Pushing Your Auction Drafts Over the Top: Running Back Targets

Finding running back targets that can push your auction roster over the top

For Quarterback and Tight End targets click here

The fun thing about auctions is that each position has a vastly different strategy on how it should be attacked. It can also be a stumbling block for beginners -- or even veterans -- if you don’t realize the differences at the four major starting spots. As you saw in the first piece, quarterbacks and tight ends have much different scarcity questions and starting requirements. On top of that, depth varies widely among all four positions. Quarterback in a start-one quarterback league is just too deep to sink a lot of money into the position. On the other end of the spectrum, tight end is so top-heavy that it’s the best strategy to get one of the top guys or dive really deep into bargains. But running backs? They’re a unique creature all on their own. Not only is the position scarce in that there aren’t many true workhorse backs left in the NFL, but it’s also scarce in that a lot of leagues allow multiple flexes at the position so people push even harder to get as many relevant backs on their team as they can. The comfort level as each tier drops off the board makes fantasy auction drafters nervous like at no other position. This seems to be a part of a fantasy owner’s brain that is simply hardwired. As a result, you have less of a chance to grab the bargains at running back if you are not strict with when you are attacking which players. This isn’t always in your control, but then again, sometimes it is and that’s why you need some value possibilities to put your roster over the top. You are going to have to pay, or even overpay, for the most sought-after guys at running back so it is even more critical to find some valuable nuggets that can explode for your team.

One other thing to remember is that a “target” does not necessarily mean a low-priced player. It means you are seeking out a lower-priced player as compared to other players similarly ranked. Most often in the case of running backs you aren’t going to see many, if any, deals on top guys. Instead, look for a couple of dollars off the anticipated prices at the top of the position, and more than ever you should be looking to take advantage of players who have a role that may not be what you want but that could develop into a bigger role down the line. This isn’t always easy to anticipate, and the cheaper the running back the more you’ll be wrong, but when you’re right you’ll push your auction roster over the top.

ELITE TARGETS

Alvin Kamara – He is still going off the board as the fourth running back selected so obviously he’s very sought after, but this is purely a nomination play. If you read the piece on Inflection Points you know that there is a period of time at the beginning of a draft where you can often get a deal on whoever is nominated as people settle into the draft. Combine this with the strong effect that the order of nomination has on pricing, and your goal is to combine two auction effects that can score you a deal. If it is your turn to nominate a player and the top three (Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, and Ezekiel Elliott), or even two of three, are still available then you should nominate Kamara. He is clearly fourth for most people on their draft sheets but his upside is certainly near the top of the position. However, his pricing should be a discount from the top guys provided he is nominated before they are gone. The combination of the two moves (nominating in the Settling In period, nominating before more elite options have set the market) will hopefully drive the price down artificially.

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