Last July, I wrote an article about the running back dead zone — basically, RBs picked in Rounds 3 through 6 have busted at incredible rates since 2015. That article — along with several others which had similar findings — fundamentally changed my strategy in best ball drafts.
Leonard Fournette, Aaron Jones, Chris Carson, Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram, and James White (just to name a few) did not get the memo that they were supposed to be bad. Rather, they decided to be very good.
|Round||2015-18 Number of Players||2015-18 Average PPR Scoring||2015-18 Average Win Rate||2019 Number of Players||2019 Average PPR Scoring||2019 Average Win Rate|
RBs in the so-called “dead zone” were not so dead in 2019, scoring an average of 169.7 points, 29.2% higher than the average from the previous four years. Rounds 3 and 4 were especially lucrative for runners, as both rounds sported an above-average win rate and absolutely gaudy PPR scoring numbers. This raises the question: Is the RB dead zone dead?
Why were these running backs so good in 2019?