Over(valued)/Under(Valued): Running back

When it comes to making sleeper and bust picks, it's all relative to the player's average draft position. With that in mind, I asked each Yahoo! fantasy expert to break the running back position down into three parts - the early rounds, middle rounds and late rounds - and provide an overvalued (bust) and undervalued (sleeper) selection for each section, based upon Yahoo! running back ADP. Let's take a look:

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EARLY ROUNDS - ADP value of Rounds 1 through 5

Funston says:

Overvalued: Trent Richardson. A No. 10 ADP price tag is a little rich for my blood. T-Rich seems to have embraced the NFL's questionable injury tag, and he's attached to one of the worst offenses in the league - he finished with 53 rushing yards or less eight times last season.

Undervalued: Stevan Ridley. He's going No. 14 on average among RBs, but he finished top 10 at the position in fantasy last season, and the issues with the Pats' passing components only increases the likelihood that Ridley plays an even bigger role in the offense in '13. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he finished as one of the top half dozen fantasy backs of '13.

Scott Pianowski says:

Overvalued: Alfred Morris. I hate to say anything bad about Morris, a talent I believe in and a work ethic I salute. But if Robert Griffin III doesn't make it all the way back (or if the Redskins scale back their read-option and exotic looks), Morris is going to pay a tax on his bottom line.

Undervalued: Matt Forte. At the 20 spot, Forte sounds awfully good to me, a RB1 in RB2 clothing. New honcho Marc Trestman knows how to utilize a pass-catching back - have a look at what Charlie Garner did in Trestman's scheme.

Dalton Del Don says:

Overvalued: Steven Jackson. He looked good down the stretch last season and now enters a more favorable situation in Atlanta, but I just can't spend a top pick on a running back with a career 2,395 rushing attempts. Over the last four seasons, Jackson has averaged 337.0 touches and yet, he's also averaged just 5.0 touchdowns. More goal-line opportunities are likely to be in store with the Falcons, but it's not an area in which he's excelled throughout his career.

Undervalued: C.J. Spiller. I would say Lamar Miller, who's a top-20 player on my board, but since he's not going in the top-five rounds, he actually doesn't qualify for this exercise here. Instead I'll say Spiller, who's often going in the late first round. He's the No. 2 player on my board.

Brad Evans says:

Overvalued: C.J. Spiller. No doubt the pint-sized rusher is electrifying with the ball in his hands. But an unattractive offensive environment coupled with Doug Marrone’s indecisiveness on which back will be deployed at the goal-line suppresses Spiller’s value. He’s good, but not top-five good.

Undervalued: Maurice Jones-Drew. MJD’s had an interesting offseason highlighted by Baconaters and bouncer beat-downs. However, now noticeably thinner and presumably healthy, he’s in position to again climb the RB ladder. He has little competition for touches and should shoulder 275-plus carries behind a revamped offensive line. And don’t worry about train-wreck Blaine Gabbert. Remember two years ago with the QB screwing up under center MJD notched top-5 RB numbers.

Andy Behrens says:

Overvalued: Alfred Morris. Please, DO NOT BEAT ME UP OVER THIS. I had to pick someone. We have rules here. I haven't been able to pull the trigger on Morris at his ADP just yet, I'll admit. He's not a factor in the passing game, and you should basically never bet on a player repeating a 1,600-yard season.

Undervalued: Matt Forte. I won't make any promises about his touchdown total, but Forte is a clear threat to reach 1800-2000 scrimmage yards in Marc Trestman's offense. He'll set a career high in catches if he remains healthy.

MIDDLE ROUNDS - ADP value of Rounds 6 through 10

Funston says:

Overvalued: Darren McFadden. He's been in the league five seasons, and only once has he lived up to his draft-day price tag, and even then you had to deal with three DNPs. His upside card has been maxed out. At this point, he is what he is, which is a shiny sports car that is always in the shop.

Undervalued: Eddie Lacy. It's getting more and more obvious that Lacy is going to run away from the competition in the Pack backfield. He's possesses a rare blend of power and athleticism, and he's actually a serviceable receiver, as well. In Green Bay's juggernaut offensive system, Lacy has 1,000-yard, 10-TD upside. And those numbers would have landed him inside the RB top 15 in '12.

Scott Pianowski says:

Overvalued: Darren McFadden. I wouldn't draft Run-DMC on a dare. He's been an injury mess for his entire NFL career, covering five seasons. At some point, you are what you are.

Undervalued: Reggie Bush. He's still a handy pass-catcher and his running efficiency quietly improved in Miami. The scheme in Detroit should fit him like a glove.

Dalton Del Don says:

Overvalued: DeMarco Murray. No back really jumps out as overvalued in this group, but I doubt Murray will end up on any of my teams this year. I like his ability and the idea of having a workhorse for a Dallas offense that has a lot of potential, but I simply have zero confidence in Murray staying healthy.

