Originally posted on The Fake Football  |  Last updated 1/28/13
After looking at 2013 wide receiver redraft targets through using advanced metrics,  I’m now going to analyze several fantasy football running backs who could be in for an uptick in performance. Running backs are the bread and butter of fantasy football, oftentimes making or breaking a team’s success throughout the season. Identifying sleepers or low cost runners who can provide serious statistics is a real skill and I’m here to help.   Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens: Ray Rice could have a potential stud waiting in line behind him. For whatever reason, Harbaugh, Cam Cameron and Dave Caldwell have all shown an inclination to not want to give Rice a full workload. While Rice has been very durable in his short career, any running back is subject to violent collisions and could go down at any point. Pierce accrued several games of higher than a 2.0 rating from Pro Football Focus and has the 3rd highest elusiveness rating of any running back who received 25% of his teams carries. In addition, Pierce had the 8th highest breakaway percentage and had 7 runs of 15+ yards. Pierce is an explosive athlete who just needs a few more touches to produce.   Joique Bell, Detroit Lions: Due to how the Detroit Lions offensive is constructed, and how awful the defense is, the Lions had to throw the ball a lot in 2012. Several times during the season, Bell played more snaps than supposed workhorse Mikel Leshoure. Leshoure did not impress in the times he did carry the ball, only having fantasy value because of the high volume of red zone touches he had. In the 215 rushing attempts Leshoure received, he had an elusive rating of 16.1, while Bell’s was 58.0. Leshoure’s Shonn Greene-like terribleness could end up being favorable to Bell, who gained 245 of his 414 rushing yards after contact. Bell also caught 80% of his targets in the passing game, making him a reliable checkdown option for Matt Stafford, who will continue to huck the ball. As an RB4 stash in 2013 redraft, Bell could end up being a very solid flex.   Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons: When the Falcons finally realize that Michael Turner is done, like the rest of us already have, Rodgers could truly shine. Before the 2012 season, I bought into Rodgers as a potential sleeper. He never realized that potential and I honestly wasn’t impressed by what I saw. However, when I started to dig into the numbers a little bit, I realized that the reality wasn’t quite congruous to my opinion. Rodgers gained 1.51 yards per route ran, a higher number than Doug Martin or Ray Rice. He also had a 61.1 elusive rating, which was 5th best in the league. More often than not, Rodgers was a victim of poor run blocking and play calling. Once Dirk Koetter develops plays that work to Rodger’s strengths, he could be a very solid RB2 in PPR leagues and a great flex play in standard formats.   The post 2013 Fantasy Football Running Back Targets appeared first on Fantasy Football Rankings & more, The Fake Football.
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