Sunday, January 23, 2011
Fantasy Football: Can we shut up about drafting RBs so high yet?
But I'm here to tell you that I think this terrible trend's decline is near. Just take a look at this year's regular season and postseason for proof.
First, of the top 10 rushing teams in the NFL, six of them (Raiders, Jags, Giants, Texans, Bucs, Vikings) did not make the postseason. Granted, the Vikings were the only team on that list to be out of contention the last couple of weeks and the other five were fairly close. The fact remains, however, that teams like the Bears, Packers, Saints, and Seahawks were in the bottom half of the league and still made the playoffs.
Of the regular season's top 10 rushing teams, only the Jets remain. It will be very interesting to see how that rushing game performs against the Steelers today. In fact, other than a couple of long runs, this entire postseason has been about the passing games and the defenses. Of the four teams playing today, I personally think of a quarterback and/or a coach before associating a running back with the team's success.
Here are a few facts:
- The Bears and Packers finished 22nd and 24th in rushing yards respectively during the season and are now playing for a Super Bowl berth.
- The Falcons ranked 12th in regular season rushing yards per game and, as of today, now rank 12th in the postseason (out of 12).
- The postseason's leading rusher, GB's James Starks (94.5 ypg), was nowhere near NFL.com's Top 15 pre-ranked fantasy running backs. In fact, you can look through their Top 80, which is as far as they ranked. No James Starks. (Of their Top 15, four are in the top fifteen for the postseason: Ray Rice, Rashard Mendenhall, Shonn Greene, Jamaal Charles.)
So will the NFL finally start to change? Will team execs notice the trend and stop placing so much emphasis on rushing during the regular season? As fantasy players, will we finally be able to draft QBs and WRs in the 1st round without having chicken wings thrown at us?
I hope so!