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DraftHustle 2022 Draft Manifesto: Running Backs

Fantasy drafts are starting to ramp up as we get closer to the start of the 2022 NFL season. Having done over 200 bestball drafts so far this season, I believe I have a pretty good idea on how I plan on drafting in my season long leagues, as well as what the good and bad values are for all your favorite players. Over the next few days, I will be giving my overall strategy and other bits of advice on drafting the 4 Primary Fantasy Football positions in 2022. For more tools to help you during your draft, including, rankings, tiers, and Depth charts, be sure to check the Draft Hustle Season-long One Stop Shop here.

General Thoughts

The running back position remains the most important and most valuable position in fantasy football. No matter if your league gives extra points for receptions, shas multiple flex positions, or allows 2 QBs in the starting lineup, an elite running back can win a league single handedly. If you have been drafting since May like myself, you were enjoying many workhorse RBs falling down draft boards. As more causal players start to draft, those RBs will be pushed up draft boards, so be aware.

Draft Strategy

While “Zero-RB” and “Robust RB” have been the popular approaches in recent years, “Bellcow RB” is my ideal draft approach this season, which consists of drafting 1 running back in the first 2 rounds to anchor my RB core, following that up with WRs and possibly a TE in the next 4-5 rounds, and then grabbing a few RBs in the round 6-9 range to fill my RB2/Flex positions. I am more inclined to go heavy RB early if I pick later in round 1. Once I lock up 3 RBs who I feel confident in leading their team in carries, I will target lottery ticket guys, mainly handcuffs to RBs I do not already own, stashing as much upside on my bench as possible.

How Many RBSs can finish as RB1? – 12 and a possible

Every RB listed in my top 2 tiers has the talent, role, and upside to finish as the overall RB1. Saquon Barkley is my RB13 and he also has the potential to finish as the RB1, but his offense (as well as his health) has the potential to hold him back.

I prefer to draft ____ of my top ___ RBs? 3 of my top 24

In an ideal draft, I will have 1 of my top 12 guys after the first 2 rounds. Ezekiel Elliott has been going in round 4 this year and that’s a near autodraft for me as an RB2. Based on recent drafts I have been in, my entire tier 4, outside of Travis Etienne, are falling to at least round 5, and I love taking one of those guys as my RB2 if I pass on Zeke. If I can draft anyone in my tier 5 as my RB3, I am thrilled.

Where do I draft first rookie RB? Breece Hall in Round 4.

I was slow to jump aboard the Breece Hall train early on when he was being drafted in round 3, but I have come around to drafting him in round 4.

Favorite RB after round 10? Dameon Pierce, HOU

According to FantasyPros ADP, Dameon Pierce is currently being drafted as RB47 in round 11. Drafting him as an RB4/RB5 who you can stash until he eventually takes over the Texans starting RB role is a perfect approach to take.

Breakout – D’Andre Swift

Behind an improved offensive line, D’Andre Swift can put up prime Alvin Kamara type numbers. The only potential hurdle will be Jamaal Williams stealing too much goalline work.

Sleeper/ Lottery Ticket – Raheem Mostert

Mike McDaniel brought him in after working with him in San Francisco for a reason. He can be the shirt yardage/ goal line compliment to Chase Edmonds in a very efficient run game.

Bust – A.J. Dillon

His current round 5 ADP is too high for me, barring an Aaron Jones injury. If I feel the need to take a high-end handcuff, I prefer to take Tony Pollard or Kareem Hunt 2-3 rounds later.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram! @Drafthustle


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