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Top 30 running backs for 2013

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Nathan Zegura will share a snapshot of their rankings in January to give owners something to ponder.

Top 30 running backs for 2013
Jamey Eisenberg
Dave Richard
Nathan Zegura
1. Adrian Peterson, MIN 1. Adrian Peterson, MIN 1. Adrian Peterson, MIN
2. Arian Foster, HOU 2. Arian Foster, HOU 2. Arian Foster, HOU
3. Marshawn Lynch, SEA 3. Marshawn Lynch, SEA 3. Marshawn Lynch, SEA
4. Ray Rice, BAL 4. Trent Richardson, CLE 4. Jamaal Charles, KC
5. C.J. Spiller, BUF 5. Ray Rice, BAL 5. Trent Richardson, CLE
6. Doug Martin, TB 6. Doug Martin, TB 6. Doug Martin, TB
7. Trent Richardson, CLE 7. Jamaal Charles, KC 7. C.J. Spiller, BUF
8. LeSean McCoy, PHI 8. Alfred Morris, WAS 8. Ray Rice, BAL
9. Jamaal Charles, KC 9. LeSean McCoy, PHI 9. Alfred Morris, WAS
10. Alfred Morris, WAS 10. C.J. Spiller, BUF 10. LeSean McCoy, PHI
11. Stevan Ridley, NE 11. Stevan Ridley, NE 11. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC
12. DeMarco Murray, DAL 12. Chris Johnson, TEN 12. Chris Johnson, TEN
13. Chris Johnson, TEN 13. DeMarco Murray, DAL 13. Stevan Ridley, NE
14. Matt Forte, CHI 14. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC 14. DeMarco Murray, DAL
15. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC 15. Matt Forte, CHI 15. Matt Forte, CHI
16. Darren McFadden, OAK 16. Frank Gore, SF 16. Darren McFadden, OAK
17. Frank Gore, SF 17. Darren McFadden, OAK 17. Frank Gore, SF
18. Darren Sproles, NO 18. Mikel Leshoure, DET 18. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN
19. Ryan Mathews, SD 19. Reggie Bush, MIA 19. Steven Jackson, STL
20. Mikel Leshoure, DET 20. Darren Sproles, NO 20. Darren Sproles, NO
21. Steven Jackson, STL 21. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG 21. Ryan Mathews, SD
22. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN 22. Ryan Mathews, SD 22. Mikel Leshoure, DET
23. Reggie Bush, MIA 23. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN 23. Reggie Bush, MIA
24. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG 24. Vick Ballard, IND 24. Vick Ballard, IND
25. Vick Ballard, IND 25. Steven Jackson, STL 25. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG
26. Shonn Greene, NYJ 26. Shonn Greene, NYJ 26. David Wilson, NYG
27. Willis McGahee, DEN 27. Knowshon Moreno, DEN 27. Shonn Greene, NYJ
28. Jonathan Stewart, CAR 28. Jonathan Stewart, CAR 28. Willis McGahee, DEN
29. David Wilson, NYG 29. David Wilson, NYG 29. Jonathan Stewart, CAR
30. Mark Ingram, NO 30. Mark Ingram, NO 30. Mark Ingram, NO
Fantasy owners are going to have a tough decision to make on the order of running backs after Peterson and Foster. ... Lynch is the easy choice at No. 3 because in two years as the starter for Seattle he scored 25 total touchdowns with over 1,400 total yards in each season. ... Rice loses value with the potential increase in workload for Bernard Pierce next year, but he still has 25 total touchdowns the past two seasons and at least 1,500 total yards in each of the past four years. ... Spiller is in my Top 5 because of his upside. Fred Jackson could be gone, and Spiller averaged 6.0 yards per carry and 10.7 yards per catch last season. ... I like McCoy and Charles, who will be tied together because of the Andy Reid connection. McCoy is a little safer because of his track record, but the new coach in Philadelphia will determine if he stays ranked behind Charles. I love Charles' upside with Reid, who had three primary running backs during his tenure with the Eagles (Duce Staley, Brian Westbrook and McCoy) who combined for six 1,000-yard rushing seasons, seven 1,500 total-yard seasons, nine seasons with at least 50 catches and five seasons with 10 total touchdowns. ... After Morris, who had an impressive rookie campaign, the guessing game sets in with which No. 2 running back to gamble on. Can Ridley repeat as a Bill Belichick running back? Can Murray, McFadden or Mathews stay healthy? How will Jones-Drew do coming off foot surgery? Are Gore and Jackson going to break down? ... You'll have to gamble on one or two of these guys because starting in Round 4 next year -- after the run on running back ends -- finding quality talent could be hard to do. -- Jamey Eisenberg
It's clear at the top between Peterson and Foster, though I could be swayed to push Foster down after such a heavy workload in 2012. ... Owners should have supreme confidence in 2012 rookies Richardson and Martin, both of whom should be effective with a year of work under their belts. Keep in mind with Martin, 33 percent of his Fantasy point totals came in consecutive games (Weeks 8 and 9) while Richardson had a little more consistency. Richardson also played with a broken rib and should be able to do better than 3.6 yards per carry. ... I'm still a fan of Jones-Drew, expecting him to be healthy in time for training camp, be it in Jacksonville or somewhere else. In a perfect world he ends up in a place such as Atlanta, which gets to face some historicially weak run defenses. But even if he stays with the Jags, he should get back to quality statistics. ... After Forte (15th ranked running back), things get ugly quickly at the position. Aiming to get two of the Top 15 running backs on Draft Day is a must in my opinion. ... It was interesting that the three of us like McFadden and Gore at 16th and 17th, basically representing the last two backs you'd be satisfied having as your second back. ... If there's a guy we all have ranked in the mid-late 20s who could ascend inside the top 20s, it's Wilson. He has exceptional speed and potential on a team with a solid offense (late last season notwithstanding) -- if he can learn to pass protect, he'll be one of a handful of backs owners will be happy to target as a No. 2 option with a pick in Round 4 or 5. Until then, he's probably more of a Round 6 or 7 choice. The same goes for Ballard in Indianapolis. -- Dave Richard
It has been a long time since I have felt so good about the Top 16 Fantasy running backs headed into a season. In fact, I think we will see many owners go back to the old RB-RB formula in the first two rounds of 2013 Fantasy drafts. ... Peterson is my clear top option after his remarkable 2012 season and is ahead of Foster, who I am definitely a little concerned about given that he has touched the ball 431 times in 18 games in 2012. ... I really like the runners from Lynch (consistent touches and production) through Morris and this group will likely have some shifts over the next few weeks/months based on some off-season moves. ... I do think Bernard Pierce will be playing a big role for the Ravens in 2013 and that could cut into Rice's overall production, which is why he is down at No.8. ... McCoy, MJD, Johnson, Ridley, Murray and Forte all have top 10 potential, but injuries and system will have a lot to do with where that talented group ends up. ...McFadden will finally be able to be drafted at a palatable spot and the fact that the Raiders jettisoned Greg Knapp will do wonders for him. ... After the Top 16 we do have some real question marks but plenty of upside. Mathews will go late enough in drafts that he can't torpedo your season and will have a reasonable chance at being a decent value. ... It will be very interesting to see what happens in New York because if the team turns the reigns over the Wilson, he could really climb up the rankings. ... There will also be a lot of movement in the rankings this offseason for running back, depending upon how some of these committees (Carolina, Miami, New York, Denver, Atlanta, New Orleans) shake out, we could end up with 20 or so backs with a good chance to shoulder the majority of the load for their respective teams, which would be great news for owners. -- Nathan Zegura

