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Thursday, August 4, 2016

2016 Fantasy Football: When to draft a Running Back

Ready to have your mind blown? I'll cut to the chase. I don't care what pick you have in the 1st round, do NOT take a running back. Ready to have your mind blown a 2nd time? OK... in round 2, do NOT take a running back!!

So here's my thesis... the running back position is so convoluted and volatile, that it just doesn't make sense to take a running back in the early rounds. So now let me back it up with some data.

Let's take a random fantasy site, I'll use ESPN. If you look back at their 2015 rankings for running backs before the season started, here's the top 12...

1. LeVeon Bell
2. Adrian Peterson
3. Eddie Lacy
4. Jamaal Charles
5. Marshawn Lynch
6. CJ Anderson
7. Matt Forte
8. Demarco Murray
9. LeSean McCoy
10. Jeremy Hill
11. Mark Ingram
12. Alfred Morris

Now take a wild guess how many of those RB's actually finished in the top 12? Take a guess! Peterson finished 2nd, so he earned his keep. Forte finished 8th, so he was fine. And that is where the story ends. Only 2 out of the top 12 highest ranked Running Backs actually panned out. Those are absolutely horrific odds. So why would anybody in their right mind want to roll the dice on a Running Back in the first 2 rounds, when you know that the odds are stacked against you?

Well, before we answer that question, let's look at the top 12 highest ranked Wide Receivers entering 2015 draft season...

1. Antonio Brown
2. Demaryius Thomas
3. Dez Bryant
4. Odell Beckham Jr.
5. Julio Jones
6. Calvin Johnson
7. AJ Green
8. Randall Cobb
9. Alshon Jeffery
10. TY Hilton
11. Mike Evans
12. DeAndre Hopkins

And so how many of these top ranked Wide Receivers actually finished in the top 12?  Half of them. 6 out of 12. So if you're keeping score, in 2015 drafts, you had a 50% shot of hitting on a top 12 wide receiver, but only a 16.66% shot of getting it right if you went with a top 12 running back.

So in closing, in most of my leagues, I'm inclined to avoid running backs in at least the first 2 rounds, and potentially the 3rd and 4th round as well. I'm a stats guy, and stats don't lie. The stats tell me that I'm safer stacking my Wide Receiver core before I worry about a running back.

Do you want my PERSONAL Draft Guide so you can nail your draft this year? Visit http://www.fantasyfootballaddict.com/ and for only $9.95, it's all yours! You'll also get emails every week during the regular season with my top WAIVER WIRE targets! It's a no-brainer, folks, do it...

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