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Fantasy Advice

I Don't Like Any Running Backs For 2014...

By August 21, 2014 No Comments

...at their current ADP (I use fantasyfootballcalculator.com for ADP data). Or at least many of them. I shouldn’t say any running backs. But jeez, outside of the top four (McCoy, Charles, Peterson, Forte, in whatever order you please) I really can’t say that I enjoy the ADPs of most ball carriers.

Virtually every time I’m on the clock, my thought process goes something like this: “There’s a couple wide receivers I like here, I don’t know if I like the value on that tight end yet, I can wait a little longer on a QB, and all of those running backs are pretty iffy.” It’s the nature of the modern NFL, and I’m not entirely sure what to do with it. Cause we need running backs, right? We can’t just go without them. But if we’re not getting a good value for them then we’re drafting poorly, and I’m not trying to draft poorly. So what the f$%k do I do?

Getting Your Money’s Worth

Sigmund Bloom, of footballguys.com, used an analogy on his podcast (it’s called the Audible, and it’s great) to describe this situation that really made sense to me, so I’m basically going to steal it. When you’re on the clock in the third round, your pick costs $50. The wide receivers that should be available to you (based on ADP) are worth $60. The running backs there are worth $35. Who do you spend your $50 on? If you’re trying to maximize your value, it’s obviously the wide receivers. But now you get to the third round and you’ve got $40 to spend. The wide receivers there are worth $50 and the running backs are worth $30, so you take a wide receiver again. On to the fourth round. You’ve got $35, the wide receivers are worth $40, and the running backs are worth $22. Starting to get the idea?

Basically, if your draft is similar to current ADP, it’s going to be very difficult to find value in running backs. If you take them early, you’re drafting a lot of guys with either low floors or low ceilings (hopefully not both) when there are elite receivers still on the board (think the $35 running back you bought for $50). If you wait till later, you’re just not getting productive running backs (think like 5 $7 running backs). So what’s the solution? The truth is...there is none.

This situation is just the reality of fantasy football in 2014. If you’re not getting one of those elite guys, there’s a lot of “eh” guys to wade your way through. And unless your leaguemates all decide to wait on running backs (in which case you’ll see some guys drop and become values), you’re either going to have to overpay for the Doug Martins and Andre Ellingtons of the world, or take a bunch of mid round guys and hope you hit with at least two of them.

Draft Strategy

Personally, I’m basing my running back strategy completely off my draft position and the way each draft unfolds. If running backs are flying off the board before their ADPs, you bet your ass I’m loading up on elite wide receivers and trying to hit on some high upside RBs later.

If the league loves wide receivers, I’ll take advantage of that and grab the running backs that they’re leaving on the board. If I don’t like any of the wide receivers and running backs on the board, I’ll take Gronk (had to throw something about Gronk into the article). If Gronk’s gone, I’ll give up and leave the league.

That last part is a joke (probably an unfunny one), but the point here is that you need to be flexible in your fantasy draft strategy. The dearth of reliable running backs requires it. So what if I don’t like where many running backs are coming off the board? I can’t do anything about that, but I can adjust my thinking and try to use it to my advantage. I can prepare for it to happen and create a contingency plan. That’s the takeaway I’m going for here.

Gonna take Doug Martin and Andre Ellington in the first round? Think a rigid draft strategy is the way to go? Hate Gronk? If you really and truly do hate Gronk I don’t ever want to talk to you, but otherwise, let me know! As always, I’d love to talk fantasy football.

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Nick Walsh

Nick Walsh

Director of Operations at Let's Talk Fantasy Football
I'm a New Jersey native currently residing in San Francisco and I'm the commissioner of the little league that we here at Let's Talk Fantasy Football play in. I like my fantasy football how I like my coffee: all the damn time.
Nick Walsh