Running aback is the fantasy position area the elastic meets the road. Grab the top producers at this position, and you’ll perpetually be operating from a annual advantage; you may lose fantasy games, but it will generally booty an ballsy accomplishment from your adversary to exhausted you. Grab big-time busts, and you’re headed for a division of blubbering epithets beneath your breath.
Why are your active aback slots so important? Because while the aberration amid a “top” fantasy quarterback or advanced receiver and an “acceptable” one isn’t decidedly great, the aberration amid the best RBs and their positional aggregation tends to be vast. If you alone attending at the raw fantasy credibility denticulate in 2010, you’ll see a QB-dominated list:
But if you attending at a allusive analysis, area we analyze anniversary player’s point absolute to a baseline amateur at his position (called “Value-Based Drafting” or “VBD”), you’ll see that RBs are absolutely area it’s at:
Of course, acrimonious which RBs to baddest aboriginal can be a quandary. Grab the amiss guys, and you’re abaft the eight ball. Unearth this year’s Arian Foster, and you’re golden. So there’s a absolute dichotomy here: On one hand, the best RBs are acutely still the best admired article in fantasy, but on the added hand, they’re accepting harder and harder to locate. That leads to the ultimate drafting dilemma. Do you take, say, two RBs in your aboriginal two or three picks, acquisitive to bang it affluent at the game’s best important position and alive you can acquisition “acceptable” options at added positions afterwards in your draft? Or do you attending at the beat attributes of the RB position — with its ever-growing cardinal of board backs, injuries and week-to-week airheadedness — and adjudge instead to lock bottomward the safest, biggest-total players at QB and WR, and booty your RBs later, alive that RB is a crapshoot anyway?
I’ll get into the action implications of this bewilderment in a bit. First, though, let’s attending at the active aback mural for the 2011 season.
The eliteAdrian Peterson has never accomplished as fantasy’s No. 1 active back, but that’s area we bulk him this year. What gives? Well, he’s the alone RB in fantasy who’s been a top-five point-gainer in four afterwards seasons, and if you’ve got your draft’s aboriginal pick, you’re attractive for the best accessible aggregate of upside and safety. That’s All Day. Yes, he’s got questions at QB, area Eagles and Redskins abandoned Donovan McNabb and amateur Christian Ponder are all the Vikings have. And yes, that Minnesota O-line is attractive somewhat continued in the tooth. But Peterson is a aberrant monster; at 6-foot-1 and 217 pounds, he’s apparently one of the NFL’s bristles fastest backs, and a adamantine man to tackle. Additional his much-ballyhooed averseness problems from ’09 didn’t backpack over: He went from six absent fumbles two seasons ago to one in ’10. Our ESPN console of experts had no attrition appraisement Arian Foster No. 2 overall, and I acceptance I accept it. He was ascendant from alpha to accomplishment aftermost year, acceptable the hasty yardage and TD titles, and finishing acme in accepting yards by a RB. Clearly, though, there’s a bit of a “one-year wonder” anguish aback it comes to Foster. While the added guys at the top of our annual accept done it over assorted seasons, Foster hasn’t. He won’t up on anyone in ’11, and opposing defenses may adjudge to change their focus from endlessly Matt Schaub to endlessly Foster. How accept accidentally massive RB fantasy point producers about fared in their aftereffect seasons lately? Larry Johnson captivated up able-bodied from ’05 to ’06. DeAngelo Williams alone off decidedly from ’08 to ’09. And Chris Johnson was about boilerplate from ’09 to ’10. Myself, I’d apparently booty CJ2K additional overall, because I assurance his clue almanac a bit more. He’s additionally still the game’s arch home run hitter and produced able-bodied (No. 5 in RB fantasy credibility aftermost year) admitting a abiding thigh issue. But I accept if you adopt Foster. Jamaal Charles averaged a massive 6.4 yards per backpack aftermost division and alveolate double-digit fantasy credibility in 12 of 16 games, and I’m academic there’s a adequately able fantasy accidental that’s because demography him aboriginal all-embracing this summer. Afterwards all, Thomas Jones vultured an annoying bulk of J-Mail’s assignment aftermost year, and the Chiefs artlessly accept to apperceive that Charles gives them the best adventitious to win. That said, I’m not assertive Todd Haley wants to amusement Charles like a workhorse, 20-touch-per-game back. So while I adulation the guy, I anticipate Charles will acceptable accept the atomic carries of any aristocratic aback in fantasy afresh in ’11.
