Fantasy football draft should again be running back-heavy

Fantasy football draft should again be running back-heavy

In the first of a six-part fantasy draft preview series leading up the NFL season, Fantasy Insanity discusses the war-room game plan for the draft. Next week: Tight ends.

Everyone loves the “good ol’ days,” even if we don’t all agree when those good ol’ days actually occurred. Maybe you liked the bell-bottoms of the 1970s, the gar ish neon colors of the ’80s or the grunge trend of the ’90s.

The 2022 fantasy football season is primed to deliver a throwback of its own, to the good ol’ days of running back-heavy drafts. You know what, let the Madman amend that statement: It’s a throwback to the value of those days, even if it won’t be a throwback draft in practice.

Maybe it’s the need to be different, habit based on the assimilation to PPR scoring or just a lack of understanding positional depth, but many will opt for wide receivers early, or even embrace the zero-RB theory.

You can win by doing this, but you have to be lucky. You need the right players to get injured, to draft exactly the right “sleeper” picks or have enough to win free-agent bidding on the right guys at the right time.

On the other hand, if you go RB-heavy early, the only luck you need is to avoid catastrophic injury to one of your top two guys. By no means is that an easy hurdle to clear at that position, but it is a more likely achievement than landing on two direct hits later in drafts or on the waiver wire.

Which brings us to our most important point: The wide receiver position is incredibly deep. You can find quality, startable guys well into the middle rounds. That is much more difficult to do with RBs.

Josh Jacobs
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Thus, the Madman gives his endorsement this election year to early-round running backs. Our confidence in RB options starts to diminish significantly before you reach RB20 — Javonte Williams at RB18 is the last of those we feel comfortable relying upon, and we start to get nervous with James Conner at RB19.

To be fair, our “comfy” WR range begins to drop around WR28 with Gabriel Davis and Adam Thielen, before Treylon Burks and Tyler Locket. But, the caveat is, those WRs go a lot deeper in drafts than the RBs. Even if RBs don’t dominate the first round like they used to, they still populate a disproportionate amount of picks in the first 3-5 rounds.

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