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2014 Draft Prep: RB tiers, 2.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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QB tiers | WR tiers | TE tiers | Draft Averages | Rankings | Draft Index

About a month has gone by since our first run with the running back tiers and there's obviously been some movement.

The good news is that only one prominent rusher (David Wilson) has suffered a significant injury. Let's cross our fingers that he's the only unfortunate one -- we need as many draftable backs as we can get.

Confidence has risen in the likes of DeMarco Murray, Shane Vereen, Lamar Miller, Andre Williams, Bernard Pierce and Carlos Hyde. Frustrations are growing with Arian Foster, Ray Rice, C.J. Spiller and Steven Jackson. They've moved accordingly in the tiers.

There's also been some nice growth in the number of backup running backs, significant since owners should go fishing for those with late-round picks.

The key point to remember when drafting rushers is pick those with 275-plus touch potential first, then go for the 200-touch potential guys next. Explained in detail here, 10 of 15 backs with 275 or more touches finished in the Top 12 last year and 21 of 29 backs that had at least 200 touches last season finished in the Top 24.

Backup RB cheat sheet

Here's an updated version of every starting running back's most likely Fantasy handcuff, along with the round you should expect him to get taken in standard leagues.

Handcuff Playing behind Round? Handcuff Playing behind Round?
Fred Jackson C.J. Spiller 7th Knile Davis Jamaal Charles 12th
Terrance West Ben Tate 7th James Starks Eddie Lacy 12th
Bernard Pierce Ray Rice 8th Chris Ivory Chris Johnson 12th
Devonta Freeman Steven Jackson 8th Lance Dunbar DeMarco Murray 12th
Carlos Hyde Frank Gore 9th Jonathan Stewart DeAngelo Williams 12th
Knowshon Moreno Lamar Miller 9th Shonn Greene Bishop Sankey 12th
Andre Williams Rashad Jennings 9th Ronnie Hillman Montee Ball 12th
Khiry Robinson Pierre Thomas 9th Jonathan Grimes Arian Foster Late pick
Darren Sproles LeSean McCoy 9th Roy Helu Alfred Morris Late pick
Christine Michael Marshawn Lynch 10th Ahmad Bradshaw Trent Richardson Late pick
Jeremy Hill Giovani Bernard 10th Bobby Rainey Doug Martin Late pick
Stepfan Taylor Andre Ellington 10th Jerick McKinnon Adrian Peterson Late pick
Tre Mason Zac Stacy 11th Donald Brown Ryan Mathews Late pick
LeGarrette Blount Le'Veon Bell 11th Shaun Draughn Matt Forte Late pick
Darren McFadden Maurice Jones-Drew 11th Denard Robinson Toby Gerhart Late pick
James White Stevan Ridley 12th Theo Riddick R. Bush/J. Bell Late pick

Running back tiers for 2014

Elite Near-Elite Very Good No. 2/High Upside
Round 1 Rounds 1, 2 Rounds 2, 3 Rounds 3, 4, 5
Jamaal Charles Eddie Lacy Giovani Bernard Toby Gerhart
Matt Forte Montee Ball Le'Veon Bell Andre Ellington
LeSean McCoy DeMarco Murray Marshawn Lynch Ryan Mathews
Adrian Peterson Alfred Morris Zac Stacy Bishop Sankey
    Doug Martin Shane Vereen
    Arian Foster  
No. 2/Less Upside No. 3/Flex Options High-end backups Low-end backups
Rounds 4, 5 Rounds 6, 7, 8 Rounds 7, 8, 9 Rounds 9+
Joique Bell Ben Tate Terrance West Darren Sproles
Reggie Bush Chris Johnson DeAngelo Williams Jeremy Hill
Ray Rice Trent Richardson Steven Jackson Stepfan Taylor
C.J. Spiller Lamar Miller Andre Williams Knowshon Moreno
Frank Gore Stevan Ridley Devonta Freeman Christine Michael
Rashad Jennings Fred Jackson Bernard Pierce Chris Ivory
  Pierre Thomas Danny Woodhead LeGarrette Blount
  Maurice Jones-Drew Carlos Hyde Tre Mason
    Khiry Robinson Jonathan Grimes
      Darren McFadden
      Dexter McCluster
      Knile Davis
      Mark Ingram

