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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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Player News
Buccaneers waive/injured KR Trindon Holliday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:56 pm ET) The Buccaneers have waived/injured kick returner Trindon Holliday, who has been plagued by a hamstring problem.

Tampa Bay signed Holliday on Oct. 20, two weeks after his release from the Giants.


Wait and see with RG3's return
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(3:52 pm ET) Fantasy owners who took a chance and stashed Robert Griffin III might see that move pay dividends down the road. But in his first game back from a dislocated ankle, it might be best to remain patient and see what he does Week 9 against the Vikings.

Griffin can undoubtedly be a solid Fantasy option when healthy, and Washington's offense badly needs the added dimension he can bring. However, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Redskins try to limit Griffin's running in his first game back, which severely diminishes his Fantasy potential.

Griffin might just show that he is past the injury and worth riding down the stretch, but it makes more sense to take a wait-and-see approach against a Vikings defense that is allowing the fourth-fewest Fantasy points in the league to opposing quarterbacks this season. Unless you are desperate, keep Griffin in reserve for at least one more week. 


Chargers list 11 players on final injury report for Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:51 pm ET) The Chargers listed 11 players on their final injury report for Week 9 against Miami. Ryan Mathews (knee), Manti Te'o (foot) and Jason Verrett (shoulder) were the only players on the list ruled out for Sunday. Jahleel Addae could be out as well because of a concussion. He has not received medical clearance and was officially labeled doubtful.

Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring) was ruled questionable. Meanwhile, the following players were deemed probable: Donald Brown (concussion), Brandon Flowers (concussion), Dwight Freeney (knee), Rich Ohrnberger (back), Reggie Walker (ankle) and Steve Williams (groin).


Vikings healthy as they await battle against Redskins
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:43 pm ET) Aside from ruled-out tight end Kyle Rudolph (abdomen/groin), the Vikings are in fine shape as they await their Sunday game against Washington.

Listed as questionable is cornerback Jabari Price (hamstring). The probables are defensive end Brian Robison (glute), cornerback Josh Robinson (ankle), defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (ankle/knee), linebacker Gerald Hodges (hamstring), safety Antone Exum (ankle/shoulder) and tight end Chase Ford (foot).


14 of 15 Jets players on injury report ruled probable for Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:39 pm ET) The Jets enter Week 9 against the Chiefs relatively healthy. Out of 15 players listed on the injury report, Darrin Walls (calf, knee) was the only one ruled doubtful for Sunday.

The other 14 players were deemed probable: Oday Aboushi (shoulder), Phillip Adams (groin), Antwan Barnes (knee), Willie Colon (knee), Jeff Cumberland (shoulder, finger), Demario Davis (finger), Eric Decker (hamstring), David Harris (shoulder), Chris Johnson (ankle), Jeremy Kerley (illness), Nick Mangold (shoulder), Trevor Reilly (knee), Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) and Geno Smith (shoulder).


Cowboys QB Tony Romo questionable for Sunday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:35 pm ET) Considering he's been deemed a game-time decision, it comes as no surprise that the Cowboys list quarterback Tony Romo as questionable for Sunday against Arizona.

Romo took a knee to the back Monday night and has been ailing since. He did not practice Friday.

His absence would force backup Brandon Weeden into action.


Ravens unveil injury report for Week 9 clash vs. Steelers
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:34 pm ET) Ravens wide receiver Michael Campanaro (thigh) and cornerback  Jimmy Smith (foot) were both officially ruled out for Week 9 against the Steelers, the team announced. Owen Daniels (knee), Chris Canty (wrist) and Yanda Marshal (knee) were deemed questionable.

Meanwhile, Justin Forsett (ankle), Haloti Ngata (shin), Terrell Suggs (neck) and Lardarius Webb (rest) were each labeled probable for Sunday.


Pierre Garcon hoping return of RG3 proves helpful
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(3:29 pm ET) The Redskins are likely to turn the reins of the offense back over to Robert Griffin III in Week 9 against the Vikings, and that should be a good thing for Pierre Garcon's Fantasy value moving forward.

Garcon averaged 78.2 yards per game in Griffin's 13 starts last season, 63.3 in Griffin's rookie year and had 77 yards on 10 receptions in Griffin's lone full game this season. In comparison, Garcon has averaged just 52.3 yards per game in seven games without Griffin this season, and was targeted just 10 times in two games with Colt McCoy at the helm, including just four times last week.

Griffin's return should not be viewed as a panacea for Garcon's flagging Fantasy value, but his return should settle things down for Washington's passing game. Griffin is, at the very least, a better passer than McCoy and his presence should open things up for the passing game. This isn't a great matchup for Garcon, but we should at least get to see the Redskins' passing game at full strength for the first time since Week 2. Keep an eye on the rapport between the duo to see if Garcon might be in line for a big second half.


Bengals list lengthy injury report for Week 9
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3:25 pm ET) The Bengals listed a lengthy injury report for Week 9 against the Jaguars. Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) and linebacker Vontaze Burfict (knee) were the only two players on the list ruled out for the game. The team labeled Kevin Zeitler (calf) doubtful, while A.J. Green (toe) and Brandon Thompson (knee) were each labeled questionable.

Meanwhile, the following players were officially ruled probable: Jayson DiManche (shoulder), Carlos Dunlap (illness), Terence Newman (back), Domata Peko (toe), Mike Pollak (knee) and Andre Smith (knee).


Redskins QB Robert Griffin III probable for Week 9
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:20 pm ET) Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has officially been designated as probable for the Sunday game against host Minnesota.

Griffin has been out since sustaining an ankle injury in Week 2.


 
 
 
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