Week 13 RB Rankings, Projections and Analysis
Week 13 Running Back Sleepers
Week 13 Start N' Sit
Week 13 Waiver Wire Tips

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Texans RB Arian Foster
By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
This is how we rank the top 25 RBs for Week Thirteen of the fantasy season. Our rankings aren't just based on name value or past performance - each week we take a comprehensive look at the match-ups and each RBs past performance and factor that into our projections. The ratings are based on a standard non-PPR league where 10 rushing or receiving yards equal 1 point, rushing and receiving TDs equal 6 pts. and fumbles deduct 2 points.

Running Back Rankings
  1. * Arian Foster
  2. Le'Veon Bell
  3. DeMarco Murray
  4. Jamaal Charles
  5. Andre Ellington
  6. Rashad Jennings
  7. Matt Forte
  8. Marshawn Lynch
  9. Justin Forsett
  10. Eddie Lacy
  11. LeSean McCoy
  12. C.J. Anderson
  13. Mark Ingram
  14. Alfred Morris
  15. Denard Robinson
  16. Tre Mason
  17. Gio Bernard
  18. Ryan Mathews
  19. Isaiah Crowell
  20. Lamar Miller
  21. Shane Vereen
  22. Jeremy Hill
  23. Joique Bell
  24. Fred Jackson
  25. * Jerick McKinnon
* Check the player's injury status prior to gametime!
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington
Photo of Andre Ellington © Greg Buch
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By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
Paying attention to the match-ups each week can help you identify less heralded players with the upside to surprise and help you avoid some potential land mines. This is our list of players we expect to surpass expectations, along with a few stud RBs who may fail to deliver:

Andre Ellington
Cardinals RB Andre Ellington
Photo of Andre Ellington © Greg Buch
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The second-year back out of Clemson has had an up and down year for the Arizona Cardinals. However, due to his pass catching ability, he is still the 10th ranked running back in fantasy football. The offensive line has not been very effective in creating holes for the elusive back as Ellington is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry. Last week against the Seahawks, he carried the ball 10 times for just 24 yards but salvaged his poor outing with five catches for an additional 39 yards. With a matchup looming against the Falcons, look for Ellington to turn things around. Drew Stanton will lead his team into Atlanta to take on a defense that is allowing 23.74 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, the 2nd-most in the entire league. Look for the 8-2 Cards to jump out to an early lead and ride their young stud to victory. Expect a 100-yard performance capped by a touchdown.

Rashad Jennings
Giants RB Rashad Jennings
The first-year Giant got off to an incredible start this season until he injured his knee in a Week 5 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Since returning from the sidelines, Jennings has been decent but has not been able to get back to where he left off. A matchup with the 1-9 Jaguars could change that. Jennings should be extra motivated facing the team that drafted him in 2009. Last week against the Cowboys, the Liberty product gained 120 total yards. Look for Jennings to help end the Giants six-game losing streak. I expect him to record 150 total yards in this one but fail to find the end zone.

LeGarretteBlount/ Jonas Gray
Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount
Both Blount and Gray are coming off their best outings of the season. Two games ago, the undrafted rookie ran all over the Colts recording 200 yards and a ridiculous four touchdowns. However, last week, he stood on the sidelines as Blount took over in the backfield gaining 78 yards while punching the ball into the end zone twice. The Patriots will travel to Lambeau Field to face Aaron Rodgers and Co. The Packers run defense has progressed over the season and Shane Vereen will likely be the guy that Belichick will go with. It’s very difficult to predict what the hooded one will do with his running backs so I would stay away from all three of them this week.

Frank Gore
49ers RB Frank Gore
Gore was abysmal against the Redskins last week producing just 1.6 fantasy points. He gained just 36 yards on 13 carries and lost a fumble. The matchup shouldn’t get any easier as the Niners get ready to host the defending Super Bowl champs. Gore has typically owned the Seahawks but that was back in his prime. In his last six games, the veteran has fumbled the ball more often than he has scored a touchdown. Over that span, he has only produced double-digit fantasy points once. With a short week to prepare and recover from a minor knee injury, this isn’t a matchup that I would gamble on. Keep him on your bench.