Not y, but they get the job doneAfter accepting called third or fourth all-embracing in best fantasy drafts aftermost summer, Ray Rice was abominable in September, registering aught TDs and averaging alone 76 absolute yards per game. That’s the affectionate of abominable achievement that can get you blackballed in fantasy leagues, but Rice accepted his animation thereafter: He averaged 123 absolute yards per d from Anniversary 5 forward. Rice still hasn’t become the TD apparatus I hoped, admitting that could change aback Willis McGahee has confused on to Denver. Rice is a lock to blow the brawl 20-plus times aloof about every week, has a angry new advance acquaintance in Vonta Leach, and will be a top-five accepting back. LeSean McCoy doesn’t fit the archetypal cast of “uny” RBs, because he’s a fast-twitch, atomic amateur who thrives on big plays, and because he accomplished aloof 19th in hasty attempts aftermost season. But McCoy is so complex in the casual d — aftermost year he had an NFL-high 78 catches out of the backfield — that it all evens out. What Shady lacks in goal-line chops and high-volume blitz games, he makes up for in big plays in the accepting game. Of course, if Michael Vick stays advantageous all year, McCoy isn’t a abundant bet to echo his nine absolute TDs from aftermost season, because Vick tends to be his own rush-TD maker. Rashard Mendenhall isn’t ambiguous and he doesn’t accept escape speed. But he allowances from a Steelers breach that brand to batter with the active d a an opponent’s end zone: Nine of his 13 hasty array aftermost year came from central the 3. Mendy was fourth in the NFL in carries in ’10, so while his per-tote boilerplate (3.9) is thoroughly uninspiring, you can feel adequately safe that barring injury, he’ll be a week-to-week abiding amateur with abundant TD upside. Personally, I’m abashed about alleviative Peyton Hillis like a top-15 RB this season. I anticipate we balloon too calmly that, in accession to his abatement at the end of aftermost year, Hillis was injury-prone in his aboriginal two years in the NFL, with the Broncos. But my ESPN colleagues appearance aftermost season’s 13 absolute TDs with salivary glands activated. It’s accurate that through 11 games, Hillis had averaged 4.6 yards per backpack and had denticulate at atomic one TD in 10 contests. He slowed bottomward precipitously thereafter, though, and the Browns noticed. They’ll try and cap his workload this year, to accumulate him beginning for December. Hillis doesn’t get abundant acclaim for actuality a actual accomplished receiver (he accomplished fourth in catches by a RB in ’10) and at 250 pounds, he’s a banger. I accept to admit, though, I won’t own him on abounding of my teams in ’11. It seems bright now that Matt Forte’s subpar ’09 division was accompanying to a knee injury. Advantageous afresh aftermost year, Forte was one of alone bristles backs to accomplishment with at atomic 1,000 yards hasty and 500 yards receiving. Also, abaft a spotty-at-best O-line, he managed a candied 4.5 yards per carry. Forte’s drawbacks appear a the ambition line, area the Chicago breach perpetually stalls and area Marion Barber may be a cesspool this season. But Forte is a fantasy starter. I’m not abiding I accede LeGarrette Blount a fantasy amateur in 10-team leagues, but our console of experts does. There’s no carper the adduce he brings to the table: Blount is 250 pounds of hard-to-tackle meanness. There’s additionally little agnosticism that he’ll be Tampa Bay’s advance dog in ’11. Whether or not he builds on his absorbing amateur year comes bottomward to if he improves in abbreviate yardage. In ’10, he denticulate aloof alert on nine tries central an opponent’s 5.
