Families are always rising and falling in America.
Nathaniel Hawthorne didn't play fantasy football, but his statement holds true for the worlds of running backs. A lot can change in August in fantasy football running back rankings. Players get hurt, backups get hot, teams show some of their game plan in the preseason and coaches go through their usual smoke-and-mirrors tricks, so the value is always changing. This will cause some ADPs of players to rise and fall, so owners will need to know when to pounce on the guys that everyone is talking about. Let's get right to it on which players are rising and falling in rankings:
Trent Richardson - The Browns lost Dion Lewis to a broken leg and now they're going to have to use T-Rich on third down more than they want to. Consequently, this makes him more vulnerable to injury. The other good news is that the Browns are clicking in the preseason. Yes, it's preseason, but it's still nice to see.
Shane Vereen - I ranked Vereen aggressively at 19 for PPR in the last set of rankings, and now he's up to 17. He's lining up all over the field and the Patriots are going to use him a lot like Darren Sproles. You have to reach for him at this point, which isn't a bad idea.
Ryan Mathews - Yeah, yeah. Samuel Jackson's character Mr. Glass from Unbreakable has nothing on Mathews. I know. He's looked good this preseason and the Chargers are running out of options with Danario Alexander out for the year and Malcom Floyd already banged up. He has big upside, but the Chargers and their D could limit his carries. He still is worth a pick as a low-end RB2. Those that take a chance better make sure they have some depth, though.
Daryl Richardson - He was named the starter and Isaiah Pead continues to falter. Richardson looks like a nice value as a very strong flex. He's a steal after pick 60.
Maurice Jones-Drew - He's looked great. The Jets' D was a disaster in their Week 2 preseason game, but he showed some sharp cuts and had some nice holes to run through. What's more, Blaine Gabbert has been able to move the ball. I'm still not drafting him just because foot injuries can hang around for a while to make him a little too risky for my liking.
Chris Johnson - The Titans O-line has been pushing people around so far this preseason and CJ?K has to be licking his chops. Plus, his receivers are banged up, so he could be busy in the pass game. Don't be afraid to take him in the second round.
Eddie Lacy - After Lacy looked like he spent most of his offseason packing on pounds, he's looked like a physical runner, punishing anyone in his path. He's a fairly safe pick to take, but the Packers haven't had a run game in quite some time.
Rashard Mendenhall - Bruce Arians looks to be losing his patience with Ryan Williams and Mendy is shaping up to be the featured back. He was even getting some snaps in the slot in training camp.
Ben Tate - Well, because ...
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Arian Foster - His back issues are likely going to cost him the rest of the preseason and his status is up in the air for the opener. It's really tough to spend your first-round pick on an injured guy. Yes, Foster had the same problem last year with a hamstring injury and it didn't cost him. There are just too many other guys who offer similar production and slightly less risk. If you take him, be sure to grab Ben Tate around pick 70.
Lamar Miller - The Dolphins are saying Daniel Thomas is stiff competition for Miller on the first team. Whether or not this seems silly is an argument for another day, but the team seems a little apprehensive to give up on Thomas. Miller is still a nice flex or RB2, but it's probably a good idea to take Daniel Thomas as insurance.
Le'Veon Bell - He suffered a foot sprain and his status is up in the air. It's tough to draft him since his role still isn't clear. There is no clear handcuff and Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer would likely split the duties sans LVB.
Montee Ball - He can't pick up a blitz and he's having trouble running the rock. Not good. Luckily for him, Ronnie Hillman had a big fumble at the goal line last week and the team probably isn't ready to count on Knowshon Moreno again.
You can follow me on Twitter for analysis and stats @MikeSGallagher.