pro season, as he missed 13 games due to toe and Achilles' ailments. It also had much to do with the emergence of Alfred Morris, who came out of nowhere to dominate the backfield work for coach Mike Shanahan. While things can change from one season to the next, it's tough to envision a scenario where the Nebraska product will be much more than a reserve both in Washington and in fantasy circles. In fact, his fantasy appeal is limited to deeper leagues as insurance for owners who land Morris in the earlier rounds.

A six-year veteran out of Wayne State, Bell came out of nowhere to become a useful fantasy option in some leagues in 2012. Not only did he produce career bests across the board in the stat sheets, but Bell finished fifth in receptions among running backs and was a top-25 running back in PPR formats as a result - he even scored more fantasy points than Darren McFadden and Ryan Mathews in such formats. Unfortunately, the offseason addition of Reggie Bush will make Bell more of an afterthought in 2013 drafts. In fact, he's not much more than a potential deep-league handcuff for owners who land the former USC standout.

Michael, a rookie out of Texas A&M, will compete with Robert Turbin for the second spot on the Seahawks depth chart. He has shown some flashes of potential in the preseason, so he's clearly in the mix to become Marshawn Lynch's No. 1 fantasy handcuff. With that being said, Michael won't have much more appeal than that in a best-case scenario. When you also consider how durable Lynch has been in recent seasons, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Michael drafted as no more than a late-round handcuff.

Hunter entered last season as the clear backup to incumbent starter Frank Gore, but he missed the final five games with an injured Achilles' tendon that has his status for the start of 2013 in question. If he comes back in time for training camp or the preseason, Hunter would compete with LaMichael James for the second spot on the Niners' depth chart. If he earns that role, Hunter would be worth a late-round look as a handcuff for owners who land Gore. Otherwise, the Oklahoma State product won't have much appeal in standard scoring leagues.

Gerhart was supposed to be one of the top fantasy handcuffs last season, as Adrian Peterson was coming off a major knee reconstruction. Of course, no one predicted that A.D. would tout the rock 348 times and leave Gerhart all but invisible in the stat sheets. In fact, he carried the ball just 50 times and found the end zone once while Peterson dominated the backfield work. The Stanford product will continue to be no more than a fantasy handcuff for the superstar running back ahead of him on the depth chart, and is now limited to only being considered in the late rounds of much deeper leagues for 2013.

After a two-week absence due to a league suspension, Leshoure made a nice impact in the stat sheets for both the Lions and fantasy football owners alike. The Illinois product rushed for just under 800 yards, hauled in a respectable 34 passes and found the end zone nine times in 14 starts. Overall, Leshoure averaged just over 10 fantasy points per game and finished 20th in points among running backs, which is pretty respectable. Unfortunately, the offseason addition of Reggie Bush will put a major dent in his 2013 appeal. In fact, he won't have much more than late-round fantasy draft appeal.

Williams has had a forgettable start to his NFL career, missing all but five games due to major knee and shoulder injuries. Now under the tutelage of new coach Bruce Arians (who also went to Virginia Tech), Williams could be in a position to rebound -- if he can beat out Rashard Mendenhall for the starting role. In that scenario, Williams would be worth a roll of the dice in the middle-to-late rounds because of his age (23) and statistical potential. But if Mendenhall wins the prominent role as expected, Williams is more of a late-round option in most drafts.

Tolbert, once considered a viable fantasy starter, has seen his carries, rushing yards and touchdowns decline in each of the last three years. As expected, he had a much lesser role in Carolina compared to San Diego, as Tolbert was stuck behind DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in what was a crowded Panthers backfield. That made him waiver-wire fodder in most leagues. That will be the same situation in 2013, as the team will continue to utilize multiple options with their ground attack - including Cam Newton. Overall, Tolbert won't have more than late-round value in deep leagues.

James didn't make much of an impact in the stat sheets as a rookie, posting a combined 154 yards with no touchdowns while playing in just four games. He should see some more burn this season, though, as the Oregon product figures to be the primary change-of-pace back behind incumbent starter Frank Gore. James could also become the fantasy handcuff for Gore if Kendall Hunter (Achilles') has any setbacks in his return to the gridiron. Regardless, James won't be worth much more than a late-round selection as a reserve or insurance for those owners who select Gore during the early rounds.

Bell, a rookie runner out of Michigan State, was in a great position to be one of the better first-year backs in fantasy football. However, a Lisfranc injury to his foot is likely to keep him out for at least the first month of the season. Bell runs hard and is an underrated receiver out of the backfield. He rushed for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and hauled in a combined 67 passes in his final two years at the collegiate level. While he does run more east than west, NFL draft guru Mike Mayock believes Bell "fits exactly what the Pittsburgh Steelers are" and described how he runs as "a bear." A nice fit for the offense of coordinator Todd Haley, Bell should have little problem passing Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman on his path to the top spot on the team's depth chart after he's healthy. However, his status for the 2013 season is still unknown.

Stewart has the skills to be a top-15 fantasy running back, but he's been mired in a committee situation with DeAngelo Williams during much of his NFL career. He's also seen his carries and rushing yards decline in each of the last four seasons, so his fantasy arrow is pointing in the wrong direction. What's more, Stewart will start the season on the PUP list due to continued ankle issues. He's barely worth a late-round flier if you can stash him in a deeper league.

A fifth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma State, Randle is expected to come in and replace Felix Jones as the second running back on the Cowboys depth chart. That's not enough to excite fantasy owners on the surface, but he could end up making an impact if the less-than-durable DeMarco Murray suffers another long-team ailment. Remember, he's missed a combined nine games in his first two NFL seasons, including six in 2012. That makes Randle, assuming he beats out Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar, an attractive late-round flier. He's also a nice handcuff for those owners who take a chance on Murray.

[RB RANKINGS 65-80internal-link-placeholder-0]

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