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The regular fantasy football season is over for just about everybody, and with everyone's stats in the books, I want to take a look at some of the numbers and ask a question of the fantasy football players out there.
The National Football League has changed significantly over the last decade with the emergence of spread offenses and greater passing numbers and things of that nature. Has fantasy football changed along with it?
Most draft strategies that you see leading up to the start of the season every year advocate loading up on running backs, as they've long been the most consistent point producers when it comes to fantasy football. But a look at the numbers makes you wonder whether or not that's still the case.
According to the folks from ESPN and their fantasy football site (using their scoring system), the top seventeen point producers this season are quarterbacks, at least in terms of total points. In fact there isn't a running back in their top twenty point producing players of this past season. . .the highest ranking running back is Devonta Freeman, who comes in at #21. Adrian Peterson, the NFL's leading rusher this past season, comes in at #26 on the list and the second running back overall. But if you look at where players were drafted in ESPN leagues, on average, ten of the top twenty players selected (and seven of the top ten) play the running back position.
These numbers suggest that the running back position may not be as important to fantasy football teams as they have been in years past. Most leagues count passing touchdowns for four points, whereas rushing and receiving touchdowns are valued at six, so running backs do have that allure. However, with teams throwing for as many touchdowns as they are today. . .ten quarterbacks in the National Football League this year threw at least 31 touchdown passes. . .it appears that the sheer volume may be enough to cancel that out.
What do you think? Is the focus in fantasy football shifting away from the running back position, much like it is in the "real" National Football League? Is this going to make you re-think your draft strategy for 2016 and beyond?