It’s no secret that running backs are the lifeblood of most Fantasy Football teams, and those that went the Zero-Running Back Theory can argue all they want. Our Week 10 RB rankings are the most important rankings, once again, as we enter a six-team bye week.
“But the Zero-RB Theory is brilliant,” some may say, “look at the disappointing seasons of Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Eddie Lacy, Montee Ball, Giovani Bernard and Doug Martin!”
Obviously, the Peterson problem was completely unforeseen and unpredictable, and the slow seasons by Lacy, Ball and Martin could have been avoided by drafters if they took cautious draft steps, like many had suggested.
What about the wide receivers in the first few rounds? Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green were first-rounders that have been hampered by injuries, and Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery are all outside of the top-10 wide receivers in Fantasy points.
While it’s true, Demaryius Thomas, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Antonio Brown are enjoying huge seasons, so are fellow early RB picks, DeMarco Murray, Arian Foster, Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch, Andre Ellington, Jamaal Charles and Le’Veon Bell.
Meanwhile, among the big surprises at each position, you’ll find more middle-round wide receivers than you will middle-round running backs.
- Trent Richardson and Lamar Miller
But, look at the running backs drafted between Rounds 6-10 that are NOT among the top 24:
- Chris Johnson, Bishop Sankey, Joique Bell, Maurice Jones-Drew, Pierre Thomas, Knowshon Moreno, Steven Jackson, Stevan Ridley, Darren Sproles, Fred Jackson, Carlos Hyde, Danny Woodhead and Bernard Pierce
- Emmanuel Sanders, Jeremy Maclin, Julian Edelman, Mike Wallace, Sammy Watkins, Golden Tate, Terrance Williams, Mike Evans, Kelvin Williams and DeAndre Hopkins
And here are the wide receivers drafted between Rounds 6-10 that are NOT among the top 24:
- Torrey Smith, Wes Welker, Marques Colston, Eric Decker, Brandin Cooks, Reggie Wayne, Kendall Wright, Riley Cooper, Dwayne Bowe and Anquan Boldin
As you can see, there are only two running backs from the middle rounds that were able to make it into the top 24 RBs, whereas there are 10 wide receivers that made their way up into the top 24.
Since the Zero-RB Theory means owners will load up on wide receivers in the first few rounds, you’ll be choosing below-average running backs in the middle rounds, rather than picking from the much deeper wide receiver position.
From Rounds 6-10, this season, you had a 13.3-percent chance of landing a top-24 RB, but you had a 50-percent chance of getting a top-24 wide receiver in those slots.
Granted, if more people went with the Zero-RB Theory, then those mid-round WR gems would all be snatched up earlier, and the early running backs will get pushed down to the middle rounds.
So just convince everyone to do that, and then the Zero-RB Theory becomes a brilliant move!
Now, let’s look ahead to this week!
The SKYLLZONE Week 10 ADP shows fans are taking five running backs in the first 10 picks for this week’s matchups, with Demarco Murray leading the pack, just like he did last week. Matt Forte sits second at the position, and overall, with Jamaal Charles as the third running back (fifth overall). There are 11 running backs getting picked in the first three rounds for this week’s Fan vs. Machine drafts.
Week 10 RB Rankings
These rankings are based on standard non-PPR Fantasy leagues with six points per touchdown.
Which running backs do you think we have too high or too low in our Week 10 RB Rankings? These articles are meant to help readers, so your comments give them an added perspective.
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.