- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Bengals' Giovani Bernard and the Steelers' Le'Veon Bell were the top two running backs taken in the 2013 draft. But they aren't the top two rookie running backs this year in fantasy football. That's according to the 2013 ESPN fantasy football rankings summit.
Bell is ranked third behind the Broncos' Montee Ball and the Packers' Eddie Lacy, and Bernard is fifth behind the Packers' Johnathan Franklin. According to ESPN's KC Joyner, Bell and Bernard should be considered No. 3 running backs on most fantasy teams. On the overall running back rankings, Bell is 28th and Bernard is 36th.
In analyzing Bell's college statistics, Joyner thinks he could be the next Shonn Greene. "But it should be noted that Greene finished last season with 155 fantasy points even as a part of a bad offense, a total that ranked 15th among running backs," Joyner wrote.
With Bernard, Joyner points out two stats: Bernard ranked sixth among qualifying running backs in BCS conferences in yards per carry and his 92 receptions over the past two years was surpassed by only four other running backs. "The Bengals are likely to make this a platoon backfield (with BenJarvus Green-Ellis), but Bernard's speed and pass-catching ability make him the higher rated among these two," Joyner wrote.