Fantasy football rankings 2013: Running back rankings for standard and PPR leagues

Shane Vereen could be doing a lot of this. - David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of guys boosting their value as fantasy draft season approaches. We go over which players might be worthy of grabbing a bit early and which ones can be someone else's problem, as well as some strategy in putting together your RB stable.

The ability to strike gold at running back after the first few rounds is one of the key components to winning in fantasy football. That's especially true these days with so many teams becoming more pass-happy, the use of the read option and also moving to more of a committee approach in the backfield.

What's more, the depth at quarterback has made that position much easier to get in the later rounds. About a decade ago, the RB-RB strategy in the first two rounds was en vogue, and now the lack of sure things makes it an alluring strategy again.

There are really three strategies when it comes to taking backs in competitive leagues. If your league isn't that competitive, you may have free reign on the waiver wire, and those leagues are pretty lame.

My favorite way to address running back is to take them early, fill out your starters, then absolutely go to town with high-upside backs on your bench. In a perfect world, this strategy would work like this: RB, RB/WR, WR/RB, WR, WR, QB and a value tight end like Jared Cook or Jordan Cameron along with back after back after back.

Running backs in the later rounds are like lottery tickets and you'll want to play Mega Millions, not a ticket that has a $10 payday. Who cares if you get $10? Great, that's not even enough to get a meal at most sit-down restaurants. In other words, your bench backs could be one injury away from becoming game-changing, must-start players.

You'll notice that the "handcuff" backs are probably a little higher on my board than you're accustomed to. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to take Arian Foster and Ben Tate, because in fantasy it's all about value. Don't get too caught up in handcuffing your guy. If for some reason someone like Bernard Pierce is sitting out there and you think it's time to grab Jacquizz Rodgers to handcuff Steven Jackson, you might be OK waiting a round before taking 'Quizz. Back to the strategy, this person would have no less than seven backs on their roster.

Another strategy is to absolutely stack your team at running back in the first four rounds, then spend most of your picks on receivers and quarterbacks. You're going to have to pick your battles, so if you know you're going to have issues at receiver, you might as well play the numbers game. There are a lot of breakout players that you can take in the middle rounds, so you'll want to target high-upside players here. As for your bench, four running backs still isn't enough, so getting one or two on top of two QBs and as many as six total receivers would make for a close-to-ideal bench.

The last strategy is a ballsy one and I wouldn't suggest it in competitive leagues. It would be to take a back in the first or second, then stack your team at the other positions. The only way I would use this plan is with a pick of Jimmy Graham -- especially in PPR. Obviously, if you're going to be stacked everywhere else, you're picking the battle of going after running back. It's the most coveted position, so any competitive league will limit you in drafting seven or eight backs.

We'll save the reasoning for the positioning of these players for another day, but here are the top-70 players for standard and PPR leagues (point-per receptions leagues):

You can follow me on Twitter for analysis and stats @MikeSGallagher.

Standard League PPR League
1 Adrian Peterson Adrian Peterson
2 Doug Martin Doug Martin
3 C.J. Spiller Jamaal Charles
4 Arian Foster C.J. Spiller
5 Jamaal Charles Arian Foster
6 LeSean McCoy LeSean McCoy
7 Ray Rice Ray Rice
8 Marshawn Lynch Matt Forte
9 Steven Jackson Steven Jackson
10 Alfred Morris Trent Richardson
11 Trent Richardson Darren Sproles
12 Matt Forte Reggie Bush
13 Chris Johnson Chris Johnson
14 David Wilson David Wilson
15 Stevan Ridley Alfred Morris
16 Lamar Miller Marshawn Lynch
17 Frank Gore Stevan Ridley
18 Darren McFadden Darren McFadden
19 Reggie Bush Shane Vereen
20 Le'Veon Bell Lamar Miller
21 Chris Ivory Maurice Jones-Drew
22 Maurice Jones-Drew Le'Veon Bell
23 Darren Sproles Frank Gore
24 DeMarco Murray DeMarco Murray
25 Shane Vereen Chris Ivory
26 Ryan Mathews Giovani Bernard
27 Giovani Bernard Ryan Mathews
28 Montee Ball Bernard Pierce
29 Bernard Pierce Montee Ball
30 Eddie Lacy Daryl Richardson
31 Daryl Richardson Mark Ingram
32 Rashard Mendenhall Eddie Lacy
33 Mark Ingram Jacquizz Rodgers
34 Ahmad Bradshaw Rashard Mendenhall
35 Ben Tate Danny Woodhead
36 Bryce Brown Ben Tate
37 Andre Brown Ahmad Bradshaw
38 Jonathan Stewart Jonathan Stewart
39 DeAngelo Williams Isaiah Pead
40 Jacquizz Rodgers Bryce Brown
41 Isaiah Pead Vick Ballard
42 Vick Ballard Pierre Thomas
43 Ryan Williams DeAngelo Williams
44 Pierre Thomas Joique Bell
45 BenJarvus Green-Ellis Fred Jackson
46 Jonathan Franklin Jonathan Franklin
47 Zac Stacey Andre Brown
48 Michael Bush Roy Helu
49 Knowshon Moreno BenJarvus Green-Ellis
50 Danny Woodhead Ronnie Hilliman
51 Kendall Hunter Justin Forsett
52 Roy Helu Zac Stacey
53 Fred Jackson Ryan Williams
54 Justin Forsett Dion Lewis
55 Dion Lewis Michael Bush
56 Bilal Powell Mike Goodson
57 Mike Tolbert LaMichael James
58 Mikel LeShoure Marcel Reece
59 Toby Gerhart Lance Dunbar
60 Shonn Greene Knowshon Moreno
61 Ronnie Hillman Kendall Hunter
62 Denard Robinson Denard Robinson
63 Lance Dunbar Toby Gerhart
64 LaMichael James Mike Tolbert
65 Isaac Redman Shonn Greene
66 Donald Brown Lance Dunbar
67 Daniel Thomas Donald Brown
68 Marcel Reece Isaac Redman
69 Peyton Hillis Daniel Thomas
70 Joique Bell Joseph Randle

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