Fantasy Football Rankings: RB Edition

The third, and perhaps most important edition of our positional rankings is here. While quarterbacks get both the fame and the fortune in the NFL, running backs are the stars in our fake-format. Fantasy championships are won by hitting on a mid-to-late round running back, while many seasons come to end when one’s RB1 hits the IR. Hopefully, we can help you as we breakdown the running back position from number one, to sixty-five for 10-to-14 team standard leagues:

 Player Name Position Overall Team ADP PPG Round
Adrian Peterson RB 1 MIN 1 17.1 1
Arian Foster RB 2 HOU 3 16.1 1
C.J. Spiller RB 3 BUF 5 14.8 1
Doug Martin RB 4 TB 2 15.2 1
Marshawn Lynch RB 5 SEA 6 14.5 1
Ray Rice RB 6 BAL 7 13.9 1
Jamaal Charles RB 7 KC 4 14.8 1
LeSean McCoy RB 8 PHI 10 13.7 1
Alfred Morris RB 9 WAS 12 13.5 1
Trent Richardson RB 15 CLE 9 14.1 1
Steven Jackson RB 16 ATL 17 12.3 2
Matt Forte RB 18 CHI 16 12.6 2
Maurice Jones-Drew RB 19 JAC 25 11.7 2
Stevan Ridley RB 20 NE 21 12.2 2
Chris Johnson RB 21 TEN 20 12.0 2
Frank Gore RB 28 SF 27 11.1 3
David Wilson RB 31 NYG 38 10.9 3
DeMarco Murray RB 32 DAL 33 11.4 3
Reggie Bush RB 37 DET 32 11.6 3
Lamar Miller RB 39 MIA 41 11.7 4
Darren McFadden RB 42 OAK 36 10.8 4
Darren Sproles RB 43 NO 46 10.1 4
Ryan Mathews RB 58 SD 59 8.8 5
Christopher Ivory RB 59 NYJ 71 10.0 6
Ahmad Bradshaw RB 60 IND 68 9.4 6
Giovani Bernard RB 61 CIN 70 8.8 6
Daryl Richardson RB 70 STL 84 7.9 7
Rashard Mendenhall RB 71 ARI 72 9.0 6
Montee Ball RB 74 DEN 48 9.6 6
Eddie Lacy RB 76 GB 60 8.9 6
Andre Brown RB 85 NYG 88 7.8 8
Mark Ingram RB 86 NO 94 7.3 8
Shane Vereen RB 87 NE 77 8.5 7
DeAngelo Williams RB 88 CAR 96 7.8 8
BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB 93 CIN 83 7.6 8
Bernard Pierce RB 94 BAL 122 6.2 9
Fred Jackson RB 97 BUF 123 6.0 10
Bryce Brown RB 99 PHI 113 6.0 9
Ronnie Hillman RB 103 DEN 120 6.6 10
Ben Tate RB 107 HOU 103 6.1 9
Danny Woodhead RB 108 SD 142 6.4 11
Isaac Redman RB 113 PIT 294 4.0 17
Jonathan Dwyer RB 114 PIT 211 2.2 14
Pierre Thomas RB 115 NO 158 6.3 12
Isaiah Pead RB 116 STL 143 5.4 11
Michael Bush RB 121 CHI 167 5.0 12
Johnathan Franklin RB 127 GB 141 5.6 12
Le’Veon Bell RB 131 PIT 49 10.6 8
Daniel Thomas RB 132 MIA 208 4.3 15
Jonathan Stewart RB 141 CAR 117 6.8 11
Roy Helu RB 142 WAS 217 4.2 15
Mikel Leshoure RB 143 DET 127 5.5 12
Kendall Hunter RB 144 SF 263 4.3 17
Vick Ballard RB 145 IND 107 6.3 11
Ryan Williams RB 146 ARI 238 3.5 16
Joique Bell RB 149 DET 258 4.1 17
Zac Stacy RB 150 STL 176 4.3 14
Bilal Powell RB 151 NYJ 182 4.9 14
Knile Davis RB 153 KC 241 3.9 17
Christine Michael RB 154 SEA 215 3.2 16
Justin Forsett RB 161 JAC 293 2.7 19
LaMichael James RB 162 SF 166 3.5 14
Marcel Reece RB 163 OAK 220 4.3 16
DuJuan Harris RB 168 GB 266 2.6 19
Knowshon Moreno RB 169 DEN 216 3.4 17

