Don't be shellfish...Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Highs and lows.  Yup, that about sums it up.  Both the running backs from 2013 and how I view my medicine cabinet in the bathroom.  Today I’m typing on trilacridopaprylocine.  The current effect is everything I’m typing looks like its in Wing Dings.  I’ll keep you up to date on how the rest goes…but let’s get back to the first part of this.  It wasn’t just my top 10 that got blown up by injury, ineptitude or both.  There were plenty of assets that made their owners go mad given their price this year and I can promise you the result from this year is going to make me take a hard look at how I evaluate RB rankings in 2014.  As the NFL slowly moves onto being a passing league moreso than a running league, having a lead back – or at least the original definition of it for fantasy – looks like its becoming a dying breed.  Truthfully, there was very little value in drafting an RB high this year when we compare the peaks and the valleys and how much gold came much later in the draft.  You’ve heard of the scrub QB theory, we might be well on our way to working one up for RBs in 2014.  But of course that’s a topic for another time.  For now, instead of looking forward let’s look at our behinds.  Here’s the Top 20 Running Backs from the 2013 Fantasy Football season…

Stats based on rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.  Rankings based on a PPR setting.

1. Jamaal Charles – Definitely one of the highs of drafting an RB in the first round.  Not to toot my own horn…ok, I’m gonna.  I put him as top 3 in a tier, meaning if you took him #1 I wasn’t gonna be mad atcha.  Andy Reid let JC Superstar do some heavy carpentry work and it built a house of love for his owners.  Preseason Rank #3, 2013 Projections: 1595/7/55/440/3.  Final Numbers: 1287/12/70/693/7

2. LeSean McCoy – Another player who greatly benefited from a coaching change – which is odd to say considering his former coach was JC’s Reid – was McCoy.  If you were ever curious, this is the Real Slim Shady.  Preseason Rank #4 (previously 12), 2013 Projections: 1325/7/60/420/1.  Final Numbers: 1607/9/52/539/2

3. Matt Forte – Another top RB, another coaching change.  Let’s just draft RBs based on new head coaches, shall we?  Ok, ok that’s a bit simplistic I know but Forte’s main issue has been touchdowns as in ‘he lacked them’ which always made a great end line feel a little empty when the day was done.   New coach, new approach and now that seems to no longer be the problem in Chi-town.  Matt Fuerte.  Preseason Rank #14, 2013 Projections: 1196/5/55/440/2.  Final Numbers: 1339/9/74/594/3

4. Marshawn Lynch – I thought it was hella-mad-crazy when Lynch fell to me in the second round of the Razzball Experts League this year.  Sure, it was PPR but whatevs, Lynch finished at or around this spot in 2012’s end of rankings…what made 2013 that much different?  I’m asking that out loud because I really don’t know.  Now 2014 on the other hand…Preseason Rank #4, 2013 Projections: 1440/12/18/144/1. Final Numbers: 1257/12/36/316/2

5. Knowshon Moreno – Montee Ball my aching eye-hole.  Peyton needs someone he can trust to block.  I said that in 2012 when I told you to pick him up instead of Hillman when McGahee went down and I told you to not go Full Montee this year for the same reason.  Moreno had a better year than even I would’ve expected but let’s face facts: this Broncos offense could’ve made Chris Ogbonnaya’s endline look like he was the second coming of the Purple Jesus.  Preseason Rank #70, 2013 Projections: 492/2/35/210/1.  Final Numbers: 1038/10/60/548/3

6. Eddie Lacy – Two straight top 10 RBs whom you could’ve had for well after the first 2 rounds…mmm-hmm.  Lets not mince words, though, both Lacy and Moreno entered the year in a timeshare and it took some injuries and fumble issues for things to shake out the way they did.  And while we’re being cruel only to be kind, how much did you really believe in Eddie once he went down week 2 and you saw the Packers have both Franklin and Starks go for over 100 yards in separate games that he’d even be the starter upon return?  And how long was that last sentence?  Did I set any records?  I even got lost in it.  All this to say, there was definitely a question of role for Eddie to start the year but definitely not with how it ended.  Preseason Rank #32, 2013 Projections: 444/7/15/105/0.  Final Numbers: 1178/11/35/257/0

7. DeMarco Murray – Murray stayed relatively healthy and Jason Garrett kept his head relatively removed from his ass most of the year (well, at least about running the ball) and DeMarco lived up to why you were excited to draft him at a discount rate this season.  And yes, this is the third RB in the top 10 who wasn’t drafted like a top 10 to start the year.  And yes, I’ll keep talking about it.  Preseason Rank #24, 2013 Projections: 1118/6/50/350/1.  Final Numbers: 1124/9/53/350/1

