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After what seemed like the longest off-season in Fantasy Football ever, it only took a few hours to remind me of what I hated about my beloved addiction, the Running Back-By-Committee or RBBC.

The phrase itself irks me. I would rank it right up there with “change of pace back” or “3rd down back” or “short yardage back.” Look, I get it. Teams have players with strengths and weaknesses, weekly game plans and scenario formations. But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy sorting through the added obstacles of starting the best possible lineup.

I mean, who likes committees in general? Everyone is expected to play nice and do their part. The reality is, committees rarely end up balanced at the end of the day. Every single game ends up asking the same questions. Why didn’t Giovani Bernard get the ball more when they were down? Why is Devonta Freeman on the field when Tevin Coleman is out producing him? And so on and so forth.

Picking a running back when volume is defined by game plan, defensive weaknesses, score, etc. makes it incredibly tough to project weekly output. I’d rather save my money and bet it all on “00” in roulette.

Week 1 saw plenty of RBBCs. While some turned out to be gold mines, others seemed to fall flat on their face. I’m here to tell you how how I feel about several of these backfields and what you can plan on doing if you own one of these players.

I Hate The Running Back-By-Committee  (RBBC)

Week 1 Review

Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick, Detroit Lions

 

They racked up nearly 230 yards and three touchdowns. Huge, right? Wrong. It was the Colts defense.  Although these guys were very productive with their touches, I don’t believe it will be sustainable (or good for your health). I’m sure Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter would love to have these stats every week, but let’s be realistic.

Theo was temporarily benched with a concussion scare. That guy must have his Primary Care Physician on speed dial. The Lions came out and said that they don’t want Abdullah to be a workhorse.

Me? I’d be selling high on Abdullah. He’s going to be like watching an episode of Deadliest Catch. Lots of ups and downs. sometimes the nets are full, but most times they leave you wanting more. As for Theo? I’m going to hold onto him as a flex RB and a bye week option. However, I’m not going to bet on him turning seven touches into 25-plus points every week.

I also don’t trust either of these guys to stay healthy throughout the season. Have fun flipping your lucky coin.

Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

 

If not for a TD against a tough Jets run defense, these Bengals RBs would have taken their 16 combined touches for 61 yards and six points. This was supposed to be a revitalized running game, remember? Two months ago, Jeremy Hill was supposedly going back to his rookie year. Gio was fresh off of his new contract and was supposed to catch 25 passes per game (a bit exaggerated).

I will say that I was very surprised to see how quickly the Bengals abounded their run game. That doesn’t discount the fact that this tandem will be defined by their TD potential.

So what do you do? Save the TD gambles and “come from behind receptions” for your DFS GPP lineups. You might have to wait a week or two, but I’m selling both of these Bengals in all leagues.

Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, Atlanta Falcons

 

Last year, Coleman began the season as the starter. But somehow, Freeman took advantage of an early injury to Coleman and rode a seven week blackout period to the top overall Fantasy RB. Let’s fast forward to this weekend. Both had a pretty similar snap (~33) and touch count (~14), but Coleman outproduced Freeman by 80 yards.

Based on what we have seen and heard about all off-season, we could be in for a long season of who’s hot/not during the game.

If I had to choose one in this RBBC, I’m still picking Devonta Freeman. However, I traded him in my main dynasty league this past off-season. I don’t see him replicating last years numbers. My thoughts are that Tevin Coleman will, at some point, become injured. This will free up Freeman to gain control of the touches yet again.

The Baltimore Ravens Backfield

 

Justin Forsett sharing touches with … Terrance West? I get it. We all watched the preseason and West was looking like a new man. But Javorius Allen ruled inactive on game day? Kenneth Dixon coming back at some point this year? I’m staying far away from this backfield. Each RB in this RBBC will probably receive a few touches each game.

I don’t see this clearing up any time soon. Rather than sticking with one guy and having him grind it out, Marc Trestman will shake things up on a week-by-week, possession-by-possession basis.

Long term? Perhaps Dixon becomes the guy. But he has a long way to go before he dethrones Forsett (or even West) at this point in time. Some people will sit and pray that one RB runs away with the main job, but I don’t envy that person or mindset.

 

So Now What?

Now that I basically told you to trade every RB you own in a RBBC, let’s refocus that energy. While a few of them will be solid depth, flex, or “wait for an injury” roster guys, I’d be looking to acquire a RB that is going to dominate the touch category. Wait, that sounded bad. Just go after guys with a higher floor in terms of volume.

I’m always looking to improve my overall starting lineup at every position.

Personally, I lean towards the veteran RBs. These guys who were born during the workhorse RB era. These guys are valued for the dependability. I’m trying to make a move and not look back.

  • Matt Forte – dominating the rushing and passing attempts from the RB position on the Jets. Everyone who thought Bilal Powell was going to take away touches is just hoping and dreaming.
  • Adrian Peterson – yes, I know, it’s not going to be easy to acquire AP. But, with Sam Bradford’s starting status (and lack of playbook knowledge) in the air, now might be the time to make a big move.
  • DeAngelo Williams – am I crazy? Nope. He still has two weeks of being the starter. He still has two weeks of carrying your RB position. The name of the game is to win on a week-to-week basis, in H2H or total points leagues.  I would have no problem trading a young RB in a RBBC for DLo and something else.

 

 

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