Week 6 Rankings (2013) – Top 40 Running Backs

by Ray Kuhn

This week we are back to just two teams on byes, Atlanta and Miami, and thankfully the injuries are at a minimum. Of course there are some health concerns, and David Wilson scheduled to play on Thursday doesn’t help, but fantasy owners should not be too negatively impacted by injuries this week. However, there is still the greater issue of running backs underperforming their draft status that must be dealt with. Once again, questions are abounding, so let’s get right into the rankings.

1. Adrian Peterson – Minnesota Vikings – at Carolina
2. Jamaal Charles -Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Oakland
3. Matt Forte -Chicago Bears – vs. New York Giants
4. Arian Foster – Houston Texans – vs. St. Louis
5. Ray Rice – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Green Bay
6. DeMarco Murray – Dallas Cowboys – vs. Washington
7. Marshawn Lynch -Seattle Seahawks – vs. Tennessee
8. LeSean McCoy – Philadelphia Eagles – at Tampa Bay
9. Alfred Morris – Washington Redskins – at Dallas
10. Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – vs. Philadelphia
11. Reggie Bush – Detroit Lions – at Cleveland
12. Knowshon Moreno – Denver Broncos – vs. Jacksonville
13. Trent Richardson – Indianapolis Colts – at San Diego
14. CJ Spiller – Buffalo Bills – vs. Cincinnati
15. D’Angelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – at Arizona
16. Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – vs. Houston
17. Darren Sproles – New Orleans Saints – at New England
18. Chris Johnson – Tennessee Titans – at Seattle
19. Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers – at New York Jets
20. Pierre Thomas – New Orleans Saints – at New England
21. Danny Woodhead – San Diego Chargers – vs. Indianapolis
22. Giovani Bernard – Cincinnati Bengals – at Buffalo
23. Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers – at Baltimore
24. Rashad Jennings – Oakland Raiders – at Kansas City
25. Zac Stacy – St. Louis Rams – at Houston
26. David Wilson – New York Giants – at Chicago
27. Maurice Jones-Drew – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Denver
28. Willis McGahee – Cleveland Browns – vs. Detroit
29. Andre Ellington – Arizona Cardinals – at San Francisco
30. Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots – vs. New Orleans
31. Ryan Matthews – San Diego Chargers – vs. Indianapolis
32. Joique Bell – Detroit Lions – at Cleveland
33. Fred Jackson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Cincinnati
34. Bilal Powell – New York Jets – vs. Pittsburgh
35. Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants – at Chicago
36. LeGarrette Blount – New England Patriots – vs. New Orleans
37. Donald Brown – Indianapolis Colts – at San Diego
38. BenJarvus Green-Ellis – Cincinnati Bengals – at Buffalo
39. Bernard Pierce – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Green Bay
40. Montee Ball – Denver Broncos – vs. Jacksonville


