When to Draft a Running Back in Your Fantasy Football League

Aug 04, 2022
When to Draft a Running Back in Your Fantasy Football League

“Running back by committee” used to be dirty words in the fantasy football world, but in 2022 it’s simply a fact of life. The goal isn’t to avoid the committee —that’s nearly impossible depending on how many running backs you have to start in a given league— it's to find the committee(s) with the biggest differentiation of volume between the two (or three) backs.

More Draft Strategy: When to Draft QB | When to Draft TE | Rankings | Multi-Site ADP | ADP Bargains | RB Strategy Breakdown | RB Breakouts | 10 Bounceback Targets

There are true workhorse backs in the NFL, but they are critically endangered. Acquiring just one bell-cow back is a feat within itself; having two on the same team is nearly impossible. We’ll need to scrape the murky bottom of the RBBC swamp to find the true volume kings to guide us to a fantasy championship.

Below we will break down how to approach the running back position in 2022 according to draft position, assuming a 12-team snake draft with both positional and overall ADP courtesy of the 4for4 Multi-Site ADP tool.

Early-Round Pick RB Strategy (1.01 - 1.04)

Round 1

Even with the detrimental recent injury history, Christian McCaffrey still floats between 1.01 and 1.02 in most draft formats. The truth is, his touch potential is nearly unmatched, and his usage in the passing game is next to none. Excusing the game (Week 3) in which he left due to the hamstring injury that landed him on the IR, McCaffrey averaged 21.6 touches a game, with five or more targets in five of six of those remaining contests. The man battling him as the first overall running back taken, Jonathan Taylor, averaged 21.8 touches per game last season but received 5+ targets in only three of his 17 games.

Still, the best ability is availability, and CMC’s 22 missed games over the prior two seasons is a detriment to his ceiling outcome at the tippy-top of the draft.

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