Monday - Feb 18, 2019

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Draft Strategy – 3 of the Top 36 RBs

This article stems from this quote in a thread here at fantasysharks.com in the main tank: “The bolded part is key to me this year. I am a firm believer this year that the Top 36 running backs are key to this year’s draft. I want three of those 36. I’m not particular about how I get those three, but that is the focus of the first 4-5 rounds for me. If during a draft I feel I can snag other guys and stretch that to the fifth or sixth rounds, then great. If not, I think that focusing on that gives me the flexibility later on to grab guys at value. When I look at quarterback and wide receiver I see lots of guys I’m OK with after Rounds 6-7. When I’m looking at running back that is not the case this year at all.”

I was asked to expand on this a little so here it is. First of all, I pulled the No. 36 as a reference and hadn’t given a lot of thought to the actual number. As I was looking at the rankings on our very own site’s front page, I realized that that could be cut down to as much as 32, but 36 would be OK. I choose this range because after this I’m just not comfortable counting on many of the guys after that as an RB3 on my team. Looking at those 32-36 players I discovered that the majority of them were gone somewhere in the Top 80 picks of drafts according to the average draft positions on myfantasyleague.com. A few were lasting as far as 100. That told me that my guess of the top seven rounds was fairly accurate.

I figured the best idea was to take this strategy and try to implement it in a few drafts. Knowing that any strategy can be affected by where you draft in the first round, I did three mocks – one with a Top 4 pick, one from the middle, and one at the end. These are the results with comments click on the “draft” to go to the link: 

Draft 1 <—- A few running backs did last longer than I expected. I could have grabbed someone else when I grabbed my third running back. In the end, though, I ended up with what I feel is a strong team with four of those running backs. I’m happy with my wide receivers and OK with my quarterbacks. I have enough depth, I think, to be OK at all positions.

Draft 2 <—- I feel a little weaker at both running back and wide receiver on this one, but overall I think it would be OK. I would have gone wide receiver in Round 1 here had any of those Top 3 made it to me, but overall I’m happy with this team as well. Again I ended up with four of the running backs so I could have possibly swapped out one of those running back picks for another position, but I feel this worked out again even drafting at the end of Round 1.

Draft 3 <—– I’m feeling good about this team as well. My Top 3 running backs and wide receivers are strong, a strong quarterback, strong tight end. A well-balanced team. A little weak at WR4 but that’s OK. I waited a little longer on running back this time and I think came out with three stronger wide receivers by doing so. Again actually got four out of that original 32-36 running back list, because a few guys dropped a lot further than I’d expect.

Overall, I think this is a strong strategy. Of course some guys drafted might move, and might change the outlook of these three teams. I think going with a wide receiver earlier then a quarterback might be better than doing it the other way around like I did. If you have a strategy you like better I urge you to put it through a test and let us know how it works. Maybe I’ll see yours and tweak mine a little.

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FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.