Week 13 Rankings: Top 40 Running Backs

We discussed the ever changing landscape of the running back position yesterday (click here to view).  How do the recent split in carries impact the rankings?  What about the recent slew of injuries?  Which matchups hurt and which ones help?  Let’s put it all together for this weeks rankings:

  1. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – at Tennessee
  2. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – at Green Bay
  3. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Denver
  4. Trent Richardson – Cleveland Browns – at Oakland
  5. C.J. Spiller – Buffalo Bills – vs. Jacksonville
  6. Jamaal Charles – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Carolina
  7. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Pittsburgh
  8. Alfred Morris – Washington Redskins – vs. New York Giants
  9. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – at St. Louis
  10. Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots – at Miami
  11. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – vs. Houston
  12. Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks – at Chicago
  13. Steven Jackson – St. Louis Rams – vs. San Francisco
  14. Marcel Reece – Oakland Raiders – vs. Cleveland
  15. Mikel Leshoure – Detroit Lions – vs. Indianapolis
  16. Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – vs. Cincinnati
  17. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Cincinnati Bengals – at San Diego
  18. Beanie Wells – Arizona Cardinals – at New York Jets
  19. Bryce Brown – Philadelphia Eagles – at Dallas
  20. Matt Forte – Chicago Bears – vs. Seattle
  21. Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  22. Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants – at Washington
  23. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – vs. Tampa Bay
  24. Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Philadelphia
  25. Shonn Greene – New York Jets – vs. Arizona
  26. Jonathan Stewart – Carolina Panthers – at Kansas City
  27. Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
  28. Reggie Bush – Miami Dolphins – vs. New England
  29. Vick Ballard – Indianapolis Colts – at Detroit
  30. Rashad Jennings – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Buffalo
  31. Jonathan Dwyer – Pittsburgh Steelers – at Baltimore
  32. James Starks – Green Bay Packers – vs. Minnesota
  33. Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts – at Detroit
  34. Daniel Thomas – Miami Dolphins – vs. New England
  35. Jacquizz Rodgers – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  36. Michael Bush – Chicago Bears – vs. Seattle
  37. Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Jacksonville
  38. Bilal Powell – New York Jets – vs. Arizona
  39. LaRod Stephens-Howling – Arizona Cardinals – at New York Jets
  40. Shane Vereen – New England Patriots – at Miami


  • It is finally clear that C.J. Spiller is going to operate as the lead back in Buffalo.  The real question is how many red zone touches will he lose and will he be given the opportunity to score any touchdowns?  Spiller had 107 yards on 14 carries in Week 12, but failed to find the end zone (Fred Jackson also didn’t score after getting six carries for 16 yards).  Against a Jacksonville defense that is allowing 136.0 rushing yards per game, as well as 14 rushing touchdowns (tied for third most in the league) Spiller should once again enjoy a big performance.
  • Marcel Reece hasn’t scored a touchdown over the past three weeks but he has put up total yard figures of 104, 193 and 103.  Do we really think he’s going to cede too many carries, even if Darren McFadden is back in the mix?  Taking on the Cleveland Browns he could perform like a RB1.  Unfortunately, the unknown role with McFadden potentially back drags him down the rankings a bit.
  • Chris Johnson has been playing well in recent weeks, but a matchup with the Texans could easily cool him off.  However, before we downgrade him too far, let’s remember that he picked up 141 yards against them back in Week 4 (then again he totaled 79 yards on 25 carries in a two matchups a year ago).  While he has been good, I certainly wouldn’t put Johnson in the matchup proof category like he once was.  Consider him a low-end RB1 for the coming week, but more of a RB2.
  • I can’t immediately thrust Beanie Wells into RB1 consideration, as he has played just one game since returning from the IR.  However, he did rush for 48 yards and two touchdowns while getting the bulk of the carries.  This week he draws a Jets defense that has been even worse against the run, allowing 142.8 rushing yards per game, as well as 12 TD.  He’s definitely in the mix as a mid-level RB2.
  • While Matt Forte hasn’t had the easiest schedule in recent weeks (Texans, 49ers, Vikings), he still has struggled with rushing totals of 39, 63 and 42 as well as failing to find the end zone.  Seattle is no easy task, either, so expecting a major breakout could be a mistake for fantasy owners.  Plus, we now have his injury to consider.  If we find out later in the week that he won’t be able to play, simply move Michael Bush up to his spot in the rankings.
  • Stevan Ridley has rushed for a touchdown in each of his past four games (with at least 97 yards in three of them).  Tougher matchup or not, with Tom Brady and company opening up the field there is little reason to think Ridley won’t be able to produce once again this week.
  • It was nice to see Reggie Bush back to making an impact, posting 87 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.  He did split carries with Daniel Thomas, however, who had nine carries for 60 yards and a touchdown of his own.  In other words, this has become a time share limiting both backs to more of FLEX options for the time being.
  • A healthy Darren Sproles will be the best option in New Orleans, though with the many other choices they have he should be seen as a low-end option.

