A fantasy draft is won or lost in the first 5 rounds. That is where a core is put together. Grab the correct stud RB and your team can compete every week. Take one of that year’s first round busts and you will be scrambling for a replacement all season. However, if you draft well in the late rounds you can downplay the importance of the first 5 rounds and build a powerhouse team. And there is only one statistic you need to follow to pick sleeper after sleeper.
Fantasy boils down to opportunity. It really is that simple. Ask yourself which player is going to have more opportunities to touch the football and that is likely your better fantasy player. See a team with an unreliable starting RB, draft multiple RBs from that team. One of them is going to emerge and win the job. In a standard 12 team league with 2 RBs and a Flex, at least 30 RBs are used each week. Your chances of having a contributing starter to your fantasy team increases with having an NFL starting RB.
If last season, a team had selected all 3 St. Louis RBs, Daryl Richardson, Isaiah Pead, and Zac Stacy, they would have been taken in the 7th, 8th, and 15th rounds. That would have meant taking those players instead of players like an early kicker, Miles Austin, and a variety of back up RBs. But that strategy ensures that teams ends up with a starting RB after all the other starting RBs had be drafted.
The strategy of opportunity does not end there. Having trouble deciding which rookie WR to draft in late rounds? Look at the depth chart. If there are injury prone, barely competent, or old players ahead of that WR, that’s your guy. Keenan Allen came into the season behind Vincent Brown (injury prone), Malcom Floyd (old), and Eddie Royal (barely competent). He busted out due to opportunity.