8. Adrian Peterson – Oh, I’m not used to typing this when AP starts over 14 games.  Though a late groin injury knocked the Purple Jesus down the charts at the end of the year, don’t fret.  Methinks this will lead to a major discount on All Day in 2014.  Rejoice!  Preseason Rank #2, 2013 Projections: 1480/14/35/227/2. Final Numbers: 1266/10/29/171/1

9. Chris Johnson – CJWhateverK crawls into the top 10 on the back of a season where he had to wait until week 17 to go over 1000 yards rushing and is behind 4 guys who didn’t play every game this year…but he’s an RB1, y’all!  He might also be finding a new home in 2014.  My level of interest will directly correlate to his level of team and even then, I think a timeshare is well overdue here.  Preseason Rank #17, 2013 Projections: 1144/5/40/280/1.  Final Numbers: 1077/6/42/345/4

10. Fred Jackson – Spiller who?  FJax was the main reason I had CJ much lower than others this year and he proved why.  BTW, welcome to your 3rd or 4th or 5th surprise top 10 back, depending on how you view DeMarco and Chris Johnson.  Also, welcome to your first RB who’s over age 30 up here…and since we’re at 10, the last one.  Pretty nice season for a 32 year old who was supposed to be backing up the young pup in Buffalo.  Preseason Rank #39, 2013 Projections: 656/5/32/192/1.  Final Numbers: 896/9/47/387/1

11. Reggie Bush – It was both a great and an aggravating season to own Reggie.  It was a Lion game one week and a lamb one the next.  Overall, for the price he was right but the preseason hype, we didn’t quite get what we wanted from Kim K’s former ass-caddy.  Preseason Rank #15, 2013 Projections: 1081/5/65/487/4.  Final Numbers: 1006/4/54/506/3

12. Ryan Mathews – He stayed healthy!  After last year’s heartbreaker of a season from Ryan, very few drafters were willing to look his way come draft day and I can’t say I blame them.  It wasn’t just injuries last year that made me question Mathews, he just looked terrible.  Like, T-Rich terrible (I’m so mad that phrase makes sense, BTW).  Oh and guess what?  New coach…hrm…Preseason Rank #23 (Previously 28), 2013 Projections: 836/4/20/150/1.  Final Numbers: 1255/6/26/189/1

13. Frank Gore – When I originally ranked Gore right where he landed in my Top 20 Running Backs post, I had this to say…’sexy…flashy’.  What, you wanted more than that?  Then go click!  Nah, I’m just joshin’ ya.  I said he was boring but steady and well, here we are.  Preseason Rank #13, 2013 Projections: 1125/9/30/252/1.  Final Numbers: 1128/9/16/141/0

14. Le’Veon Bell – Bell was all over the map for drafts this year because of his injury.  When would he come back?  Would one of the running backs who failed for the Steelers last year succeed this year?  Would someone just adroitly sign this man as a spokesman for a soap named after him?  The world was your oyster, Bell drafters, and you shucked the hell out of it.  Preseason Rank #40 (originally ranked 27 prior to injury), 2013 Projections: 1016/8/35/210/1.  Final Numbers: 860/8/45/399/0

15. Alfred Morris – Shannahanigans struck again…pop quiz, hot shot.  How do you finish 4th in rushing yards and all the way down here as a fantasy running back?  When your head coach decides to vulture about seven of your goal line touchdowns.  For those saying ‘yeah but he’s not a receiving back, he shouldn’t be ending that high in PPR settings’, he finished as a top 5 back in the same settings last year.  Mmm-hmm, shut-cho mouf.  In the end, who comes in and what offense they bring might have a major impact on Morris’ value in 2014 but for now, I’ll just keep lamenting a frustrating and confusing 2013.  Preseason Rank #10, 2013 Projections: 1462/11/10/70/0.  Final Numbers: 1275/7/9/78/0

16. Giovani Bernard – Hey there Tiger…er, Bengal.  I loved The Illusionist coming into the year.  My only fear was ‘would Marvin Lewis love him with me?  And would Andy Dalton watch’?  Gio-B fulfilled my desires and then some this season and I’m looking forward to him gaining a larger role in 2014.  Preseason Rank #29, 2013 Projections: 540/4/30/225/2.  Final Numbers: 695/5/56/514/3

17. Joique Bell – Why did the Lions spend all that cash on Reggie, exactly?  I’m not saying Joique is anywhere near as explosive as Reggie.  Far from it.  What I’m saying is he was cheaper and could give you a similar enough line at the end of the year that you wouldn’t have noticed it much…except in your wallet.  I liked Bell coming into the season – no really, just look – but I will say I’m a bit surprised his end line ended up putting him top 20.  But now we’re at at least 4 surprise RBs in the top 20 so I get to harp on that again so for that I’m happy.  Preseason Rank #53, 2013 Projections: 360/1/35/305/3.  Final Numbers: 650/8/53/547/0

