Nothing makes the NFL more fun than fantasy football and few things make fantasy sports more fun than rankings, rankings, and more rankings. RBs are ranked in this post with the ESPN and Yahoo! standard fractional scoring.
Players who receive point-per-reception (PPR) bumps are noted with the asterisk. Consult my weekly Depth Charts and Volatility post, where we analyze all of the timeshares where multiple backs are involved for teams. The top of these ranks generally favor backs involved in the receiving game, as it is, because the bellcow RBs who largely are involved in the passing game are largely unaffected when their respective teams abandon the run.
- There is a special bump for the Patriots, Jets, Dolphins, and Titans backs, who have 12 games remaining in their regular seasons against everyone else's 11.
- As we go down the rankings, there is an increase in the weight of strength of schedule. And the better matchups sooner than later because there is sell-high value to come. These are not weekly rankings, but the idea of these rankings is to measure whom we should be owning now over whom. For example, an RB3 with a bad schedule until Week 12 is useless to our rosters compared a below average RB4 with two or three nice matchups in the coming weeks.
- These rankings devalue the messiest backfield situations noted in the Depth Charts and Volatility post. I don't care how talented a guy is if he doesn't get the ball.
- Bellcows always get the edge. There aren't many of them, so the value in scarcity increases for those backs with lesser variance. As we go down the rankings, the bad bellcows who we can never trust in our lineup lose value to receiving backups with more upside in whom we can reasonably instill hope. The bad bellcows are not only unstartable, but untradeable, and that is a recipe for a wasted roster spot.
- Chose not to rank Chris Thompson or Dexter McCluster because there is zero value of rostering them in standard leagues. But they are definite low-end RB4s in PPR worth rostering during bye weeks.
- Do your research and use rankings cautiously, as they are always a work-in-progress. Rankings are a bad tools to tell us what to do. They are conversation starters, tier setters, value mirrors, and a combination of the scientific explanations of what has happened with the art of predicting what will happen. Feel free to supply contrary evidence to me on Twitter at @AlexSontySBN or in the comments. They will help me help you.