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Fantasy Football 2013 Rankings: Running backs critical again, with top six looking to big dividends

The top running back in this year's Fantasy Football pool is the reigning MVP. How can you bet against him?

Jamie Squire

As odd as this seems, your Fantasy Football draft isn't far off.

That's an early warning to those hosting their own draft parties, pre-ordering kegs of certain beverages can sometimes save you some money. If you're one of the two teams that finished at the bottom last year, you may have to be paying...which is another way of saying you decided Vikings running back Adrian Peterson wasn't worth taking, instead, deciding to count on Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

That wasn't me, but I was the guy who finished second to last.

That being said, I'm re-doubling my efforts this year. Any escalated level of effort starts with the running backs, so here are the top 20 Fantasy Football RBs this year.

1. Peterson

Can he duplicate last year's monster production? Historically, it seems unlikely. Historically, it seemed unlikely last year too. Can you bet against this man? If you're drafting No. 1 overall, don't. This isn't Chris Johnson.

2. Arian Foster, Houston Texans

A Fantasy Hall of Fame kind of player, he's always consistent, and the Texans will ride him for carries again this year.

3. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks

Bouncing between third, fourth and fifth, I settled on Lynch because the Seahawks are likely to turn to him to lead the offense once again. The emergence of Russell Wilson as a solid passer is accentuated by Lynch's production more than the other way around, and the highly touted Seahawks will need to continue establishing the run game in order to give Wilson room to breathe.

4. Ray Rice, Ravens

It's easy to say Baltimore will aim to make quarterback Joe Flacco earn his huge contract extension, and indeed, they may do that, so long as Rice gets touches. He's one of the more consistent producers in the league, and even with the alleged increase in snaps Bernard Pierce will take in 2013, Rice is still the featured back of their offense.

5. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs

Typically, the whole "he has a new coach!" bit wears thin, but more of the reason Charles ranks so high is due to the fact he's produced big numbers regardless if Andy Reid, Todd Haley or Romeo Crennel is his coach. Charles could make an argument of going anywhere in the top five.

Check out the top 20 below, and stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain's Fantasy Football page for all the latest rankings and evaluations.

Rank Pos Player Team
1 RB Adrian Peterson Vikings
2 RB Arian Foster Texans
3 RB Marshawn Lynch Seahawks
4 RB Ray Rice Ravens
5 RB Jamaal Charles Chiefs
6 RB LeSean McCoy Eagles
7 RB Doug Martin Buccaneers
8 RB Trent Richardson Browns
9 RB C.J. Spiller Bills
10 RB Alfred Morris Redskins
11 RB Matt Forte Bears
12 RB Chris Johnson Titans
13 RB Maurice Jones-Drew Jaguars
14 RB Stevan Ridley Patriots
15 RB DeMarco Murray Cowboys
16 RB Frank Gore 49ers
17 RB Steven Jackson Falcons
18 RB Darren McFadden Raiders
19 RB Le'Veon Bell Steelers
20 RB Reggie Bush Lions