  • Before he got hurt, David Wilson might have been on his way to making up for his early season struggles. Granted we are setting the bar low here though, as Wilson had only managed 16 yards on six carries before leaving with a neck injury, but he did find the end zone. As of Monday, Wilson said he was still experiencing some tingling in the neck and he did not practice, leading to the Giants to re-sign Da’Rel Scott on Monday. The Giants have a quick turnaround playing on Thursday, so I would certainly have an alternative to Wilson lined up.
  • It took four weeks for Darryl Richardson to lose his starting job, but it happened this week. Zac Stacy got the start last week, and he did not disappoint carrying the ball 14 times for 78 yards. Rams’ coach Jeff Fisher has already named Stacy the starter for this week and he also alluded to wanting Stacy to have gotten even more carries. The rookie averaged 5.6 yards a carry and showed explosiveness previously unseen from the Rams backfield.
  • Doug Martin has been a disappointment this season, along with the entire Buccaneers offense. Perhaps with the bye week they can get their act together. Mike Glennon now has had an extra week to get comfortable with the offense, and hopefully that will benefit Martin as well. The problem, though, is that Martin is only averaging 3.4 yards per carry and had just one touchdown all season. That should not preclude you from starting your first round pick this week for better or worse.
  • Stevan Ridley is another running back having a disappointing season. This week Ridley missed the game due to a thigh/knee injury, but he should be back as the injury doesn’t appear to be major. Replacing Ridley was a dual effort between LeGarrette Blount and Branden Bolden. Blount had some success carrying the ball 12 times for 51 yards, although he did lose a fumble. Bolden’s 40 snaps were 18 more than Blount’s, but only touched the ball 11 times for a total of 64 yards. This is a situation to potentially stay away from, but you have to think that if Ridley plays he will lead the Patriots in touches.
  • It may be time to make sure Andre Ellington is owned in all leagues. This week Ellington and Rashad Mendenhall each played 30 snaps, but Ellington was the more dominating player. I would expect Ellington’s playing time to at least stay at this level, if not increase going forward. The rookie carried the ball seven times for 52 yards while catching another four passes for 31 yards. His backfield mate had ten more carries, but he also gained nine less yards. Ellington is the running back to own here.
  • I’m not sure Willis McGahee’s performance should earn him more than a FLEX role, but he did carry the ball 26 times. With Brian Hoyer now out for the season, Cleveland’s offense might regress somewhat and McGahee did only average 2.6 yards per carry against Buffalo. His value was saved by the fact that he scored a touchdown, but I’m not sure you can count on that each week.
  • The Lions offense certainly missed Calvin Johnson. Detroit had trouble moving the ball all afternoon against the Packers. After a hot start to the season, Reggie Bush rushed 13 times and was only able to gain 44 yards while catching four passes for another 25 yards. I would not let that sour you on Bush who so far this season is returning first round value.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 Rankings:

Week 6 Rankings (2013) - Top 50 Wide Receivers
Week 6 Rankings (2013) - Top 25 Quarterbacks


  1. Corey says:

    I’m going to get my FLEX question in here early so I can make some decisions:

    Danny Woodhead
    Bilal Powell
    Justin Blackmon
    Steve Smith
    Marlon Brown

    I’m leaning Blackmon since the Jags will have to throw early and often. The NYJ committee is back. Indy isn’t exactly an easy matchup for Woodhead. And I’m just having trouble trusting getting any kind of decent numbers out of Smith.

  2. James A says:

    Time to sell high on Spiller? The dude terrifies me, much like Cam Newton. I’m half-tempted to trade them both away for a QB and a WR that are reliable, but not much upside.

  3. Cody says:

    Whats your thoughts on starting Le’Veon Bell over Spiller this week? Both have tough d-lines to deal with.

  4. Corey – It’s tough, but like you said I don’t trust the RB too much. I do like Smith this week, but Blackmon should be in a good situation as well. I think both are usable and go with your gut, so Blackmon is the guy.

    James A – It all depends on the return, but I wouldn’t be against dealing him.

  5. Jesse says:

    Thank god I got alshon Jeffery off waivers last week, it will kinda help fill the void from julios injury….scooped blackmon up in two other leagues last week also, went 8-0 in my leagues, even with Hoyer starting in 2. Awesome and lucky too I guess

  6. Jesse says:

    Also why do people insist on sending ridiculous trades? I mean Romo for Megatron? Lmao, the guy must not be all there

  7. James A says:

    Is Jason Witten, Eric Decker/Mike Wallace and MJD too much to give for Adrian Peterson?

    I’m pretty thin at RB with only Arian Foster as a true RB1, followed by D Williams, MJD, Bilal Powell and S-Jax . Meanwhile, I’m pretty set at WR with Torrey Smith, DeSean Jackson, Mike Wallace and Josh Gordon. Jordan Cameron is my other TE.

  8. James – You are going to have to any a premium to et Peterson, so considering you have replacements it s definitely worth exploring.

    Jesse – Just shows you why you never have enough depth, doesn’t it?

  9. Tyler says:

    PPR league that counts return yards, my flex options are:

    Cordarrelle Patterson
    Heath Miller
    Joique Bell
    Kendall Wright
    Marcel Reece


  10. Cara says:

    McCoy number one. Bush or Moreno this week as number two???

  11. Rico says:

    What’s up Roto,
    I got Murray and Moreno as my running backs but I’m going back and forth on my flex on starting Woodhead or Doug Martin. What do you think?