Falling downIn aftermost season’s RB positional preview, I warned you off Clinton Portis, Cadillac Williams, McGahee and Marshawn Lynch. This year, I’m aiming alike higher. I’m abashed about two abiding fantasy studs: Michael Turner and Steven Jackson. Listen, I still put The Burner and Action Jackson in my top 15 RBs, so it’s not like I’m able they’ll abatement off a cliff. But I can about agreement you those two big names will get taken afore the ambit area I would abstract them. Turner accomplished third in the NFL in hasty yards aftermost year and angry for fourth in hasty TDs, but his acceptance in two of the accomplished three seasons scares me (346 touches in ’10, 382 in ’08 and of advance he was aching for abundant of ’09). He’s 29 and wore bottomward decidedly in aftermost year’s final six games, additional he has no allowance for error, because he comes off the acreage on best third downs. Jackson has added carries than any NFL aback over the accomplished bristles seasons and is 28, and his per-carry boilerplate alone to aloof 3.8 yards aftermost year. Neither adept has abundant early-down competition, which is good, but anniversary has cogent contempo abrasion history, which is bad. Hey, if I could get Turner backward in the additional round, he’d be annual the risk. And if I could get Jackson backward in the additional or aboriginal in the third, ditto. But I agnosticism they’ll aftermost that long, and I’m activity to let accession abroad booty on those headaches. BenJarvus Green-Ellis was a abominable accession to fantasy’s top 15 RBs aftermost year: He ran for a whopping 13 scores, angry for additional best in the league. But I bulk him alfresco my top 25 rushers this year. What am I so abashed about? First, I aloof don’t anticipate BJGE is a decidedly appropriate talent. And as a aftereffect of that, I don’t anticipate the Patriots are decidedly committed to him. They drafted a brace of RBs this accomplished April, they accept Danny Woodhead around, and bluntly I don’t anticipate you’ll see a echo of aftermost season’s comedy calling, aback the Pats ranked No. 7 in the run-heaviness of their offense. In best added years aback Tom Brady has been healthy, the Patriots anesthetized at a far greater rate, but they got into clock-killing approach a agglomeration during its abundant ’10 approved season. We rated Cedric Benson as a top-10 fantasy aback aftermost year. That was a mistake. Benson regressed to his pre-’09 form; it’s not that his accumulative numbers attending bad (1,289 absolute yards, eight absolute TDs), it’s that his ratios stunk. Two seasons ago, he averaged an absorbing 4.2 yards per carry, but aftermost year he went appropriate aback to 3.5, which is added in alignment with his career mark of 3.7. Benson is advancing off back-to-back seasons of 300-plus carries, which makes his legs affected to abrasion or abridgement of explosiveness, and he doesn’t accept abundant explosiveness to spare. He’s aback with the Bengals afterwards dipping his toe in the free-agent waters. But I’m not drafting him. Joseph Addai re-signed with the Colts and for as continued as he’s advantageous abstracts to advance Indy in carries. But he’s played a abounding division aloof already in his five-year career and hasn’t topped seven TDs in two of his accomplished three campaigns. The Colts drafted Delone Carter to be a abeyant short-yardage advantage and Donald Brown is still blame around. Additional Addai has absolutely two runs of 30 yards or best in his absolute career. There’s not abundant upside actuality to accreditation the risk.
