The definitive discussion of how to approach RBs in fantasy football
Buckle up, because I mean to back up that title
I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to write this piece, with parts of the ideas being months old, and others being stuff I’ve written in the past I’m going to pull from a ton, including last year’s writing on the RB Dead Zone. It’s not just a rewrite, though, as I’ve definitely crystallized more thoughts this year. Much of this builds on a discussion from a recent Stealing Bananas episode that was centered on running backs, which many listeners seemed to really like, and that show offers you a way to preview what I will write about below in audio form.
I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the earliest and best pieces of advice I got in my career was to not try to solve everything about fantasy football all at once. To be more targeted. But I’m more or less going to ignore that advice here.
I write about Zero RB and Zero RB-adjacent ideas a ton, and the question with fantasy football is rightly centered on running backs, and how do we approach that position. It’s not a coincidence that basically every draft strategy is named around where you get your RBs. Zero RB, Anchor RB, Hyperfragile, Robust RB. There are a few sub-strategies like Elite TE or Late-Round QB that define an approach to a specific onesie position, but the RB ones define so much more of your whole draft plan.
And I get more questions about RB approach than anything else related to draft structure. So let’s attack this position head on. Let’s get everyone, whether you’re a new subscriber this year or someone who has read my work since the original RB Dead Zone stuff, to a better understanding of how I believe the RB position should be approached, such that you can apply it in-season if you’ve already drafted, or you can use it to your advantage in your final drafts if you have not.
For those of you new around here, my goal in this piece will be to essentially change how you view fantasy football completely. To get you to ask different questions and seek different answers. To have you believing you understand something your leaguemates do not, and feeling confident you can use that to your advantage.
If you’ve been around for a while, my goal is to reinforce things you’ve heard me say before, but also to roll these ideas into 2022, because the market has changed. Ideally, we’ll also be early on how to approach future shifts, staying ahead of market movement with RBs.
And the market has already spoken that these ideas are sound. Even as there is constant pushback to Zero RB principles from crusty old men trying to figure out how to use Twitter, the data in any competitive format where there is real skin in the game and a more robust wisdom of the crowds effect is clear. Things have changed.
But there are still edges to be had. Let’s do this.