Running Back Value Dwindling in Fantasy FB

On November 24, 2015, in NFL, by Stephen

Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, Justin Forsett and Dion Lewis. All out for the season.

Other stud running backs missing multiple games. Continued emphasis on passing rather than running.

No, minimum running back strategy isn’t just a fad but is becoming the accepted way to play fantasy football.

Loading up on receivers at the expense of running backs is the way to go. Nearly every star running back with the exception of Adrian Peterson has missed time this season. There’s a bit of irony to this given that Peterson, the league’s leading rusher, is 30 and missed 15 games last season due to suspension. Some questioned if he could perform to his past high standards.

He’s come through – so far. But most haven’t. Among the many high draft pick disappointments are Eddie Lacy, Jeremy Hill, DeMarco Murray, Alfred Morris, Melvin Gordon, Carlos Hyde, Marshawn Lynch and C.J. Anderson.

The winning formula nowadays is take receivers with your first three or four picks and then draft your quarterback in the middle rounds where you’ll likely still have a choice of Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Eli Manning and Derek Carr.

Then worry about a running back, or even throw darts at the end of your draft attempting to land a starter.

Devonta Freeman went middle to late in most drafts. He’s No. 1 in rushing touchdowns with nine and fifth in rushing yards. Rejuvenated Chris Johnson is No. 3 in rushing yards yet he went undrafted in some leagues. Darren McFadden also went undrafted in some leagues and he’s the 12th-leading rusher in the league.

Doug Martin, Latavious Murray and Chris Ivory were all-middle round picks and they rank No. 2, No. 7 and No. 8, respectively, in rushing yards.

Wide receivers, on the other hand, have played more true to form. Ranked in the top 10 in receiving yards are Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Demaryious Thomas, Odell Beckham Jr., A.J. Green, Calvin Johnson and Rob Gronkowski.

Receivers, not running backs, can be trusted more. Sure a quarterback injury can prove devastating to a top wide receiver’s value. We saw that in Dallas when Tony Romo went down for seven games.

But Romo and Andrew Luck have been the only top-flight quarterbacks to suffer a serious injury through 11 weeks this season. Quarterbacks are just too well protected by the rules.

Running fullbacks are extinct. I go back to far enough to have seen Jim Brown, Jim Taylor and Larry Csonka. They were all fullbacks. The position has long been out of style. Tailbacks, halfbacks, featured backs, or whatever the fashionable name is they’re called these days, always will be around even if they are just decoys for play-action passes, or there to block.

Running backs don’t have the impact anymore and are too prone too injury. This 2015 season has just reinforced that growing notion.


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