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What is your RB2 draft strategy? (1 Viewer)

ignatiusjreilly

Footballguy
I feel like this has become the hardest part of my draft each year, along with drafting a TE (and don't think I don't have a thread on that one coming, too). Last year I actually did OK across my various leagues, drafting Jacobs, Robinson and Javonte, who all basically put up RB2 numbers. Still, it's gotten harder and harder as we've become increasingly aware of the RB Dead Zone, along with the more recent trend of overhyped rookies (Trey Sermon, anyone?)

The best results I've had in recent years came when I went RB-RB in 2020 and hit on Kamara-Aaron Jones. Of course, that also meant I ended up with DJ Moore as my WR1, which might not have ended well if I hadn't flipped him for AJ Brown (in part because my strong starters allowed me to include my depth RB, Swift, as part of the deal). Some years, though, that strategy is just not possible; I hit Round 2 and there are no reliable RBs I want to take ahead of the WRs available at that point.

My draft strategy is still rounding into form, but I'm starting to feel like I either want to draft my RB2 in Round 2 or else in Round 5/6. Even there, some of the guys I'm targeting may get hyped up in the next week or so and move into the Dead Zone.

I'll avoid mentioning specific names for now because I still don't have a good handle on ADPs, but for those of you who are already in the middle of drafts, what value are you seeing?
 

TripItUp

Footballguy
RB in the first unless Jefferson slides.
Saquon in the 2nd
If I don't get Saquon in the 2nd I go hero RB targeting Pearce in the middle rounds.

What do I win for winning this thread?
 

FairWarning

Footballguy
The last five years, it has been much harder. It is the main reason that I like drafting 11-12 in a KDS draft, knowing my league will pick 8-9 RBs before I pick WRs. I’m not against picking an elite TE at 2.1-2 either. I find easier to find a 2nd RB more than a worthwhile TE later. The RB’s I usually go for are low carries, younger than 27, and not coming off a major injury, If they can catch, even better. I’ll reach for one in a middle round before I search for value with a veteran coming off an injury and stock is dropping. The way RB’s get hurt, a great team outside of RB’s may be the best bet. If you look at RB2’s like Dillon or Pollard, and have a RB3-4 of backups to studs coming off an injury - the payoff could be huge.
 

wgoldsph

Footballguy
Kareem Hunt. He was a top ppr rb before going down last year and performed similarly the year before, yet he's still getting drafted like an rb3/4. It's not the like Browns will do anything besides run the ball.
 

joey

Footballguy
My strategy is Tiers.

Im at 1.1 in my main redraft league. I grab Taylor at 1.1 of course.
At the 2/3 turn, i have a cut off for which RB I’d take there (will take JWilliams/Barkley and above. Won’t take Zeke/Connor and below), so I’ll either go RB/WR if one of the RBs I like is there, or I’ll go WR/WR since I believe that the RBs who are typically at the 4/5 turn (Dobbins, Akers, Etienne, Jacobs, Mitchell) are pretty close in value, risk and upside as the likes of Zeke and Connor.
but overall, I WILL have 2 RBs by the 4th round since i don’t love the RB drop off after the 4/5 turn.
I also expect to grab my 3rd RB at the 6/7 turn since there are still some valuable starters there.
BIG CAVEAT: my main redraft league is NOT TE mandatory, so only the top 5 or 6 are really valuable in the “receiver” positions, so I’m not really concerned about where I need to fill a precious TE slot in this league im referring to in my thought process above.
 
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Mongidig

Footballguy
I would prefer going Hero RB. I love loading up on WR’s and maybe a TE in my 3 WR league. I would like to get two of these guy’s to platoon in my number two spot. AJ Dillon, Tony pollard, K Hunt, R Stevensen, Chase Edmonds, CEH, James Cook, James Robinson, Melvin Gordon. R Penny. I try to get them at the best price while still going for value at other positions. If I’m gonna have a weakness I’ll let it be RB2. I’ll figure it out some way even if I have to push all in on FAAB. In the later rounds after I have several quality WR’s I start throwing darts at the Darell Hendersons, Nyheim Hines, Michael Carters on down. My last few picks besides kicker and D will be a bunch of back up RB’s that I can easily cut if I find something better in free agency.
 

