Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 13: Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings hands off the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals to teammate Adrian Peterson #28 on December 13, 2009 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Bengals 30-10. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson has set his own bar at 2,500 rushing yards this upcoming season. Do you think he’ll be successful in eclipsing that record? For those of us who enjoy to assemble an imaginary team of real life football players and score points based on those players’ actual statistical performance or their perceived contribution on the field of play, we know it’s never to early to talk fantasy football. We are only a few weeks away for the NFL preseason games to kick off, which also means fantasy leagues are about a month away to beginning their fantasy football drafts. So I am here to help with ranking the top players in each skill position, which I will also compare my picks to those that were made from ESPN.com and NFL.com analysts. Today we will begin with the top 5 NFL fantasy running backs in 2013. Here are my top 5 backs compared to other cites top 5: 1. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings- ESPN.com (1) NFL.com (2) The 2013 projections on NFL.com has Adrian Peterson rushing for 1,874 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, while collecting 284 receiving yards and 2 receiving touch downs. Last year, Adrian Peterson shocked the entire NFL by eclipsing the 2,000 rushing yards mark, which came a season after he suffered a torn ACL and MCL. Peterson’s 2,097 total rushing yards were only 9 yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record. Peterson’s 2,314 all-purpose yards earned him the 2012 NFL MVP Award and the 2012 AP Offensive Player of the year Award. After telling reporters that he has his own bar set at 2,500 rushing yards this season, you can expect Peterson to also run wild in 2013. 2. Arian Foster, Houston Texans- Espn.com (2) NFL.com (1) The 2013 projections on NFL.com has Arian “The Barbarian” Foster rushing for 1,483 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns, while collecting 621 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. Arian Foster finished 2012 with 1,424 rushing yards, which ranked him 6th among all running backs in the league. It wasn’t his best year as a running back, but he still showed you that even not at his greatest, he can rank among the best at his position. The Houston Texans rely heavily on Arian Foster, which is why I won’t be surprised if he was the number one back by the end of 2013 in terms of fantasy points. If the Texans look to take the next step forward as a team, in terms of making it to the conference championship, or even the Super Bowl, a lot will rely on Foster’s performance. Which is a good thing to hear if you’re a Texan fan, or an Arian Foster fantasy owner. 3. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens- ESPN.com (4) NFL.com (7) The 2013 projections on NFL.com has Ray Rice, a.k.a. “Hey diddle diddle, Ray Rice up the middle,” rushing for 1,157 yards and 8 touchdowns, while collecting 460 receiving yards with 3 receiving touchdowns. This is the first of many players that I disagreed with the analysts of ESPN.com and NFL.com. Last season, Ray Rice finished 11th among all running backs in total rushing yards with 1,143. The reason I have him so high on my board this year is because the Baltimore Ravens roster has had a complete makeover on both sides of the ball from last season. Players like Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, and Anquan Boldin will not suit up for the black and purple in 2013. Next to Joe Flacco, Ray Rice has become a pivotal team leader for this 2013 Ravens ball club. I believe Joe Flacco will have trouble with the passing game this season since Mr. Ole reliable, Anquan Boldin, won’t be there to help him move the sticks. Therefore the workload for Ray Rice will increase, which also means higher fantasy numbers for the Rutgers University graduate. 4. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks- ESPN.com (3) NFL.com (4) The 2013 projections on NFL.com has Marshawn “The Dawn” Lynch rushing for 1,578 yards and 12 touchdowns, while collecting 218 receiving yards with no receiving touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch finished 2012 with 1,590 rushing yards, which ranked him 3rd among all NFL running backs last season. With the acquisition of Percy Harvin to play along side Sidney Rice, the passing game for the Seahawks, which is led by second year quarterback Russell Wilson, will alleviate defenses from putting 8 in the box to stop the rushing game. Which all sums up to being a great season for “Skittles Man” to eat more skittles (scoring more touchdowns). I believe the Seahawks will be one of the most balanced teams in the NFL, which will make them a legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2013. But it all begins with their ground attack, where Marshawn Lynch hopes to have them covered. 5. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs- ESPN.com (6) NFL.com (5) The 2013 projections on NFL.com has Jamaal Charles rushing for 1,654 yards and 4 touch downs, while collecting 429 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns. Charles finished the 2012 season 4th among all running backs with 1,509 rushing yards. If you asked me which player has the most potential for a breakout year in 2013 my answer would be Jamaal Charles from the Kansas City Chiefs.  Here is 3 reasons why: 1. He finally has a coach who understands him and is offensive oriented with former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid. 2. He has a legitimate quarterback in Alex Smith who will help out Charles’ running game by keeping the secondary honest to the passing game. 3. Look at his numbers in 2012. He did all of this with having guys like Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn playing quarterback, Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel calling plays on offense, and his team finishing as the statistically worst team overall, ending the season with a 2-14 record. You can ask any running back in the NFL how much of a difference it makes in their running if they had something to play for. If you don’t believe me, pay attention to Atlanta Falcons new starting running back Steven “action-pack” Jackson this season. His performance on the field will tell it all. Tune in tomorrow to read who I, and other websites, have as our 6-10 fantasy running backs in this upcoming 2013 season. Follow me on Twitter: @MrOT3
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.