RB ranking tiers: Seeking value among vets, rookies, timeshares

At which point in fantasy drafts should you aim to select the risky potential of players like Todd Gurley? Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Note: To view Eric's latest tiered rankings for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, check out the Insider Cheat Sheet.

Unlike the quarterback position, which has a useful strategy all to itself, fantasy owners are rarely going to look at the running backs from their draft and claim they’re tangibly set at the position. In fact, halfway through the average draft, most owners will look at their running backs -- and the many problematic options lurking -- and come away unimpressed.

That’s how things tend to work these days at running back, as injuries, timeshares and so much general uncertainty make constructing a team virtual guesswork. Fantasy owners are no longer directed into coveting the position in early rounds, though it’s best to get a decent balance at the position.

Hopefully this blog entry on following a tiered system can help.

Obviously, we cannot know who your early running backs are, so once one hits the middle rounds, owners should be prepared to follow their own instincts, get a proper mix of reasonable options and, as always, avoid reaching.

Value is key. Draft six running backs and hope three can be weekly plays. Sure, we’d all hope for more, but this is running back, so realism is warranted.

With quarterback tiers in the rear-view mirror and wide receivers pending later this week, here is a look at my running back tiers.

Tier 1: Top of Round 1