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Alright, folks. . .Mrs. Gonzo and I have gotten ourselves a house out here on the left coast. Unfortunately, through the miracle of military logistics, despite the fact that we've been in town since about Friday afternoon, our household goods aren't going to be arriving until Thursday. This is, as the kids might call it, "teh suck." Fortunately, we held on to our wireless router when we left the Deep South, and so we've got an appointment for installation of the interwebs and stuff at our house on Monday. So, I'm getting close to being back to full speed when it comes to the site here. Hopefully all of our stuff will be unpacked in time for the first pre-season game on Friday. Ted and Eric have been doing an outstanding job thus far, to be sure, but it will be nice to get back into the captain's chair again here before too much longer.
But today I'm here to talk fantasy football once again, thanks to the good folks at CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Commissioner. And for those of you that enjoy picking up fantasy football magazines. . .and, really, who doesn't. . .you've seen what the scoring projections have been for the past seven or eight years or so. The top of the list generally consists of Peyton Manning and about a dozen guys with "RB" under the position column. For years, the logic has been that you don't take wide receivers too early, and that it's a must to get two "workhorse" running backs early on in the draft. However, with the evolution of passing games in the NFL, the days of the workhorse running back may be coming to a halt, and with that advent the strategy for early in the draft has to change as well.
Think about it. . .how many teams have running back situations where you look at the team and say, "Yep, he's the guy. No doubt about it." According to ESPN.com's Matthew Berry, there are a total of 11.
Minnesota Vikings (Adrian Peterson)
Green Bay Packers (Ryan Grant)
Atlanta Falcons (Michael Turner)
St. Louis Rams (Steven Jackson)
San Francisco 49ers (Frank Gore)
Tennessee Titans (Chris Johnson)
Jacksonville Jaguars (Maurice Jones-Drew)
Pittsburgh Steelers (Rashard Mendenhall)
Cincinnati Bengals (Cedric Benson)
San Diego Chargers (Ryan Mathews)
Baltimore Ravens (Ray Rice)
Now, if you have a 12-team league, as we do, that means that at least 24 running backs are going to be starting every week. You're going to have a lot of trouble getting one of these workhorse type running backs, and unless some wacky things happen, getting two is pretty much out of the question. Add in the fact that a couple of these guys (Jackson, Turner, Gore) have injury issues, and there really aren't that many "elite" running backs there for the taking.
So, it doesn't appear that running back/running back is an automatic when it comes to draft strategy any more. Quite frankly, after the first five picks or so. . .in my opinion, Peterson, Johnson, Jones-Drew, Rice, and Turner (in that order). . .you're probably better off going with the best player available. With the increase in passing yardage and passing touchdowns, getting yourself an elite quarterback or an elite wide receiver in your first two picks to go along with your running back is probably your best strategy. Quite frankly, it might be even better to go receiver/receiver at the top of the draft and wait to get your running backs later.
All in all, strategies for fantasy football drafts this year should be significantly different from what we've been used to over the past few years, and I very much look forward to see what our league brings on that front. With that, the league has determined the order for this year's draft. . .draft positions are as follows:
1) 8-Bit Bowling
2) AP's 14 LB Balls
3) Maulers of America
4) Dead Parrots Society
6) Shank's Redemption
7) Team 2
9) Team 9
10) Preying Amish
11) Metropolitan Upperdeckers
12) Purple Jesus Drank
Start plotting your strategies now, ladies and gentlemen. . .oh, and if you haven't claimed your team or anything like that yet, please do so at your earliest convenience. As of now, the draft is still set for 28 August at 11:00 AM Central.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, ladies and gentlemen, and we'll see you back here again tomorrow!
CBSSports.com is an SB Nation partner and paying sponsor of the SB Nation football communities.This post is one of a series of sponsor endorsed posts relating to the CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Commissioner League.