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The landscape of the Fantasy world is a constantly changing one. From year to year a different draft strategy and position group leads the way.

Late round quarterbacks, streaming tight ends, zero running backs are all different draft methods that are talked about and tried by Fantasy players.

With the recent additions in quality wide receivers into the league, and the overall shift toward more passing, the question has arisen; are running backs still king?

Within this article we will take a look at some scoring from the previous season, and the average draft positions and rankings of the players at the top of this discussion.

For the purposes of this article you can assume that all points are from PPR format scoring. Fantasypros.com is a fantastic resource for all your mock drafting, ranking, and average draft position needs. They were used extensively in the making of this article.

Are Running Backs Still King?

 

I suppose the first thing to think of when considering this article is, are running backs still king?

The answer to this question depends on some assumptions you make as a Fantasy player. Do you consider the running backs as a whole? Do you consider some high level backs the kings? Do you think the position with the least amount of high scoring players at the top is king due to scarcity? Let’s take a look at the numbers from last season.

In 2014 in PPR format leagues, six players in the Top 24 are running backs. Nine of the Top 24 are wide receivers. Additionally, nine of the Top 24 players are quarterbacks. What does this show us? Running back is the least deep position of the Top 24. The quarterback position litters the second 12 on this list, and there are a lot more of them when you drop down further.

When dropping down to the Top 36 players in PPR scoring last season, we find more of the same. The next 12 players in PPR scoring include seven more quarterbacks, three more wide receivers, our first tight end, and only one more running back. Taken down to the 48th best scorers, three more quarterbacks, five more receivers, two more tight ends, and only two more running backs. One more round down leads to only finding two more running backs, now in the Top 60.

So what does this tell us?

Well it tells us that the king of scoring is still the quarterback. The second best position for depth is by far the wide receiver position. These two positions have dominated the Top 60. We found that only 11 of the Top 60 players in PPR points scored last season were running backs. This makes the running back a position that is quite scarce in the upper echelon of Fantasy scoring. Compare this to the 25 receivers and 19 quarterbacks populating the Top 60 scorers, and we have the answer to our previous question: are running backs still king? The answer is no.

For your teams in the 2015 season, it seems logical that you would try to get your hands on as many of the top scoring running backs. One issue is that they are not the same from year to year. In order of points scored, here are the Top 11 running backs from last season in PPR formats:

Name2014 PPR Points
Le'Veon Bell370.5
DeMarco Murray351.1
Matt Forte346.6
Marshawn Lynch302.3
Arian Foster273.5
Eddie Lacy272.6
Jamaal Charles253
Justin Forsett246.9
Lamar Miller223.4
C.J. Anderson211.3
Jeremy Hill210.9

 

Are running backs still king? No. But they should be the first ones off the board, and you should try to get the most with the best outlooks for a great situation and year. The trick is, which one to get? Every season a top guy drops down, and a new player emerges out of nowhere.

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