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Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

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Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby scotch27 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 2:23 pm

This is a tough topic to start writing on, as I believe there are many ways to look at it. Most people have had it engrained in their heads that you have to at least think about going RB - RB in the first 2 rounds of the draft. Now you may deviate from that, but thats the only consistent strategy most people go in with..

I believe this is a perfect year to base a change of strategy, and one that backs up a change in the way the game is being played (both real and fantasy). When I look at a standard Yahoo League this year, here's what I find at this point in the season:

- Top 4 players are QBs.
- 6 of the top 10, and 10 of the top 15 players are QBs (and one of them is Brees who is just barely taking off the training wheels).
- only 4 of the top 15 are RBs (peterson, westbrook, LT, and addai), and 3 of those have or are dealing with injury issues.
- Randy Moss is a freak, and comes in at the 9-spot.

Answering the inevitable questions:

Yes, you are correct, your league will have to draft a total of 20-30 total RBs to start the season, and there is obviously a huge gap in the performance of the 1st compared to that of the last. SO WHAT? How many of those guys that end up on the top or the botton were expected to finish in that slot? How many people have wasted high draft picks this year on LJ, Alexander, Maroney, Henry (should I keep going?)..McGahee, Bush, Edge....only to see them, at this point in the season, get ridiculously outscored by every AFC QB.

Yes, you can get the QBs in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounds. WHY?? Why are these guys still available? Look at the # of injuries RBs deal with every year. I won last years' fantasy league (my first championship) with Ladell Betts and Marion Barber. Not that they didn't have good #s - but they certainly weren't expected to.

At the end of the day, most fantasy teams will be starting 1 or 2 different RBs at the end of the season than at the start. Why do we put so much stock in a position with so much turnover, unpredictability, and injury concerns. Sure, you grab LT at the start of the draft, but do you wait til that 20th pick comes around on the snake to grab freakin Jamal Lewis?

Other than a few proven RBs that have displayed reliability, endurance, and that extreme talent for the game (I can really only think of 1 at this point) - and aren't a product of an amazing system or just happen to be in a nice contract year - I don't know why we employ a strategy that involves placing all your money in the most risky position in the game. NFL teams don't do it anymore - thats why we see more RBBC every year. Priest Holmes is back for ***** sake !!!
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Re: Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby The Lung » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:26 pm


It's an entertaining thought and one that I'm sure thousands of Cafe members will want to weigh in on. However, it's simply something that we'll have an entire offseason to discuss, and a full season's worth of data to use. I'm not saying that others shouldn't feel free to get the debate going now, but I know that I'm personally going to wait until January or February before I attack this topic. ;-D


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Re: Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby jdogg_ffc » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:33 pm

Great topic! Please re-post in about 9 months.
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Re: Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby eagle0588 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:48 am

i think it is since a lot of teams are using RBBC with only a few teams that use a single back exclusively. the QB and WR position is what i'm targeting for the following year, of course i'm gonna aim for tom brady as my first pick
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Re: Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby dream_017 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:08 am

OK, looking at my scoring:
1 pt 20 yds passing
1 pt 10 yds rush/receiving
6 TD rush/rec
4 TD pass

The top 9 are QBs....but who had Derek Anderson as a top QB draft pick? OK, bad example, what about Favre? Roethlisberger? Yeah, all 3 are in the top 5 in scoring.

What about WRs. Where did you have Randy Moss on draft day? What about B Edwards?

What I am trying to point out is that although the RB position seems to be lackluster, the same would be said if people drafted QBs or WRs in the 1st round instead of RBs. Here is some more:
My top 5 on draft day at the QB/RB/WR position and where they are currently ranked:
Peyton Manning - 7th QB - 7th overall
Drew Brees - 9th QB - 9th overall
Carson Palmer - 6th QB - 6th overall
Marc Bulger - 21st QB - 42nd overall
Tom Brady - 1st QB - 1st overall
LaDainian Tomlinson - 3rd RB - 15th overall
Steven Jackson - 30th RB - 100th overall
Larry Johnson - 17th RB - 60th overall
Brian Westbrook - 1st RB - 12th overall
Shaun Alexander - 35th RB - 114th overall
Steve Smith - 16th WR - 63rd overall
Torry Holt - 11th WR - 50th overall
Chad Johnson - 8th - WR - 43rd overall
Marvin Harrison - 77th WR - 206th overall
Reggie Wayne - 5th WR - 28th overall

Sure QBs look pretty good even based on my above results, but you have to remember the difference between the scoring in that postion is not as great and you usually only start 1 compared to 2 or 3 RB/WR.

I'm sticking with my RB drafting ;-D
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Re: Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby chipper » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:11 am

Wow, both Scotch and Dream make very good points here.

It's tough to tell if these circumstances are just specific to this year, or a new trend that will last for a good amount of time.

The one thing I find to be a big factor, is having the room to add the new RB's that pop up each year. There are inevitably several RB's that pop up due to injury/ineffectiveness, and if someone is on the ball they can obviously benefit by these adds during the year. However, if you are sitting and waiting for someone like Sean Alexander or Laurence Maroney to start producing, you may not always have the room to add these RB's (as you most likely have to use your bench spots to help you in areas you did not draft early).

