Running back is arguably the most important position in fantasy football. Each year the number of top-shelf fantasy options declines as more NFL teams opt to use a committee of multiple RBs.

This year there are only five truly elite running backs, and you would be wise to ensure you get one of them in the top five. That said, there is no need to panic if you are left with a later first-round pick. There are still plenty of solid players available in the second and third rounds.

DeMarco Murray is one of my top 10 overall players, yet you can likely grab him in the early second round of your draft. Arian Foster was a consistent top fantasy player up until last year, and he represents great value in the late-second or early-third round should your league mates downgrade him due to minor training camp injury concerns.

But if you do miss out on an RB in the first round, keep in mind that the drop-off gets even steeper after the top 22-25 players are taken. At that point you'll be left either targeting players with huge question marks like Trent Richardson (Colts) or backs stuck in committees that limit their upside like DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) or Pierre Thomas (Saints).

I would target at least two RBs in the first four rounds. Also, keep in mind that running backs also carry the highest injury risk, so be sure to load up on quality backups.

ALEX'S TOP 25 RBs

Separated into tiers

TIER 1

1. LeSean McCoy (Eagles)

2. Jamaal Charles (Chiefs)

3. Adrian Peterson (Vikings)

4. Matt Forte (Bears)

5. Eddie Lacy (Packers)

TIER 2

6. DeMarco Murray (Cowboys)

7. Marshawn Lynch (Seahawks)

TIER 3

8. Montee Ball (Broncos)

9. Le'Veon Bell (Steelers)

10. Arian Foster (Texans)

11. Giovani Bernard (Bengals)

TIER 4

12. C.J. Spiller (Bills)

13. Zac Stacy (Rams)

14. Doug Martin (Bucs)

TIER 5

15. Alfred Morris (Redskins)

16. Andre Ellington (Cardinals)

TIER 6

17. Ryan Mathews (Chargers)

18. Reggie Bush (Lions)

19. Rashad Jennings (Giants)

20. Toby Gerhart (Jaguars)

21. Frank Gore (49ers)

22. Ben Tate (Browns)

TIER 7

23. Ray Rice (Ravens)

24. Shane Vereen (Patriots)

25. Bishop Sankey (Titans)