What is Upside Down Drafting?
If you're new to the Upside Down Draft Strategy (UDD) and it's the first time you've read about this topic, you've stumbled into the middle of the story. Begin here for the basics or go here for a more exhaustive look.
Normally, I endorse waiting until the fifth round to take a running back. This year, there's enough non-running back talent in the fifth round, that it's worth considering a runner in the fourth round, and taking two non-running backs between your block of runners during rounds 5-10.
Now that we're caught up, let's look at the mid-round PPR backs that I endorse for this year's UDD Strategy.
This list will not be a comprehensive look at every running back. If you want to know my thoughts on each player, read the comments in my rankings. If you're thinking, "I'm going to email or Tweet Matt and ask him, 'what about [insert name of back not listed below that you maybe-possibly-kinda like]?'" it will be nice to hear from you but I'll still tell you to read the comments in my rankings.
If I have any major updates to my preferred list of mid-round backs, I'll keep you posted weekly in subsequent Gut Checks.
THE GUT CHECK'S PREFERRED MID-ROUND (4TH-10TH) RUNNERS
I'm listing two or three runners per round as well as an extra runner that is worth reaching for if both of the prescribed backs in those rounds are gone. In italics are one or two non-runners in each round I value. I called it my Non-RB Exception. I've found that using one round between the 5-10 block for a non-runner strengthens the balance of the team. This is based on PPR formats with 12 teams.
If you land at least five of these backs by the 10th round you should have a solid start to your Upside Down Draft. ADP is based on PPR leagues because PPR formats are well tailored for Upside Down Drafts.
I recommend all the names listed, but the underlined players are my favorites. In some cases, I've underlined two players in the same round so if you aren't enamored with the list from the previous or following rounds, you have my permission (if you need it for some weird reason) to reach for one to land multiple underlined guys. However, don't take that underline as a reason to fixate on the player, the strategy is about casting a wide net on a block of backs.
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