Fantasy Football Drafting: A drought on reliable running backs

      August 2, 2012 @ 17:07:33 PDT

My first real fantasy football draft of the year, KFFL's own Fantasy Analysis Draft, kicked off this past Monday. If you haven't signed up for any leagues yet, now is the time to do so; the preseason and start of the regular season will be here before you know it.

In case you care to follow along and gain insight into each participant's selections, follow along here. Keep track of the rosters as they take shape here. Feel free to bash or praise any of the picks as you see fit.

As with most drafts, my strategy quickly changed from what I had planned on going in. With tight end and quarterback the deepest positions, in my opinion, I had planned to wait off on them and stack up on safe running back options.

That didn't necessarily happen, as I had only one rusher (Darren McFadden) in my first four picks. And McFadden isn't exactly the safest No. 1 back to own, but I know what he can do when healthy, and I was willing to take that chance. I know he's injury-prone, but I'm hoping he'll stay healthy and if he does miss some games to injury, hopefully it won't be as many as the nine games he was knocked out for in 2011. I also fully expect Oakland's O to be much more efficient with Carson Palmer in his second season in Silver and Black.

With an increasing amount of teams moving to the dreaded running-back-by-committee approach, it's even more important to grab you a stud rusher that is guaranteed a healthy amount of touches early, even in this 12-team, 16-round point-per-reception league.

Once the top seven or eight tailbacks come off the board, the lot of rushers is very uninspiring, even as you consider a No. 1 rusher if you're drafting late in the first round. This is why I waited until the fifth round to take my second running back, which is somewhat of a surprise for me.

I was really hoping Isaac Redman or Fred Jackson would fall to me in the fifth, but I was pretty happy with the value I extracted out of 30-year-old Michael Turner. I even considered Redman, F-Jax and Beanie Wells in the fourth, but I just couldn't pull the trigger over Matthew Stafford.

They are all question marks, though; Redman has never handled a full-time rushing gig, Jackson will split the load now with C.J. Spiller and Wells is coming off knee surgery. I went with the veteran that continues to put up big numbers even as he ages. I know he won't touch the ball as much as in past seasons, but I like the direction Atlanta's offense is heading.

As you approach your fantasy football drafts, which running backs are you most excited about taking. Are you making the leap on Ryan Mathews in the top three or four picks like Nicholas Minnix did? How much can we expect from Trent Richardson? And is he worthy of a first-round selection? How early would you take Adrian Peterson?

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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