Opportunity knocksRyan Mathews was declared to aces up the role larboard abaft by LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego, but he battled a bad abate throughout his amateur division and Mike Tolbert absolutely became the TD maker for the Chargers. But in the team’s final two amateur aftermost season, with Tolbert hurt, Mathews had 44 touches from flat for 222 yards and four TDs, giving a glimpse of the abilities that fabricated him a first-round abstract choice. Tolbert is still about in San Diego and should be the admired for goal-line work, additional could be Philip Rivers’ pass-catcher out of the backfield. But Mathews is the added accomplished player, and if he stays healthy, his stats should reflect that. The Cowboys accept confused on from Marion Barber, giving Felix Jones an central attending at assertive RB touches in Big D. For sure, both Tashard Best and amateur DeMarco Murray will be in the mix, but anniversary has already suffered an abrasion aboriginal in training camp. Meanwhile, Jones was absorbing in the Cowboys’ final eight amateur of 2010, registering at atomic 77 absolute yards (and averaging about 99 absolute yards) in those contests. He may not be a accurate No. 1 aback — he topped 16 carries in a d alone already aftermost division — but his accepting accomplishment and big-play adeptness accord him appropriate to bigger fantasy value. I’m academy on Shonn Greene than my ESPN cohorts. I’m absorbed by the achievability that he’ll booty a beyond block of the workload from Tomlinson this season. And aloof as clearly, drafting Greene on the base of aftermost year’s numbers (766 yards rushing, 2 TDs) would be foolish. Reading the tea leaves, it seems acceptable that LT’s role will compress — he’ll be a goal-line specialist and third-down weapon — while Greene should assuredly activate to boss early-down work.
The ESPN acme accumulation brand Fred Jackson added than I do, but I accept to accept Jackson has his aboriginal full-fledged adventitious at actuality the Bills’ absolute Anniversary 1 starter. C.J. Spiller was a big disappointment in ’10 and Jackson was solid, if unspectacular; apprehend to see Spiller apply on appropriate teams assignment to activate the year. That said, Buffalo mustered alone eight carries central an opponent’s 5 aftermost year, so alike if you animosity Spiller and adulation Jackson, I catechism how abundant this full-time gig is absolutely worth. Jackson is a acceptable soldier and a slightly-above-average talent, but in accuracy I anticipate Spiller’s the guy with the upside and is annual a late-round gamble.
Rookie cropIt was adamantine not to adulation Mark Ingram as a alum at Alabama; he won the Heisman in his green season, and battled through abrasion to comedy able-bodied as a junior. But he was drafted into a abeyant daydream situation, additionally accepted as the Saints backfield. No New Orleans abettor has registered added than 230 absolute touches in any of the accomplished four seasons, and alone one (Reggie Bush in 2007) has baffled 186 touches. Pierre Thomas is still on duke and anew active Darren Sproles will booty on Bush’s old role. (Chris Ivory is still around, too, admitting he adeptness not be physically accessible to go Anniversary 1 afterwards offseason bottom surgery.) Ingram would apparently be the guy I’d abstract aboriginal out of this gang, but it’s close: I absolutely anticipate Thomas is absolutely undervalued appropriate now, as he’s excelled in the accomplished in a part-time role. Although as a accumulation we rated Ingram our admired amateur rusher, I adopt the Dolphins’ Daniel Thomas because of his aggregate of abilities and opportunity. He’s a 230-pounder with bendable calmly and able downhill-running skills. Sure, the Dolphins active Bush to brace with Thomas, but I accept little acceptance in Reggie’s adeptness to breach advantageous or appear anywhere a full-time carries. I’d bet on Thomas to calmly advance the aggregation in TDs and touches out of the backfield. The Lions said all the appropriate things about drafting Mikel Leshoure: They couldn’t canyon on his talent, they were alone attractive for a accompaniment to Jahvid Best, etc. However, Leshoure tore his Achilles aboriginal in training affected and has been disqualified out for the season. Ryan Williams is addition kid whose abilities I love, but who will be absent to abrasion this division with a broken knee tendon. Watch out for Roy Helu with the Redskins. If Ryan Torain and Tim Hightower wind up actuality the alone guys amid Helu and a starting gig, well, assurance me up. Helu has acquaintance in the affectionate of one-cut, decline arrangement that Mike Shanahan prefers, and we all apperceive Shanny loves to agitate up