Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Zero-RB Skeptic Shows Why It Won't Work This Year

Senior analyst Dr. Roto uses our Mock Draft Simulator to show why the Zero-RB Draft Strategy won't really work in 2020.
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If you haven’t tried our Mock Draft Simulator, I want you to stop whatever you are doing and go there immediately!

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It is my favorite mock draft tool, and you can practice your strategies as many times as you like in a matter of minutes. If you like your team, you can enter it into the free-to-play Mock Draft World Championships where you can win a bunch of cool prizes. The best part is that it’s free to enter. I came in second and fourth overall last year in this contest, so I am determined to win it this year.

One of the other great things about the tool is that it allows me to employ different strategies to see how they might fare when I draft in my high-stakes leagues. Recently, I have been hearing a few experts reignite the Zero-RB theory draft strategy, which many fantasy managers began to employ over the past five or so seasons. But can it work in 2020? I don’t believe it will; however, I decided to do a mock draft to find out.

Scroll to the bottom of the article to see the draft board and my roster.

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In Round 1, I passed on Derrick Henry, who I would have normally taken to select Davante Adams. Some people might disagree with me, but I think that Adams is the second-best wide receiver in fantasy football this season. His target share will be enormous, and he is a virtual lock for double-digit TDs.

My next three picks were WR Chris Godwin, WR Allen Robinson, and WR A.J. Brown. So, through Round 4, I could not have been more excited as I have four terrific wide receivers who should all catch 80+ passes and have 1000+ receiving yards. At this point, the Zero-RB theory is beginning to look good. Or does it?

In Rounds 5-6, I knew that I needed to take two running backs. I was surprised by the quality of the running backs left, but I also realized that each of them has a potential flaw. In trying to decide between Raheem Mostert, Kareem Hunt, Cam Akers, D’Andre Swift, or Ronald Jones, I knew I had to pick the two safest players because I could ill afford to take on too much risk since I had waited for five rounds to select my first running back.

In Round 5, I decided to take Raheem Mostert. Mostert saw his value begin to slide when he asked for a trade, but since then, he has re-signed with the 49ers, and they are committed to running the football. I know that they have Tevin Coleman and Jerick McKinnon as well, but I also know that Mostert looked phenomenal during the 49ers playoff run last season, and I think he can build off that success. I debated selecting Kareem Hunt, but I wanted to avoid the whole Nick Chubb & Kareem Hunt touches fiasco. I also debated Cam Akers, but I secretly thought that he might last to my next pick, and I knew that Mostert wouldn’t.

What I love so much about this mock drafting tool is that we use the current ADPs from our ongoing high-stakes leagues. Some sites you go to do not provide a high-quality ADP, which seems to inflate mock draft teams' results. With this tool, both Hunt and Akers were gone before I picked next much like what would happen in a real-life draft.

At this point, I needed to decide between D’Andre Swift and Ronald Jones. I was very tempted to take Jones and go with the Godwin, Jones, and Brady Tampa stack, but I took the better player in Swift. I hope that Swift's ability shines through and that he separates himself from Kerryon Johnson in the Lions’ running back pecking order. Between Mostert and Swift, I am not entirely unhappy with the results. Still, I know that both are in running back committees, and had I taken Derrick Henry in the first round, I would have at least one bell-cow running back who I know will get 280+ carries and double-digit TDs.

I took Cohen and Love because this format is PPR, and I think that both players will catch a lot of passes. I also took two of the better tight ends in Higbee and Gesicki because if I am using the Zero-RB theory, I know that my tight ends need to be strong.

When the draft is over, the site gives each team a grade. I received a B+ (88/100) and ranked seventh place out of 12 teams. Not horrible, but not exactly the result I was wanted. There are probably many fantasy managers who will debate some of my selections (like Higbee over Brees, Ryan, or Brady), but I know that in a high-stakes format, I always want to wait until Round 9 or later to get my QB.

I encourage you all to head to MockDraftNow.com and see how the Zero-RB theory works for you. If you get an A+ grade for your mock from the site, I will be incredibly impressed!

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Roster

  • QB: Daniel Jones and Matthew Stafford
  • RB: Raheem Mostert, D’Andre Swift, Tarik Cohen, and Bryce Love
  • WR: Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, A.J. Brown, Darius Slayton, and Justin Jefferson
  • TE: Tyler Higbee and Mike Gesicki
  • K: Justin Tucker
  • Def: Broncos
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If you haven’t tried our Mock Draft Simulator, I want you to stop whatever you are doing and go there immediately!

It is my favorite mock draft tool, and you can practice your strategies as many times as you like in a matter of minutes. If you like your team, you can enter it into the free-to-play Mock Draft World Championships where you can win a bunch of cool prizes. The best part is that it’s free to enter. I came in second and fourth overall last year in this contest, so I am determined to win it this year.

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