2022 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: When and how to use Zero-RB to win your league

For the previous few years I’ve been a much bigger proponent of Zero-RB than most, however even I certified that by saying that when you had a top-four decide, you in all probability should not make use of the technique. That has modified for 2022. I’m nice with taking each Justin Jefferson and Cooper Kupp within the first 4 picks, which opens up a wider vary of Zero-RB paths than previous years, when it was principally solely out there to groups drafting within the again half of the primary spherical.

One factor that hasn’t modified is that catches should depend. I’d choose they depend for a full level, however this technique can work in a 0.5 PPR league as properly, simply not for groups with a top-five decide. If you are ready to begin two quarterbacks, all the higher. If it is tight finish premium as properly, then we have reached the purpose the place I really choose Zero-RB.

As a proponent of no intentional positional technique, that is the place I need to emphasize that you shouldn’t lock your self right into a Zero-RB method. If you are in a league with a bunch of fellows eschewing working backs, you need to be stockpiling them. You ought to by no means be caught in a specific draft technique with out consideration of what your league-mates are doing. This article is about using Zero-RB when the technique presents itself as the best choice, not about locking it upfront.

Now that we have straightened out when to go Zero-RB, let’s speak about how. In my Running Back Preview I gave you my favourite Zero-RB targets, and I’ll replace these as ADP will get extra agency. But first I’d like to deal with the dream Zero-RB construct, then three paths based mostly on present ADP.

My dream state of affairs begins with me touchdown Jefferson in Round 1, Mark Andrews in Round 2, DJ Moore in Round 3, Brandin Cooks in Round 4, and Mike Williams in Round 5. That provides me 4 of my top-14 huge receivers and my no 2 tight ends.

The solely place, apart from working again, this group is missing is at quarterback. If you are actually feeling frisky you may presumably discover Jalen Hurts in Round 6. If you miss him, Tom Brady may very well be there in Round 7. If you are in a league that goes loopy for quarterbacks early, then your first 5 picks could also be even higher than my dream state of affairs. In that case I may goal certainly one of Trey Lance or Justin Fields and pair them with certainly one of Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, or Derek Carr.

Now, it is potential when you’re on the again finish of the draft that you simply miss out on Kupp, Jefferson, and Ja’Marr Chase in Round 1. In the state of affairs, I’m pivoting to Travis Kelce and changing Andrews in Round 2 with Stefon Diggs. Let’s take a look at three potential begins based mostly on completely different draft positions you might construct from. I’ll undergo Round 6 on the Hurts construct, and by way of Round 5 on the others. Note, all three of those builds are potential in accordance to Fantasy Pros Consensus PPR ADP:

  • Pick 4 Justin Jefferson, Mark Andrews, DJ Moore, Brandin Cooks, Mike Williams
  • Pick 8 Ja’Marr Chase, Mark Andrews, Michael Pittman, DJ Moore, Courtland Sutton, Jalen Hurts
  • Pick 11 Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs, Michael Pittman, DJ Moore, Courtland Sutton

All three of those groups have 4 of my top-20 huge receivers and both my No. 1 web page no. 2 tight ends. The group from Pick 8 additionally has my No. 5 quarterbacks. Now it is time to assault the working again place like a school freshman and a day-old pizza. Eat till you are full and then eat some extra. Here’s that record from the preview, for reference:

Round 6 – Miles Sanders, Kareem Hunt, Tony Pollard
Round 7 – Chase Edmonds, Kenneth Walker
Round 8 – Michael Carter, Rhamondre Stevenson
Round 9 – James Cook, Nyheim Hines
Round 10 – Dameon Pierce, Tyler Allgeier, Alexander Mattison
Round 11 – Raheem Mostert, Isaiah Spiller
Round 12 – Marlon Mack, Mark Ingram
Round 13 –
Kenneth Gainwell, Rachaad White
Round 14 or later
– Khalil Herbert, D’Onta Foreman,

Now, there’s a variety of backs right here. There are high-upside handcuffs who will not repay with out an harm, 1B backs who could be flexed early or league-winners with an harm, and much less thrilling backs with larger flooring. I would really like a mixture of all three sorts. First, I need two backs I can view as flexes or higher for Week 1. Then, I need as a lot upside and as many pictures as I can get from Rounds 6-14. With these builds, I’d count on a minimal of six of my remaining 9 picks can be working backs, with a minimum of yet another upside huge receiver and a quarterback combined in.

Zero-RB Build from Pick 4

1.4 Justin Jefferson
2.9 Mark Andrews
3.4 DJ Moore
4.9 Brandin Cooks
5.4 Mike Williams
6.9 Kareem Hunt
7.4 Tom Brady
8.9 Chase Edmonds
9.4 James Cook
10.9 Alexander Mattison
11.4 Dameon Pierce
12.9 Isaiah Spiller
13.4 Khalil Herbert
14.9 Jahan Dotson

You’ll discover loads of rookie working backs in these builds as a result of they don’t seem to be but being pushed up in ADP like they usually are. Pierce and Allgeier particularly appear to have fairly clear paths to starter reps, however I choose Pierce as a result of Cordarrelle Patterson is probably going to preserve Allgeier off the sector for passing downs this 12 months.

Zero-RB Build from Pick 8

1.8 Ja’Marr Chase
2.5 Mark Andrews
3.8 Michael Pittman
4.5 DJ Moore
5.8 Courtland Sutton
6.5 Jalen Hurts
7.8 Chase Edmonds
8.5 Michael Carter
9.8 Treylon Burks
10.5 Nyheim Hines
11.8 Dameon Pierce
12.5 Isaiah Spiller
13.8 Mark Ingram
14.5 Tyler Allgeier

Mark Ingram does not look almost as enticing now that Alvin Kamara’s courtroom case has been delayed once more, however that does not imply he ought to return to being undrafted once more. For one factor, a video leak or settlement may lead to a midseason suspension, and for one more, Kamara may miss time. Ingram’s age makes this shocking, however he is a fairly high-upside handcuff at worst and could also be extra of a 1B like Hunt or Pollard.

Zero-RB Build from Pick 11

1.11 Travis Kelce
2.2 Stefon Diggs
3.11 Michael Pittman
4.2 DJ Moore
5.11 Courtland Sutton
6.2 Miles Sanders
7.11 Tony Pollard
8.2 Chase Edmonds
9.11 Kirk Cousins
10.2 Justin Fields
11.11 Dameon Pierce
12.2 Isaiah Spiller
13.11 Tyler Allgeier
14.2 Jahan Dotson

I might not be shocked if a number of of those working backs, particularly these within the double-digit rounds, see their ADP get boosted within the coming weeks. But it is laborious to lay out a plan based mostly on what ADP may be, so I’m utilizing what consensus presently is. The unique record of Zero-RB targets exhibits how early I’m prepared to goal these backs, whereas the three draft plans present the best-case state of affairs in accordance to present ADP. Keep abreast of modifications, and regulate accordingly.

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