his backfield bearings and isn’t abashed to bandy rookies into the fire. Torain produced able-bodied while advantageous aftermost year, but he’s an abrasion cat-and-mouse to happen, and Hightower is best-served as a third-down and conceivably a goal-line back. The Cowboys couldn’t abide DeMarco Murray’s measurables. He’s 213 pounds and ran third fastest of any RB at February’s combine. In fact, he reminds me absolutely a lot of Felix Jones. But Murray doesn’t breach abounding tackles and battled leg injuries in anniversary of his two final seasons at Oklahoma (and has already afflicted a hamstring aboriginal in training affected this summer). Jones will accept to apprehension for Murray to accept abundant fantasy amount in ’11. The 49ers drafted one of my admired amateur rushers, Oklahoma State’s Kendall Hunter. Of course, Frank Gore is San Fran’s absolute starter, but Gore does get aching a bunch, and while Anthony Dixon has it in him to be an absorbing thumper, Hunter has a added array of every-down-back skills. He’s lightning quick and has abundant hands, admitting he did accept averseness problems in college. Hunter isn’t acceptable to be a fantasy force this season, but I’m stashing him in absolutism leagues. Into the Patriots’ backfield blend accomplish Shane Vereen, who’s in band not alone to booty over some of Kevin Faulk’s production, but could booty some of Danny Woodhead’s looks, too. (Faulk is aback with the Pats in training affected afterwards aftermost year’s broken ACL, but I accept a activity it’s an emeritus role.) Vereen is a abundant bigger playmaker than BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but BJGE will still be a adopted best in the red zone; Vereen will acceptable attempt to see double-digit touches anniversary week. I’m not automatically d that Jordan Todman will accomplish Sproles in San Diego, but I do anticipate he’ll get some looks on third downs. Todman isn’t absolutely a burner nor is he acceptable to breach bags of NFL tackles, but he catches it well. The Colts took Delone Carter in the fourth annular this April, and if he can breach advantageous (not consistently a accustomed in his Syracuse days) his fire-hydrant anatomy makes him a accustomed to attempt for short-yardage work.
Unsettled situationsJonathan Stewart looked like a fantasy amateur all summer, because best affected DeAngelo Williams would leave as a chargeless agent. Maddeningly, it didn’t happen. D-Willy re-signed for huge dollars, and now it’s Stewart who looks like the short-timer in Carolina: His amateur accord is up afterwards this year. If one of these guys gets aching afresh (and both absent cogent time in ’10), the added instantly vaults into the fantasy stratosphere. But as the bearings is, Williams is the admired to advance the Panthers in carries, while Stewart will comedy a added role and conceivably vulture touchdowns. Mike Goodson is, for the moment, bargain to an afterthought. Because the Broncos didn’t assurance an in-his-prime chargeless abettor RB, Knowshon Moreno is the bright admired to advance Denver in backfield touches. But Willis McGahee is now on hand, and Ray Rice owners apperceive that can sometimes comedy calamity with a starter’s TDs. No, McGahee isn’t a blackmail to aback booty over on aboriginal and additional downs. But we’re talking about a big, able-bodied amateur who, during his four years in Baltimore, denticulate eight, seven, 14 and six times. I accede it absolutely acceptable that McGahee leads the Broncos in TDs this year. Ahmad Bradshaw re-signed with the Giants, and appropriately will achieve aback into his afflictive affiliation with Brandon Jacobs. Aftermost year, Bradshaw accidentally won the advance role in Gotham and backward mostly healthy, but Jacobs siphoned off nine TDs and about 900 yards from scrimmage. If Bradshaw’s averseness becomes an affair afresh this division (he led all RBs with six absent fumbles aftermost year), Jacobs could accost a bigger allotment of the backfield pie. Maybe the Packers will amount out their backfield afore aperture night, but I’m action that Ryan Grant and James Starks owners will alpha advance in allure dolls of the added guy appear mid-September. Grant suffered austere abate and knee injuries aftermost season, but that happened in Anniversary 1 and he’s continued aback healed. Meanwhile, Starks is accepting pub for a able playoff run, but he absolutely absolutely alone played able-bodied in Green Bay’s aboriginal win, in Philly. Again again, Starks is apparently the bigger pass-catcher, has agnate admeasurement to Grant and has beneath footstep beat off his tires, so he abstracts to be in the mix. Unless one of these guys gets hurt, I abhorrence we’re attractive at a beeline platoon.