Undervalued: Reggie Bush. I'm a big fan of him this year, as I consider Bush worthy of a second round pick. His Yahoo! ADP is well below that (65.4) right now.

Brad Evans says:

Overvalued: Montee Ball. R-B-B-C. Curl up into the fetal position, prospective Denver backfield investor. Ball trucked over would-be tacklers at Wisconsin, but the Badgers’ offensive line was rock solid. The Broncos, down their starting center, have question marks in that department. Couple that with Ball’s sketchy pass protection skills and he could easily remain a complementary-only rusher. You’re living in a world of unicorns and leprechauns if you think he’s a RB2.

Undervalued: Rashard Mendenhall. Workload speaks volume in Fantasyland and Mendy is in position to tote a hefty one. Ryan Williams is already on crutches and the rookie rushers behind Rush-ard are light years away from gaining Bruce Arians’ trust. Without much competition and very familiar with the scheme, he should net 300-plus touches, if he remains upright. It’s not unfathomable to think he finishes in the neighborhood of 1,300 total yards with 6-8 TDs.

Andy Behrens says:

Overvalued: Ryan Mathews. Talk him up as a value pick all you like, but it sure seems like Danny Woodhead is going to have a significant role. I feel like if it was ever gonna happen for Mathews, it would have happened by now. No thanks.

Undervalued: Le'Veon Bell. I can easily build a case for Bell as a top-16 (12?) running back. He's a legit talent, and he'll get all the work he can handle in Pittsburgh. The camp reports have matched the fantasy hype.

LATE ROUNDS - ADP value of Rounds 11 and beyond

Funston says:

Overvalued: Mark Ingram. You can have him. He's 26 games into his NFL career and he's yet to record 100-plus yards from scrimmage in a game. He's not involved in the passing game, which is tough when you play for one of the most pass-heavy offenses in the league. If you want a Saints RB in the later rounds, do yourself a favor and draft Pierre Thomas. He's outproduced Ingram in fantasy each of the past two years and I doubt '13 will be any different.

Undervalued: DeAngelo Williams. I could really go a lot of different directions here (Bernard, Vereen, Richardson, Pierre Thomas, Woodhead), but I'll roll with DeAngelo, who is looking De-lovely at his current ADP price. Jonathan Stewart's ankle continues to dog him, and Carolina plans to dial down the shotgun/read option packages in favor of a more traditional (run-heavy) approach. Williams should be in line for something close to 200 touches, and the last time he hit that number he rushed for 1,100-plus yards and 7 TDs.

Scott Pianowski says:

Overvalued: Mark Ingram. He can't catch the ball and a 3.9 YPC doesn't make the angels weep, either. And even on Ingram's best days, he'll have to split time with two more-talented backs (Sproles, Thomas). Let go of the Heisman memory and the first-round ticket - the Saints realize they botched this pick.

Undervalued: DeAngelo Williams. It's a shame Williams has been stuck in Carolina his entire career, wasting so much of that pretty 4.9 YPC. The Panthers know how to collect running backs and they never go out of their way to feature anyone. But if Jonathan Stewart can't get healthy soon, Carolina may not have a choice in the matter.

Dalton Del Don says:

Overvalued: Vick Ballard. Not sure why he's being taken just 15 picks later than Ahmad Bradshaw, and it's also unclear why BenJarvus Green-Ellis is going ahead of Giovani Bernard. And I have no idea why Michael Turner's ADP remains ahead of Andre Brown, Mark Ingram and Ronnie Hillman.

Undervalued: Daryl Richardson. He's going outside of the top-120 picks and enters 2013 as the favorite to lead a fast improving Rams team in carries. There's legitimate upside here.

Brad Evans says:

Overvalued: BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The LawFirm is a sloth compared to cheetah Giovani Bernard. To be fair, he’s a tough interior runner, but his lack of top-end speed and only average usefulness in the pass game label him terribly mediocre. Bengals OC Jay Gruden has already hinted at a full-blown 50-50 timeshare to begin the season. Don’t be surprised if it becomes 70-30 Bernard by Week 8.

Undervalued: Andre Brown. The ‘expert’ community’s excessive panting over David Wilson needs to stop. Brown, a more well-rounded rusher compared to his explosive complement, is a better back than advertised. Rock solid up-the-gut, above average in pass protection and a quality receiver, the co-starter will see the field more than people think. Provided his bones remain intact, he is capable of tallying roughly 1,000 total yards with 7-9 scores.

Andy Behrens says:

Overvalued: BenJarvus Green-Ellis. This is a back who needs serious volume in order to pile up stats, and it just won't be there in 2013 — not with Giovani Bernard added to the mix. BJGE is pretty clearly a committee back, and a low-wattage one at that.

Undervalued: Chris Polk. That's right, I said CHRIS POLK. Because I can't say "DeAngelo Williams" every time someone asks me this question. Polk is actually seeing time with the second-string in Eagles camp, and Chip Kelly loves him. He could emerge as an interesting rotational runner in a dynamic, run-heavy offense.

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