Win. Your. League.

Receive 3 Free Downloads More Details

RB By Committee, Update

Finding a Stud Running Back by Committee for 2017

This year's series of "By Committee" articles sparked a few great questions from the readers, and that led to a recent article where I discussed using a few different approaches (such as Ben Roethlisberger only at home plus another quarterback).  At the end of the article, a table was presented to show several options at quarterback for committee pairs that involved quarterbacks that were higher than the cutoff line that I had drawn (QB13+ on the ADP list).  The readers asked why the line was drawn at QB12, and I felt that it was a good question and a different answer (and article) was needed.  Further investigation of this seemlingly arbitrary line led me to ask the question for running back - should the line be drawn higher, and could better pairs result?  

So with this in mind, I revisited the arguments I made about the committee approach, and then I explored raising the line (and the bar) for better pairs.  Below are the results, which I hope help you on your fantasy draft day: 


I mentioned this the first time - defenses and quarterbacks are relatively easy to "committee" together. There's usually only one QB and certainly only one team defense per NFL club, so the approach is pretty simple as far as picking out which players / teams to try and pair up. When it comes to running backs, the line is not quite so easy to draw, but I needed some basis to pick which players it made sense to try and combine for a decent committee. This time I decided that I would use the following criteria to decide which players to start with for evaluating:


This seems pretty simple. If we want to have a duo that puts up elite numbers, that means we want RB10 or better production - else we would just draft a Top 10 option and forget the whole idea. So here is the list of players with which I started, based on their Average Draft Position (ADP):

ADP Player ADP Player
RB11 Lamar Miller RB20 Bilal Powell
RB12 Leonard Fournette RB21 Mark Ingram
RB13 Isaiah Crowell RB22 Tevin Coleman
RB14 Marshawn Lynch RB23 Ameer Abdullah
RB15 Dalvin Cook RB24 Joe Mixon
RB16 Carlos Hyde RB25 Terrance West
RB17 Spencer Ware RB26 Frank Gore
RB18 Christian McCaffrey RB27 Doug Martin
RB19 Ty Montgomery    

Table 1: Running Backs RB11-RB27 Based on ADP

Now we have 17 guys to pair up and see how they do. That makes 136 potential committees, so there had better be a decent one (or several, we hope) out of all of those couplets. Now, before I go over the method of how to pair them up and the results, we need one more rule:


Rather than keep Criteria #2 from the original article, I am allowing for more flexibility in your draft.  Let us let the results speak for themselves and then decide which pairs are the correct ones to select as the draft progresses.

So what do we do now to figure out some RB pairs?


This sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Just take the RB Strength of Schedule to figure out when certain players are more likely to score well. What I did is similar to what the Projections Dominator and Draft Dominator do for you - take the projected fantasy points and slice them up over 17 weeks based on the strength of schedule. I call this result the "distributed fantasy points" for each receiver.

After I had all 17 running backs with distributed fantasy points on a weekly basis, I just compared all of the possible RB pairs to find the best duos for an elite RBBC. So here we are - time for some results:

