2012 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Back to Back to Back Running Backs

Ok, this article is for people who play in leagues where you can start three RB's, so mainly leagues with a "flex" position.  If you only can start two RB's then this article is NOT for you.

If you read my article from last week then you understand how vital it is to attack the RB position in 2012 due to the lack of RB's that can produce a solid amount of fantasy points.

I am participating in many fantasy football drafts and mock drafts recently and I have found that I can get solid WR and QB value in rounds four through six and solid TE value late in the draft.

Let's take a look as if you were drafting sixth in a twelve team snake style draft.

With the round one pick you could take Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, or Darren McFadden let's just take Chris Johnson, round two comes around and you see choices like Trent Richarson, Steven Jackson, and Demarco Murray.  Let's just take Steven Jackson here for a safer pick with less upside.  Now round three roles around and you can choose Ahmad Bradshaw, Fred Jackson or Darren Sproles.  Let's just take Ahmad Bradshaw here.  We now have Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson, and Ahmad Bradshaw.

The following three rounds you pick QB, WR, and WR in any order and end up with Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin, and Matt Ryan.

So your team looks like:
Matt Ryan
Steven Jackson
Chris Johnson
Ahmad Bradshaw
Jeremy Maclin
Percy Harvin

On the flip side if you attacked QB or WR in the first three rounds then you will be selecting the third RB in the fourth or fifth round.

Fourth round RBs would probably be: Frank Gore or BenJarvus Green-Ellis or Isaac Redman
Fifth round RBs would probably be: Donald Brown or Willis McGahee or Reggie Bush.

Let's be honest those RB's all come with risk/rewards from drafting a RB in the fourth or fifth round.

So your team could look like if you drafted a QB in the first round:
Tom Brady
Steven Jackson
Ahmad Bradshaw
Reggie Bush
Jeremy Maclin
Reggie Wayne

So... Brady is better than Ryan, Steven Jackson and Bradshaw are a wash, Chris Johnson better than Reggie Bush, Maclin is a wash, and Harvin is better than Wayne.  The team that drafted three RB's back to back now has the advantage.

It's a safe move to draft three RB's back to back to back and there is more risk when you snag a WR or QB in the first three rounds if your league has a FLEX position.

Need assistance drafting in 2012?  Check out Hatty Waiver Wire Guru Draft Guide

Questions: Facebook me


  1. Hatty - would you alter this strategy in a league that starts 3 WR?

    1. If you can start 3 RB's then I would still go back to back to back RB's. The depth at WR this year is pretty amazing from a fantasy perspective. I think you could still get players like Harvin in the fourth, then a WR like Steve Johnson in the fifth, then a QB in the sixth, then a WR like Greg Little or Denarius Moore in the seventh. But this would mean you start 3 RB's and 3 WR's every week. Otherwise if you only can start 2 RB's then you can go back to back RB's then grab a WR in the third and WR in the fourth, QB fifth and WR sixth. Hope this helps.

  2. Thanks, that makes sense. We start 1 QB, 2RB, and 3 WR plus a flex which can be ANY position. Do you believe a 3rd RB is more valuable than a 2nd QB this year? Oh yah, it's a PPR league too.

    1. In your league QB's are the most valuable. Start with your first pick at QB and get a top QB. Then you have to go from there. If there is a run on QB's then stay in the running and get your 2 QB's, then go for your RB's which you only need 2 RB starters then grab your WR's... so this strategy that I wrote about in my article and my previous response don't apply.

  3. Batty, in our league, it's a bit deeper. 1 qb/3 rb/4 wr/1 te/1 flex. Ppr? Any altering suggestions for strategy?

    1. Can the flex be a QB? If not then I would absolutely go RB in first, RB in second, RB in third, WR in fourth, WR in Fifth, QB in Sixth, WR in Seventh, WR in eighth, RB in ninth, TE in tenth.

      WR is much deeper this year so if you are prepared you will do well.

  4. I am in a keeper format --- I can keep 2 of the following three, and any combo will cost me only a 7th and 8th round draft choice.

    Darren Sproles
    Jordy Nelson
    Voctr Cruz