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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
LB Dwight Freeney to return for 14th season
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:45 am ET) Impending free agent linebacker Dwight Freeney has decided to return for a 14th season, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Freeney was an effective performer in 2014, leading the Chargers with 40 quarterback hurries and registering 3.5 sacks with 10 tackles.

He ranks 20th all-time with 111.5 career sacks. The paper said it's unclear whether Freeney, 35, will return to San Diego or land elsewhere.


Report: Jacoby Jones to visit Bengals, Titans
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:34 am ET) Receiver/returner Jacoby Jones, released by the Ravens last week, is scheduled to visit the Bengals and Titans this week, reports Pro Football Talk. Jones caught just nine passes last year, but averaged 30 yards per kickoff return.

The 30-year-old Jones has returned five kickoffs and four punts for touchdowns in his career.


Dolphins' Jimmy Wilson expected to reach free agency
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:23 am ET) Dolphins' defensive back Jimmy Wilson is not expected to re-sign with the team before the start of free agency, the Palm Beach Post reports.

A seventh-round draft pick in 2011, Wilson served as a slot cornerback and reserve safety last season. Wilson could have an opportunity at starting at safety if he were to come back to Miami next season, as the team will likely be looking to fill the spot next to Reshad Jones.


Vikings want Chad Greenway back in 2015
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:02 am ET) With Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway in the final year of his contract, general manager Rick Spielman said the team wants to bring Greenway back in 2015, reports the StarTribune.

Greenway is due to make $7 million in 2015, but he may have to take a pay cut to remain with the Vikings.

"We have a lot of things that we'll be working through between now and before March 10th, but we'd love to have Chad Greenway back and finish [his career] as a Minnesota Viking," Spielman said.


Report: Jets will let Willie Colon test free agency
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:47 am ET) With the Jets not intending to sign guard Willie Colon before free agency starts March 10, sources told Metro New York the team will let Colon test free agency.

If Colon cannot find a suitor, then the team could bring him back to add more depth. Colon is expected to become an unrestricted free agent March 10. Colon has started 32 games for the Jets over the last two seasons.


Report: Patriots more likely to tag Gostkowski than McCourty
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:19 am ET) If the Patriots are to use their franchise tag, the team is more likely to use the tag on kicker Stephen Gostkowski than cornerback Devin McCourty, sources told ESPNBoston.com.

A franchise tag for a kicker would be an estimated $4.5 million, while tagging a cornerback would cost about $9.5 million. If no long-term deal can be reached and neither player is tagged, they'll become free agents March 10.


Report: Chiefs use franchise tag on Justin Houston
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:59 am ET) The Chiefs have decided to use their franchise tag on Justin Houston, a source told ESPN.

Houston, 26, has recorded 48 1/2 sacks over his first four seasons in the NFL and produced 22 sacks in 2014, which led the league. Signing the one-year deal would be worth about $13 million. Houston is not expected to sign the franchise tag anytime soon, reports NFL.com.

Houston will consult with the NFLPA to decide whether to file a grievance to be classified as a defensive end and not outside linebacker, a source told NBCSports.com.


Lions will not use franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:51 am ET) The Lions announced Monday they will not use the franchise tag on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

If the Lions cannot work out a deal with Suh, he'll become a free agent March 10. Using the franchise tag on Suh would've cost the Lions $26.9 million in 2015. Suh is considered one of the top defensive tackles in the NFL.


Report: Packers' Jarrett Bush arrested for public intoxication
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:38 am ET) Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush was arrested for disorderly conduct while under the influence Sunday in California, reports KTVU in San Francisco and WBAY-TV in Green Bay.

Bush was placed in a detention hold and then released. Bush has played for the Packers since 2006 and serves as their special teams captain.


Report: Eagles working on new contract with Trent Cole
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:25 am ET) The Eagles have been working with linebacker Trent Cole on a new contract, a source told lehighvalleylive.com.

Cole is due to make $11.6 million next season and the team would save $8.4 million by cutting Cole.


 
 
 
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