I think the way I'll be going next year is to go ahead and draft the safest RB that I can with my first pick, and then go ahead and grab a QB & WR before I take my second RB, who as the other poster said, is in the class of a Jamal Lewis anyway.

Who knows though, it's like Scotch said, if you had gone WR and QB early this year, you may have ended up with Steve Smith, Marvin Harrison and Marc Bulger. No one projected Moss to do what he's done. In fact, if you had used your first 2 picks on RB's this year, you most likely could have taken Moss with your third. It's really all just hindsight, which is how every fantasy draft is.
Last edited by chipper on Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby russellzisky » Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:23 am

I don't think there's anything wrong with posting this topic while the season is going on ... sometimes you can make the best analysis that way because instead of reading people's forecasting you're actually able to observe what's really happening on the field and with team's offensive philosophies.

I haven't delved fully into it, but I agree it's much more wide open than it used to be. I think because so many teams are going RBBC it makes the backs who do happen to carry the load that much more valuable... Treat makes a good counterpoint too, though, there is definitely a debate here on both sides and I honestly don't know the answer to it yet.
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Re: Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby FatFoot » Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:09 pm

You draft RBs first due to positional scarcity.

Look at your league player records. How many RBs have played the whole season, uninjured? And of those, how many have performed well? Necessarily, in a year like this, since only one team can have Brady and only one team can have Moss, you NEED STARTING RUNNING BACK DEPTH.

If anything, this year's results mean "You need MORE running backs, not FEWER" and the better rbs tend to be gone by the 3rd round.

If you want to make an argument that "Because of guys like Brady and Moss" etc... then you have to say "My strategy is to get outrageously lucky, drafting players who have double their normal season stats, when no one predicted that it would be this significant. Additionally, my strategy is to pick players from teams that do not rest starters when they blow teams out, and have no problem scoring 56-10."

If the strategy is to pick up QBs in the early rounds, because they outscore RBs, all you have to do is pay a little attention to drafts and notice that the first QBs taken this year: Manning and Palmer, are not in the top 5 QBs in FF this year... so that reach didn't pan out too well for those teams, did it? I got Favre in the 9th. Romo was taken in the 7th. Brady was taken in the 4th or 5th. There was NO REASON to reach, at all. There was NO REASON this year to take anything but a RB in the first 2 rounds, IMO.

I think there will be reason to reach for Moss and Brady next year. I think those are necessarily 1st rounders, on the off chance that the Pats are as good as they are this year, again next year, and that they run up the score like they are doing now. But that's TWO DRAFT PICKS out of the hundreds in your league. If you don't get one or the other, that's the end of the debate, IMO.
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Re: Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby JasonSeahorn » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:04 pm

you get the running backs early because running backs are consistent points. having guys like LT, peterson or westbrook get multiple tds is nice and all but you draft running backs that you feel won't bust because they get consistent points. many of the top wides not named TO and moss right now were definitely not in the top 5 group of wides, they were mostly drafted in the 4th round or even later. imo you get those 2 good rbs in the first few rounds, then get a big group of wides (5?) that you feel can all do good. in one of my teams i drafted javon walker as my 1st wide, and i took hines ward and coles as afterthoughts because they were the best people there. no way i thought javon would be my least valuable wide.

the other important thing to remember with wides are that new ones will emerge during the year, and you just have to be ready and willing to play the WW to find them. it is kind of a crap shoot.

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Re: Drafting RBs 1st and 2nd - Should be a thing of the Past???

Postby jcde7ago » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:10 pm

For me, i think the biggest indicator of whether or not you draft RB/RB consecutively is strictly based on your draft position.

For example, in a 12-team league, i was lucky to get the 1st pick; obviously, that honor went to LT. However, by the time my 2nd pick would come around i knew there would be little chance i could get a 2nd elite RB option, and Manning was long gone so i nabbed Brady/T.O. back to back with my 2nd/3rd sandwich picks. That gave me a nice, top-tier core at the QB, WR and RB positions. Then i just played vulture and tried to draft to fill in the rest of my positions based on value. On my 4th and 5th sandwich picks i was able to grab Moss and Barber; on my 6th and 7th picks Lynch and Branch. Needless to say, based on this year this team has pretty much dominated.

Now if you're drafting toward the end, say 10-12th position, then i would go RB/RB. Even still, with the lack of quality QB's in the NFL, a very good argument can be made by going RB/QB. Either way, drafting an elite core at RB/QB/WR to me in that order this year has somewhat changed my drafting strategy pretty much from now on; if i am a top 2-3 pick, i'll probably opt out of an RB/RB/WR situation and instead nab a top tier QB. Regardless of any argument made to prove importance of stud RB's, i really, REALLY can't stress enough the need for a good QB as well. If you want to talk about position scarcity, QB is where it's at, and it shows this year. One guy has Edge, Addai and ADP and was consistently beat by lower teams due to McNabb's poor performances. I can't stress enough how imperative it is that your QB gets you those 15-20 points every week, especially when offenses seem to be airing it out more these days.

And wideouts? Let's not even go there. It's been a feast at this position this year...and as the lucky owner of both T.O. and Randy Moss, i think i'll just ride this scoring train while i can... :-b
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