Rank Running Back 1 Running Back 2 Value
1 Leonard Fournette Isaiah Crowell 212.25
2 Lamar Miller Leonard Fournette 211.91
3 Lamar Miller Isaiah Crowell 208.5
4 Leonard Fournette Marshawn Lynch 203.38
5 Lamar Miller Dalvin Cook 203.27
6 Isaiah Crowell Christian McCaffrey 199.5
7 Leonard Fournette Dalvin Cook 199.31
8 Isaiah Crowell Marshawn Lynch 198.72
9 Isaiah Crowell Doug Martin 198.22
10 Lamar Miller Marshawn Lynch 197.71
11 Lamar Miller Christian McCaffrey 196.97
12 Isaiah Crowell Bilal Powell 195.96
13 Isaiah Crowell Ty Montgomery 195.25
14 Isaiah Crowell Spencer Ware 195.18
15 Leonard Fournette Tevin Coleman 194.83
16 Leonard Fournette Christian McCaffrey 194.4
17 Leonard Fournette Bilal Powell 194.01
18 Isaiah Crowell Carlos Hyde 193.93
19 Isaiah Crowell Joe Mixon 193.91
20 Lamar Miller Spencer Ware 193.53
21 Lamar Miller Joe Mixon 193.43
22 Lamar Miller Doug Martin 192.99
23 Isaiah Crowell Mark Ingram 192.93
24 Leonard Fournette Spencer Ware 192.88
25 Leonard Fournette Carlos Hyde 192.32
26 Lamar Miller Carlos Hyde 192.23
27 Isaiah Crowell Frank Gore 191.89
28 Isaiah Crowell Dalvin Cook 191.78
29 Lamar Miller Ty Montgomery 191.75
30 Isaiah Crowell Terrance West 191.18
31 Isaiah Crowell Tevin Coleman 190.86
32 Isaiah Crowell Ameer Abdullah 190.52
33 Leonard Fournette Joe Mixon 190.49
34 Leonard Fournette Mark Ingram 190.49
35 Leonard Fournette Doug Martin 190.46
36 Lamar Miller Mark Ingram 190.32
37 Leonard Fournette Ameer Abdullah 189.71
38 Lamar Miller Frank Gore 189.36
39 Leonard Fournette Frank Gore 189.1
40 Leonard Fournette Terrance West 188.79
41 Marshawn Lynch Dalvin Cook 188.77
42 Lamar Miller Bilal Powell 188.62
43 Lamar Miller Tevin Coleman 187.53
44 Lamar Miller Terrance West 186.79
45 Dalvin Cook Bilal Powell 186.13
46 Dalvin Cook Ty Montgomery 185.99
47 Dalvin Cook Doug Martin 185.23
48 Dalvin Cook Christian McCaffrey 184.6
49 Leonard Fournette Ty Montgomery 184.34
50 Dalvin Cook Tevin Coleman 183.51
51 Dalvin Cook Mark Ingram 182.84
52 Lamar Miller Ameer Abdullah 181.75
53 Marshawn Lynch Carlos Hyde 181.69
54 Dalvin Cook Spencer Ware 181.57
55 Dalvin Cook Carlos Hyde 181.52
56 Marshawn Lynch Bilal Powell 181.42
57 Marshawn Lynch Doug Martin 181.2
58 Marshawn Lynch Mark Ingram 181.18
59 Dalvin Cook Frank Gore 180.98
60 Dalvin Cook Joe Mixon 180.66
61 Marshawn Lynch Christian McCaffrey 180.47
62 Marshawn Lynch Tevin Coleman 180.1
63 Marshawn Lynch Ty Montgomery 179.31
64 Dalvin Cook Terrance West 179.3
65 Lamar Miller n/a 179.17

Table 2: Elite Running Back Committee Pairs

Okay, that is a really big table, but I wanted to be thorough.  As you can see, we have some very good pairs to select from for an elite RBBC. So digging in, there are 81 pairs ot Table 2 to consider, so there are a number of options.  Rather than looking at the frequency of appearances, let's just jump right into the comparison to the original table for our Top 12+ running backs from the original article:  

ADP RB Rank Player Team FPs
1 1 David Johnson ARI 320.8
2 3 LeVeon Bell PIT 270.83
3 2 Ezekiel Elliott DAL 287.36
7 5 LeSean McCoy BUF 214.03
9 4 Melvin Gordon LAC 216.43
10 6 Devonta Freeman ATL 212.48
11 7 Jordan Howard CHI 206.24
13 8 Jay Ajayi MIA 201.39
14 9 DeMarco Murray TEN 199.03
20 12 Todd Gurley LAR 179.68
21 10 Leonard Fournette JAX 183.36
23 11 Lamar Miller HOU 182.51

Table 3: Projected Fantasy Points for Elite Running Backs


Based on Tables 2 and 3, we see that some combinations of running backs can provide elite production at a reduced price.  Taking two running backs in the RB15-24 range with the right combined schedule gives 240+ fantasy points, which is equivalent to any of Todd Gurley, Leonard Fournette or Lamar Miller (RB12, RB10 or RB11, respectively) along with 4-8 points for a bye week filler. Not all of the pairings may fall into place in each draft, but having a chart like Table 2 can give you a leg up on the competition.  

The committee approach is not a perfect one, but having this knowledge prior to your fantasy draft can prove to be invaluable if you decide to adopt this approach.  If all the players on your starter list are gone, goiong with a committee can save your team and help you deal with the loss of bigger names.  The method is also a big help in "Best Ball" leagues, where lineup decisions are not necessary every week.  That's exactly where a committee can do the best, as either player can count for you each week.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to