After debuting the QBs in week one of our preseason fantasy football coverage, we moved to the RBs in week two at Fake Teams. You can get detailed RB ranks from Armando here. We followed that up with Busts and Sleepers. Now we each take a stab at ranking the RBs through one preseason game - these were put out before yesterday's action.
RB is one of the least predictable positions in fantasy football. Most draft strategies would indicate that you need to get top tier RBs because the position lacks depth and the position is prone to injury. Heck - two of our consensus top three RBs have had ACL injuries in the last three years - Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles.
As I was compiling these rankings, I found it interesting how each analyst views the position. Some draft for safety - proven performers with a track record. Some draft for upside - rookies who might supplant an entrenched starter because of injury or wear and tear.
Robert Keeley's philosophy is to grab one elite guy then wait on his second RB while picking up some surer things at the WR position. My philosophy, for those who read my Fantasy 100 columns, is always BPA (best player available) regardless of position. I know I can't mess up my pick in the first three rounds so I don't lock into a position by position strategy. If I can't get one of the top four RBs, I am going elsewhere and will build my RB roster through late round depth and upside opportunity. Jacob Adler thinks the opposite of me. He says he will always go RB with early picks. He plans on starting RB, RB, RB in 10 or 12 team leagues. He is not scared of the older guys. Jacob feels that Steven Jackson and Frank Gore are more likely to return value than Devonta Freeman or Carlos Hyde.
Which strategy is right for you? That is why we bring you the best of the best. You can read the different philosophies and decide for yourself.
Below are the consensus RB rankings from our six analysts. As a footnote - I have included the top 50. We asked each analyst for their top 40 and anyone ranked by one analyst and not ranked by another received a "41" for purposes of calculating the consensus rank.
There are comments below from each of us. Enjoy - and good luck in your drafts!
|Jacob Adler||Armando||Jordan Cable||Brad Coustan||Brad Duffendack||Robert Keeley||Consensus|
ARMANDO: (on Marshawn Lynch) - He's a consistent back that has proven year in and year out he can be counted on. Some backs like Zac Stacy or Andre Ellington have question marks.
BRAD DUFFENDACK: (on Steven Jackson) - I project that, if healthy, Steven Jackson can produce as a high end RB2 in this offense as the workhorse feature back. I am concerned about injuries. That's why I dropped him down to #28 but I can't continue to pass on his upside at that point.
JORDAN CABLE: (on Steven Jackson) - If Steven Jackson can stay on the field I believe the Falcons use him as their workhorse and he is likely to reach 10 TDs. As a reliable pass catcher and good pass protector he will be highly involved in the passing game.
JACOB ADLER: I am more worried about Adrian Peterson than Marshawn Lynch when it comes to aging and injuries.
BRAD COUSTAN: My philosophy is to draft guys for upside. I want to stash players on my bench that may help me win matchups later in the season. Remember, fantasy football is a week to week proposition. If Devonta Freeman sits on my fantasy bench for nine weeks and then becomes the starter when Steven Jackson inevitably pulls his hammy, I am starting the feature back in a high octane offense for the rest of the season. That is why you see my late guys being Freeman, Bryce Brown (who I think is the RB1 in Buffalo by year end), Roy Helu instead of Mark Ingram, Knowshon Moreno or Darren Sproles.
So - lots to digest. Different strategies and philosophies. Here's hoping you can find the voice that speaks to you and win your fantasy leagues. As always, hit me up with comments, emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) or twitter (@iambradstrong)