Injury concernsWe justifiably accept Maurice Jones-Drew ranked as our No. 5 RB; admitting a abiding knee abrasion aftermost year, he produced six afterwards midseason amateur of at atomic 100 yards rushing. But that knee botheration is potentially worrisome. MJD underwent austere meniscus anaplasty this winter, and while he’s corrective a aflush adjust picture, assorted belief accept appear out of Jacksonville that he was adverse a “bone-on-bone” condition. I thoroughly apprehend the Jags to amusement MJD with kid gloves throughout camp, so we may not apperceive the accuracy about him for a acceptable continued while. He’ll either be a complete abduct in a lot of drafts, or an albatross. Frank Gore accurately carries an injury-prone label; he hasn’t fabricated it through a abounding division aback ’06, and he absent aftermost season’s final bristles amateur with a burst hip. However, until ’10, he’d never absent added than two amateur in a season, as his wounds accept mostly been of the nagging, non-surgery variety. My acceptance for this year is that Gore does absence added time, but doesn’t wind up sitting out added than a brace of contests. Darren McFadden assuredly illustrated why the Raiders drafted him No. 4 all-embracing in ’08: He led the alliance with 14 carries of 20 yards or more, bent the brawl blithely and denticulate 10 all-embracing TDs. Unfortunately, he additionally absent added amateur because of a bad hamstring, and additionally reportedly re-injured his alarming toes a season’s end. In three NFL campaigns, Run-DMC has absent 10 of his 48 accessible games. If you booty him in the additional annular of your abstract this summer, be acquainted his downside is as alarming as his upside is enticing. If I ranked the bristles best atomic RBs in the NFL, Jahvid Best would be on that list. But he was afflicted throughout his bookish career, suffered accommodation toe injuries aboriginal as a amateur with the Lions and managed aloof 3.2 yards per carry. I absolutely accept Best has Jamaal Charles-level ability. But it’s aloof so adamantine to avoid how generally the dude gets hurt. Ryan Torain is a able-bodied guy with acceptable speed, and I can see him as the Redskins’ Anniversary 1 starter. But he absent a abounding ages in ’10 to a bad hamstring, tore an ACL in ’09, burst an bend in ’08, bankrupt a toe in academy he’s aloof not a actual acceptable bet to breach healthy, and there are applicable alternatives on the agenda in Roy Helu and Tim Hightower.
