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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
Cardinals S Tyrann Mathieu looks forward to being healthy
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(6:56 pm ET) Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu believes that he is regaining his health and he's ready to make an impact this season, according to the team's website.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been healthy,” Mathieu said Monday. “Last year I felt like I took a back seat. I played well my rookie year and then last year it was kind of, eh, I was there but I wasn’t there. This (year) is more important for me because I really want to let everyone know I’m back and I can still make some plays.”

Mathieu tore his ACL and LCL toward the end of the 2013 season. He recently said that the comeback was "way harder than I thought."

Head coach Bruce Arians talked about how Mathieu was not himself last season.

“You saw him fight through it last year,” Arians said. “He was not the player he was used to (being) and it was very frustrating for him.”

Mathieu was aware of the chatter from the outside world and he is using that as motivation going forward.

“You hear people talk and I had time to listen to them talk, so it’s like … I hear it,” Mathieu said. “Like I said, I didn’t feel like I made enough plays last year to help our team. I am looking forward to this year because I know I can do it.”

The 22-year-old has registered 106 total tackles, one sack, three interceptions and one forced fumble in 26 games played during his two-year career.


Saints plan to rework Jahri Evans, Cameron Jordan contracts
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:27 pm ET) Saints coach Sean Payton said that the team has a plan in place to rework guard Jahri Evans' contract to help create salary cap space, per ESPN's Mike Triplett

Evans is scheduled to make $6.8 million salary in 2015 and cost $11 million against the cap. 

The team might also extend defensive end Cameron Jordan's contract. Jordan is entering the last year of his contract and is scheduled to make $6.969 million this year.


Rams have agreed to terms with OL Tim Barnes
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(6:16 pm ET) The Rams have agreed to terms with offensive lineman Tim Barnes, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The one-year deal has a maximum value of $1 million. 

Barnes recently visited had a visit with the Chiefs before signing with the Rams. The 26-year-old spent all three of his previous seasons with the Rams, starting four of the 45 games he appeared in.


Report: Brandon Tate visits Chiefs
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:14 pm ET) Free agent wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Tate visited the Chiefs on Monday, according to a report from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, citing a source.

Tate had 17 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown for the Bengals last year. He also had a combined 571 yards in kick and punt returns. 


Lions' Riley Reiff open to playing right tackle
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:10 pm ET) Lions coach Jim Caldwell said that Riley Reiff might start at right tackle next season. 

Reiff has started 32 games at left tackle over the last two seasons. The Lions aren't sure that last year's right tackle LaAdrian Waddle will be fully recovered from knee surgery, and backup tackle Cornelius Lucas is better on the left side. 

Reiff told the Daily Republic he doesn't care where he plays. 

 "I like playing, and wherever they want to put me, that's fine. I'll play," he said.


Broncos OL Michael Schofield looking to compete for starting job
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(6:05 pm ET) Broncos offensive lineman Michael Schofield is ready to come in and compete for a starting job this season, reports the Denver Post.

After not dressing for a single game as a rookie, Schofield added weight and he looks forward to fighting for a starting job.

"I am going in there with that mentality. In the NFL everybody is competing," Schofield said during a road trip to see family in Illinois. "They are looking for someone to step up and take over. I want to make that jump."

The third-round draft pick of the Broncos in 2014 struggled with weight issues, but he is now up to 305 pounds. He also recognized that his pass protection needs improvement.

"Personally, I felt there were reasons I wasn't out there (for games). I wasn't consistent enough in pass pro (protection). And my weight was really fluctuating," Schofield said.

Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak believes that the team's zone-blocking scheme can help Schofield elevate his game, and Schofield agrees.

"We like the Schofield kid, so we'll see. We think he's got some flexibility (in where he can play)," Kubiak said. "It will be very competitive."

"I feel like I am better suited for this," Schofield said. "You have to be able to reach block, and I feel the steps required fit me better."


Report: Eagles have signed WR Miles Austin to one-year deal
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(5:38 pm ET) Wide receiver Miles Austin has signed a one-year, $2.3 million contract with the Eagles on Monday, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. The deal could be worth up to $3 million with incentives included.

After spending eight seasons with the Cowboys, Austin joined the Browns in 2014. In 12 games played last year, he hauled in 47 passes for 568 yards and two touchdowns. Over his nine-year career, the 30-year-old has totaled 348 receptions for 5,049 yards and 36 touchdowns.


Bills to make contract extension with DL Marcell Dareus a priority
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(5:25 pm ET) Bills general manager Doug Whaley has made it clear that the team wants to get a contract extension done with defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, reports the Buffalo News.

“In the near future,” Whaley said. “He will be priority No. 1 once the dust settles post-draft, maybe even before then, just to get the ball rolling.”

Dareus, 25, has only missed one game in his four-year career with the Bills, recording 202 total tackles, 28.5 sacks, 12 passes defensed and two forced fumbles. 

The two-time Pro Bowler is playing in the last year of his rookie contract.


Raiders re-sign DL C.J. Wilson
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(5:14 pm ET) The Raiders announced that they have re-signed defensive lineman C.J. Wilson .

Wilson appeared in a career-high 16 games last season for the team, starting seven contests. Over his career, he has tallied 137 total tackles, 5.5 sacks, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery.


Colts have 10 former OL starters on roster
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4:44 pm ET) The Colts will have a very deep offensive line for OTAs. Currently, the team's roster features 10 players that have started in the NFL, per Colts.com

The Colts will have battle for starting spots at center and on the right side of the line. 

Khaled Holmes enters the offseason as the starting center, but he'll be pushed by Jonotthan Harrison, who started 10 games last season. 

At right guard, offseason acquisition Todd Herremans has the inside track, but he'll compete with Hugh Thornton, a veteran of 20 NFL starts. 

Gosder Cherilus, returning from knee and groin injuries that landed him on injured reserve last season, will start OTAs as the right tackle. Joe Reitz and Ulrick John will compete for the job. 


 
 
 
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