By: Andrew “Fish” Fain
If you have ever listened to the best Fantasy Podcast on the airwaves, Fantasy JAM, hosted by yours truly and the amazing Chad “The Buffalo” Setera, on the Inscriber Digital Media Network and Blog Talk Radio every Thursday night from 7-8:30p est, you have heard us shout until we are blue in the face (or in my case green in the hair) that in the first round you better grab a top tier Running Back and skip all the QB’s until at least Round 5.
I know many of you eschew this strategy when you see with pick number 9 that Aaron Rodgers is just sitting there. So, like a Pavlovian Sheppard, you drool so much so that he is the guy you pick. You smile to yourself and think, I got Rodgers in the first round, how can I lose?
It is easy, instead of grabbing a great back like CJ Anderson or Matt Forte you get Rodgers. So in the 2nd round you end up with Justin Forsett or Lamar Miller as your first RB. Even with Rodgers, you are already so far behind the 8-Ball you might as well be playing for next season.
Look the reasoning behind it all is not only quite simple but makes undeniable sense. First let me say, I am not in any way knocking Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck or any other QB that may be taken way too early.
The fantasy difference between Rodgers and say a Matt Ryan or Eli Manning or Philip Rivers is much smaller than the fantasy difference between CJ Anderson and Bishop Sankey. I realize that it is a jarring analogy, but think of it this way, the round where you are grabbing Sankey is the same round that Ryan and Manning are going. So shockingly the analogy works.
Another point people seem to continually forget is that if you do not take a RB in the first round, for the rest of the draft you will feel like you are playing catch-up. That is a feeling that can ruin draft strategy’s and in turn, entire fantasy seasons. You need to be able to clear headed in every round, and if you feel like you gotta have an RB, you will always reach a little further than you probably should.
While if you skip the first round QB, that feeling never quite materializes. It seems almost Zen like how the rest of the draft falls into place. Then when the 5th, 6th or 7th round and you decide now is the time to grab your QB, the team you have assembled around that QB will be more than solid enough to cover any shortcomings the QB you finally got may have.
Finally the item that needs mentioning is the changing of state of the NFL. While the league used to be a running league, with all the rule protecting WR’s and QB’s it has become very much a passing league. Which means the days of the workhorse back are coming to a close, and what’s left is a lot of RBC’s (Running Backs by Committee).
So when you have a chance to grab one of those 7 or 8 true workhorses, you HAVE to take it. I am telling you now leaving them on the board is like giving your opponents points, and you wouldn’t want to do that.