Week 13 Rankings (2013): Top 40 Running Backs

by Ray Kuhn

Finally we have made it through the bye weeks, so Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt are back in action, and we have a full slate of running backs to consider. Of course stress levels are heightened as we make our final push towards the playoffs. Let’s not waste any time as we jump right into the rankings:

  1. Todd Gurley – LA Rams – at Detroit
  2. Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  3. Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – vs. New Orleans
  4. Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers – at Tampa Bay
  5. Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints – at Dallas
  6. Saquon Barkley – NY Giants – vs. Chicago
  7. James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. LA Chargers
  8. David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals – at Green Bay
  9. Aaron Jones – Green Bay Packers – vs. Arizona
  10. Joe Mixon – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Denver
  11. Nick Chubb – Cleveland Browns – at Houston
  12. Matt Breida – San Francisco 49ers – at Seattle
  13. Phillip Lindsay – Denver Broncos – at Cincinnati
  14. Austin Ekeler – LA Chargers – at Pittsburgh
  15. Lamar Miller – Houston Texans – vs. Cleveland
  16. Dion Lewis – Tennessee Titans – vs. NY Jets
  17. Sony Michel – New England Patriots – vs. Minnesota
  18. Josh Adams – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Washington
  19. Kerryon Johnson – Detroit Lions – vs. LA Rams
  20. Chris Carson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. San Francisco
  21. Gus Edwards – Baltimore Ravens – at Atlanta
  22. Adrian Peterson – Washington Redskins – at Philadelphia
  23. Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Baltimore
  24. Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints – at Dallas
  25. James White – New England Patriots – vs. Minnesota
  26. Kenyan Drake – Miami Dolphins – vs. Buffalo
  27. Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings – at New England
  28. T.J. Yeldon – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Indianapolis
  29. Marlon Mack – Indianapolis Colts – at Jacksonville
  30. Peyton Barber – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Carolina
  31. LeSean McCoy – Buffalo Bills – at Miami
  32. Tarik Cohen – Chicago Bears – at NY Giants
  33. Derrick Henry – Tennessee Titans – vs. NY Jets
  34. Carlos Hyde – Jacksonville Jaguars – vs. Indianapolis
  35. Duke Johnson – Cleveland Browns – at Houston
  36. Jordan Howard – Chicago Bears – at NY Giants
  37. Theo Riddick – Detroit Lions – vs. LA Rams
  38. Ito Smith – Atlanta Falcons – vs. Balimore
  39. Nyheim Hines – Indianapolis Colts – at Jacksonville
  40. Justin Jackson – LA Chargers – at Pittsburgh

Notes:

  • As fantasy owners make that final push towards the playoffs they can’t be too pleased about Leonard Fournette’s one game suspension. The one bright spot, if you can find one, is that he did rush for 95 yards and two touchdowns prior to his ejection but that just makes his absence hurt even more. Since the acquisition of Carlos Hyde he has been getting more carries than T.J Yeldon, but it is the incumbent who I would look for this week. In the last two weeks Hyde has carried the ball a combined 18 times for 77 yards while not catching a pass (something he hasn’t done since landing in Jacksonville). Yeldon, on the other hand, hasn’t been as busy, eight carries for 39 yards, but in the case of a potential timeshare with Hyde he will still have more value. That is due to his value in the passing game , 46 receptions for 423 yards and 4 TD, while also averaging 4.2 yards per carry. The situation isn’t ideal, both Hyde and Yeldon do have value, but the back who can catch passes gets the edge.
  • A knee injury, a bye week, and some struggles, but it appears that Sony Michel is back. The timing is good as it comes on the heels of Rex Burkhead’s return from Injured Reserve, but while he likely will eat into the workloads of both Michel and White, their values are still in tact. Michel took advantage of a weak Jets’ defense last week as he gained 133 yards on 21 carries while also picking up his fifth touchdown of the season. Through eight games Michel is now up to three games of 100-plus yards, and he also has a fourth in which he finished with 98 yards. The rookie is also showing a nose for the end zone with 5 TD and he has proven that he can sustain both his value and a regular workload.
  • It’s not like Ezekiel Elliot was a slouch earlier this season, but after the addition of Amari Cooper has opened up the passing game he has been unstoppable. Elliot is now up to three straight games of more than 100 yards (394 yards in total), and he has eclipsed the century mark six times overall this season. For the year he has 1,074 yards and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. While Elliot only has 6 TD on the season, he has scored in each of the last three weeks. What is even more impressive is how valuable of an asset he has been in the passing game. Elliot has 47 receptions for 363 yards and he has been even busier in the last three weeks with 18 receptions for 137 yards. He certainly is proving himself to be a top option.
  • While it is not an ideal situation for owners of Melvin Gordon, at least we now have some clarity over the next few weeks. After entering this week with his status in doubt, Gordon ended up taking the field and gaining 61 yards on 10 carries before exiting due to his knee injury. However it was far from a lost day as his parting gift was two rushing touchdowns. Now that we know he is going to be sidelined for a few weeks, Aaron Ekeler immediately becomes a Top 24 running back (at worst). His true value comes in the passing game, and we got a look at that last week as he caught 10 passes for 68 yards. On the season Ekeler has 32 catches and 3 TD while averaging 11.1 yards per reception. The fact that he is going to get more work as a runner can’t be denied, he picked up 35 yards on five carries last week, but the Chargers are also going to want to keep him healthy since he is on the smaller side. As a complement to Gordon Ekeler has 409 rushing yards on 70 carries, but he hasn’t carried the ball more than 12 times in a game. That means there is room for rookie Justin Jackson to have some value moving forward. After Gordon’s injury Jackson gained 57 yards on seven carries after carrying the ball just five times in his career prior to yesterday. With Ekeler owned in the majority of leagues, there are worse fall back options than Jackson.
  • After practicing on Friday it was expected that Alex Collins would be taking the field on Sunday. That ultimately wasn’t the case and Baltimore didn’t need him. At this point, even if Collins plays, it’s hard to have any confidence in him as the focus is squarely on Gus Edwards. We highlighted Edwards here last week after he emerged onto the scene with 115 rushing yards, and this week he kept the momentum going. Yes he did take advantage of a poor Oakland defense, but it’s hard to argue with the results (118 yards on 23 carries). In a crowded Baltimore backfield it also appears that Ty Montgomery has emerged as the other option with fantasy value. Once the game was more securely in hand he carried the ball eight times, as a means of spelling Edwards, for 51 yards while also catching three passes for 13 yards. At the same time Javorius Allen was a non factor for the second straight week with his lone production being back to back one carry games for two yards each. Baltimore is having success under the current arrangement, and while it may be bold there is no reason why we shouldn’t expect to see Edwards eclipse the century mark for the third straight week against a weak Atlanta run defense.
  • To call the San Francisco backfield anything but the “Matt Breida show” would be incorrect. It appears that Breida’s health issues are behind him and he has also taken control of the job. While the 49ers never really had much of a chance to get things going last week, it didn’t have a negative impact on Breida as he gained 106 yards on 14 carries while, once again, showing the ability to rip off big chunks of yards at once. It was his second straight, and third overall, game in which he eclipsed 100 yards on the ground and he has 738 rushing yards on the season. That is good for 5.8 yards per carry, and the one complaint is that he has just three rushing touchdowns. He also caught three passes for the second week in a row, and that appears to be his maximum output in the passing game, but when he is doing what he is doing on ground, we don’t need to get too picky.

