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    Know your handcuffs – RB depth chart for 2013 fantasy football

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    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

    TeamStarterHandcuff2nd Handcuff?
    AFC EAST
    Buffalo BillsC.J. SpillerFred Jackson
    Miami DolphinsLamar MillerDaniel Thomas
    New England PatriotsStevan RidleyShane Vereen
    New York JetsChris IvoryMike Goodson Bilal Powell
    AFC NORTH
    Baltimore RavensRay RiceBernard Pierce
    Cincinnati BengalsBenJarvus Green-EllisGiovani Bernard
    Cleveland BrownsTrent RichardsonDion Lewis
    Pittsburgh SteelersLeVeon BellJonathan DwyerIsaac Redman
    AFC SOUTH
    Houston TexansArian FosterBen Tate
    Indianapolis ColtsAhmad BradshawVick Ballard
    Jacksonville JaguarsMaurice Jones-DrewJustin Forsett
    Tennessee TitansChris JohnsonShonn Greene
    AFC WEST
    Denver BroncosRonnie HillmanMontee BallKnowshon Moreno
    Kansas City ChiefsJamaal CharlesKnile Davis
    Oakland RaidersDarren McFaddenRashad JenningsLatavius Murray
    San Diego ChargersRyan MathewsDanny Woodhead
    NFC EAST
    Dallas CowboysDeMarco MurrayJoseph Randle
    New York GiantsDavid WilsonAndre Brown
    Philadelphia EaglesLeSean McCoyBryce Brown
    Washington RedskinsAlfred MorrisEvan RoysterRoy Helu
    NFC NORTH
    Chicago BearsMatt ForteMichael Bush
    Detroit LionsReggie BushMikel Leshoure Joique Bell
    Green Bay PackersEddie LacyJohnathan Franklin
    Minnesota VikingsAdrian PetersonToby Gerhart
    NFC SOUTH
    Atlanta FalconsSteven JacksonJacquizz Rodgers
    Carolina PanthersJonathan StewartDeAngelo Williams
    New Orleans SaintsDarren SprolesMark IngramPierre Thomas
    Tampa Bay BuccaneersDoug MartinMichael Smith
    NFC WEST
    Arizona CardinalsRashard MendenhallRyan Williams
    St. Louis RamsDaryl RichardsonIsaiah PeadZachary Stacy
    San Francisco 49ersFrank GoreKendall HunterLaMichael James
    Seattle SeahawksMarshawn LynchRobert 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 Fantasy Team Advice
    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 7.5 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.