18. Zac Stacy – Did I say at least four surprises?  I meant five!  What I find impressive about Stacy isn’t the end line.  It’s the division he did it in and the QB he did it behind.  You can hate on Bradford all you want but at least he was a top 10 Fantasy QB before going down and could move the ball.  The one good thing that Kellen did with his stint in Saint Louis is maybe surpress Stacy’s 2014 value and for that I thank him.  Preseason Rank #42, 2013 Projections: 553/7/18/108/0.  Final Numbers: 973/7/26/141/1

19. Danny Woodhead – It’s really weird putting two Chargers and two Lions running backs in the top 20.  Wanna know what’s even weirder?  That’s six!  Six!  Woodhead was what Vereen was going to be before he went down with an injury and he went much cheaper in the draft.  As my Grandma always used to say, that’s better than a sharp poke in the eye with someone’s woodhead.  Preseason Rank #40, 2013 Projections: 688/3/50/350/4.  Final Numbers: 429/2/76/605/6

20. Maurice Jones-Drew – Wanna know what’s worse than Chris Johnson in the top 10?  MJD in the top 20.  Owners basically got eight games of production out of Maurice and they were all in the second half.  You know, after you’d already dropped him for the RB flavor of the week.  Lead back, schmead back, I’m not chasing 16 games of drek again any time in the near future.  Preseason Rank #12, 2013 Projections: 1449/8/45/360/2.  Final Numbers: 803/1/43/314/0 (and one passing TD)

From Around The Web

  1. J Money says:
    (link)

    Even though the fantasy football season is over, I still enjoy these wrap ups Sky. Did very well (minus my playoff loss) thanks to your rankings and advice this year. Really appreciate it.

    Btw, you are missing the final numbers for Joique.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      DOH! Fixed.

      Thanks for taking the journey with me. Always fun to write about this, even more enjoyable when you can help someone along the way.

  2. Jay

    Jay says:
    (link)

    I know Gilpin approves of Moreno being ranked that high…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      Gilpin approves of anyone in Denver getting high.

      • Jay

        Jay says:
        (link)

        @Sky: good point.

  3. Great stuff, that trilacridopaprylocine is – oh, the article as well. I agree with you on the possible really nice AP discount this year! I also was impressed with that Zac Stacy fella. How he did what he did w/ that QB in that division? Pretty decent. For what it’s worth, I’m staying away from Moreno this year. Just saying

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      Moreno is what he is: a great blocking back who walked into a perfect scenario. He runs hard…right into the back end of his offensive line most weeks. He needs Moses type partings of the O-Line to be valid along with his receiving game. Think we see Ball and him split more like they did down the stretch if he’s even back next year.

      Stacy will be a great volume play next year. Even if he averages 3.5 or 3.7 YPC, it’s hard not to see him getting 25+ touches a game. That’s just how Fisher rolls with his lead backs.

      Adrian Peterson won’t be sexy next year on some levels for the first time in a long time. Which is weird. Add Norv Turner and there’ll be a revitilized attack in Minny, IMHO.

  4. TitoSuarez says:
    (link)

    I know this is the RB thread, but what is your take on Boykin if jones leaves and Randle if Nicks leaves? Also, thoughts on Clays long term potential? Can he ever become a top 5 fantasy TE?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      Jeez, stick to the topic Tito! Ha! I already assume Jones will leave. I basically see a similar value that Jones can provide but with PPR upside. Randle proved he’s a good talent but who gets his QB in trouble with bad routes/lack of common sense. He’ll be ok but I’m not thrilled about him. Clay is just ok. Nothing to get excited about. Top 15 to 10 based on who else gets big or not. Not a huge RZ target

  5. Bryan says:
    (link)

    I’m going off topic as well…Who do you like better Sunday between Tate and Baldwin now that Harvin is back? Thanks.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      I’ve always liked Baldwin a little. Smart player. But Tate has the upside there

  6. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
    (link)

    you almost got the demarco projections exactly right, but 3 TD’s shoved him up a bunch of spots. funny having both him and mathews last 2 years is a completely different result from this year to last.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      It’s the world of the running back to be topsy turvy

  7. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
    (link)

    why would vereen have gone much lower in drafts, wasn’t his long injury during week 1, after he put up big line? I drafted vereen in every PPR i was in and held him.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
      (link)

      I said Woodhead went cheaper in the draft…

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
        (link)

        @Sky: oh, i misread that.

Comments are closed.