ignatiusjreilly

Footballguy
I would prefer going Hero RB. I love loading up on WR’s and maybe a TE in my 3 WR league. I would like to get two of these guy’s to platoon in my number two spot. AJ Dillon, Tony pollard, K Hunt, R Stevensen, Chase Edmonds, CEH, James Cook, James Robinson, Melvin Gordon. R Penny. I try to get them at the best price while still going for value at other positions. If I’m gonna have a weakness I’ll let it be RB2. I’ll figure it out some way even if I have to push all in on FAAB. In the later rounds after I have several quality WR’s I start throwing darts at the Darell Hendersons, Nyheim Hines, Michael Carters on down. My last few picks besides kicker and D will be a bunch of back up RB’s that I can easily cut if I find something better in free agency.
I'm finding myself going this way in my mocks unless I get an undervalued RB in the second round like Saquon or Kamara. But that doesn't usually happen.

Agree with some on your list (Dillon, Hunt, Stevenson, Chase) but not sure I'd be comfortable with the others. Though I generally agree that RB2 isn't the worst hole to have on your roster. That's especially true in my main money league, where we can only start 2 RBs (flex is WR/TE).

By the way, in a mock the other day I tried taking a WR early in the first round (I think it was Jefferson at 1.04) and man, I did NOT like the RBs I ended up with. It basically pushed me into a zero-RB by default.
 

Mongidig

Footballguy
I would prefer going Hero RB. I love loading up on WR’s and maybe a TE in my 3 WR league. I would like to get two of these guy’s to platoon in my number two spot. AJ Dillon, Tony pollard, K Hunt, R Stevensen, Chase Edmonds, CEH, James Cook, James Robinson, Melvin Gordon. R Penny. I try to get them at the best price while still going for value at other positions. If I’m gonna have a weakness I’ll let it be RB2. I’ll figure it out some way even if I have to push all in on FAAB. In the later rounds after I have several quality WR’s I start throwing darts at the Darell Hendersons, Nyheim Hines, Michael Carters on down. My last few picks besides kicker and D will be a bunch of back up RB’s that I can easily cut if I find something better in free agency.
I'm finding myself going this way in my mocks unless I get an undervalued RB in the second round like Saquon or Kamara. But that doesn't usually happen.

Agree with some on your list (Dillon, Hunt, Stevenson, Chase) but not sure I'd be comfortable with the others. Though I generally agree that RB2 isn't the worst hole to have on your roster. That's especially true in my main money league, where we can only start 2 RBs (flex is WR/TE).

By the way, in a mock the other day I tried taking a WR early in the first round (I think it was Jefferson at 1.04) and man, I did NOT like the RBs I ended up with. It basically pushed me into a zero-RB by default.
The Dillon, Hunt, Stevenson, Chase tier would absolutely be my first choice. If I’m not able to get one or two of these guy’s my RB2 is just gonna have to be a little worse. I love the way my team looks when I go RB/RB to start and then pound receivers. It scares though because I know how brittle RB’s can be. A couple years ago I went RB/RB/RB ito start my draft…Henry, Ekeler, Taylor. It looked amazing on paper and these three ended up first rounders the next year. Unfortunately, Ekeler was hurt for several games and Taylor didn’t get it going until the end of the year. I pick 9 in my first draft and would love to get Cooks if he falls but I hate the WR choices in RD two. My favorite draft is going WR/RB/Andrews or Pitts in the third and then just pound WR.
 

travdogg

Footballguy
I would argue the RB dead zone is a myth, and avoiding RBs in that range is a mistake, plenty of useful guys there. I like Edmonds, Pierce, CEH, and Sanders as guys going round 7 or later.

That being said, ideally, I'm starting RB-RB. I think WR is so very deep this season, that my only real true draft strategy is to get 2 good (top-14 preferably) RBs, and a top-5 TE.
 

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
RBBC with the hope i can hit on a few of these...

