So, I should start by saying hello again!
I am finally back from a slight break. Thanks to real world responsibilities, I had to take some time off from writing for the most immature and eccentric sports blog going around your friendly interwebs. But, thankfully, moreso for my sanity than most everyone else’s pleasure, I am back to the keyboard!
Where to begin?! So much has transpired since I last vented to you all. Team USA has selected their team made up of a starting PG, SG, SF combo of the three worst perimeter defensive players in the league. Team USA also costed Paul George a leg and the Pacers their title dreams. The Hinkie traded everyones most lovable tall person Thad Young to the T-Wolves for some random players and a first rounder, Bron-Bron got his good buddy Kevin Love to the only city that could make Minnesota look like a nice weather destination. The T-Wolves owner decided to try his hardest to impersonate Dan Gilbert after Love left. The Washington professional football team still is adament on being racist. Goodell decided that beating up a girl and dragging her unconcious carcus out of a public elevator isn’t that bad, when compared to say, smoking weed. And of course, you have the idea that baseball may just be outdated. Jesus, I didn’t even have to think to get this list together, just imagine what we missed once I do my research!
Naturally, I am going to start my comeback tour with none of these topics. Instead, I am going to go after something that hits a little closer to home for pretty much everyone.
The idea popped into my head as I was beginning to prepare for my fantasy draft (which I will most certainly post who I have drafted so, throughout the year, you can make fun of me for my terrible picks). The first four picks in this year’s fantasy draft are all but locked. Adrian Peterson, Lesean McCoy, Jamal Charles, and Matt Forte, in some order similar to that. Why is this pretty locked up? Because they are the four best running backs in the league, and running back is the most important position in fantasy football.
What if that concept is outdated? Let’s just dive down the rabbit hole for a quick second. The top ten fantasy scorers from last year, in order, were:
- Peyton Manning – 406
- Drew Brees – 348
- Jamal Charles – 295
- Cam Newton – 282
- Andrew Luck – 279
- Andy Dalton – 277
- Philip Rivers – 276
- Matthew Stafford – 267
- LeSean McCoy – 262
- Russell Wilson – 256
So, as you can see, of the top ten fantasy scorers in the league from 2013, eight were quarterbacks. If I am being honest, I had two questions when I saw this list. First, why doesn’t everyone go all out for Manning or Brees as opposed to Peterson and Forte. Second, where are my wideouts?! I am not as shocked by the lack of running backs on this list as I am by the lack of wide receivers. The top wideout from last year was Josh Gordon, who put up only 221 fantasy points. With how much the league is trending towards the pass, you would think that there would be more receivers at the top of the scoring chart for fantasy.
Last year, the league average for run plays per game was 42.40%. Simply put, this means that, if every team in the league had 100 possessions, the league average per team of run plays would only be 42.4 plays compared to 57.6 pass plays. Then, to take it a step further, the Eagles had the league’s rushing leader in LeSean McCoy last year, and they averaged a run percentage of 49.6%. Yet, Shady only managed to be the 9th best fantasy player in the league. A team with virtually only one back, which ran it basically 50% of the time, and had possibly the best run blocking line in the league as evidenced by the production, could only get their running back to 9. Shady was only topped fantasy-wise by Charles, who managed to get to 3 due to his receiving ability and the fact that he was his teams only true running back option. Even the Eagles had Bryce Brown and the speedster Nicky HOF Foles.
This league has diverted from the traditional model of one running back carrying the load offensively, as the runner, receiver, goal line back, and blocker. In its stead, the league has shifted to a more specialized back field. One in which a team will have their primary running back, a power back, and a receiving back. Sure, there are the Adrian Petersons of the world who happens to be the primary weapon for the Vikings. However, he does not offer fantasy owners great value due to his lack of skill as a receiving weapon. In fact, Knowshon Moreno was able to out produce AP in fantasy last year. Let me repeat, KNOWSHON MORENO was better than AP last year in fantasy. The guy who does go chasing waterfalls!! (Suck it TLC!!)
Now, back to my surprise in the fact that there weren’t more recievers at the top of the fantasy totem pole.
This appears to be the same issue as with the running back situation, although it is a little more apparent. The fact that on any given passing play, the quarterback has around four targets to throw to spreads out fanstasy points pretty well. Of the top ten scoring wide receivers from last year, Demaryius Thomas (2) and Eric Decker (8) were on the same team, as were Brandon Marshall (5) and Alshon Jeffery (9). Toss in the fact that Denver’s tight end, Julius Thomas, was the number three ranked tight end and Chicago’s tight end, Martellus Bennett, was ranked tenth, and it clearly shows that the receiver position is more evenly spread.
With all of this said, I am not stupid.
Well, that is to be determined, (yes, I am trying to build anticipation for my fantasy team). Top of the draft, I am not picking a quarterback or a wide receiver. First four picks are still the same for me as they are for everyone else.
Why? For all of the reasons I brought up above. There are very few game changing running backs. They are rare. You have eight shots at quarterback to get a top 10 player. There are lots of wide receivers who will be getting quality targets.
Yes, I know this was a roundabout way to get to the exact conclusion that everyone already had ascertained, running back is a premium position in fantasy football. But now we know that, with the changing ways of the NFL, the running back position is still one to be valued and treasured more highly than Frodo carrying the ring.
Shady = My Precious.