Dynasty Football RB Draft Strategies

by Taylor Michel
Dynasty Football RB Draft Strategies

Over the last few years we have seen a drastic shift in the NFL. In today's NFL you need to be able to pass the ball effectively to win. Running the ball efficiently is a huge part of that equation. We have seen this philosophy translate over to fantasy football in a major way recently. So, today we are going to go over some Dynasty Football RB Draft Strategies.

If you have watched the NFL over the last few seasons you have definitely noticed that the current offensive scheme's have an affinity for the pass. There are certainly teams that still hold true to their "ground and pound" style of play. Even these teams though, have found a way to nerf running backs fantasy value by implementing two and three man committee backfields rather than relying on one guy to have 25+ carries week in and week out.

This has really dwindled down our options as fantasy enthusiasts as we only have a few elite "bell cow" running back options to choose from in startup drafts. After those guys are off the board there is a lot of guessing (or analyzing) going on as to who might be that next guy to step up and help us win a championship or two.

So, what are the best dynasty football RB draft strategies? Let's discuss a few options.

Dynasty Football RB Draft Strategies

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Zero RB

The zero RB draft strategy has become very popular over the last few years due to the enormous value of wide receivers in the dynasty market. WRs hold their fantasy value for a much longer time while RBs are a depreciating asset. They see a decline in value as the seasons go by, and by the time they are 27-28 years old almost no one wants them on their dynasty roster any longer.

Essentially the strategy is to use your first several picks drafting the most elite wide receivers (and/or QBS/TEs if a superflex or tight-end premium league) and really trying to accumulate value through those other positions. Then, using middle to late round picks by taking any falling value on productive veteran running backs or high upside rookie and second year running backs.

The idea is that if you really want to compete year one you can do so by trading a WR or two after the draft for a couple solid running backs because chances are high that your receivers are a higher value than your league mates running backs. You will be able to get more back than you would if you took a bunch of RBs early and were trying to trade them for WRs.

You can also just wait it out and see if any of the younger RBs you drafted breakout late in the season, or draft a few in future rookie drafts.

This is one of my personal favorite ways to build a dynasty roster.
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Hero or "Anchor" RB

The only real difference between this strategy, and a zero build is that you're sacrificing one early pick that would normally be an elite tier wide receiver to draft a running back.

This strategy is best if you are at the back end of your draft order (1.10-1.12 range). So you can grab a top 3-5 running back and still get a top 12-14 wide receiver with your second pick. It becomes a little difficult otherwise because while you might have a positional advantage at RB the difference at WR will be a challenge to overcome.

Similar to the zero RB build you would spend the rest of your early picks drafting other higher value positions followed by falling veteran RB value or late upside RB plays.

Very viable option if picking at the back end of your startup draft.
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Robust RB

This is a rare build but there are ways in which it can pay off. Essentially you are just going to grab every elite RB you can get your hands on in the early rounds of the draft, and then take upside swings at other positions in the later rounds or snag aging veterans as they fall down the board.

This strategy is really best if you want to push all of your chips in and try to win in year one. Veteran wide receivers, TEs, and QBs will fall, and be there after you take 3-4 RBs early so grabbing sure fire production is a great way to make a run at a championship.

The only other way this strategy is really viable is due to the scarcity of elite "bell cow" RBs in today's NFL and the fact that running backs tend to get injured frequently. These two factors can play into your favor as the season unfolds. Your league mates may be willing to pay a hefty price for an elite RB if one of theirs suffers a high ankle sprain in week 11-12 and they intend to make a championship run.

I would not employ this strategy without some sort of plan ahead of time. Remember RBs shelf life is short and RB values decrease quickly if you're planning to draft one in order to trade them away for a WR or future picks do so when they see a spike in value after a few good weeks or when another RB gets injured.
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There are so many different ways to build out dynasty fantasy football teams. I encourage everyone to do some mock drafts, try a little bit of every strategy, and see what you like best. That is the fun part of fantasy football. Maybe you can devise your own new Dynasty Football RB Draft Strategies.

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