The two most common mistake we have seen in both drafts and mocks is overreaching for rookie running backs, and selecting a mid-round running back in the third round out of need. Upside is great, but I find it unlikely Lacy, Bernard, Ball or Bell (before injury) justify being selected in the top-40. Ball will get touchdowns but I am not convinced he will get volume, Lacy has limited upside as a running back in Green Bay, and Bernard, who we believe will be the best, will still fend off touches from the law firm.

TIer 1: AP, Foster, Spiller, Martin, Lynch, Rice, Charles, McCoy, Morris (Rd1)

Tier 2: TRich, S. Jax, Forte, MJD, Ridley, CJ(2?)K (Rd2)

Tier 3: Gore, David Wilson, Murray, Reggie Bush, Lamar Miller, DMC, Sproles (late 3rd-6th)

Tier 4: Mathews, Ivory, Bradshaw, Bernard, D Rich, Mendenhall, Ball, Lacy (late 6th-8th round)

Tier 5: Andre Brown, Mark Ingram, Vereen, Deangelo Williams (Rd 8)

Tier 6: BJGE, Bernard Pierce, Fred Jax, Bryce Brown, Tate, Woodhead, Redman, Dwyer, Pierre Thomas, Isaiah Pead (Rd 9-11)

Tier 7:  Mike Bush, J. Franklin, Leveon Bell, Daniel Thomas (late rounds)

Tier 8: The rest (latest rounds: handcuffs, flyers)

Overvalued: Trent Richardson, Montee Ball, Eddie Lacy, Vick Ballard, Shane Vereen, Darren McFadden. BJGE.

Trent Richardson, his 3.6 YPC and has health question-marks. He ranks behind top-tiered WR’s. Ball and Lacy were discussed earlier, but one more point hyped college backs are historically overdrafted in fantasy. Vick Ballard has low RB2 upside, and is a backup to Bradshaw. Shane Vereen is great for a PPR, but has limited upside and I question whether he will have week-to-week consistency based on gameplan. BJGE also has low upside, and will cede volume to a more talented back in Bernard. McFadden, another over-hyped college star running back, is unlikely to play a full season, and simply an average back.

Undervalued: CJ Spiller, Maurice Jones-Drew, Daryl Richardson DeAngelo Williams, Pierre Thomas, Ronnie Hillman, Fred Jackson, Daniel Thomas, Isaac Redman, Kendall Hunter, Joique Bell.

I love CJ Spiller. There is a solid possibility he finishes as the top player in the game for 2013. There is no need to worry about Bills getting down big, as Spiller is an important cog in the passing game as well. Every report for MJD has been positive, and he is worthy of a mid-second round pick and is an absolute steal in the early-third. Daryl Richardson is a mid-to-late round pick who, under Jeff Fisher, could emerge as a RB1. We have a feeling Pead’s suspension will help him emerge in St. Lou and explode upon the fantasy landscape. Jonathan Stewart’s status seems in doubt and DeAngelo Williams is a talented back who could be a solid RB2 or flex option. Expect Isaac Redman, Pierre Thomas and Ronnie Hillman to receive the most carries in their offenses and are attractive flex options, specifically in 14-team leagues. Fred Jackson is very talented and is a solid RB4 who could be a high-end RB2 if Spiller were to be injured. It’s hard to buy the hyperbole out of Dolphins’ camp that Daniel Thomas could split carries with Lamar Miller, but he will get goal-line carries and perhaps double-digit touches. Joique Bell was a secret-PPR monster last season and we believe he is Reggie Bush’s handcuff, as is the case with Kendall Hunter to Frank Gore.

If you have any questions/comments regarding these ranks, tweet and follow us @manwithaspreads ! Expect the WR ranks tomorrow and overall rankings being posted on Saturday. Happy drafting!

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