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


Week 13 Rankings: Top 15 Kickers
Breaking Down The Backfield: Where Is The Value In New Orleans?


  1. Fishfan says:

    Playoff spot on the line and must choose between Beanie and Jennings. I know the Jets run D has been bad, but I think coming off the long rest they will stack the box and dare Lindley to beat them. Jennings is gonna get all the carries in what should be a competitive game. Plus, in PPR, he should catch a few, unlike Beanie. So why do I keep seeing Beanie ahead of Rashad? Please convince me.

    • Steve Meinecke says:

      I’m A Jets Fan Bleed Green We Will Be Stout On D But here’s. A tip I’m. 7 year fantsy guy Raise Buy A veteran My Father Who Played Before It Was On Computer and Done On Player when A Play Coma In Week 13 Hence Bryce Brown Bennie well there A Step Faster Then Anyone On the filed Fresh Legs things To Look At Play Off time and weather And Patterns Of Home Away Games Production But My Point Being My Jets D is Tierd And Bennie Is Going to Mabye Not Break 100 yards or just about but he Will Pound in 2 tds He’s there. Only option and Last week Bennie did good so did rashad but also look at rashad 3 starts before last week Garabe His Back Up Outshined him with 3 4 carries a game he was demoted last week got in from injury yes he fell into the Endzone then flatline Bennie hade a break out like Bryce brown fresh leg BeastMode Performences So BennIe Is Ur Guy And The Jets D Hypes For Picks And Sacks It’s A Safe Play

  2. Jace says:

    I am trying to fill my flex spot before tomorrow night’s game.

    This is a 12 team PPR league.

    WR1: Calvin Johnson vs Indy
    WR 2: Brandon Marhsall vs Seattle
    RB 1: Trent Ricardson vs Oakland
    RB2: Mikel Leshoure vs Indy.

    For my flex spot, I need to decide between Lance Moore vs Atlanta, Darren Sproles vs Atlanta, or Marcel Reece vs Cleveland. I was rolling with Reece, but McFadden scares me.

    Thoughts between Reece, Sproles, or Lance Moore?

  3. Fish fan – because Jennings just hasn’t been good. If he had been, he never would’ve lost the job to begin with. Hard to trust someone gaining under 3 yards per carry.

    Jace – I would probably go Reece first, then Sproles. However, the Saints are hard to predict, plus I wouldn’t be so quick to assume McFadden is returning (or that Reece will just be forgotten)

  4. Kurt says:

    Hey I really need a win this week I need a wr2 it’s between Mohamed sanu Brandon lafell mike Williams josh Gordon and dion Alexander and TE Greg Olson or Mercedes lewis oh and just a though kaepernick or freeman? Thank you

  5. Todd says:

    Good afternoon,PPR league…My RB’s are F. JacksonForte,Lynch,Turbin and J. Bell…TE B. Meyer Would you trade Fjax for O. Daniels??? Thanks for your opinion….

  6. Kurt – I would go Danario Alexander, with Gordon as the second choice. As for the QB it is extremely close, but I’d probably go Kaepernick.

    Todd – Jackson is a waste, so I’d do that in a heartbeat. Not that you need Daniels, but he offers more value than Jackson (who is losing touches to Spiller). Is there any RB on waivers you could grab?

  7. Cara says:

    RB2: Chris Johnson or Steven Jackson??- this week…

  8. Craig says:

    I’m in a ppr league with 2 flex spots I’m going with running backs I have, Reese, Moreno, B Wells, Sproles, and Green-Ellis who should I go with

  9. Cara – I would go with Johnson, though the two are extremely close.

    Craig – I still like Reece (though I am probably in the minority). If the risk of McFadden take touches away scares you (justifiable), I’d go Wells & Green-Ellis.