Elijah Mitchell, Akers, Monty, Dev Singletary and Pierce can be cobbled together to form a decent stable of options.
Stevenson/Harris from New England isn't a bad combo for your RB3/4 slots, they piled up 1,700+ yds and 20 TDs, eventually one of them will be unavailable and typically on those weeks the remaining back is an easy start.
 

ignatiusjreilly

Footballguy
I would argue the RB dead zone is a myth, and avoiding RBs in that range is a mistake, plenty of useful guys there. I like Edmonds, Pierce, CEH, and Sanders as guys going round 7 or later.
A couple things:
  • JJ Zachariason ran the numbers last year and proved the existence of the RBDZ. It's not a myth. Here's some more data.
  • I'm not sure what you're saying here. You think it's a myth, but then you list a bunch of RBs in the 7th round. By definition, those RBs are not in the Dead Zone, which is Rd 3-6.
  • Not sure if this applies to you, but a lot of people misinterpret the RBDZ as "middle round RBs will always bust". It's just a statistical trend, not a universal truth.
  • The key point is that RBs taken in the DZ tend to underperform, whereas WRs overperform. So it's not just a question of whether the RB busts; it's also the opportunity cost of the WR you could have had in those rounds
That's why I tend to like my teams when I go RB-RB and then pound WRs for a few rounds. But it's not always possible. I've found you really need to be toward the back of the first in order to be able to get a good RB2 in the early second. By the time you get to early/late second they're all gone.
 

BobbyLayne

Footballguy
Elijah Mitchell, Akers, Monty, Dev Singletary and Pierce can be cobbled together to form a decent stable of options.

Have you considered a 12 step program? No offense but that seems like a group that would lead to alcoholism.

Big fan of one hero RB and then a lot of young guys who either 1) are the first one drafted in an ambiguous backfield, and 2) role players - guts with defined roles. Stand alone value if the starter stays healthy, huge upside if something bad happens - this year it’s Dillon by a good margin, Pollard or Hunt if you miss out.

Add 1-2 satellite backs like Hines or Gainwell late to see if they get some favorable game scripts.

A couple lottery tickets at the tail end. Usually end up with 6-7 RBs (18x12 league w/ 2 IR.) Usually out of this conglomerate a producer emerges.

Heavily slant toward under 25/26, prefer Y2 or Y3 who light breakout.
 

Craig_MiamiFL

Footballguy
Dillon and/or Stevenson. Both with solid standalone value. League winning value with an injury.

Stevenson is the best playmaker in New England. Would be silly not to fully unlock it utilizing him in the pass game. I could see Ingram-Kamara like setup in New England this season.
 

ignatiusjreilly

Footballguy
In one league I went RB-RB and ended up with CMC-Javonte. In my others I waited and got CEH (with Taylor) and Breece Hall (with Chubb). I'm most worried about Hall. Could totally blow up in my face, especially because I didn't even really get a safe high-floor backup, although based on Thursday I'm feeling a little better about Henderson.
 

Ministry of Pain

Footballguy
Elijah Mitchell, Akers, Monty, Dev Singletary and Pierce can be cobbled together to form a decent stable of options.

Have you considered a 12 step program? No offense but that seems like a group that would lead to alcoholism.

Big fan of one hero RB and then a lot of young guys who either 1) are the first one drafted in an ambiguous backfield, and 2) role players - guts with defined roles. Stand alone value if the starter stays healthy, huge upside if something bad happens - this year it’s Dillon by a good margin, Pollard or Hunt if you miss out.

Add 1-2 satellite backs like Hines or Gainwell late to see if they get some favorable game scripts.

A couple lottery tickets at the tail end. Usually end up with 6-7 RBs (18x12 league w/ 2 IR.) Usually out of this conglomerate a producer emerges.

Heavily slant toward under 25/26, prefer Y2 or Y3 who light breakout.
Mitchell Y2, Akers Y3(he looks terrible) Monty Y4, Dev Y4, Pierce (R)...I do like the RBs in the last year of their rookie deal.

I see where you are coming from and I'm taking notes Bobby. I just liked the value and potential of these guys, but I appreciate your insight and taking the time to share this. I need to work on my strategy, this season I went WR Heavy early and tried to assemble a 3-prong attack out of the 1st 4 rounds with a "hero RB" like you mention, not easy. And you end up looking at a lot of these guys in the 5th-6th rounds.

Good luck today.
 

Mookie Gizzy

Footballguy
In both leagues I had the 12 spot. Went Mixon/Diggs. Didn’t like my other RB2 candidates in that league,so I decided to go Mixon/Swift in my second league. I Ike my first team better, but will probably feel nauseous starting a RB 2 scoring 5 a week
 

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