Last night I was crunching some numbers using the FFPC API when I decided to check out how Zero RB teams in those drafts were filling their RB spots. I defined a team as being Zero RB-ish if it had one or fewer RBs through five rounds. I could have been more strict about interpretation of the strategy but I figured that would give me a good window into how owners that avoid RBs early are approaching the position later.
The table below is the result of filtering drafts to find those Zero RB teams and then aggregating to see which RBs they owned the most number of times. Comments are in the table. Also be sure to check out Shawn Siegele’s series on Zero RB candidates since three of his top five are on the list below.
|LeGarrette Blount||80.55||66||Even though you might worried about getting Belichick’d, the fact that NE doesn’t seem to have a really good idea on who will fill the Vereen role does seem like it benefits Blount. In any case, you should be able to guess as to when you can start Blount based on the opponent. It won’t be perfect but nothing in fantasy is.|
|Bishop Sankey||105.74||65||Sankey has been drifting into the 10th round lately, although whether or not he ends up a value has more to do with role than it does with cost. It’s a binary issue at this point. Either Sankey will be the lead back in that offense and will be startable as a RB2 most weeks, or he’ll be replaced by Cobb… or he’ll be in a committee. I guess it might not be binary. I own enough Sankey to be rooting hard for him to prove his doubters wrong.|
|Devonta Freeman||90.12||64||Tevin Coleman also appears on this list, so Zero RB drafters are taking shots on both ATL RBs. If you could tell me today who will win the job I would definitely draft that player in the 8th round. But I haven’t been ending up with either of them lately. I think I have some late July exposure to Tevin Coleman. However, I should unequivocally say that I think Freeman would be startable if he’s the lead back in ATL.|
|Ryan Mathews||105.76||63||It’s possible that you could draft Mathews and get something like low end flex starter production out of him weekly. That won’t be enough to win your league. But if DeMarco Murray gets injured at any point then Mathews could be a league winner|
|Danny Woodhead||91.92||61||I was trying to load up on Woodhead when he was in the 10th and 11th rounds but he’s actually been getting more expensive lately. This is probably a function of Melvin Gordon’s lack of buzz during training camp. I tend to think that Woodhead’s value probably operates independently of Gordon’s. Considering that Woodhead was very productive in 2013, maybe I shouldn’t be backing off in the ninth round.|
|Alfred Blue||97.11||61||Blue is the nominal starter and is available in the 10th round. I think that’s about all you can say for him, and honestly I think that might be enough.|
|Doug Martin||70.78||60||Shawn Siegele covered Martin here.|
|Giovani Bernard||66.08||59||Bernard seems like he has a pretty high floor and his ceiling would be pretty high if Jeremy Hill misses time.|
|Isaiah Crowell||89.53||59||I’m not saying that Crowell couldn’t win the job, or be effective, but it’s crazy to me that if he’s going to win the job he hasn’t done it yet. What’s a reasonable explanation for what we’re seeing that doesn’t also kill Crowell’s value during the season as well – basically, if you don’t trust the CLE coaches to play the more talented guy, should you draft Crowell and hope the coaches have a change of heart?|
|Shane Vereen||73.43||56||Maybe you just get a back who racks up a bunch of receptions, or maybe you get the next Tiki Barber?|
|Joique Bell||77.85||53||This pick is basically like eating broccoli. You don’t want to do it, there’s really no upside, and yet it’s probably good for you. #BroccoliHotTakesBell is getting older, has injury issues, hasn’t played in the preseason, and yet his odds of being a contributor are probably being underrated.|
|Tevin Coleman||81.79||52||It’s kind of interesting that Coleman is still going in front of Devonta Freeman in drafts. I would prefer to see Coleman win the job just because his big play ability gives him a higher ceiling. But missing training camp isn’t helping. The good news is that when Coleman does get healthy he only has to outplay Devonta Freeman to win the job. This pick has some downside because it’s not a worthless pick. If Coleman ends up behind Freeman on the season you’ll wish you’d drafted another player. But it also has a lot of upside as well.|
|David Cobb||117.13||52||If you’re handicapping the TEN RB race at this point, what odds would you give Cobb to win the job conditional on Sankey receiving the first reps in each preseason game? I would probably give a 60% chance to Sankey. I guess we’ll see how it shakes out during the all important third preseason game.|
|Andre Williams||169.29||51||I like Williams just because I tend to underrate the most recent results for RBs. Maybe the carries you saw out of Williams in his rookie year were meaningful, or maybe it was just the result of small sample size. The further a player is from the mean on a small sample, the more I expect them to bounce back. I essentially have no talent reservations about Williams. I would love to own him and hope that he ends up on the waiver wire at some point so I can grab him.|