Fantasy football 2021: 3 running backs going too high, too low

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Fantasy Football, Austin Ekeler

Dec 17, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Running back, the gold standard of fantasy football.  A few days ago I put out an article talking about the quarterback position, and now I am turning my sights to the running backs.

For many of us in the fantasy football game, our teams live and die by our RB situation.  Some people try and load up early, using 3 or 4 of their first five rounds on the running back position.  With the importance being on finding those workhorse guys who also bring a bit of value in the receiving game.  Those are the big-time players.  However, sometimes I find that fantasy football players will go a little overboard and wind up taking some backs too early, solely because of their situation (looking at you CEH).

Last year I watched Clyde Edwards-Helaire being drafted in the 1st or 2nd round!  A rookie, never before seen in the NFL, all because of the team he joined. I heard the rationale, that he was going to the most potent offense in the NFL, at the one position they were lacking at.  My response was usually that they might not be lacking a back, they might not need one.  Needless to say, Edwards-Helaire didn’t pan out.

If you think that is a fluke, that early rounds have to be used on the RB position, let me throw another name out there. Kenyan Drake.  Taken high in last year’s drafts, and was a complete letdown.  Chase Edmonds looked better and now Drake is a backup in Las Vegas.

The point is, while the early guys can be game-changers and championship winners, sometimes patience is a virtue.  Last year, if you held off on Edwards-Helaire and instead took Jonathan Taylor in the middle rounds you would have had a monster player on your team for that playoff run.  Want another name that was taken late? Antonio Gibson. How about Cam Akers? I could go on, but I think the point was made.

So, let’s look at the guys that are going too early, and which guys should be going earlier.  As usual, ADP is based on half-point PPR 12 team leagues.

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