PPR tiers for running backs

These tiers are new and made for those owners in PPR leagues

Elite Near-Elite Very Good No. 2/High Upside
Round 1 Rounds 1, 2 Rounds 2, 3 Rounds 3, 4
Jamaal Charles DeMarco Murray Le'Veon Bell Toby Gerhart
Matt Forte Giovani Bernard Andre Ellington Alfred Morris
LeSean McCoy Eddie Lacy Shane Vereen Reggie Bush
Adrian Peterson Montee Ball Arian Foster Ray Rice
    Doug Martin Joique Bell
    Zac Stacy Rashad Jennings
    Marshawn Lynch  
No. 2/Less Upside No. 3/Flex Options High-end backups Low-end backups
Rounds 4, 5 Rounds 6, 7 Rounds 7, 8 Rounds 9+
C.J. Spiller Ben Tate Danny Woodhead Andre Williams
Bishop Sankey Trent Richardson Maurice Jones-Drew Knowshon Moreno
Ryan Mathews Pierre Thomas Darren Sproles Carlos Hyde
Chris Johnson Fred Jackson DeAngelo Williams Khiry Robinson
  Lamar Miller Stevan Ridley Christine Michael
  Frank Gore Devonta Freeman Lance Dunbar
    Terrance West Stepfan Taylor
    Steven Jackson Jeremy Hill
    Dexter McCluster Darren McFadden
    Bernard Pierce Tre Mason
      Travaris Cadet

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Morris Claiborne skips practice after getting benched
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8:56 pm ET) Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne skipped the team's practice Tuesday and angrily left the practice facility after being informed that he was being replaced in the starting lineup, ESPNDallas.com reports.

Claiborne could be fined by the team for skipping practice or conduct detrimental to the team. He ranks 91 out of 96 cornerbacks over the first three weeks of the season, per Pro Football Focus' cumulative cornerback rating. Orlando Scandrick will take over a starting cornerback position.


Buccaneers swap receivers among roster moves Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:17 pm ET) The Buccaneers signed wide receiver Louis Murphy and released wide receiver Chris Owusu Tuesday. The team also waived three players from the practice squad, including linebacker Ka'Lial Glaud, safety Kimario McFadden and defensive end Adrian Robinson.

Henry Melton dealing with hamstring strain
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:13 pm ET) Cowboys defensive tackle Henry Melton is unsure if he'll be able to practice Wednesday after suffering a hamstring strain in Sunday's win, the Dallas Morning News reports.

"We’ll come in here and see how it feels in the morning," Melton said. "If they feel like I can go, I’ll go. If not, we’ll just wait for Thursday."

Melton said he injured his hamstring early in Sunday's game but was able to play through the injury. He managed to recover a fumble late in the first half of the win.


Justin Durant to practice, Rolando McClain yet to be cleared
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:06 pm ET) Cowboys linebacker Justin Durant will return to practice Wednesday and plans to play in Week 4 against the Saints, the Dallas Morning News reports.

"That's the goal," said Durant, who has missed the last two games with a groin injury.

Linebacker Rolando McClain has yet to be cleared to return to practice after missing Sunday's game with a groin injury.

"You have to get to a certain point before you can get on the practice field," McClain said. "I feel better than last week."


Jets sign Brandon Smith to practice squad
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:59 pm ET) The Jets signed cornerback Brandon Smith to the practice squad Tuesday, the team announced. Smith played two games with the Bills last season in his rookie year but was waived in July.

Report: Ryan Tannehill scheduled to start Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:50 pm ET) Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is scheduled to start Sunday, NFL.com reports. The team hasn't committed to Tannehill as the starter for Week 4's trip to London, but the third-year signal caller should remain under center for the Dolphins.

Jets release Ellis Lankster
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:45 pm ET) The Jets released defensive back Ellis Lankster Tuesday. He was signed on Sept. 12 after being cut before the beginning of the regular season.

Jake Locker has no structural damage in wrist
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:38 pm ET) An MRI has revealed that Titans quarterback Jake Locker did not suffer any structural damage in his right wrist in Week 3, The Tennessean reports.

Locker said the wrist is still sore, however, and his availability for Week 4's game against the Colts won't be determined until later in the week. He has completed 56.4 percent of his passes while throwing for 685 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.


Chargers shuffle active roster Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:31 pm ET) The Chargers made several moves Tuesday, adding running back Shaun Draughn and linebackers Kevin Reddick and Cordarro Law to the active roster. The team also placed running back Danny Woodhead on injured reserve and released defensive lineman Lawrence Guy.

The Chargers added three players to the practice squad Tuesday as well: running back D.J. Adams, tight end David Paulson and outside linebacker Colton Underwood. Adrian Phillips was released from the practice squad, while Marcus Cromartie was released from the reserved-injured list.


Saints sign Orson Charles to practice squad
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:24 pm ET) The Saints signed tight end Orson Charles to the practice squad Tuesday, NOLA.com reports. Charles was a fourth-round draft pick by the Bengals in 2012.


 
 
 
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