While looking back over a fantasy football season, the guys who round out the top 40 backs in our 2012 fantasy football rankings are usually a combination of injured studs and half season studs and this list will be no different.  Of course, my favorites are the ‘yeah, but when did you start that guy?’ players on the list and there’ll be a few of those.  Gotta love when RB2 production has been sitting on your bench or out on waivers for 75% of the season.  But I digress, for the purposes of this review, we’ll be using yahoo’s end of season PPR rankings to look back on the season that was for the top 40 running backs of the 2012 fantasy football season…

Stats based on rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns

21.  LeSean McCoyMy, my what a year to own any Eagles player.  Even before McCoy was McCussed, his numbers were pretty snore-worthy.  And here lies the start of our top 40 list and the running back that probably killed many a fantasy championship aspiration.  Preseason Rank #3, 2012 Projections: 1350/10/60/400/5, Final Numbers: 840/2/54/373/3

22. Darren SprolesSproles was actually on pace to outperform his already amazing receiving output from 2012 before losing 3 games to a broken arm.  Alas, like many things for the Saints this season, it didn’t come to pass.  No wait, everything came to pass in NOLA this year.  Both their QB and the opponents.  Preseason Rank #17, 2012 Projections: 550/1/75/650/8, Final Numbers: 244/1/75/667/7

23. DeAngelo WilliamsThank his 4 game explosion at the end of the year for why he finished as a low end RB2 in a 12 team league.  Over half of his yardage and all but one of his touchdowns came in the month of December.  It was a sexy month for you, DeAngelo.  Preseason Rank #27, 2012 Projections: 750/8/15/120/0, Final Numbers: 737/5/13/187/2

24. Danny Woodhead – Hahahahahahaha…42% owned in yahoo leagues.  Welcome to your last RB2 in a 12 team league proving consistency means nothing and looking like Wes Welker out on the field means everything.  Just imagine if Brady hadn’t confused Wes for Woodhead for all those touchdown passes?  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 301/4/40/446/3

25. Vick Ballard – Was what Donald Brown refused to be this season and could’ve had a better season if the Colts trusted him at a goal line earlier than week 17 of the season.  Could be a sneaky RB2 pick up late in drafts next year if Donald doesn’t reestablish a larger role.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 814/2/17/152/1

26. Willis McGahee – Was on his way to a great season until going down week 11.  Prorating his numbers to a full season, McGehee probably finishes a top 15 back on the year.  But of course if that happens, then one of the best FA acquisitions late in the season isn’t listed below.  My emotions…they’re so conflicted.  Preseason Rank #37, 2012 Projections: 750/7/15/60/1, Final Numbers: 731/4/26/221/0

27. DeMarco MurraySecond season in the league, second season where a nagging injury derails him.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me three times…how could you?  After all I’ve done for you?  Oh and now you moon me?  You’re dead to me, DeMarco.  Preseason Rank #7, 2012 Projections: 1350/8/40/350/1, Final Numbers: 663/4/34/247/0

28. Darren McFaddenTake the last six sentences about DeMarco, minus off the naked buns and you have what I have to say about McFadden.  You’re welcome for your career year in 2013, Limp DMC; I just sealed it with that comment.  Preseason Rank #9, 2012 Projections: 1400/9/40/300/2, Final Numbers: 707/2/42/258/1

29. Joique BellI like this guy.  I definitely liked him better than LeShoure.  Mikel never passed the eye test with me this season and his TDs were more a result of Stafford and company getting the ball inside the 5 without scoring via the air than it had to do with major talent.  Yes, I’m using Bell’s spot to b!tch about Mikel.  Deal with it.  In a perfect world, Bell becomes the lead back next year in Detroit.  Of course, Detroit had Kid Rock as their halftime show on Thanksgiving so I don’t expect things that make sense to ever happen to the Lions.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 414/3/52/485/0

30. Ryan MathewsHow do you break both clavicles in one year?  Wasn’t a beacon of health coming into the year and proved it could actually get worse…much worse.  I yet again will self reference on my feelings about Mathews.  See #27 and #28.  Oh and I did move him from the 5th spot down to the 28th spot once I heard about his clavicle issue in my overall rankings so don’t act like you weren’t warned.  Preseason Rank #5, 2012 Projections: 1350/10/45/400/2, Final Numbers: 707/1/39/252/0

31. Andre BrownHad one huge game versus Carolina with Bradshaw out, then got hurt, then came back and scored a touchdown in 5 straight games as the goal line back and then got hurt again.  It’s going to be hard to like Andre next year if David Wilson’s end to the season is any indication but it’s clear the Giants are comfortable with him inside the 5.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 385/8/12/86/0

