Curtis Patrick’s 2023 Hero RB Draft Guide reviews Hero RB candidates and preferred roster construction for league winning results.
2023 Hero RB Draft Guide: Candidates and Roster Construction
RotoViz is famous for Zero RB strategy. Shawn Siegele is the Godfather of this strategy and remains its foremost spokesman. Even Shawn doesn’t use this strategy all the time.
Drafting a running back in the early rounds of your fantasy draft is absolutely a viable way to win your managed roster league or even a big best ball tournament.
In this article I’m going to tell you which running backs you can trust as the centerpieces of your championship roster in 2023. I’ll also get some help from our RotoViz Range of Outcomes tool in identifying these Hero RBs. But first, I want to zoom out to the fifty thousand foot level and explain how I prefer to use these Hero RBs in my builds. You’ll understand how to draft just like me.
What is My Hero RB Strategy?
My favorite way to do this is via the “Hero RB” strategy.
- Many have defined it as waiting to fill the rest of your starting lineup spots before taking your second running back.
- My version of Hero RB is a bit more specific, in fact, you could argue it should be called “Hero Player” instead of Hero RB
- One early round running back in the first three rounds
- At minimum, an early round quarterback or an early round tight end, preferably both before the end of round six if you can do it without reaching
- Through six rounds, your roster will match one of the variations below:
- 1 QB, 1 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE
- 1 QB, 1 RB, 4 WR
- 1 RB, 4 WR, 1 TE
- Each of these constructions is still wide receiver focused as at least half our your selections are wide receivers through six rounds
- However, you’re also focused on investing in one difference maker at each of the other positions, too.
- Whichever definition you prefer, this is a strategy that combines the sensibilities of Shawn’s Zero RB strategy with the reality that rostering a league-winner-type running back is still one of the best ways to win your league.
In case you haven’t checked it out yet, Shawn ran his Zero RB series back again this year.
- Part 1 – Running Backs No. 15 to No. 11
- Part 2 – Running Backs No. 10 to No. 6
- Part 3 – Running Backs No. 5 to No. 1
Now, some more important Hero RB context before I get to a rundown of the 2023 candidates.
Early Round Hero RBs Are Valuable
- This ‘equity’ chart measures the difference between a player’s projected end-of-season rank and his overall ADP rank. Higher numbers are better.
- Running backs are projected for essentially identical draft equity to wide receivers in Round 1 (where the gold line and blue lie on top of one another).
- Running backs are projected for more draft equity than wide receivers in Rounds 2, 3, and part of Round 4 (where the blue line is above the gold line).
Eventually, the lines separate and it’s easy to see that wide receivers are equity kings in PPR formats. But through the early rounds of drafts, there are pockets where running backs can provide a boost, and this is why Hero RB is such a popular way to approach drafts in 2023.
How Does Hero RB Perform in Best Ball?
Per our Underdog Roster Construction Explorer, the Hero RB strategy has handily outperformed in Best Ball Mania over the past two seasons, especially when selecting just five or six total running backs. This data is based on my specific Hero RB roster construction and draft strategy above through six rounds.
My preferred version of Hero RB provides a mega tournament advance rate boost for reaching the playoffs, the semi-finals, and the finals.
So, which players are Hero RB candidates in 2023? And what could your roster look like through six rounds if you select one?
2023 Hero RB Candidates and Hero RB Roster Construction
|↑1||PPR, TE Premium, start 2-RB and 2-WR.|