Under normal circumstances, drafting rookie running backs in the FFPC Main Event is a complete minefield. The 2017 class likely ruined expectations for years after, as the likes of Kareem Hunt, Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette finished in the top nine, a tidy profit on their third-round ADPs – and that’s not counting Alvin Kamara, who was drafted much later and finished as the overall RB3.
The appeal is obvious: A rookie starter (or possible co-starter) typically comes much more cheaply than an entrenched veteran, so the payoff is larger if he hits. But the downside is huge, too: There’s the chance that the rookie can become almost completely worthless in redraft (see: Royce Freeman in 2018) if he can’t find a foothold in the offense. Thus, the minefield.
Of course, this season may not be played under normal circumstances. The threat of COVID-19 – players who test positive will reportedly go on the commissioner’s exempt list, with no minimum or maximum time limit – means backups (or in many cases, rookies) could see more playing time than they would otherwise. That would make them more valuable. On the other hand, as it currently stands, there will be no preseason games, depriving rookies of the game-time action crucial to earning snaps when the games actually count. That would make them even riskier than usual. Again, the minefield.
So, what do we do?