Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

A series on draft strategies for 2020 fantasy football drafts, this article focuses on zero RB.

Zero RB is a fantasy football draft strategy whereby the owner doesn't draft a running back (RB) until the 4th or 5th rounds of their fantasy draft. Zero RB is one of the riskier strategies to build a team around in 2020. The quality depth at WR this year, with more offenses moving to 3 WR sets as their base offense, leads to solid starting WRs in the 6th-9th rounds in most drafts. Also, with teams utilizing multiple running backs rather than just one workhorse back, finding consistent scoring RBs is harder than ever.

There are a few conditions that should be considered when building a team around a Zero RB draft strategy:

  • Picking in the mid-late 1st round.
    • Picking in the top half of the 1st round (Picks 1-5) would not be a wise spot to employ the Zero RB Strategy. The sacrifice you would be making in value by not taking one of the top 4 or 5 RBs could be catastrophic to your chances of building a winning roster. You would be drafting a WR that would most likely be able to be acquired at a later pick in the first round.
  • League Scoring Settings (No additional settings that would make RBs more valuable)
    • Most leagues run a scoring system that closely mimics the industry standard, but there are plenty of leagues that award bonuses to make different positions more valuable (1.5 PPR for tight ends, bonus points on long touchdown runs or chunk runs). Using a Zero RB strategy in a league that puts a premium on RB scoring could be setting your team up for failure before the first game is even played. Make sure you are checking your league's settings when developing your draft strategy.
  • PPR vs Non PPR
    • PPR (Points Per Reception) adds a different dynamic to fantasy football. There is immense value in running backs who can run AND act as a viable pass catcher out of the back field. You are not only getting points for the yards gained, but also points for the actual reception. This would make running backs, who may not get a ton of rushing chances but who catch a lot of passes out of the backfield, more valuable. By not taking advantage of that value early on in drafts, you could be missing on value by actively avoiding taking a RB early.

Your plan would be to target elite QB and TE players, as well as 1 top 5 WR from the draft board. While other teams are adding WRs in the later rounds, your goal is to draft players that may not have a direct path to starting jobs or who have immense talent but are playing second fiddle to a veteran RB. You're basically looking for Boom/Bust players and hoping that 1 or 2 end up being a top 25 scorer at RB.

Players you should be targeting each round are broken down in the table below, utilizing the Zero RB strategy while picking mid-late in the 1st round:

Round 1Michael Thomas
DeAndre Hopkins
Davante Adams
Tyreek Hill
Julio Jones

Round 2Lamar Jackson
Patrick Mahomes
Chris Godwin
Amari Cooper
Mike Evans
Kenny Golladay

Travis Kelce
Round 3Deshaun WatsonAdam Thielen
Cooper Kupp
TY Hilton

George Kittle
Round 4DK Metcalf
AJ Brown
Calvin Ridley
DJ Chark Jr.

Mark Andrews

*The table is divided into 4 rounds, with players to target in each round split by position, obviously leaving RB out since we are planning on not taking a RB in the 1st four rounds.

Remember to be flexible, if Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are taken by the time you pick in the 2nd round, maybe think about adding a second WR or going with Travis Kelce. You can always nab Deshaun Watson at the back half of round 3 if Jackson and Mahomes go earlier than expected. If both Kittle and Kelce are taken by the time you get to Round 4, Mark Andrews is an excellent consolation prize.

The goal is to come out of Round 4 with a Top 3 QB, Top 3 TE and 2 Top 15 WRs.

Aaron Rodgers glides into the end zone after eluding the Rams D for a touchdown.

Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Last week we bet big on the Pack and Aaron Rodgers going off on the Rams D, and oh boy did it ever pay off.

Divisional Round Vibe Check (3-1)

Aaron Rodgers soared high above his over/under for yards, while easily slicing and dicing up the Los Angeles defenders. Aaron Donald was just below his usual, healthy, game-wrecking self, and it definitely makes you think this one would've been closer had he been 100%. It also has to make you wonder what's wrong with the Seattle Seahawks. How have they managed to waste Russell Wilson this badly? At least, they have their eyes on a bright future for him. Yikes.

The Bills came through in a big way against the Baltimore Ravens, but not how anyone had predicted. Defense was the name of the game when anyone with an All-22 subscription was calling for a shootout of epic proportions. Sure, I lost on a couple special overs that had this game getting into the sixties, but Josh Allen still brought me to the promised land of profits.

Keep reading... Show less

Each Friday, FindBet will preview the week's DFS slate, highlighting players that are priced well on DFS sites, as well as some contrarian plays that can push your team to the top of the leader board.

Most NFL DFS games have you putting a team together with players from a certain slate of games. It could be just Sunday 1:00 PM games, or it could be every game that is slated for the week. Once the last game that has eligible players is over, the final payouts are made according to how many fantasy points each team scored. Each player is worth a certain dollar amount, and you have a cap of $60,000 to build your team with. You have to have 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB, WR, or TE) and 1 DEF.

The general scoring rules include (6) points for each rushing and receiving touchdown, (4) points for each passing touchdown, (0.1) points for each rushing and receiving yard gained, (0.04) points for each passing yard, and also (0.5) points for each reception. There are other scoring opportunities for defenses. Let's take a look at players we like in the first round of the NFL playoffs this weekend.

Keep reading... Show less

Cleveland Browns defensive back Karl Joseph and teammates

Joe Sargent - Getty Images

Sunday's NFL Playoff action featured six teams who don't like each other at all.

All these games were played between teams who had played each other at least once during the regular season. If you thought those games in the regular season were intense, Sunday's playoff matchups upped the stakes even more.

The Chicago Bears even replicated a dubious feat from their regular season matchup, as one of their wide receiver Anthony Miller was ejected after throwing a punch at C.J. Gardner-Johnson. The New Orleans cornerback also got into the head of Chicago wide receiver Javon Wims in the November matchup, causing Wims to get ejected in that game after he threw a punch at Gardner-Johnson.

Keep reading... Show less