December 2 2010 Last updated at 09:20 AM ET
Fantasy Football Week 13 Rankings: RB
'Twas a rough week for running backs in Week 12. Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson combined for just 16 touches (the latter leaving early with injury), Frank Gore broke his hip (ouch), and Stephen Jackson and Maurice Jones-Drew watched as little-used backups stole six right out from under them. Rashad Jennings and Kenneth Darby weren't the only guys sitting on fake benches and waiver wires to produce last weekend. Maurice Morris, Tashard Choice, Brad Smith, and Toby Gerhart came through for nobody as well.
What can we learn from it all? Absolutely nothing. I'm sure they'll be a few more no-names who find their way into the end zone in Week 13. Just don't get cute trying to guess who those guys might be (unless you're in a really deep league, of course).
Let's rank, shall we?
1. Chris Johnson, TEN (vs. JAC)
2. Arian Foster, HOU (at PHI)
3. Michael Turner, ATL (at TB)
4. Peyton Hillis, CLE (at MIA)
5. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC (at TEN)
6. Jamaal Charles, KC (vs. DEN)
7. Steven Jackson, STL (at ARI)
8. Matt Forte, CHI (at DET)
9. Mike Tolbert, SD (vs. OAK)
10. LeSean McCoy, PHI (vs. HOU)
11. Ray Rice, BAL (vs. PIT)
12. Rashard Mendenhall, PIT (at BAL)
13. Fred Jackson, BUF (at MIN)
14. Mike Goodson, CAR (at SEA)
15. Thomas Jones, KC (vs. DEN)
16. Toby Gerhart, MIN (vs. BUF)
17. Knowshon Moreno, DEN (at KC)
18. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG (vs. WAS)
19. Chris Ivory, NO (at CIN)
20. LaDainian Tomlinson, NYJ (at NE)
21. Jonathan Stewart, CAR (at SEA)
22. Felix Jones, DAL (at IND)
23. Shonn Greene, NYJ (at NE)
24. Marshawn Lynch, SEA (vs. CAR)
25. Anthony Dixon, SF (at GB)
26. Cedric Benson, CIN (vs. NO)
27. LeGarrette Blount, TB (vs. ATL)
28. Darren McFadden, OAK (at SD)
29. Donald Brown, IND (vs. DAL)
30. Brandon Jacobs, NYG (vs. WAS)
31. Ronnie Brown, MIA (vs. CLE)
32. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, NE (vs. NYJ)
33. Tashard Choice, DAL (at IND)
34. Reggie Bush, NO (vs. CIN)
35. Brandon Jackson, GB (vs. SF)
36. Brian Westbrook, SF (at GB)
37. Mike Hart, IND (vs. DAL)
38. Tim Hightower, ARI (vs. STL)
39. Maurice Morris, DET (vs. CHI)
40. Justin Forsett, SEA (vs. CAR)
41. Ricky Williams, MIA (vs. CLE)
42. Keiland Williams, WAS (at NYG)
43. Cadillac Williams, TB (at BAL)
44. James Davis, WAS (at NYG)
45. Danny Woodhead, NE (vs. NYJ)
46. Willis McGahee, BAL (vs. PIT)
47. Beanie Wells, ARI (vs. STL)
48. Ryan Mathews, SD (vs. OAK)
49. Jahvid Best, DET (vs. CHI)
50. Aaron Brown, DET (vs. CHI)
• Where's Adrian Peterson? Until I know for sure that he's playing -- we may not find that out until right before game time on Sunday -- I'm going to assume he isn't. The fact that Peterson wasn't able to return to the field after spraining his ankle early in Week 12 is an ominous sign. That Toby Gerhart was able to step in and produce in Peterson's absence (24 touches, 81 yards, TD), leads me to believe the Vikings are comfortable giving their star an extra week off to heal. Whoever winds up playing here is an automatic start against Buffalo. The Bills are giving up 23.5 points per game to running backs this season (fourth-worst).
• Don't ask me about the Washington backfield. I have absolutely no clue what's going on there. Thanks, Mike Shanahan!
• Chargers rookie Ryan Mathews practiced on Tuesday; Mike Tolbert did not. Big whoopie. Tolbert got the day off after hurting his hand in Week 12 but is fully expected to play. Mathews, on the other hand, hasn't played in two weeks, hasn't been effective in six, and still is no lock to be active on game day. Even if he is, I don't expect him to see much work. Not only has Tolbert played a huge role in the Chargers' recent success (two 100-yard games, three TDs during San Diego's four-game winning streak), but even when Mathews was healthy, Tolbert was Norv Turner's preferred option near the stripe.
• I want no part of the Detroit backfield this week. Yes, I know I said that last week before watching Maurice Morris go off for two scores, but Aaron Brown touched the ball more than Morris did, the Jahvid Best situation -- will he or won't he play? How much will he play if he does suit up? -- muddies the waters, and the Lions are facing the NFC's top rushing defense. Did I mention that Drew Stanton will be Detroit's starting QB? Julius Peppers is salivating right now.
• Brian Westbrook was everybody's favorite waiver wire pickup this week, but that doesn't mean you should be starting him against Green Bay in Week 13. Forget that the Packers have allowed just four scores to running backs all season long; Westbrook missed practice on Tuesday with an ankle injury! OK, so maybe it was just an excuse to give the old, fragile back a rest. Regardless, if you've been watching any football the last few seasons, you know Westbrook isn't cut out for featured back duty. Never mind that Anthony Dixon looms as a serious threat to his touches, specifically down near the goal line. I'd avoid both this week if you can. If you can't, Dixon's the preferred option of the two in standard leagues.
• HUGE bounce-back game for Chris Johnson this week. I mean, HUGE. Just wanted to throw that out there.
• Jonathan Stewart played extremely well in his return from a concussion last week (12 carries, 98 yards), and yet, Mike Goodson was still able to get his (22 touches, 136 yards, TD). Look familiar? That's because it is. Goodson's playing the part of DeAngelo Williams with Stewart reprising his role as second fiddle. Expect to see another 30-40 touches between the two in Week 13. One, because anytime you can keep the ball out of Jimmy Clausen's hands, that's a good thing, and two, because they're facing the Seahawks, a squad that's allowed an average of 219 total yards and 1.4 TDs per game to opposing rushers the last five weeks.
• Stop the presses! Pierre Thomas may actually suit up this week. That doesn't mean I'm including him in this week's rankings. You know my motto. When it comes to guys who've missed multiple games with injuries, I like to see them play a full game without getting hurt again before I let them anywhere near my lineup. My gut says Chris Ivory carries the load again, with Reggie Bush chipping in on third/passing downs. Consider the former a rock-solid RB2; the latter a solid flex against the claw-less Bengals.
Read More: NFL Position Rankings Adrian+Peterson, Anthony+Dixon, Brian+Westbrook, Chris+Ivory, Chris+Johnson, Darren+McFadden, fantasy+football+rankings, fantasy+football+week+13, fantasy+football+week+13+rankings, Jahvid+Best, James+Davis, Keiland+WIlliams, Maurice+Morris, Mike+Hart, Mike+Tolbert, Pierre+Thomas, Reggie+Bush, Ryan+Mathews, Toby+Gerhart, week+13+fantasy+football
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