Zero RB Targets and Implications in Fantasy Football

Jul 29, 2022
Zero RB Targets and Implications in Fantasy Football

Zero RB has edged its way into the fantasy football vernacular to the point that even your casual work league players have a basic grasp on what it means. For those not in the know, the strategy is as follows; wait as long as you can to draft your running backs to load up on quarterback, tight end, and especially wide receivers. The main principles of Zero RB are to grasp as much of the ever-increasing passing game as possible while also avoiding sinking high draft capital into the fantasy football position most susceptible to injury.

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While Zero RB is more widely used in redraft leagues than in years prior, the strategy is typically frowned upon in best-ball leagues, where we don’t have access to a waiver wire. If you find yourself in a league full of managers attacking the draft using a “Robust RB” approach, that’s all the more reason to implement Zero RB, and creating a unique lineup has even more importance if you are entering Underdog’s summer-long best-ball tournament, Best Ball Mania III.

Below I will go over the Zero RB strategy as it pertains specifically to Underdog best ball drafts, discussing the strategic applications and individual targets throughout the draft according to the current Underdog ADP.

Early Round Applications

Running backs have begun to take a step back from the early rounds, according to Underdog ADP, as the position only makes up 44.4% of the first 36 picks, the first time that number has fallen below 50% since the inception of BBM. Still, it is sometimes unrealistic to perform a true Zero RB approach in 12-team leagues, though it becomes more viable in a tournament setting. As such, a “Superhero RB” approach makes more sense with the way ADP is trending. Because we don’t have access to the waiver wire in draft-only leagues, missing out on the first 18 running backs, or worse yet, taking our running backs in the middle round “dead zone” —more on that below— becomes a path that ignores our need for consistent fantasy production, a fact that people sometimes ignore when structuring their best-ball teams.

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