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Player News
Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall not sure if he'll be ready for camp
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:47 pm ET) Redskins veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall hopes he has recovered enough from a torn Achilles tendon to be 100 percent for the starting of training camp. But he's making no guarantees.

"I know they're going to monitor me," he told 106.7 The Fan. "I know they are not going to just throw me out there and [have me] take all the reps with the [first team].

"I'm just going to get out there and see how the body feels ... I'm at the mercy of the trainers and coaching staff. They're going to kind of wean me back in slowly."

Hall, who lost all but three games last season to the injury, also missed OTAs and minicamp, but has recently begun ramping up his workouts.


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by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:32 pm ET) The path is clear for Saints wide receiver Nick Toon to earn more playing time than ever. But he realizes that he must get on that path and stay on it through superior performance.

The offseason losses of Kenny Stills, Jimmy Graham and Robert Meacham should result in more reps for Toon, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He has been buried on the depth chart, though he did catch a career-high 17 passes last year.

He believes that now is the time for him to step up and break out.

"Pressure is not something that I've every worried about or thought about," he told the New Orleans Advocate. "I just try to be consistent. Anything outside of that is out of my control, so do what you've got to do to put yourself in the best position for things to work out."

Toon has a shot at the third receiver role behind Brandin Cooks and Marques Colston.