SleepersI did aloof address that I’d booty Mark Ingram advanced of any Saints rusher, but I about anticipate Pierre Thomas is a accomplished sleeper. He was overhyped aftermost division again suffered an abate abrasion that amount him 10 amateur and appropriate surgery, so I’m academic he won’t be a fantasy angel appear abstract time. Nor do I ambition to advertise Frenchy to you as an under-the-radar accessible starter. Sean Payton angle Thomas as a Swiss Army knife, a guy he can use bristles or 15 times per d depending on the flow, a acceptable blocker, a boxy central abettor and a agitating receiver. In added words: He’s a board back. But that role was abundant for Thomas to boilerplate 1,002 yards from flat and 10 TDs in ’08 and ’09, and I don’t put that affectionate of solid assembly accomplished him actuality in ’11. Michael Bush is one McFadden abrasion abroad from absolutely a admired role. I put Bush on this “sleeper” annual aftermost season, and he responded with 849 yards from flat and eight scores. Granted, his week-to-week workload can be arresting (six amateur with six touches from flat or fewer), but aback Oakland saddles him up and pounds defenses with him, he usually responds. I was as big a Beanie Wells booster as you could acquisition aftermost summer, and that was a appealing huge mistake. Aback the Cardinals drafted Ryan Williams in April, it was aboriginal and foremost Beanie insurance, in case the injury-prone Wells suffers a ceremony of the knee issues that adamant him aftermost year, or suffers any added break or sprains. However, it’s Williams’ whose knee gave out first, and if Beanie stays healthy, he’s the starter. Players with his admeasurement and acceleration don’t appear about actual often, and this year you won’t accept to pay abundant to access him. Montario Hardesty and Ben Tate endured shockingly agnate amateur years. Hardesty tore an ACL in the Browns’ final exhibition d and watched Peyton Hillis go crazy. Tate tore abate ligaments and bankrupt his fibula in the Texans’ aboriginal preseason d and saw Arian Foster become fantasy’s MVP. Now anniversary guy will try to breach advantageous while abetment up a fantasy starter, and anniversary is at the actual atomic a admired handcuff. Because of his bookish abrasion history, I accord Hardesty a worse adventitious at abiding bloom than Tate, but I additionally anticipate Hillis is likelier to charge a cone-shaped workload than Foster. With MJD’s knee a catechism mark, the Jaguars will accumulate Rashad Jennings at the ready. I absolutely like third-stringer Deji Karim’s accomplishment set a bunch, but Jacksonville will accumulate him as its primary bang returner and accord Jennings full-fledged advancement duty. He occasionally played blithely as a spot-starter in the fantasy playoffs aftermost December.
Draft strategySo which is the wiser path? Booty your aces of the clutter amid the “best” RBs and ample in with the “acceptable” QBs and WRs, or get the sure-thing guys at those added positions and grab a agglomeration of “maybe” RBs in afterwards circuit beneath the acceptance that it’s accursed adamantine to adumbrate which RBs wind up breaking out of their board woes?
I don’t accept a audible acknowledgment for you. My aptitude is to go RB first, but aftermost year if you’d approved that action and taken, say, MJD, Frank Gore or Ray Rice, you’d eventually accept been frustrated. And that’s not as abnormal as you adeptness think. Over the accomplished three years, actuality are the top 10 RBs in agreement of boilerplate abstract position (ADP), and area those players accept anguish up baronial in fantasy credibility amid RBs:
The airheadedness you see amid the RBs accepted to be amid the best in the business isn’t replicated amid QBs (WRs are closer), which validates the appetite to abstract an Aaron Rodgers in the boilerplate of the aboriginal round, as the actual accessible RBs activate to accomplish your belly hurt. Yes, I’m still aptitude heavily against demography a RB in the aboriginal round, because it’s so important that you accomplish able-bodied at fantasy’s best afflictive position. But I’m not activity to be ever arbitrary about it.
Auction strategyEach fantasy bargain is its own animal, so it’s boxy to accord absolutes about how abundant you should absorb on active backs. In a alliance that gives you $200 to absorb on your players, a appropriate aphorism of deride is that in an boilerplate draft, if you annual about $100 for rushers, you’ll be fine. Your starters will eat up the all-inclusive majority of that budget, clearly, while your affluence and sleepers will appear on the about cheap. Now, this “median” annual doesn’t annual for the variations in action that action in every fantasy football auction. If you’ve absitively you’re activity to pay for two aristocratic rushers, for instance, you’re apparently activity to accept to absorb upwards of 75 percent of your money on two players (i.e., the “Studs and Duds” strategy). However, no amount what, accomplish abiding you’ve got a nice continued annual of abeyant $1 or $2 rushers for your auction’s end game. As in snake drafts, I like to wind up with a agglomeration of lottery-ticket active backs in an auction, because rushers who appear out of larboard acreage to be cogent contributors are sweet.
Christopher Harris is a fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. He is a six-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association accolade winner. You can ask him questions at www.facebook.com/writerboy.
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