  10. Dustin says:

    Who do I start as my flex? 10 team non PPR ” welker, Moreno, or B. Brown”

  11. AP says:

    Who is a better Flex play: Danario Alexander or Knowshon Moreno? I’m playing against Rivers this week.. not sure if they’ll stick to that come Sunday though.

  12. LP says:

    Need 3 solid RB’s this week out of my 4 unless you consider Randall Cobb a GREAT flex option.
    Mikel Leshoure
    Bryce Brown
    Knowshon Moreno
    Darren Sproles
    I’m torn between Leshoure who is currently questionable and Sproles who is catching more than running tho TNF looks to be a shoot out.
    PS – love this site :)

  13. Dustin – For me it’s Brown or Welker, with Brown getting the lead.

    AP – It;s close enough that I would go with the RB. Moreno is the choice for me.

    LP – Thanks! I actually like Cobb better than the RB, so I would play him this week. As for the RB, Brown & Moreno (only due to Leshoure’s injury). Brown is your top option. If Leshoure is healthy, he’s the best choice with Brown.

    • LP says:

      Cobb really? Even with Jennings returning? I keep hearing Jennings is taking back his starting role which is why I’m benching Cobb, as well as his matchup is not ideal. Thoughts?
      (Or is that just Jennings talking about Jennings. lol)

  14. Casey says:

    I need some help with my flex player in a ppr league. I have RB: T Richardson, C Johnson, A. Morris and at WR: D Thomas, E Decker, and M Colston. My plan is to run with RB: Richardson, Johnson WR: Thomas, Decker Flex: I’m thinking Alf but Colston may have more upside. First place for the season is on the line and I need the points. Plus I started as 0-3 before I started listening to XM fantasy. Now I’m 8-4.

  15. Paul says:

    I have Reece, Mathews, and Wells. Would you start Reece over the others, even though McFadden is supposedly coming back this week?

  16. LP – Jennings is going to be eased back into the offense and the Packers have said that outside of Rodgers, Cobb is the most important offensive weapon they have right now. He’s become a main stay in the offense. I would expect Jones to be the biggest loser with Jennings back, but there should be more than enough opportunities for Cobb to produce.

    Casey – I hope you didn’t go Colston! I probably would’ve agreed and gone with Morris. When it’s close, it’s always the RB for me.

    Paul – I would, but I may be in the minority these days. Reece has just been too good for me to believe that he’s going to be banished to a bit role.

  17. Daniel says:

    Not sure whether to sit Bradshaw for Reece. He’s up against a tough Washington D, but seems to be stepping up with Brown out for the season. I think he’ll get the goal line carries now.

    Any suggestions/predictions?

  18. joseph says:

    Ok, Beanie Wells or Ryan Matthews…I see the rank, but Matthews has been nothing but mediocre at best and wells will most likely get goal line vs. the jets??????

  19. Chris says:

    Can play 2 Reece, R Mathews, and R Jennings? second league…Forte or Wells?

  20. Daniel – I agree Bradshaw should get more goal line carries, but against Washington I also think things are going to be pass heavy. Unless something drastically changes in the news, it’s tough to sit own Reece given the way he’s performed. That said, there is some doubt with Reece (tho, only if McFadden plays). I would go with your gut.

    joseph – I hink it’s close enough that if your guy is telling you Wells, then go for it. I actually am a fan of Wells up against the Jets’ defense this week. He’s just still working his way back and, if he hadn’t gotten two short TD last week, he’d be viewed significantly differently today.

    Chris – Reece & Mathews // Wells

  21. Andrew H says:

    What’s up roto. I’m in a one point ppr and I need a win to get in the playoffs… I need 2 wr and one flex. I have Pierre garçon, mike Wallace, Steve smith, knowshown m, Matt forte and Sidney rice. Any advice much appreciated.

    • Hmmm…

      For the WR I would go Gacon & Smith. With Roethlisberger out there’s no way to trust Wallace and Rice is either a TD or nothing.

      A for the FLEX, depending on the news of Forte’s health I would lean him with Moreno as the second choice.

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