Our Pledge To You


Fantasy football: Running backs no longer rule as parity has reached fantasy

during the second half against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome on January 3, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The NFL has been driven by parity for a while now, and that parity has trickled down to fantasy football.

The difference is we’re not talking about parity among teams. We’re talking about positions. The days of needing to use your first two picks on running backs are long gone. We might be at a point where avoiding running backs with your first two picks isn’t so crazy.

If you play fantasy baseball, you might follow the strategy of not overpaying for saves. Closers come and go, sometimes popping up when you least expect it. That’s what running backs have become, only while closers generally lose their job because of ineffectiveness, running backs generally lose theirs because of injury. And if there’s one certainty in fantasy football, it’s that running backs will get hurt.

Just look at some of the top-scoring running backs. Devonta Freeman, who leads the position in basic scoring, needed Tevin Coleman to get hurt to go on his remarkable four-week run with 121 points. DeAngelo Williams was thought to be a two-week fill-in for the suspended Le’Veon Bell. After Bell was lost for the season, Williams regained the job and ranks third in scoring at the position.

But you don’t need to hit on a top-10 running back to win. Of the top 10 scorers among flex players, only three are running backs: Freeman, Adrian Peterson and Williams. The other seven are wide receivers.

Of the next 10 scorers, four are running backs, five are wide receivers and one is a tight end. Of the next 10, five are running backs, two are wide receivers and three are tight ends.

You get the idea? Points are points, as long as they come from somewhere. And they’ve been coming from everywhere this year.

Keep all of this in mind when assembling your draft board for next season. I gave it a try already. It’s never too early, you know.

Follow me on Twitter @JeffreyA22.

Email: jagrest@suntimes.com