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Taking Advantage of RBBCs

Running back by committee (RBBC) is an approach that many NFL teams have been turning to during the last few years, and it appears to be gaining more steam. While this system helps many real teams, it is a thorn in most fantasy footballers’ backsides. The last few fantasy seasons have shown that preseason is often the time to strike when it comes to taking advantage of RBBC.

That is, unless, your team’s runningbacks consist of Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson and/or Ray Rice. If you rewind the clock a few years, however, these three studs were initially devalued because of the potential for competition.

This season there are a number of potential running back committees. Teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans and Washington Redskins all have situations where multiple backs are competing for playing time. While common fantasy knowledge claims that it is usually best to avoid drafting these players altogether, sometimes you will land one of these players later in the draft or pick up a failing dynasty team of someone who was stashing a bunch of mediocre backs in hopes that one would become a stud. To help deal with these dilemmas, I have given three strategies that have helped me win in my leagues when it comes to dealing with RBBC.

1. The first strategy is to trade up. Often times a player will acquire or draft the secondary back in a committee. Take this scenario for example: you acquire Larry Johnson, but another player already has Clinton Portis. Many times you can trade the secondary back and another one of your players such as a wide receiver for a more productive option. You lose a sporadic running back option, but improve another position.

2. Strategy number two: strike quickly. A prime example of this rule is during the draft when

acquired LenDale White. Most fantasy football sites began to build the hype about the reemergence of White and his connection to Pete Carroll. Congratulations to anyone who pulled the trigger on that trade. With so many options at running back for

, White’s potential was mediocre at best. Now he’s standing in the unemployment line and his fantasy potential for 2010 is practically zero. Overvalued backs in a committee can often be used as trade bait to improve your team in other areas, while getting rid of the fat … too bad that theory didn’t work for ‘Lenwhale.’

3. Look for the deals. Sometimes you can snatch a decent running back from another player in your league for cheap. While a lot of sites are putting down Matt Forte this year, I personally think he will have a great year. He is especially valuable in dynasty leagues, seeing that his only competition is already past thirty, the dreaded age for running backs. I recommend Forte as a low second to high third-string fantasy back when acquiring him in a trade, just know that he has the potential for much more. Other backs that can be acquired for much less than they are actually worth are Ricky Williams, Arian Foster and Justin Forsett.

In order to win in fantasy football you have to be aggressive and, very often, take risks. These three strategies help you take risks while losing little if your player’s season does not go the way you envisioned. Instead of avoiding RBBC like the plague, use common sense and make them work to your advantage.

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