Giants WR Victor Cruz believes he'll be back in action for camp
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(2:22 pm ET) Giants standout receiver Victor Cruz believes he can avoid starting the season on the PUP list despite continuing to deal with his recovery from a patellar tendon tear.

"The plan is to be ready for training camp and I feel good," he told SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Placing Cruz on the PUP list would give the Giants roster flexibility if he is not ready by training camp. If he lands on the regular-season PUP list, he would be forced to miss the first six games.

Cruz has experienced weakened production every year since his breakout season of 2011. But he was limited to just six games in 2014.


Report: Packers have no plan to release TE Andrew Quarless
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(11:28 am ET) The Packers have no intention of releasing tight end Andrew Quarless despite his arrest on July 4 for allegedly shooting off his gun in public, sources have told ESPN.

Quarless was charged with a misdemeanor after firing two shots into the air outside a parking garage in Miami Beach, per police reports. He was seen arguing with two women before the incident.


Report: Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul can forget long-term deal
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10:25 am ET) The Giants will not take back their one-year franchise tag offer of $14.813 million to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in the wake of a fireworks accident that resulted in a hand injury and hospitalization, a source has told the New York Daily News.

But the source added that there is "no chance" the Giants will now work on a long-term contract for Pierre-Paul. 

Giants officials made the trek to South Florida on Tuesday to see how he is recovering, sources have told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Pierre-Paul is coming off his best season since 2011. He contributed to 77 tackles and racked up 12 1/2 sacks.


Eagles LB Brandon Graham could be on verge of breakout year
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9:29 am ET) Eagles linebacker Brandon Graham feels the optimism of a guy coming off his best season.

"I'm feeling the best I've ever felt," he told the team website.

It's no wonder. He recorded career-highs in tackles (36), tackles for losses (13 1/2), assists (11) and sacks (5.5) in 2014. He earned significant playing time in a rotation at that position. And with Trent Cole off to Indianapolis, those reps could increase this year.

Graham has toiled feverishly to improve his game and adapt to a new defensive system. The result was a new four-year contract with the team.

"I understand the game and the league and what it takes to get it done here," he said. "I think I've grown up. I'm serious about being a great player. I want to be the best."


Giants pulling long-term contract offer to Jason Pierre-Paul
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/6/2015) In the wake of a Fourth of July fireworks mishap, the Giants on Monday pulled their long-term contract offer to defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who remains hospitalized in Miami, per NFL.com insider Ian Rapaport. 

The Giants had applied the franchise tag to Pierre-Paul this offseason, but the player has not yet signed it, technically leaving him not under contract with the team. The Giants move to yank the longer deal is a bit of gamesmanship, since according to Rapoport, Pierre-Paul was not going to sign the $60 million deal anyway. 


Bills sign veteran tackle Wayne Hunter
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/6/2015) The Bills took another step to shore up their offensive line, signing veteran tackle Wayne Hunter to a one-year deal Monday, per the National Football Post. 

Hunter, who has not played in the NFL since 2012, did spend three years with the Jets under new Bills coach Rex Ryan from 2009-2011. 

Hunter's deal is reportedly worth $870,000.


RB Khiry Robinson could be odd man out in Saints backfield
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/6/2015) Running back Khiry Robinson is a fan favorite with the Saints, but the third-year pro, who once was viewed as a breakout candidate for the team, may find his role squeezed by the presence of Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller, per ESPN.com. 

Robinson dealt with a broken arm last season, which limited him to 12 carries and 32 yards over the final 10 weeks of the year. The Saints then re-upped with Ingram and brought in Spiller to replace Pierre Thomas, meaning Robinson will have to fight hard in training camp to establish a role. 

"I just gotta keep working," Robinson said. "It's all love in the backfield. We all work together, try to help each other. So I think it's a good thing we've got a full backfield again. So if anybody goes down, we've got another player right up there to do the same thing."


Report: Giants Jason Pierre-Paul hurt in fireworks accident
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(7/5/2015) Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly hurt his hand in a Fourth of July fireworks accident in Miami, according to the Daily News

The paper reports that the injury is not considered career-threatening, but that varying accounts of what happened have been reported. The Giants have not confirmed nor denied the incident. 

The Giants applied the franchise tag to Pierre-Paul this offseason, but the 26-year-old has not yet signed it as he seeks a long-term deal, meaning that he technically is not under contract. 

Pierre-Paul had 53 tackles and 12 1/2 sacks last year for New York. 


 
 
 
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