Fantasy Football: Top Tier RBs and Guys to Snatch Up
In my last post, I spoke on TEs who have the most fantasy value and where to snatch them up. You can find that article here. Today I want to dive right into the early drafted position. RBs are any fantasy footballer’s best friend. I have peers who draft nothing but RBs in the first eight rounds. Yes, I said that correctly! I, on the other hand, have a different strategy that actually works. I won’t speak on that today due to my nosey friends who may be reading, but I’ll drop some knowledge about what I do know about drafting RBs. Here we go!
Touches Touches Touches!
I’ve seen those backs who excite with their one or two flashy runs that get everyone psyched about the new season and how much they are going to eat into the lead backs load. However, if the coaches weren’t convinced by week 16, then this is about as risky as putting your chips on the table for a rookie RB. The risk and reward may vary. When I look for a top back, I am looking for a couple of things.
Touches are very important to me. In PPR leagues, it is essential. I could have a back breakout for 30 on one run, and that is great and all, but if the lead back is busting out 3 runs for 30 total, I’m going with production and who coach decides is the guy.
Sure, Mr. 1-for-30 will get a few more touches, but the number one back usually carries the load unless a fumble or injury happens. An example of this was Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny. Many thought that Penny was the guy at the beginning of the season. I saw through the smoke. I believed Carson was going to get the load because that is what he did at the end of 2018. In camp, according to various reports, he was outshining Penny as well. All the average fan could see was that the Seahawks drafted a monster. I was able to steal Carson around the 4th or 5th round and had a week one starter.
If you look at the stats, Penny averages about 5.6 yards per touch while Carson is closer to 4.2. Looking at that stat alone, who would you pick? Penny right? Let’s take a deeper look, overall for 2019, Carson had 278 carries to Penny’s 65. Carson lost some of his workload late, due to fumbling issues but was put back in due to Penny’s injury. My point is touches are king.
Can they stay on the field?
I feel bad for my opponents when they draft a RB like Melvin Gordon, Leonard Fornette or Dalvin Cook. It just spells recipe for disaster. There is a new CBA that may affect my strategy, but avoiding players in contract years, or the year they sign their contract is a must for me. Production usually drops, injury happens or they hold out. I can’t give percentages, but this is just a practice of mine. I’ll get off my soapbox now and give you what you came for. Here are my TOP 5 RBs to draft and a few sleepers to snatch up.
- Christian McCaffrey – 2300+ yards in one season will definitely draw the focus of fantasy lovers anywhere. Average Draft Position or ADP = 1
- Saquon Barkley – You’re probably wondering why Zeke isn’t here. With all of the weapons Dallas has, there may be a slight surrendering of the NFC East Rushing champ title. You can’t feed everyone.
- Ezekiel Elliot – With 1777 total yards last season, there is a reason I said slight.
- Derrick Henry – I’d put the NFL Rushing champ higher on the list, but he’s not on the field on third down, keeping his receptions down.
- Nick Chubb – I believe that Cleveland Browns are aware of what they have in this bruiser. According to Rotoworld, he forced 66 missed tackles last season. Look for the league’s 2nd overall rusher to bang his way into another stellar season even if it is in Cleveland.
Now that we know who my top 5 are let’s not take the phone, laptop, mobile device, quill, or whatever you drafted with and throw it in the trash. There is still money out there after 5.
The Raiders may have moved, but their strategy is still the same. “pound the table if you’re with me.” This team will continue to pound the rock until they draft another signal-caller next season. We know Derek Carr is on borrowed time, and the only way to save his career is to snap and hand that ball off to set up the play-action to Darren Waller.
We all saw this man catch fire in Arizona after being traded for a sixth-round pick in October of 2019. Much like the Browns, the Cardinals are aware of the monster they have in the backfield. Drake had 170 carries in 2019, and I project him to have about 240 in 2020. People get your PPR popcorn ready!
San Francisco had a stable of backs deep than the ocean is blue. With Matt taking his talents to South Beach via trade, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to shine. I definitely will target this guy in about the 5th or 6th round not just because he won me $800 in draft kings last season, but because the guy averaged 5.1 YPC when given an opportunity. As a starter in Miami, he’ll bring the touches up with that YPC. No, I’M NOT even considering Jordan Howard for anything!
I know plenty of sleepers I could go over, but I have more positions to speak on before the season starts. I encourage you all to do your homework, and I’ll pop back in with the next piece on WRs.