Know your handcuffs – RB depth chart for 2013 fantasy football

Anyone who has played fantasy football for a number of years knows one simple rule, make sure you have a solid handcuff for your top picks.  Guys like Darren McFadden in Oakland have proven this rule for years, as DMC goes down to injury time and again, his backup (such as M. Reece in 2012) steps in and provides solid fantasy scoring in his absence.

Here is your list of 2013 starting RB’s and the handcuff option for every team in the NFL.  Obviously, at this point in the preseason there are a few teams that haven’t set their running back depth chart in stone, and those teams players will be listed in italics.

2013 fantasy football – starting RBs and handcuffs

Team Starter Handcuff 2nd Handcuff?
AFC EAST
Buffalo Bills C.J. Spiller Fred Jackson
Miami Dolphins Lamar Miller Daniel Thomas
New England Patriots Stevan Ridley Shane Vereen
New York Jets Chris Ivory Mike Goodson  Bilal Powell
AFC NORTH
Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice Bernard Pierce
Cincinnati Bengals BenJarvus Green-Ellis Giovani Bernard
Cleveland Browns Trent Richardson Dion Lewis
Pittsburgh Steelers LeVeon Bell Jonathan Dwyer Isaac Redman
AFC SOUTH
Houston Texans Arian Foster Ben Tate
Indianapolis Colts Ahmad Bradshaw Vick Ballard
Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew Justin Forsett
Tennessee Titans Chris Johnson Shonn Greene
AFC WEST
Denver Broncos Ronnie Hillman Montee Ball Knowshon Moreno
Kansas City Chiefs Jamaal Charles Knile Davis
Oakland Raiders Darren McFadden Rashad Jennings Latavius Murray
San Diego Chargers Ryan Mathews Danny Woodhead
NFC EAST
Dallas Cowboys DeMarco Murray Joseph Randle
New York Giants David Wilson Andre Brown
Philadelphia Eagles LeSean McCoy Bryce Brown
Washington Redskins Alfred Morris Evan Royster Roy Helu
NFC NORTH
Chicago Bears Matt Forte Michael Bush
Detroit Lions Reggie Bush Mikel Leshoure  Joique Bell
Green Bay Packers Eddie Lacy Johnathan Franklin
Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson Toby Gerhart
NFC SOUTH
Atlanta Falcons Steven Jackson Jacquizz Rodgers
Carolina Panthers Jonathan Stewart DeAngelo Williams
New Orleans Saints Darren Sproles Mark Ingram Pierre Thomas
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Doug Martin Michael Smith
NFC WEST
Arizona Cardinals Rashard Mendenhall Ryan Williams
St. Louis Rams Daryl Richardson Isaiah Pead Zachary Stacy
San Francisco 49ers Frank Gore Kendall Hunter LaMichael James
Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch Robert Turbin
Police handcuffs

Police handcuffs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

News and notes – Know your handcuffs

New York Jets

Mike Goodson is facing 5 charges related to drugs and weapons, meaning he may not see the field in 2013 depending on the outcome.  Best case scenario, he ends up the backup after being cleared of all charges, worst case scenario, he doesn’t play in 2013, and Bilal Powell is the handcuff to Chris Ivory.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Le’Veon Bell hasn’t officially been named the starter yet, but many of the top pundits around the league expect it to be only a matter of time, with both Dwyer and Redman in a backup role

Denver Broncos

There are still quite a few depth charts with Ronnie Hillman listed as the lead back, but Montee Ball is expected to be the workhorse of this offense, with Hillman and Moreno (if healthy) competing for the change-of-pace role

Oakland Raiders

When Darren McFadden goes down to the inevitable injury in 2013, it is hard to imagine that the Raiders would rather go with Rashad Jennings (who proved he is not an every down back last season with the Jaguars) while Marcel Reese languishes at fullback.. the most likely scenario in the event of a McFadden injury is Reese seeing at least 60-70% of the snaps per game over Jennings.

Washington Redskins

Everyone remembers 2011 when the Redskins had a 3 headed monster at RB, and if Morris goes down to injury it will most likely be a time share between Royster and Helu

Carolina Panthers

These are the 2 running backs that no one goes in to their draft targeting (hopefully).  Stewart is the nominal starter, with Williams the backup, but neither is any better than a middle of the road RB in redraft leagues

New Orleans Saints

If you are in a PPR league, Sproles is one of the top backs to own, but in standard formats, his value looks like it is declining rapidly.  Rumors are beginning to swirl that Mark Ingram will see an increased workload this season, with Pierre Thomas seeing his share of snaps as well, meaning Sproles will likely be in on passing downs, and almost certainly won’t see enough action to warrant a top 15 pick at RB in 2013

St. Louis Rams

No clear frontrunner has emerged in this backfield, with Isaiah Pead being the most likely candidate to open the season as the lead back.  Still plenty of preseason left for either Daryl Richardson or Zac Stacy to win the starter’s job

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers GM has already mentioned the 3-headed monster approach at RB, and with Kendall Hunter returning from an Achilles injury James should see around 7-10 touches per game, especially in the early going this season.

If there are any changes that you are aware of, feel free to post a comment below so we can update this article for our readers

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K J

Lead Writer / Editor at FantasyTeamAdvice
Lead Writer and Editor of FantasyTeamAdvice.com. Our website allows fantasy sports fans and writers the opportunity to dish out their own unique brand of fantasy advice to over 4 Million viewers per year (and still growing!). You can find me in the forums on a regular basis interacting with one of the fastest growing fantasy sports communities on the web today.