Why Draft Fantasy Running Backs Early?


The importance of drafting quality fantasy running backs can easily be lost in the fact that the league is considered a pass-first league now. Which makes it more important than ever to grab running backs rapidly and prematurely.

In the 2019-2020 NFL season, the top ten running backs, by total points scored (Standard Format), outscored all Wide Receivers other than Michael Thomas, including a 131.9 point spread between Christian McCaffrey who led running backs in scoring and Michael Thomas who led Wide Receivers.

Running Backs vs Wide Receivers

When comparing the average draft position of the top ten Running Backs and Wide Receivers according to their points through seventeen weeks (Ten team Non-PPR leagues) there is a substantial difference. The top ten Running Backs average points are 238.92 and the average pick they were taken with was 23.87. In comparison to the Wide Receivers averaging just 171.6 and the average pick used was 45.38.

Why Not a Quarterback?

The argument still remains. Is it beneficial to draft a Quarterback with an early pick? Well, Lamar Jackson posted the best fantasy quarterback stats. He was taken with an average pick of 107.28. The top Quarterback taken in most drafts according to average draft selection was Patrick Mahomes, who finished as QB14 with 274.6 points.

Injuries can definitely take a huge toll on the outcome of one’s fantasy season, along with a player’s stats. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable and unpredictable. This being so is why it is also wise to draft quality backups.

It is crucial, and more beneficial for a competitive fantasy team to draft Running Backs early. It is even best to grab two of them as early as possible. With the league being more of a passing league, there are still quality starting Wide Receivers and Quarterbacks available in the later rounds. This is especially true with a top-five pick. If it is an end of the first-round pick, be sure to select at least one Running Back in the first two rounds.

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