Going ZeroRB in any fantasy football format

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Instead of reaching on a running back, zero RB tends to be the best way to stack as many weapons as possible.

In any type of fantasy football format, the one thing that usually dwindles the fastest is the running back position. People tend to go after having a solid RB1 and RB2 combination. Although I have played like that for years, there is a new format that fits better to win.

The zero RB strategy may seem off for a lot of people who love running backs. However, with good reason, fantasy managers are better off waiting till the middle or later rounds to grab their running backs.

Running Backs are Expandable

In my most recent startup dynasty league draft, I did not select my first running back until the fourth round — Travis Etienne. I did not select my second running back — Leonard Fournette —until round eight.

Not reaching on running backs helped me get a receiving core of A.J. Brown, Jerry Jeudy, Allen Robinson, Chris Olave, and tight end, Mark Andrews. Running backs, on an average, peak at age 28, while wide receivers peak at an average age of around 30.

That two-year difference is a major key, along with the fact that running backs get hit on every play. Receivers can be the focal point of an offense, while running backs are always working in a committee of some sort.

In my opinion, there are only six workhorse running backs — Christian McCaffrey, Najee Harris, Joe Mixon, Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, and Dalvin Cook. The rest work in some sort of committee or are in bad offenses.

Also, three of those running backs got hurt at some point in 2021. The point is to not spend a high pick on a running back. The chances of getting hurt are high and there is always a backup taking some reps away.

ZeroRB Targets in Late Rounds

For starters, the top five running backs from the 2021 off-season were 1,000% different at the end of the fantasy season.

Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, and Ezekiel Elliot. Four of them sustained injuries with CMC and Henry missing the rest of the season.

Instead of spending a top-five pick on a running back, someone could have drafted Davante Adams. He had a preseason ADP of WR1 and finished as WR2. My point is that pre-season ADP really does not mean that much. Make your own rankings and go with your gut. A prime example is me taking Jonathan Taylor with the sixth pick in my home league last season.

With names like Adams, Cook, and Kamara on the board, I chose someone with less mileage and a better offensive line. ZeroRB can lead to beautiful things as the top five post the 2021 season were Jonathan Taylor, Austin Ekeler, Najee Harris, Joe Mixon, and James Conner.

None of those running backs were in the top five in the pre-season. James Conner was the lowest with an ADP of RB35! That is borderline RB3 status and Conner finished as a top five running back and was a league winner. Another running back similar to Conner was Leonard Fournette who was RB32 and ended up finishing as RB6.

One thing to look at for running backs is the number of snaps they are on the field for and how many red zones carries they get.

As I always say, touchdowns are the most important thing in fantasy. Getting someone like James Conner past round ten will happen every single year. It will happen in 2022 as well. It is up to you to be strong and follow through with the zeroRB strategy.

Thank you for checking out my three draft losers for the 2022 NFL draft! You can read all of my articles on my IDP Guys' author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @NBF_Clo and @IDPGuys (we have offense too) and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

Brandon Blanco

Fantasy footballer for over 10 years now. Writing is my passion along with enjoying Star Wars and anything with heroes and villains. In my spare time, I am creating crazy parlays, playing video games or reading. I hope for my writing to help people win their leagues but most importantly something that entertains them and brings them joy when reading my articles.
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