32. Pierre Thomas – The PT Cruiser joins his partner in crime from the Saints backfield for the next two spots on our list.  Pierre is similar to Woodhead in that he was healthy for a majority of the season and his end line really means nothing in terms of what you got out of him because I’m here to tell you in my best Willy Wonka impersonation.  YOU GOT NOTHING!  GOOD DAY SIR!  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 473/1/39/354/1

33. Mark IngramMark was on and off your roster this season more often than the blouse your girlfriend finally decided to put on as you went out to catch The Hobbit.  If his second half can carry forward, Ingram is gonna go from a guy I hated in 2012 to a guy I’m gonna love in 2013.  Preseason Rank #40, 2012 Projections: 600/7/15/75/0, Final Numbers: 602/5/6/29/0

34. Felix Jones – There must be some mathematical equation to estimate an injured guy’s final rank based on the spread between his replacement and himself.  There’s DeMarco only 7 slots away from Felix here, the man who took over when Murray decided to go down.  I know, I know, I could add the numbers together but that’s not a fair comparison between Jones and Murray as their style of play are opposite.  Well, it doesn’t matter, if you owned the Dallas backfield this year, you probably got an RB2 overall and definitely nowhere near where I had DeMarco.  Preseason Rank #35, 2012 Projections: 675/1/45/315/2, Final Numbers: 402/3/26/266/2

35. Knowshon Moreno – He wasn’t flashy nor exciting except for the Ed Reed hurdle but to his credit, he really only faced two poor rushing defenses to end the year – OAK & BAL – and those were his two best games.  Combine his line with McGehee’s and Denver had a high end RB1 in the backfield all 17 games of the year.  It’s tough to know what to make of this end of season performance but all I know is, if you’d listened to me, you got to enjoy it and didn’t even spend a waiver nor FAAB money to get it.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 525/4/21/167

36. Jacquizz RodgersI’m pretty sure I’m gonna like Rodgers much more in 2013 if Turner’s up and down 2012 makes Atlanta use their brain a bit.  Good hands with a strong base, Jacquizz makes me think of Darren Sproles but with a thick enough body he could handle a reasonable RB load in a season.  Preaseason Unranked, 2012 Projections: 380/0/45/405/4, Final Numbers: 362/1/53/402/1

37. Mike TolbertScored 5 of his touchdowns in the last 3 weeks with a two score and three score game sandwiching a nothing game in between.  If the Panthers decide to go 1-2 punch next year like they did to end the season, it looks like Tolbert could score 20 touchdowns…on 500 rushing yards.  Don’t drink in The Kool Aid Man.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 183/7/27/268/0

38. Marcel ReeceHeld down the fort when DMC broke down and was admirable in his efforts, especially for PPR leagues.  In fact, between him and DMC they had 84 receptions.  That’s more than Larry Fitzgerald had and that’s sad.  Not much to say here other than Reece is a 27 year old pass catching fullback and the Raiders really like not giving their young guys a chance.  Reece’s pieces was tasty while you had it but lacked dynasty nutritional value.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 271/0/52/496/1

39. Bilal PowellPowell should be a reminder that if all you’re really looking for is 40 to 60 yards and a touchdown, you don’t have to pay all that much for it.  Powell turned in LeShoure/Turner weeks a few times late in the season and became a large part of the Jets offense.  I know that doesn’t mean all that much but do you see any Steelers RBs on the top 40 list?  Exactly.  Saying I got the Powell this year in your best He-Man impression wasn’t all that bad of a thing.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 437/4/17/140/0

40. Fred Jackson – It was gonna be really tough to gauge where/if to draft Jackson next year if Gailey had stayed  at the helm.  Now it’s just a wait and see but I’d lean towards less Jackson and more Spiller in all likelihood.  I did give fair warning this off-season I was worried about Fred due to both age and Spiller’s presence.  I hope you listened.  I know I accidentally forgot to on one of my teams and it hurt dearly.  Preseason Rank #18, 2012 Projections: 1040/6/45/500/1, Final Numbers: 437/3/34/217/1

  1. Big Jgke says:

    If Gailey stays at the helm? When was this written?

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Clearly before Chan Gailey was no longer at the helm. Thanks for the catch, will try and modify shortly

  2. Dom V says:

    I could see Reece, Felix, Moreno, and even Fred Jackson higher on the list and Tolbert lower. Did you alter the list? I couldn’t find it to compare if it was the same. Mcgahee is spelled wrong btw

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Ripped directly from yahoo’s PPR end of season ranks. Maybe it’s because I went through week 17? I don’t know, it’s how they came out. Probably just yahoo’s wonky ranking metrics.

      Thanks for the McGahee mixup. Was trying to fly through these and missed it.

      • Dom V says:

        @Sky: ohh alright, no problem

  3. I could see Bilal Powell in the list. He got his 1st running back in September against the San Francisco 49ers.

    • Sky

      Sky says:

      Not really sure what that means…

      • Nothing, this is just what i get to know about him.

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