If you haven’t yet got on board with the Zero Running Back Theory that has been circulating the fantasy football world heavily this offseason, I don’t really blame you.
I myself was a huge skeptic of the idea when I first read about it on Gridiron Experts, but I decided to give it a shot in a few mock drafts. Slowly but surely, I started to become more satisfied with my teams. Finally, I decided to try it out in one of my real drafts. I had the seventh pick in a PPR/2-flex position league, and here were my results:
First of all, I don’t think anybody would be displeased with the receivers on this team. In rounds one-four, I selected Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Antonio Brown respectively. While people were busy snatching up running backs and quarterbacks who carry a ton of risks, I took four players who are almost guaranteed to be consistent performers week in and week out. In fact, according to the good folks of Fantasy Football Calculator, all four of my wide receivers are projected as top-ten performers based on this scoring league. Even if one of them underperforms, I have viable backups in Mike Wallace and Brandin Cooks, who will be waiting to fill their shoes on the bench.
I was able to select Andre Ellington in the fifth round, which is an absolute steal in my book. Ellington was already heavily involved in the Arizona Cardinals‘ passing game, and head coach Bruce Arians has already proclaimed that Ellington will be the focal point of the Cardinals’ rushing attack this year. The new weapon for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Toby Gerhart, is one of the most undervalued players in fantasy football this year, and I think he has top-15 value. It is amazing he is still available in rounds five-seven. I don’t need my running backs to be superstars in order for me to win this league. I just need them to perform up to expectations, and anything else is gravy on top. On my bench, you’ll find the following potential sleepers: Lamar Miller, Jeremy Hill, Andre Williams and overlooked Fred Jackson.
In conclusion, I know this strategy can seem frightening at first. However, with practice and research, it can really help propel your game to the next level. Do your research, stay safe in rounds one-four and draft running backs with upside and sleepers later in the draft. If you can implement this strategy successfully, winning your league title might not be a far-fetched idea any longer. Enjoy!
Author: Jon Sousa
Connect with Jon on Twitter at @JonsFFAdvice for more draft strategies and advice
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