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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
CB Dee Milliner cleared for Jets camp
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(1:01 am ET) Cornerback Dee Milliner, who has been battling an Achilles' injury, was cleared to take part in the team's practices at training camp, which begins Thursday, per ESPN.com. 

Milliner, the ninth overall pick in 2013, is fighting for a backup spot on the Jets. He played in just three games last season before the injury. 


Packers place four on PUP list on eve of camp
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:54 am ET) The Packers announced they have placed four players on their Physically Unable to Perform (PUP)/non-football injury list, including second-round pick Quinten Rollins, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Rollins, a cornerback taken with the 62nd pick, is on the non-football injury list, meaning his injury occurred outside of team activities. The other players on the PUP list are receiver Ricky Collins, running back John Crockett and linebacker Mike Neal


Browns say rookie CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu will sit out 2015
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(12:47 am ET) Browns coach Mike Pettine said the team plans to have cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, their seventh-round pick, sit out the 2015 season as the player recovers from a serious knee injury he suffered at the end of his college career, per Cleveland.com. 

Ekpre-Olomu was considered a first-round pick before tearing his ACL and dislocating his knee during practice for the college football playoffs. The recovery period is 7-10 months. 

"Players that have had this injury before, it's rare that you would return that season,'' Pettine said. "Given our depth, we're very comfortable with him sitting out. That's just one that we felt it was a low-risk, high-reward move when we took him in the seventh round."


Bears rookie WR Kevin White (shin) on PUP list
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2015) Bears rookie wide receiver Kevin White is on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to start training camp with a shin injury.

john Fox has stated that he wants the seventh overall selection in the 2015 draft to improve his "cardio" before he returns to action.

It has been speculated that White isn't progressing as well as hoped. Quarterback Jay Cutler said in June that White was battling for the No. 4 receiver role.


Jets G Willie Colon, RB Stevan Ridley shelved with knee issues
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2015) The Jets have placed guard Willie Colon and running back Stevan Ridley on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list for the start of training camp, per NJ.com. Both are sidelined with knee injuries.

They can be activated at any time during camp, but must be back in action for the opener or they will be forced to miss the first six regular season games.


Jaguars put RB Storm Johnson on active/non-football illness list
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2015) Running back/returner Storm Johnson has been placed by the Jaguars on the active/non-football illness list, the Florida Times-Union has reported.

The team has not revealed the nuture of the problem, but it arose during activities off the field.

Johnson did miss some time this offseason with a back injury.


CB Alfonzo Dennard sent packing by Cardinals
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2015) Under three months after claiming veteran cornerback Alfonzo Dennard off waivers, the Cardinals have released him.

Dennard, who was waived by the Patriots in mid-May before his pick-up by Arizona, played in 29 games for New England over the past three seasons.


Cardinals place TE Jermaine Gresham (back) on PUP list
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2015) In an expected move, the Cardinals have announced that they have placed veteran tight end Jermaine Gresham on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list

Gresham underwent back surgery in July. If he is not ready to play by the start of the regular season, he will lose six games.


Report: Redskins sign extension with OLB Ryan Kerrigan
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2015) The Redskins have agreed to a five-year extension with outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan worth $57.5 million, a source has told NFL.com Insider Ian Rapoport.

Kerrigan, who is rehabbing from a knee injury, has averaged 62 tackles over four seasons with Washington and compiled a career-high 13.5 sacks in 2014.


Report: Panthers WR Stephen Hill cited twice at traffic stop
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2015) Panthers wide receiver Stephen Hill was cited Tuesday for possession of drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop in Concord, N.C., per the Charlotte Observer.

He was also cited for failure to wear a seatbelt.

The team has yet to comment on the situation with Hill, who has had a disappointing career. He did not play last season for Carolina after two poor years with the Jets.


 
 
 
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