Yesterday, I brought to you who I thought were the top 5 fantasy football running backs going into the 2013 season. In numerical order, those backs were: Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Ray Rice, Marshawn Lynch and Jamaal Charles.
In this 2-part series, today I will bring to you who I think are the 6-10 top fantasy running backs in the NFL, while comparing my list to those from ESPN.com and NFL.com.
So without further ado, here is my list of the 6-10 top fantasy running backs.
6. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- ESPN.com (5) NFL.com (3)
The 2013 projections on NFL.com has Doug “Muscle Hamster” Martin rushing for 1,490 yards and 9 rushing touchdowns, while collecting 328 receiving yards and 2 receiving touchdowns.
Doug Martin exploded onto the scene during his rookie year, finishing the season with 1,454 rushing yards, which ranked him 5th among all NFL running backs.
Standing at 5’9, and weighing at 223 lbs, Doug Martin earned his nickname “Muscle Hamster” in college because he was one of the smallest players on his team, yet he was jacked like a bodybuilder. He used his strength and speed to show that he is one of the best running backs in the league last year.
I expect Martin to have a the same kind of year this season. The only reason he is not in my top 5 is because I don’t trust Josh Freeman at quarterback.
7. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles- ESPN.com (10) NFL.com (10)
The 2013 projections on NFL.com has LeSean “Shady” McCoy rushing for 1,030 yards and 8 rushing touchdowns, while collecting 445 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns.
The 2012 season was a downfall year for McCoy and the Eagles, as the former top 3 fantasy running back in most leagues only finished with 840 rushing yards in 12 games (he missed 4 games due to a concussion in week 10).
Even before his Week 10 concussion, McCoy produced just five TDs and averaged only 98.5 yards from scrimmage per game, a season after producing 20 scores and averaging 108.3 yards.
When he returned in week 16, running back Bryce Brown had burst on the backfield scene for Philadelphia. In the four games McCoy missed, Brown collected 387 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns.
But former University of Oregon head coach Chip Kelly’s arrival to Philly is good news for McCoy and Brown. The Eagles will play fast and spread defenses out, but they’ll run a lot and get Shady the ball in space.
As long as McCoy can stay healthy, expect him to have a rebound year in 2013.
8. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills- ESPN.com (7) NFL.com (6)
The 2013 projections on NFL.com has C.J. “The Thriller” Spiller rushing for 1,322 yards and 7 rushing touchdowns, while adding 514 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns.
The 2012 season was a breakout year for the 3rd year back out of Clemson University.
Spiller finished the season with 1,244 rushing yards, which ranked him 8th among all NFL backs.
His average of 6.0 yards per rushing attempt tied him with Adrian Peterson for the most among all NFL running backs. Spiller also proved that he can catch passes out of the backfield, finishing the season with 43 receptions for 459 receiving yards.
Last season was the first year that Spiller showed NFL teams that he can carry the load as a number one back. As long as he can stay healthy, I expect Spiller to repeat his electrifying 2012 performance in 2013.
9. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins- ESPN.com (9) NFL.com (8)
The 2013 projections on NFL.com has Alfred “The Truth” Morris rushing for 1,458 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns, while collecting 116 receiving yards and no receiving touchdowns.
I don’t even know where to begin with Alfred Morris regarding what he had accomplished for the Washington Redskins in 2012. Before I begin though with the bullet points of his accomplishments, keep in mind that he was a 6th round pick in the 2012 draft from Florida Atlantic University:
1. Morris finished 2012 with 1,613 rushing yards, second to only Adrian Peterson among all NFL running backs.
2.His 1,613 rushing yards broke a Washington Redskins’ single-season rushing record, formerly held by Clinton Portis (1,516 yards).
3. Morris finished 2012 with 13 rushing TD’s, second only to Arian Foster among all NFL running backs.
4. His 13 rushing touchdowns broke a Washington Redskins record of most touchdowns scored in a rookie season, formerly held by Charley Taylor (10).
5. Morris also became the fourth player in NFL history to ever record over 1,600 rushing yards in his rookie year; ultimately ranking him third behind Eric Dickerson and George Rogers.
6. Last but not least, in the final game of the regular season, Morris ran 33 times for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns, setting two new Redskins franchise records. His effort helped lead the Redskins to a 28-18 victory over their division rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, to win the NFC East for the first time since 1999 and earn a playoff spot for the first time since 2007.
Now you know why I call Alfred Morris “The Truth.” This guy is the real deal. Too bad he doesn’t catch passes, or else he would be in my top 3 fantasy running backs.
10. Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions- ESPN.com (23) NFL.com (12)
The 2013 projections on NFL.com has Reggie Bush rushing for 995 yards and 7 touchdowns, while collecting 455 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns.
I don’t know if it’s because I am from the Detroit area, or because ESPN doesn’t believe in a guy like Reggie Bush, but I feel like 2013 is going to be a coming out party for the former Miami Dolphin.
First things first, Detroit needed a running more than the city needed to file for bankruptcy.
With that said, I believe Detroit’s offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will make sure that Bush will be the first 1,000 yard rusher for the Lions since Kevin Jones did it in 2004. Bush proved that he can be an every down back during his stint with the Dolphins.
Secondly, the fact that Reggie Bush is probably the best back when it comes down to catching passes out of the backfield is a huge plus for the Lions, seeing that Matthew Stafford loves the check-down pass.
Lastly, Bush has proved over his career that he can be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses when he lines up in the slot. Stafford also has proven that he can play the quarterback position very well with an empty backfield. Put those two things together and you got yourself a new Motown connection.
As long as he stays healthy, I believe Bush will put up top ten fantasy football numbers at the running back position for the Detroit Lions.