We all have heard the talk about being a passing league and how wide receivers are the new target of fantasy football players. The problem with it being a passing league should mean the opposite, running back is now more than ever the position to target. You might be asking yourself how does that make any sense, but by the end of this you will see what I mean and how true it is.
I broke down the top 60 and top 90 point getters in fantasy football at this point in the season at the position of WR/RB/TE. The point system used was a standard format – no points per receptions and no bonuses, strictly yards and touchdowns. This way we can find true value for three different positions and put them all into one equal section. The stats showed it is a passing league, but the reaction shouldn’t be to key in on receivers. It should be the opposite.
First the numbers show us there is no receiver in the top five and only three in the top 10. The three players were DeSean Jackson of Philadelphia Eagles, Jordy Nelson of Green Bay Packers, and Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons, of which only one of them was a top 50 pick based on the average draft position for this year’s fantasy football drafts. The number four wide receiver is Eddie Royal of the San Diego Chargers who went undrafted this year but was top free agent pick up for week two. The Pittsburgh receiver, Antonio Brown wraps up the top five fantasy wide receivers and he was a sixth round or later pick. I show these names and numbers just to show you could have waited on three of the top five receivers until after the fifth round in this year’s fantasy leagues.
I feel we could end this now and we would see taking Dez Bryant in the second round was foolish, but that’s not enough for me. I want us to see what an error it is to think the wide receiver is becoming more important in fantasy football than running backs. The top 90 point getters in fantasy football to this point in the season house 48 wide receivers, which is over half. The running backs number 29 and tight ends tally 13 in the top 90 players. That sounds like a loud and clear message that gets only louder when I reduced the list to top 60. The top 60 holds 29 receivers, 22 running backs, and nine tight ends.
The numbers that stick out to me are in running back and tight end positions where the numbers only decrease by four at tight end and seven at running back. This shows us the depth for points in those positions are not as deep as it is for receiver. The tight end is a little misleading because those players will fall in a draft due to other players drafting depth before a starting TE, which is a great plan. Without Julius Thomas playing this week the closest TE to catch Jimmy Graham is Jordan Cameron, who is trailing by 8 points. That is less than a 3 point per game advantage but average draft position is over 100 picks different. So let’s not waste a second round pick on a TE for now at least.
The running back takes up 2 spots at least on most fantasy teams line ups and most would love to play one as their flex if they have the option. This is an old school approach but is truer than ever. Teams have less single back systems, less carries, and fewer opportunities for most backs. That all being true leaves us with the mind set of why bother getting one, but the question should be how do I get two or three of them? The answer is simple, when others are reaching for a TE, QB, or now a WR, go get your RB early and often. You can even reach on a couple knowing that the other key positions will be there later on.
Even if you don’t like it after you will be able to trade one because people will be looking for one like its gold back in 1849. The real question is how you can wait when looking at the numbers because if you do there won’t be any to get! It is funny how history will find a way to repeat itself and it’s seen today in the state of fantasy football and the way to draft a champion caliber team.
Feel free to reach out anytime and contact me on Twitter @Coachf22. I am always here to help and answer every question that comes my way. Remember you can’t win if you don’t play!