Matthias wrote:what it comes down to is points and point predictability. last week very likely will be manning's nadir. it's all well and good to start saying there will be a handful of qb's close to him and that there will be 8 rb's who will out value-pick him, but christ people... have you stuck out your necks and said WHO THOSE PEOPLE ARE???
You're right about one thing, the 1st round is all about reliability. You want an every week starter with that first pick. Assuming people go with the RB first strategy, lets consider the reliability of 1st and 2nd round RBs in a 12 team league, standard scoring, and lineups.
LT, Priest, Alexander, Duece, Edge, Willis, Portis, DD, Rudi, KJ, JJ, Green, Westbrook, Tiki, Dillon, Lewis, Jackson, Jordan.
Of these 18 RBs only KJ and Lewis have had back to back bad games. Everyone else still remains an every week starter. Are there a couple bad games, and concerns, yes, but there always are with almost every player until the season is done. The point is that the overwhelming majority of these guys are putting up solid points.
Now consider the next 32 RBs, so we've got the entire top 50 drafted:
Dunn, Caddy, F. Taylor, and that's it. No one else in that group can be considered an every week starter, remotely unless out of necessity. Willie Parker didn't even crack the top 50, but we'll throw him in as he's clearly the only every week starter left. That gives us 4 out of 32 of the RBs after round 2 panned out. Not good.
13 out of the current top 24 RBs (in a 12 team league those would ideally be the "starting" RBs) were taken in the first two rounds. Considering how impactful one fluke game can be this early, expect that number to rise steadily throughout the season. Now let's consider when the current top 12 (starting level) QBs were taken(ADP):
McNabb - 3.09
Palmer - 7.08
Collins - 5.10
Dilfer - 17.01
Big Ben - 12.01
Bledsoe - 14.02
Hasselbeck - 6.10
Bulger - 5.01
Brady - 7.05
Favre - 6.07
Ferotte - 17.02
Leftwich - 10.03
There are two key differences here:
1) The elite tier Manning, Culpepper, McNabb. Only McNabb has performed to even starting quality for a fantasy QB. Unlike RBs, where all 3 of the consensus elite RBs (Priest, LT, and Alexander) have performed to at least starting quality.
2) In the middle rounds(5th through 7th), you could reliably (6 out of 9) get a QB who performed at a starting quality level. But for RBs taken in the middle rounds, only 2 out of 10 are at starting quality level. 66% chance of getting a good QB in those rounds, only 20% for RBs.
This rapid decline in reliability amongst RBs compared to other positions is why you take RBs first. So while you may not be able to claim specifically which RBs will be top 10 or 12, you know that you stack the odds in your favor by taking RBs in the first two rounds.