Running back rankings by tiers

Updated: August 24, 2012, 12:20 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

This week's blog entry on wide receiver tiers was such a resounding success, we've decided to keep the love going with running backs, as well. Some people have asked about quarterbacks and tight ends and, yes, even kickers, but the fact is I don't consider a tiered system truly valuable except for wide receivers and running backs.

The impetus behind separating players into tiers is to help a fantasy owner make quick decisions about scarcity of depth in the heat and rush of a draft or auction. As with wide receivers, if you're sitting there in the sixth round and can't decide what to do, if there are five players left in your top tier at one position but only one in another, the call is more obvious. It's also important to note that just because Hakeem Nicks is a Tier 4 wide receiver, it has no bearing on the running backs in the same number tier. That's what overall rankings are for, but this is about positional depth. Oh, and running back gets uglier much quicker.

As with wide receiver, we hope this is a helpful exercise and gets you ready for drafts. I would caution owners to make their own tiers and their own decisions, and use everything you see at ESPN Fantasy and in the draft kit as a guide, not gospel. They are, after all, your teams. After the player/team, you'll see my personal running back rankings and overall rank in parenthesis. Agree or disagree -- it's all good, after all -- and share your thoughts below, perhaps even convince me of the error of my ways! I'm also on Twitter @karabellespn. Enjoy!