NFL Observations: Going Zero RB

NFL Observations: Going Zero RB

This article is part of our NFL Observations series.

This was the first NFFC Beat Chris Liss league of the season, a $350 entry-fee, 12-team PPR league with a $200K grand prize. I drafted from the five spot. 

Here are the results:

To enlarge image, click here.

1.5 Michael Thomas – I wanted to take a running back, but decided ahead of time to take Thomas if Alvin Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott were gone. Dalvin Cook strikes me as too big of a risk given his health history and potential to hold out. 

2.8 Tyreek Hill – Running backs were flying off the board, but I couldn't take Josh Jacobs or Jonathan Taylor over Hill. I actually took Chris Godwin ahead of Hill in my FSGA draft, but that was a coin flip, and I went Hill this time for diversification. 

3.8 Odell Beckham – I love Beckham this year and was ecstatic he made it back to me in the third round. Of course, this meant I was going zero-RB when that hasn't worked in half a decade. But I was getting great players at good prices, and it's easier to use a strategy when no one else is doing it. 

4.5 Mark Andrews – He's my No. 3 TE, and though I have some WR ahead of him on my overall board, I was pretty sure I'd get another good one in Round 5, whereas TE was drying up. 

5.8 Terry McLaurin – As expected, one of my top-15 wideouts fell to me. I was actually hoping Cam Akers would slip, but Dalton Del Don took him two picks earlier. Now I was loaded with pass catchers and had to cobble together some running backs. 

6.5 D'Andre Swift – It's not ideal when your top back is a rookie in a potential timeshare, but Kerryon Johnson hasn't been able to hold up, and Swift was the 35th overall pick. 

7.8 Ronald Jones – No one seems to think Jones will win the job, but I'd make him the favorite over 76th overall pick Ke'Shawn Vaughn. Jones is the incumbent, knows the offense and actually caught 31 passes last year.

8.5 Jordan Howard – I really wanted to take Deebo Samuel or Rob Gronkowski, but I needed another potential starting running back. Howard should see a heavy workload, though he's not much of a pass catcher. 

9.8 Rob Gronkowski – I was waiting on either Gronk or Carson Wentz, but decided to gamble on the QB not being there rather than missing out in the greatest tight end of all time in his age 31 season. 

10.5 Carson Wentz – It turned out Wentz was there anyway. I love Wentz this year in an offense with DeSean Jackson, Jalen Reagor, two quality tight ends and two pass-catching backs. If Alshon Jeffery returns from the PUP, it'll be even better, and Wentz should be among the league leaders in attempts. Plus he's not a zero as a rusher. 

11.8 Nyheim Hines – I was hoping for Duke Johnson or Darrell Henderson, but both went a few picks ahead of me. Hines has no upside behind two early-down workhorses, but he should be the team's third-down back, and Philip Rivers loves checking down. 

12.5 Anthony Miller – He's the clear No. 2 in an offense with no TE of which to speak. He showed flashes last year, but really just has to stay healthy. 

13.8 Brandon Aiyuk –  I like Aiyuk with Samuel out, but I passed on GOAT kicker Justin Tucker, hoping I could wait another round, even though Harrison Butker had already been taken in Round 12. 

14.5 AJ Dillon – Tucker got taken six picks before me, so I took another running back. Dillon was a second round pick, and he's built like Derrick Henry, but he's third string for now and doesn't catch passes. 

15.8 Jerick McKinnon – I'll probably take him in every draft. If he can get back to full speed after missing two seasons, he'll be the team's third-down back, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the early-down mix. The 49ers system makes the running game go, not the individual backs. 

16.5 Joe Burrow – I was happy to take him as my second QB – the Bengals have a lot of good weapons, and Burrow runs a little too. 

17.8 Colts Defense – Adding DeForest Buckner is big, and they'll get the Jaguars and Texans (who don't protect Deshaun Watson well) twice each. 

18.5 Zane Gonzalez – He's a kicker not named Justin Tucker

19.8 Eagles Defense – They get the Giants and Redskins twice each. 

20.5 Miles Boykin – It was either him or Andy Isabella. Always take a last-round flier on a second-year receiver. They often emerge seemingly from nowhere. 

Roster By Position:

QB Carson Wentz

RB D'Andre Swift/Ronald Jones

WR Michael Thomas/Tyreek Hill/Odell Beckham

TE Mark Andrews

FLEX Terry McLaurin

K Zane Gonzalez

D Colts

B Jordan Howard/Rob Gronkowski/Nyheim Hines/Anthony Miller/Brandon Aiyuk/AJ Dillon/Jerick McKinnon/Joe Burrow/Eagles Defense/Miles Boykin

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Liss
Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.
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