Week 13 – RB Rankings

You would think that it gets tiring talking about the same guy week in and week out. The majority of us who do this put the same guy atop the rankings each week. We project the same guy to go 1st overall in all drafts regardless of scoring style. The expectation is that he’ll be the highest point scorer each week and each season and he generally is at his position, and sometimes overall. At what point can we sit back and realize that we really are watching something special whenever we see Le’Veon Bell touch the football. I don’t mean this season, I mean in history. This is a guy with a skillset that we’ve seen a handful of times in the history of the NFL. If his career ended today, he would leave the NFL with the record for most scrimmage yards per game in history with 128.1 YPG. Think about that; more than Jim Brown (125.5), Walter Payton (111.9), Barry Sanders (118.9), everyone (less than 128.1). He’s 25 years old. He has the time and abilities to go down as the greatest RB ever. Obviously, durability has a lot to do with this at the RB position, and he’s already fallen prey to the injury bug before. He missed 3 games in 2013 and 10 in 2015. In my opinion, injury will be the only thing that is capable of stopping Bell from being one of the best ever.

As far as fantasy goes, he’s pure gold. If you play in a PPR league, which you should, he’s the clear-cut most valuable player in fantasy. For RBs, he’s 2nd in the NFL in targets with 76, 1st in receptions with 61, and 6th in receiving yards with 398. Pair that with the NFL’s leading rusher (981), you have the best player in fantasy football. He’s my #1 RB of the week, again, and probably will be every week unless he’s not on the field for whatever reason.

Kareem Hunt is slowly becoming a matchup play. The rookie RB exploded onto the scene with a 45.6 point “Welcome to the NFL” outburst on Opening Night against New England. He continued his success through the first 7 games of the season, averaging 21.3 touches, 143.1 yards, and 22.7 fantasy points per game. He was a must start and the top ranked RB in fantasy football. Defenders have learned his game and have figured out ways to prevent these outbursts. He’s a very shifty back, similar to LeSean McCoy, and it takes disciplined linebacker play to prevent him from changing directions. Defensive coordinators have done a great job game-planning against him. The decline is his play has also contributed to the decline in Alex Smith and the Chiefs’ offense as a whole. In the past 4 games, the Chiefs going 1-3, Hunt’s averages have dropped to 17.8 touches, 58.0 yards, and 8.6 fantasy points per game. He has a fairly tough matchup this week against the Jets, ranked 15th in opposing RB points against. However, they rank 9th against RBs who are labeled as dual-threat style RBs which Hunt is listed. He’s a tough player to sit after the success in the first half of the season, but if he were on my team, he’d be a matchup play from here on out.

I’m expecting a big game this week from the New England offense. As a result, my sexy sleeper the week is Rex Burkhead. He is available in 56.3% of ESPN leagues. Over the past 4 games, Burkhead is averaging 12.0 touches, 59.0 yards, and 14.4 fantasy points per game. Tom Brady certainly has found a comfort blanket in Burkhead and he is seeing the field often. He has been on the field for 27% of New England’s offensive snaps this season, but that number has risen to 38.5% over the past 4 games. He is getting more opportunities and he is taken advantage of it. He is a good waiver wire pickup this week against a putrid Buffalo defense (ranked 30th against opposing fantasy RBs).

Here’s the complete list of RBs for Week 13:

  1. Le’Veon Bell (PIT) at bengals
  2. Melvin Gordon (LAC) vs browns
  3. LeSean McCoy (BUF) vs patriots
  4. Todd Gurley (LAR) at cardinals
  5. Jordan Howard (CHI) vs 49ers
  6. Leonard Fournette (JAX) vs colts
  7. Alvin Kamara (NO) vs panthers
  8. Carlos Hyde (SF) at bears
  9. Christian McCaffrey (CAR) at saints
  10. Mark Ingram (NO) vs panthers
  11. Duke Johnson (CLE) at chargers
  12. Kareem Hunt (KC) at jets
  13. Dion Lewis (NE) at bills
  14. Jamaal Williams (GB) vs buccaneers
  15. Jerick McKinnon (MIN) at falcons
  16. Rex Burkhead (NE) at bills
  17. Lamar Miller (HOU) at titans
  18. Joe Mixon (CIN) vs steelers
  19. Alfred Morris (DAL) vs redskins
  20. DeMarco Murray (TEN) vs texans
  21. Isaiah Crowell (CLE) at chargers
  22. Devonta Freeman (ATL) vs vikings
  23. Adrian Peterson (ARI) vs rams
  24. Frank Gore (IND) at jaguars
  25. Tevin Coleman (ATL) vs vikings
  26. Samaje Perine (WAS) at cowboys
  27. Jay Ajayi (PHI) at seahawks
  28. Marshawn Lynch (OAK) vs giants
  29. Alex Collins (BAL) vs lions
  30. James White (NE) at bills
  31. Austin Ekeler (LAC) vs browns
  32. Devontae Booker (DEN) at dolphins
  33. Ameer Abdullah (DET) at ravens
  34. Latavius Murray (MIN) at falcons
  35. J.D. McKissic (SEA) vs eagles
  36. Tarik Cohen (CHI) vs 49ers
  37. Derrick Henry (TEN) vs texans
  38. Chris Ivory (JAX) vs colts
  39. Doug Martin (TB) at packers
  40. Kenyan Drake (MIA) vs broncos
  41. Bilal Powell (NYJ) vs chiefs
  42. Theo Riddick (DET) at ravens
  43. Jalen Richard (OAK) vs giants
  44. Orleans Darkwa (NYG) at raiders
  45. Rod Smith (DAL) vs redskins
  46. C.J. Anderson (DEN) at dolphins
  47. Matt Forte (NYJ) vs chiefs
  48. Javorius Allen (BAL) vs lions
  49. Giovani Bernard (CIN) vs steelers
  50. Jonathan Stewart (CAR) at saints

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