Tre Mason
Rams RB Tre Mason
Mason came out of nowhere earlier this season to take over Zac Stacy’s role as the lead back in the St. Louis Rams’ backfield. In his last two games, he has gained over 200 total yards. Mason must be licking his chops as the Rams get ready to host an Oakland Raiders defense that is allowing the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. Lock him and load him this week.

Denard Robinson
Jaguars RB Denard Robinson
"Shoelace" Robinson has been a pleasant surprise for the struggling Jaguars. However, he had his first ineffective outing last week since becoming the starter. Robinson has scored at least 11 points in four of his last five contests and with a matchup against the struggling front seven of the New York Giants, Robinson should be able to run all over them. The Giants are allowing the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season and in their last two games, they are allowing a whopping 25.37 points. If you picked Robinson up, now is the time to plug him into your lineup.

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount
By Matt Brandonphoto of journalist Matt Brandon
Matt is a journalism major at SUNY Purchase College with a concentration in sportswriting. He graduates next January and is hoping to start a career as a sports journalist.
As the fantasy season draws to a close, your waiver wire strategy depends on where your team is in the standings. If you've already clinched, you should be making moves with the post-season in mind and not worrying about regular season match-ups. However, if a spot in the playoffs isn't guaranteed, then looking at next week's match-ups is unavoidable. We've got a few hot tips that should help your chances of making the post-season:

Running Backs to Add

LeGarrette Blount
Blount turned a negative into a positive after getting released from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bill Bellichick claimed Blount off of waivers and got him involved in the action immediately. Jonas Gray, who ran for over 200 yards against the Colts, overslept and missed practice on Thursday, so "the Hooded One" punished him by keeping him on the bench all game. Blount is familiar with the Patriots scheme since he was with New England for the entire 2013 season. He seemed to show his appreciation to the organization for bringing him back by rushing for 78 yards and two scores. With Shane Vereen and Jonas Gray still very much in the picture, Blount is no sure thing but he is definitely worth taking a look at. Grab him off the wire and take the wait-and-see approach with the 27-year-old.

Latavius Murray
The second-year Raider drafted out of Central Florida burst onto the scene last week against a strong Kansas City Chiefs defense. Murray did his best impression of another running back with the same last name while leading Oakland to their first victory in an entire calendar year. The youngster piled up 112 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns on Thursday night becoming one of the most coveted free agents in fantasy football leagues across America. Don’t sleep on this kid, as he should be given the opportunity to handle the workload against the Rams next week, assuming he gains clearance to play after sustaining a concussion. With Darren McFadden struggling lately, Murray is a must-add if you are thin at the running back position.

Running Backs to Drop

Ben Tate
After starting the season as the featured back in the Cleveland Browns’ offense, coach Mike Pettine parted ways with the disgruntled player in favor of rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell. Tate suffered an injury in Week 1 but after returning in Week 5, he ran the ball very well for two straight weeks racking up over 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns. However, to the dismay of Tate, the Browns went to the dreaded running back-by-committee approach. Eventually, Tate’s lack of production and negative comments led to his release. He was claimed by the Minnesota Vikings and was inactive against the Packers in Week 12. Coach Mike Zimmer has said that Jerrick McKinnon is still Minnesota’s lead back. With Asiata also still in the picture, Tate figures to fit into the game plan in a very minimal way. Fantasy owners need to drop him just as the Browns did.

Alfred Blue
Blue has been fairly productive in Arian Foster’s absence. However, it looks like Foster will play in Week 13 leaving Blue on the sidelines for most of the game. After rushing for 156 yards in Week 11 against the Browns, Blue only gained 46 yards on 16 carries and an additional 20 yards receiving. He averaged less than 3 yards per carry against a mediocre Bengals run defense. Once Foster comes back, Blue will likely be limited to a few touches per game. Only Foster owners should consider holding onto the backup due to Foster’s extremely fragile body. Blue is a solid handcuff but he is no more than that. If you do not own Foster, it is time to drop Blue.