Originally written on Cippin on Sports  |  Last updated 7/3/12

Ah, that time of year again! All of the NFL experts reach back and attempt to come up with some sort of ranking system for the top position players. Running backs have always been tricky. The one consistent player (Adrian Peterson) is coming off a brutal injury. For the first time in years, there is no clear-cut #1 selection. Sure there is plenty of talent on the field, but at the end of the day will that production be enough to propel your squad to victory… probably not. But that’s fine; it’s why I’m here. Matt Fox at your service to deliver the top ranked Running Backs for the 2012-2013 NFL season.
So if you’re convinced this far that I can truly help out you call a team of yours; phenomenal, you should. If not, then take a hike, and maybe you’ll see us in the playoffs.

TOP 10

10. Adrian Peterson

This is my guy right here. Yes, as a die hard Vikings fan I wished to have put him higher but with those bad knees you can’t trust AP to make a full recovery AND have a significant fantasy impact. He’ll get his touches around the endzone which should propel him into the top 10 rankings, but yards might come at a premium. Look for the young Vikings teams to utilize Toby Gerhart’s strength & Christian Ponder accurate arm to take some weight off Peterson’s shoulders.

9. Marshawn Lynch

This dude is an absolute BEAST. Once he smells endzone there’s no stopping #24. Celebrations aren’t necessary either when skittles are waiting on the sideline. Lynch will reach double digit TD’s undoubtedly. Easy top 10 choice.

8. Darren McFadden

This is his year Now that D-Mac is all alone (Michael Bush → Chicago) he’s got the spotlight to himself. It’s a make or break season and frankly I don’t see whats stopping the man. He’s had plenty of time to recover from injury so hes fine with that aspect. New coach and a veteran QB means D-Mac will be running wild on the opposition this season. If he falls in your lap in the 2nd or 3rd round… you better capitalize.

7. Jamaal Charles

Another player coming off injury. Charles is a determined back who claims to be “hungry.” An extremely versatile & speedy back, he will for sure put up big numbers across the board. Great at catching the ball out of the backfield, he should rack up yards receiving as well as a couple long distance TD’s. I say 1,500 yards from scrimmage with 8+ TD’s in a bounce back year.

6. Maurice Jones-Drew

MJD. A consistent thousand yard rusher year in and year out. I believe he continues this trend in the 2012-2013 campaign. Putting up similar numbers across the board. 1,600 rushing yards along with 11 total touchdowns.

5. Chris Johnson

What a horrible season for CJ2K. He was inconsistent & unreliable. Look for a bounce back year for the most recent 2,000 yard rusher. Out of the gates I think he may have the most productive start but as the season progresses his stat line will diminish. Still pencil him in for a terrific season gaining chunks of yardage.

4. Ryan Mathews

Mathews has the potential to finish as the #1 fantasy back by the end of the year. With the ideal combination of size, speed, and agility, I have him finishing just shy of 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Injury is always a concern (missed 2 games last year) but if he stays healthy, a career year is in his near future. Plus Tolbert leaving always helps.

3. Lesean McCoy

Shady Mccoy had an unbelievable 2011-2012 campaign for a sub-par Eagles football team. Totaling 20 TD’s & 1,600 yards from scrimmage, he cemented himself as a top 3 RB entering this season. I plugged him in at the ath #3 slot and figure to see a slight drop off in TD’s but more yards on the ground.

2. Arian Foster

The fan favorite for #1 pick of each fantasy draft. Has the potential to rush & receive for 100+ yards every game. Will put up a better stat line than last year. Just watch out for Tate stealing away some touches.

1. Ray Rice

It’s now or never for the Ravens. Defense is aging, so they’ll be heavily relying on the O more to eat up the clock and control the game. Rice standing at 5’8” 212 lbs is a tank. Has the quickness to bust through small opening and power to run a defender over. Great at catching the ball out of the backfield, figure Ray to finish with 80+ receptions this year. #1 pick hand down in any PPR league and will finish as the top back at the conclusion of the season.

 


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