Man in a Box: The myth of small RBs
With the bulk of Fantasy Football drafts coming in the next two weeks, it's really time to start nailing down your strategy. After dissecting the backfields around the NFL the last two weeks, you know how important I think it is to come away with at least two reliable full time running backs. Sure there are going to be running backs popping up on the waiver wire during the season, but while other owners are scrambling around trying to figure out which RBs might get half of a job, you'll be able to focus on the more volatile values at wide receiver.
Other than an emphasis on running backs, though, you can't head into a draft with a set plan. Every draft is different and successful owners are able to adjust on the fly. Get your RBs and then simply take the best player that falls to you. The owners that win are those that really know who the best players are. Too many times, Fantasy owners listen to too much of the buzz coming from the Fantasy industry or they follow the ADPs without questioning whether it's best for their team. Remember, ADPs are what other people are doing, not necessarily what you should do. If you can ignore the preconceived notions pumped out by many Fantasy sites and enter your draft with your mind focused solely on talent and opportunity, you'll be headed for a playoff season.
Don't know what preconceived notions I'm talking about? I'm talking about when the industry makes generalizations about players without really looking at the individual. For instance:
I keep hearing how
Instead of lumping these smaller running backs together, we need to look at their individual skills when we make our Fantasy evaluations. Spiller and Best are in entirely different situations. Spiller averaged about 16 carries per game in his final year of college. So despite his high draft slot, he didn't even carry the full load in college. The questions about durability and his ability to run between the tackles in the NFL are valid. He's also facing some pretty solid competition in
Best is in a different situation. He faces virtually no competition for regular carries and even has a shot of getting the ball at the goal line. By all accounts, Best has excelled running the ball inside as well as his explosive outside bursts. Best did miss time last year with concussion problems, which could be an issue, but he's no more of a health risk than 90 percent of other NFL running backs. Getting hit by huge men is a health risk, period. Ask
Yes, the Ravens have some nice offensive weapons. Three outstanding receivers and one of the game's best receivers out of the backfield give Flacco nice ammunition to work with. They don't change what he is, though. Sometimes a strong QB makes a receiver look better than they are and sometimes it works the other way around. The point is that Flacco is a QB who shows flashes, but is wildly inconsistent, as evidenced by his poor play for much of the second half of 2009. The new arsenal won't hurt, but Flacco is still a marginal Fantasy QB until he proves otherwise. In a related note, don't expect Boldin to suddenly morph back into a WR1 either. His lack of red zone action has made him a borderline WR1 for the last few years and that was with Kurt Warner feeding him the ball. The change of scenery just brings more variables into the equation.
Gore's 1,120 yards and 10 TDs in 2009 look nice, especially considering that he missed two games with injuries. If you look at his game logs though, it tells a different story. He ran for more than 100 yards just five times and was held under 75 yards seven times. This isn't rotisserie baseball where we just look at final numbers. I need a running back that shows up each week and helps me win games. Gore is going to have some huge days, but he also disappears. Many experts are also downplaying the addition of
Putting a Close to 2011: That's right I said 2011. The following middle relievers could end up closing games next year. Shrewd owners in Keeper leagues can snag serious value while others are focusing on pigskin.