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2013 Fantasy Football Keeper Rankings – Running Backs

The top running backs to draft for the 2013 fantasy football season in keeper/dynasty leagues.

By Position:

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WR

TE

1. Jamaal Charles (KC)   Age: 27

  Rushing Stats Receiving Stats
Year Att Yds TD Avg Rec Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Jamaal Charles's 2013 projected stats.

After missing nearly all 2011 with a torn ACL, Charles returned to display every bit of his trademark acceleration and razor-sharp cutting ability en route to an impressive 5.3 YPC (3rd) last year. He now boasts an incredible 5.8 YPC career average and has rushed for nearly 3,000 yards in his last two full seasons. Charles' efficiency last year is even more impressive considering Kansas City featured the league's worst passing offense in both yards and touchdowns. Under new coach Andy Reid and with Alex Smith at quarterback the threat of the pass should take a big step forward. While Charles might not see the 285 carries he did last year (LeSean McCoy’s high under Reid was 273), he should see more receptions than last year's 35 in Reid's West Coast system. Charles figures to remain one of the biggest yardage machines in the league, and in what looks to be a significantly improved offense, he could finally break through the double-digit touchdown barrier that's capped his upside in previous years. Last season, he had just 25 red-zone carries, only five inside the 10-yard line.

2. Adrian Peterson (MIN)   Age: 29

  Rushing Stats Receiving Stats
Year Att Yds TD Avg Rec Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Adrian Peterson's 2013 projected stats.

After an MVP year in which he fell just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record, Peterson set the bar high even for him. That he was able to do so barely eight months removed from reconstructive knee surgery bordered on the miraculous. And his 10-game romp to end the season during which he piled up 1,598 rushing yards at a whopping 6.8 YPC and 11 total scores might have been the greatest stretch by a back in modern NFL history. While the lack of a viable Vikings passing game ensured defenses stacked the box against Peterson, he rendered the tactic impotent with a league-leading 1,047 yards after contact. Now 28 and with 1,754 career carries, Peterson has some mileage on his body, but it's hard to get overly concerned about that when Peterson only got stronger as the year wore on. And he's now 20 months removed from his knee surgery, so the joint should be back to full strength. While Peterson is a competent pass catcher – he caught 40 balls last year, the second-highest total of his career – he doesn't excel in that area and will likely give up production to most of the other top backs, particularly in PPR formats.

3. Marshawn Lynch (SEA)   Age: 27

  Rushing Stats Receiving Stats
Year Att Yds TD Avg Rec Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Marshawn Lynch's 2013 projected stats.

With a career-high 1,590 rushing yards in 2012, Lynch has now piled up more than 3,200 total yards and 25 touchdowns the last two seasons. At 5-11, 215, Lynch ranked fifth among running backs with 639 yards after contact as defenses stacked the line early last season. But as rookie Russell Wilson and the passing game developed, Lynch enjoyed more running room, averaging 5.7 YPC over the final 10 games, scoring in eight of those contests. Despite the emergence of Wilson and the acquisition of playmaker Percy Harvin, the Seahawks remain a run-first team behind All-Pro center Max Unger and Pro-Bowl left tackle Russell Okung. If anything, an improved passing game might open lanes for Lynch as defenses are kept honest and create more red-zone trips. Although he's entering his seventh season, Lynch is only 27 and has yet to eclipse 1,500 career rush attempts, so the wear and tear on his body is less than some might assume. Lynch isn't much of a pass catcher, however – he had only 23 receptions last year and 28 in 2011, something that will cost him yards from scrimmage when compared to the league’s other workhorse backs.

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