On the first official day of summer, the 2013 RB Fantasy Football Rankings have changed quite a bit since I had originally listed the top-40 back in February. Steven Jackson terminated his Rams contract and is now part of one of the top offensive attacks in Atlanta. There are a lot of players in this offense, making it arguably the top overall fantasy offense in the league. The Falcons have a top-10 quarterback in Matt Ryan, two top-20 receivers in Julio Jones and Roddy White and a top-10 tight end in Tony Gonzalez. Add in Jackson and the skies the limit on how good this offense can be compared to previous years. But will there be enough balls to go around? Will age be a factor against Jackson in 2013? Don’t worry about either. Michael Turner had success in this offense when Jones, White and Gonzo were all vying for targets. Jackson’s overall talent trumps Turner by way of rushing AND receiving. Jackson will get his and get his a lot. Looking below, you know I have high hopes for a strong rebound in Jackson’s fantasy numbers this season after spending all of his career in St. Louis.
Along with Jackson, Reggie Bush also made headlines and shook up the fantasy football rankings after he signed with another top offense in the Lions. After many considered him a fantasy football throwaway when he signed with Miami 2 years ago, Bush proved his value as more than just a receiver and punt returner, racking up his first 1000 yard season in 2011. How will he fit in with the Lions? Unlike the Falcons, the Lions are all about Megatron Megatron Megatron. But Bush dominating backfield touches come Week One is already a given. The team lacked consistency in the running game last year between Mikel Leshoure and Joique Bell, so Bush was a much-needed addition. However, his value is much higher in PPR leagues as Matthew Stafford‘s potential second favorite option behind Johnson. While Bush’s rushing numbers won’t compare to guys like Adrian Peterson or even Stevan Ridley, 70-80 receptions will keep Bush’s PPR value consistent throughout the season.
On that note, lets take a look at my updated 2013 RB Fantasy Football Rankings. These rankings will have subtle changes as we get deep into training camp, especially regarding the rookies (IN RED). But unless a major injury happens amongst one of the studs, this list should stay relatively the same once we get closer to the regular season.
1. Adrian Peterson (MIN) – Not even a question at this point.
2. Arian Foster (HOU)
3. Doug Martin (TB) – Could push Foster for the No. 2 spot.
4. C.J. Spiller (BUF)
5. Jamaal Charles (KC) – Andy Reid will use Charles a lot in this offense.
6. Ray Rice (BAL)
7. Marshawn Lynch (SEA) – The addition of Percy Harvin was a plus, but this is still a run-first team.
8. Trent Richardson (CLE) – Bumped down slightly simply due to the chance of an injury.
9. LeSean McCoy (PHI) – How will McCoy be used along with Bryce Brown?
10. Matt Forte (CHI)
11. Steven Jackson (ATL) – S-Jax as all the makings of an RB1 for at least another year. Probably 2.
12. Alfred Morris (WAS)
13. Reggie Bush (DET) – Dips down a bit more in non-PPR leagues.
14. David Wilson (NYG) – If he can push Andre Brown out of goal-line duties, Wilson could be huge.
15. Chris Johnson (TEN)
16. Stevan Ridley (NE)
17. Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC) – Coming off an injury and playing in a bad offense.
18. Frank Gore (SF)
19. Ahmad Bradshaw (IND) – Went from nothing to the starter in what could be the surprise of the year.
20. Darren McFadden (OAK)
21. DeMarco Murray (DAL)
22. Darren Sproles (NO) – Would be a plus to see more carries this year.
23. Lamar Miller (MIA) – Poised for a big year with Bush gone, but a question mark due to the lack of past experience. Good value pick at this spot on a team that made huge upgrades this offseason.
24. Le’Veon Bell (PIT) – Moves up a tick. Could move up more with a good training camp.
25. Montee Ball (DEN) – Ball will be the featured back as the season goes on, but the RBBC looms early.
26. Ryan Mathews (SD)
27. Eddie Lacy (GB)
28. Rashard Mendenhall (ARI) – Appears to be the featured back, but the offensive line is still a worry.
29. Giovani Bernard (CIN) – Isn’t the starter, but should outproduce Law Firm eventually.
30. Chris Ivory (NYJ) – Finally out of the shadows of New Orleans, but the Jets will do him no favors.
31. Jonathan Stewart (CAR)
32. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (CIN)
33. Isaiah Pead (STL) – The most talented running back on the Rams’ roster.
34. Shane Vereen (NE)
35. Bryce Brown (PHI) – Could have much more value if the Eagles run run run.
36. Mark Ingram (NO) – Might finally have value if he can secure short-yardage duties, but the Saints backfield is pretty crowded.
37. Vick Ballard (IND) – Saw his value plummet the most after the Bradshaw signing.
38. Andre Brown (NYG)
39. Bernard Pierce (BAL)
40. Johnathan Franklin (GB) – An interesting option to consider late. Lacy should start out as the go-to guy, but Franklin could be a sneaky play if Lacy suffers another injury. I had considered Danny Woodhead at this spot with Mathews on thin ice.