  12. sharma says:

    got offered Leveon Bell for Witten and Stacy. I have Julius Thomas so I dont mind giving away Witten. Need a RB cuz besides Murray I only have Spiller and Stacy. What do you think?

    • sharma says:

      just traded Jason witten and Zac Stacy to get Leveon Bell and Denarius moore. Had julius thomas so im solid on TE and didnt mind trading him. What do you think? Also, should i start spiller or leveon bell?

  13. Cara – I’d stick with Bush

    Rico – can’t sit Martin, he’s a must start

    sharma – I’d actually lean Bell this week, as Spiller continues to share carries. That said, it’s a bit of a coin flip really. Spiller has the higher upside, but Bell is safer

  14. Alan says:

    Here is my week 6 set up.
    QB: P Manning
    WRs: R Cobb, V Jackson, P Garcon
    RBs: M Lynch, K. Moreno
    TE: J Graham

    Will you start G Bernard or H Nicks or CJ2K on flex? Thanks.

  15. RT says:

    RP – Would you start Pierre Thomas over Chris Johnson given the matchup?


  16. Dan says:

    Is Spiller coming back this week? It seems every week he’s going to explode but ends up giving snaps to Fred Jackson.

    Start 2 of the 3, not PPR:

    Murray, Sproles, or Spiller?

  17. RT – I wouldn’t, just because I don’t trust Thomas

    Dan – Murray is the lock and the other two are a complete coin flip surprisingly. I’d lean Spiller, because I’m not a big Sproles fan, but it really could go either way

  18. J says:

    Who should I flex?
    Cobb, Garcon, TRich, Gordon, or Blackmon?

    Starting WR: BMarsh & D. Thomas
    RB: Foster & Martin

    I’m hesitant to start TRich, as he has underperformed in every game this season. Garcon has a good matchup. Blackmon could also have a big game vs. Denver (they’re gonna throw a ton). Worth the risk?

  19. Steve says:

    Guys I need help here I kept going back and forth..2 wr 2 rb and a flex..Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Alfred Morris, Danny Woodhead Le’veon Bell..who grabs the flex?? And who gets the bench??

    • RB – Morris & Bell
      WR – Jackson & Garçon
      FLEX – Woodhead

      I’m sitting Johnson, for now, thanks to health concerns, that could change depending on the news come Sunday.

  20. Corey says:

    Straight up trade of Steve Smith to get DeAngelo Williams?

    Standard scoring.

    Seems good to me. I have AJ Green and Brandon Marshall as starting WRs with Blackmon and a stash on Harvin. And, as I’m learning, it’s always good to have RBs.

  21. Sean M. says:

    I’m in a full point PPR league. My starters are solid but I have to decide on Pierre Thomas or Coby Fleener for my flex. I know that Pats aren’t as good against the run w/out Wilfotk and Kelly, but Chargers D sucks and Fleener’s success seems bound by projected matchups. Help!

  22. Corey – I wouldn’t do it, as I don’t believe in Williams long-term.

    Sean M – It really depends a bit on if Mark Ingram plays or not. If Ingram dresses, there’s no way to trust Thomas. If he doesn’t, Thomas could play a role but he’s a major risk.

  23. Jesse says:

    Lacy or spiller this weekend? Don’t really like either one, but I have no choice

  24. Brandon says:

    I see the rankings but wanna ask. I’m leaning leave on bell over Alfred Morris. Despite the tough matchup it’s a PPR league and bell has more upside in that aspect. Also factoring in Morris’s ribs and Helus increased role. What r your thoughts

  25. Brandon says:

    Leveon. My bad

  26. Brandon says:

    I guess I don’t see Morris as a top 10 and must play either. Like I stated rib injuries can be finicky, helu’s increased role, PPR and Dallas could potentially go up big and negate a running game. Seems like leveon bell could equal or better his production

    • All fair points, but Bell has an extremely tough matchup himself against the Jets. Plus Morris has been practicing in full this week, so while the injury is slightly concerning its not something that would stop me

  27. Ish says:

    Leveon Bell or Fred Jackson for RB2? Pretty thin at RB. Morris is RB 1. Standard scoring league


    Justin Blackmon or D-Jax at Flex? I have Welker and Decker at WR1 and 2.


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