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Fantasy Football Rankings 2012: Running Backs In Standard And PPR Leagues

It's tough to know when to pounce on a running back in your league. Mike addresses this situation and helps on when you might want to make your move for your guy in his Running Back Rankings.


You guys all know the feeling. You're sitting there in the eighth round and you're waiting to pounce on your sleeper. That feeling has steadily made your heart beat faster in the past couple rounds and you know that even though the default rankings have your sleeper ranked in the 200s, you'd be kicking yourself if you let him go another round and someone pounces on him. Do you take him?

That's one of the hardest and most important questions during your draft. We can use a lot of info from this crazy weekend to help us answer that. The third week of preseason games gives us the most information on how coaches will use their player and, also, it's an extremely busy fantasy draft weekend.

It seems like all drafts have at least a few owners that bought into the same stories. Consequently, those owners knew they would have to reach on a handful of guys and also were not afraid to let some player slide. Today we're going to look at some guys that you might have to reach for while some guys have slid a little bit.

Obviously, just because I have Evan Royster as my 28th back, doesn't mean you have to take him as the 28th back. You might be able to let him slide into the 35 range. The better you understand how the league drafts, the more you can trust your gut to let someone slide.

Another example is based on proximity to a player. If you live in New York and everyone in your draft is watching David Wilson tear it up, you know that he's going to be off the board before the 30th back is taken.

Here are some other guys that have a bit of an unpredictable target range:

Doug Martin, Buccaneers - Personally, I had three drafts with different groups of friends on ESPN this weekend and ESPN has Martin at 80 on their draft board. Crazy talk. Martin has all the tools to be a top back for a lot of fantasy teams and his value has been fluctuating. I was able to grab Martin in the third (12-team), fourth (12-team) and fifth (10-team) rounds in those three drafts and felt great about it. Unless you know your league has several owners that check around outside of the mainstream sites, you might be able to let him slide to 40. As you can see by the rankings below, I have no problem with you grabbing him in the late-second round.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars - He has draft repellent on him right now. I wouldn't think about taking him until the fourth round. Although, I was very low on the Bruin from the start.

Rashad Jennings, Jaguars - This man will likely be the hottest topic in fantasy with the news of MJD likely to holdout into the season. I saw him taken in the fifth round this weekend by a Jones-Drew owner and he also slipped to the eighth round in another draft. The news today will make it extremely unlikely to see him go past the seventh in a competitive league.

Fred Jackson, Bills - Jackson has seen his value go all over the place as well. He's gone as high as the second round and I've seen him slip to after 50. As you can see by the rankings, I'd be comfortable to let him slide.

Cedric Benson, Packers - The words of Mike McCarthy have launched Ced-Ben's value to new heights. Benson has been taken in the fifth round and as late as the 10th in some leagues. Once guys like Donald Brown and Michael Turner come off the board, it's probably about time to start thinking about grabbing him.

Ryan Williams, Cardinals - This Hokie looks pretty good. He has some of the quickest feet in the NFL and a lot of owners will be begging to take him in the seventh round. If you're drinkin the Kool-Aid, you'd be rolling the dice to let him slip past the eighth.

Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons - A lot of people are buying into Rodgers usurping carries from the incumbent Michael Turner. I'm obviously buying and I invested two 10th-round picks this weekend and another in the 12th. He was also taken in the ninth a couple times. The cat's out of the bag. If you want him, Rodgers should be one of the first or second players on your bench.

For more fantasy content, check out SB Nation Fantasy. Swing by between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET to get your questions answered in our nightly LIVE War Room.

Standard League PPR League
1 Arian Foster Arian Foster
2 Ray Rice Ray Rice
3 LeSean McCoy LeSean McCoy
4 Darren McFadden Darren McFadden
5 Chris Johnson Chris Johnson
6 DeMarco Murray DeMarco Murray
7 Jamaal Charles Matt Forte
8 Adrian Peterson Jamaal Charles
9 Matt Forte Adrian Peterson
10 Steven Jackson Steven Jackson
11 Ryan Mathews Reggie Bush
12 Doug Martin Darren Sproles
13 Trent Richardson Ryan Mathews
14 Reggie Bush Doug Martin
15 Marshawn Lynch Trent Richardson
16 Maurice Jones-Drew Maurice Jones-Drew
17 Fred Jackson Fred Jackson
18 Willis McGahee Marshawn Lynch
19 Darren Sproles Ahmad Bradshaw
20 Ahmad Bradshaw Willis McGahee
21 Frank Gore Donald Brown
22 Donald Brown Frank Gore
23 Stevan Ridley David Wilson
24 David Wilson Evan Royster
25 Ben Tate Ben Tate
26 Ryan Williams Ryan Williams
27 Rashad Jennings Stevan Ridley
28 Evan Royster Rashad Jennings
29 Cedric Benson Jacquizz Rodgers
30 Jonathan Stewart Michael Turner
31 Jacquizz Rodgers Jonathan Stewart
32 Michael Turner Peyton Hillis
33 Peyton Hillis Cedric Benson
34 DeAngelo Williams C.J. Spiller
35 Shonn Greene DeAngelo Williams
36 Mark Ingram Mark Ingram
37 C.J. Spiller Shonn Greene
38 Michael Bush Michael Bush
39 BenJarvus Green-Ellis BenJarvus Green-Ellis
40 Mikel LeShoure Kevin Smith
41 Beanie Wells Beanie Wells
42 Kevin Smith Mikel LeShoure
43 Rashard Mendenhall Rashard Mendenhall
44 Alfred Morris Bernard Scott
45 Shane Vereen Roy Helu
46 Toby Gerhart Shane Vereen
47 Robert Turbin Toby Gerhart
48 Jonathan Dwyer Isaiah Pead
49 Vick Ballard Robert Turbin
50 Isaac Redman Vick Ballard

Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @MikeSGallagher to answer any questions about your team or potential picks.