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Make sure to check out all of our Week 13 rankings:

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Week 13 Rankings (2013): Top 50 Wide Receivers
Week 13 Rankings (2018): Top 25 Quarterbacks

22 comments

  1. Ted says:

    Who would you play this week in the two RB spots, White, Gus Rdwards, Riddick or Drake? PPR league.
    Thanks

  2. David says:

    Prof,

    Need your help this week bad. Who would you start? 16 team PPR League. Can start TE’s as WR’s.

    QB – Brady

    RB – Lamar Miller, Ito Smith, Frank Gore need two.

    WR/TE – Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, Julian Edelman, Tre’Quan Smith, Keke Coutee, Greg Olsen, Rob Gronkowski need three

    K – Lutz or Fairbairn

  3. Kyle says:

    Hey professor!
    All set with my RBS but I need help with 3 Wrs.
    Pick 3 – TY hilton,Amari cooper, Josh Gordan, Josh Reynolds, Trequan Smith
    Thank you so much

  4. Ph says:

    Hi Prof,

    Big week this week -Pick one – Breida, Carson, Drake or Edwards (PPR)

    THANKS!

  5. Tim says:

    IF Mack plays do up play him over any of my current RB’s Michel and Breida? If so which one would you bench?

    Thinking my current RB’s are my best bet anyways, agreed?

    Thank you!

  6. Neil says:

    Hey Professor, I need a flex Tevin Coleman or Adam Humphries. Worry about Tevin playing Baltimore Ravens

  7. Romo says:

    Hey roto!
    PPR.
    Wilson or Brady.
    Need 2. Boyd, Landry, d Thomas, Sutton,

    Non PPR
    Peterson or drake
    Wilson or goff (leaning goff and hoping to have another monster game lol)

  8. Too Tall says:

    Hi Professor,

    10 team standard. I have Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware, Mixon, Aaron Jones, Josh Adams, Nick Chubbs. WR -Golliday, Tyler Lockett, Josh Reynolds, A. Humphries, Chris Conley. 2 RBs, 2 WRs, and a flex recommendation please? Should I drop Hunt with this recent news? Thanks.

  9. Jones/Mixotn
    Golladay/Pickett
    We’re

    Hunt isn’t going to play again this season so move on

  10. Ted says:

    Hey Prof,
    It’s a 2 Flex .5 PPR league, I have a stable of good choices of RBs to fill the two flexes. I just picked up Ware and I’m probably ranking him higher than you against the Raiders who have given up the most YPC to opposing backs. I already started Zeke Thursday but for the remaining three spots I wonder where Ware now stands among: A. Jones, Conner, and Chubb (I also have Miller, Edwards and Breida at RB.) 1st world problems.

    Thanks

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