Briggs’ 2013 Rankings of Running Backs

Running Back is still the most important fantasy position. Not so much in the fact they will necessarily be the highest scoring position, but the lack of depth in the NFL at the RB position as compared to QBs and WRs. You must draft depth at this position, but it can be difficult. Breaking down Running Backs to rank them is tough. If you have visited this site, then you will have noticed a change in the rankings. I will update as the time ticks closer to the regular season. Feel free to comment at or @asylumfootball on Twitter.



  1. Jamaal Charles – Coming off a serious knee injury similar to Peterson, Jamaal Charles ran for 1,509 yards with a tidy 5.3 YPC. Playing on a dysfunctional as well as terrible offensive Kansas City team coupled with Adrian Peterson’s heroics, masked what was also a remarkable comeback year. With a new coaching regime in place with Andy Reid and a new quarterback in town with Alex Smith, look for KC to be a much improved team. I like Charles more and more. I am convince he will be the main cog in the offense in KC.
  2. Adrian Peterson – I still like AP a ton, so don’t get excited when I move him down to number two. He will threaten for the rushing title and Minnesota will rely on him just as much if not more than last year. That is what worries me a bit. On the plus side, he led the league in rushing; just missing breaking Eric Dickerson’s record. He averaged 6.0 YPC. He averaged 131.1 yards per game rushing. He did this coming off a torn MCL, ACL and meniscus in 2011. On the down side, he had 348 carries and that’s about it. Yes, he will wear down eventually, but 2013 won’t be the year. Will he go over 2,000 yards? Most likely not, but he still could lead the league in rushing again. With 27 rushes of 20+ yards last year, he is the most explosive Running Back in the league.
  3. Ray Rice – In PPR, Rice is still one of my top five guys. In fact, he has moved back up to number 3. Many people have given up on him as an elite back. Some ADP’s have him down at 7 or 8. That would be the steal of the draft!! Yes, he finished 11th in rushing last year, but 61 receptions and 478 yards move you right back up the RB ladder. In fact, he was #5 in scoring in PPR last year. Couple all this with the fact that I am NOT buying into the Joe Flacco playoff air show as a permanent fixture for 2013 in the Baltimore offense. Boldin is gone and the real safety blanket (Rice) will be needed even more. Rice is still the focal point, make no mistake. Rice is still one of the “Holy Trinity” (A descriptive term I stole from Corey Parson) of Running Backs. Take him as your RB1 and you will not regret it!
  4. Arian Foster – Foster’s carries were up but his yards per carry were down again. He is still a special player and Houston has come to rely on his production. He works hard, has a great attitude and is the key to the Texans’ success on offense. His receptions for PPR make him a legitimate #1 overall pick, but even in Standard scoring, he scores enough touchdowns to be in the conversation. His health concerns me and he is dealing with some minor ailments now in camp. But we have seen this before and Foster tends to overcome. Arian Foster will not disappoint and Houston is a good enough team to be a threat to the title as well.
  5. Marshawn Lynch – We will still have to monitor his situation, but I’m sure Lynch will be powering Seattle this year. The fact that his trial is postponed until November tends to have me concerned about 2014, but a suspension could be in the offering in 2013 if he is found guilty. How do you not marvel at what he has done since that historic playoff run? One thing you have to hand Pete Carroll; he has Lynch playing like a Mr. Hyde to Lynch’s Dr. Jekyll. Lynch is the definition of a beast in his running style. He is punishing, runs with a chip on his shoulder and gets stronger as the game wears on. Seattle has a good offensive line and a quarterback who can beat you in all phases. Carroll has reached this young man, and yes, he is young (26).  Do not hesitate to take him as your RB1, because Beastmode is certainly someone to build from.
  6. CJ Spiller – If not for the uncertainty of Fred Jackson still in Buffalo, I would have Spiller in my top 5. He had the same YPC as Peterson, but only had 207 carries. If Jackson is phased out and Spiller’s carries can jump to 250 – 275, he is going to be huge. He catches the ball well too. A new QB in Buffalo will might be a detriment or it may help; that is always a nuance when it comes to different players. Point is: Spiller is the best back in Buffalo and he is going to score a lot of fantasy points!
  7. LeSean McCoy – The Eagles were abysmal last year and the whole team looked disinterested. You have to think there is a renewed optimism in Philadelphia and McCoy is a top quality back. Rumblings of split carries between McCoy and Bryce Brown have some drafters backing off. McCoy is going to be catching the passes and quite frankly, he is the best back on the team. He hangs onto the ball, is quick and dynamic. Similar to Spiller; even at 200- 230 carries, McCoy can do a lot of damage. He will be a legit #1 going into 2013. Now with Maclin gone for the year and Riley Cooper sticking his foot in his mouth, McCoy may be ticking up on our boards. This offense will have to go through him. If his health holds up: he is gold! We will monitor him through camp and the Eagles schemes, but don’t be afraid to be picking Shady in the first round.
  8. Doug Martin – The muscle hamster may/should/could be ranked higher, but until Tampa stops the late season collapses, I will keep him here. Look, I know he was second in PPR scoring in 2012, but call it a gut feeling, I am a little hesitant to throw him in my top 5. He was way too inconsistent for me last year. Huge games one week and single digits the next does not get me too excited, in fact it makes me nervous. I’ve moved him up to #8 and he could climb in relation to what I see from Tampa in camp and pre-season.
  9. Chris Johnson – Remember CJ2K? Well, he certainly remembers his glory days. So much in fact, he stated he was going to break Adrian Peterson’s mark from 2012. Whether he does that or not on a bad Titan team remains to be seen, but a renewed vigor can mean good things to fantasy owners. CJ is still fast and has that burst. A few improvements on the o-line and/or in the passing game, can open up quite few holes in defenses for Johnson and that means a lot of yards. He may not be the top 3 back he was 3 or 4 years ago, but don’t sell him short. He had 1,243 yards and 36 receptions in a very inconsistent (being kind here) year for the Titans. He is still an RB1 so take him.
  10. Trent Richardson – Richardson made a splash in his rookie season and the Browns are improving. They have bolstered their defense in free agency and who know what improvements may pan out from the draft on offense. Richardson is solid runner, and with 12 total touchdowns, he is the Browns’ go to guy in the red zone. They will have to rely heavily on Trent to deliver the solid run game ALL YEAR.  Weeden is going into his second year and this young unit should only be more cohesive. Richardson was 8th in scoring in PPR last year and look for him well over 1,000 yards this year.

The best of the rest: for now.

  1. 11.   Steven Jackson
  2. 12.   Matt Forte
  3. 13.   Alfred Morris
  4. 14.   Maurice Jones-Drew
  5. 15.   DeMarco Murray
  6. 16.   Darren Sproles
  7. 17.   Steven Ridley
  8. 18.   Lamar Miller
  9. 19.   Frank Gore
  10. 20.   Chris Ivory
  11. 21.   Reggie Bush
  12. 22.   Darren McFadden
  13. 23.   David Wilson
  14. 24.   Ryan Mathews
  15. 25.   Rashard Mendenhall
  16. 26.   Daryl Richardson
  17. 27.   Benjarvis Green-Ellis
  18. 28.   Ahmad Bradshaw
  19. 29.   DeAngelo Williams
  20. 30.   Le’Veon Bell
  21. 31.   Monte Ball

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