I started playing fantasy football when I was twelve-years-old and the first thing I was told was, "Draft running backs in the first two rounds," and for the past ten years that is how I and most successful fantasy football players have approached our Augusts. That strategy though is changing, quite dramatically and quickly, to one that is foreign to most seasoned players. With the season that Tom Brady and Randy Moss had last year, there has been a push to draft quarterbacks and wide receivers in the first two rounds. I believe that is a strategy that can work, but you have to know when to use it.
Numbers do not lie, and the numbers say that only one running back cracked the top ten of the fantasy point total and only two were in the top 20. If you look solely at the numbers, it would seem a forgone conclusion that you will pick a quarterback, but, until last year, there just was not enough separation between the top quarterbacks and the twelfth an 13th ranked quarterbacks. Then, Tom Brady happened, and the landscape and draft thought process quickly changed.
The problem is this, most quarterbacks are not Tom Brady. In fact, Tom Brady is unlikely to be as good as Tom Brady was last year this year. The year after Peyton Manning's record breaking season he was not even the top rated quarterback and was only 50 points ahead of the tenth rated passer. The point is, if you expect Tom Brady or Randy Moss to recreate the season they had last year, you will find yourself sitting pretty at the front of the draft in 2009.
So is Tom Brady worth a first round pick? Maybe, but it really depends on what the other people in your draft are going to do or where you are in your draft. If you are one of the last players in the first round in a snake style draft, drafting Tom Brady will be okay because you will be able to pick a running back up in the second round without much of a fall off. Also, you might draft Brady if you know the other players in your league are easy to spook and you can create a quarterback run. Other than that, the reality is that you can probably get a quarterback later in the draft that will perform at least in the same ballpark as this year's Brady. Not to toot my own horn, but I drafted Tony Romo in the tenth round of my draft. I know that situation is not always going to happen, but you can definitely get a good quarterback in the fourth and fifth round.
So, however unsexy it is to draft running back, running back to begin your draft, in most situations it is the best strategy you can employ. Now go off and be boring.
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