By: Matt Hosler
Yes, fantasy football is underway and is as exciting as any season. I currently am on my quest for a third straight year of winning the league I play in. I have consistently stuck to the same strategy and will continue to do so this year.
My strategy has been one that is typically what most people have utilized until this year. Many fantasy experts have said to stack heavy on wide receivers this year and I really want to say that is a dumb idea for multiple reasons.
First off, I want to say that I will always choose a running back in the first round (unless I have the opportunity to choose Antonio Brown). I did so this year with the second pick of the draft and I have done so in past drafts with varying draft spots.
To start, I’ll share my team with everyone and where I chose each player. I had the second pick of my draft and I went with who I thought, and many others did too, would be a stud: Todd Gurley (Round 1, pick 2). I then went wide receiver late in the second round with Jordy Nelson (Round 2, pick 18) then another running back in LeSean McCoy (Round 3, pick 22). I then went with another receiver in Doug Baldwin and in the fifth round went with QB with Russell Wilson.
While Gurley has struggled early on, I still believe in him. I have gone with McCoy every year for the past three years and I think he should have a really strong season with Tyrod Taylor at QB and no real backup running back since Karlos Williams is gone. Anyways, if you look at the first three rounds, I go: RB-WR-RB. Really, I was okay with going RB-RB-WR but went WR first because I knew I could get McCoy in the third.
Let’s start with my reasoning and this will explain how I think people should draft. First off, there are not as many stud running backs as there used to be. I truly only think there are about 4-5 left in the NFL fantasy wise: Gurley (or at least he was thought to be), Peterson (prior to being injured), Elliot (because of his offensive line and skill set even though he is a rookie), and I think David Johnson will be because of their offense. There are arguments for others but I think it is a drop off after those running backs. It drops off to good running backs who have worries: CJ Anderson did not live up to the hype last year, Doug Martin is good not great, LeSean McCoy is good, and others. These are not guys that can carry a fantasy team every week.
Now, let’s list of the star receivers: Antonio Brown (who is really above everyone fantasy wise), Beckham, Hopkins, Julio Jones, AJ Green, Dez Bryant, and I would even say Allen Robinsom. That is almost double the amount of stud running backs in my opinion. So if you do not draft a star running back early on what are you going to do? Yes, you could possibly go star receiver then running backs, but I think a star running back is more valuable than a star receiver. There are so many good receivers that you can stack your receiving core with that it will not matter.
So to be successful in your fantasy league, go with that star running back in the first round and not the receiver.