Draft Strategy

Top 15 Zero RB Candidates for 2017: No. 5 to No. 1

In 2015, the Zero RB target list included Devonta Freeman and Doug Martin. Martin went off the board at RB17 but finished as RB4. Freeman was selected outside the first 100 picks at RB29 but finished as the overall RB1. The 2016 list featured Melvin Gordon, my top breakout candidate and highest-owned player. Who are we targeting in 2017? You can find the extended intro along with No. 15 to No. 11 in Part 1. Also be sure to check out No. 10 to No. 6 in Part 2. Let’s jump into the rankings.

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By Shawn Siegele | @ff_contrarian | Archive

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  1. Jason says:

    Great list. What round are you taking Doug Martin in? Thought he was going to find his way into your top 1-5

  2. @JollyG804 That's a good point on how to attack them. Unless I have someone like a Melvin Gordon a year ago, I try to maintain a balance between the various potential RBs. Especially during the Round 6-10 range, I really focus on whoever has dropped in that particular draft. That allows me to also get fairly decent value on the individual players.

    I don't really have a single-digit rounder this year who jumps out as an "own in every league" guy, so I'm more balanced. In the late rounds, I own J. Williams and Burkhead on almost every team. They may not pan out, but the cost of reaching a round or two there is minimal. The value of the other players you might target is flat across those rounds.

    @FantasyNerd I'm not as high on Martin now as I was when he really did well for us in 2015. It's very possible that he's an even better player now with the strides he's made in his life. But I'm concerned about the cost of the three games combined with the competition he will return to. You can make strong individual arguments against Quizz, Sims, McNichols, but as a group I do expect one or more to really cut into his ceiling even once he returns.

    But certainly if he falls far enough, Martin would start to be very intriguing.

  3. Just to clarify, Jonathan Williams, not Jamaal or Joe Williams

  4. Matt says:

    @FF_Contrarian what are your thoughts on the Green Bay backfield situation? I was pretty surprised not to see Jamaal Williams on this list anywhere. Ty Montgomery is obviously very talented and athletic but is already injured, has the sickle cell trait (which I think makes him slower to recover from injury), has never carried a big workload, and may well be worse at pass protection than Williams.

    I know you tend to target pass catching backs, and I would guess that if Jamaal Williams wins the primary rb job that Montgomery would likely be the pass catching back. I also know that Jamaal Williams is a trendy pick right now and his price is rising but he has a pretty low success score compared to a lot of other rookie backs. Finally, McCarthy's abandonment of the run game last year shows that he's willing to throw a ton.

    Also, in a half-ppr league, would your list include any non-pass catching backs who are being drafted late like Terrance West?

  5. @mateoloco The GB situation is definitely tricky as you mention. I own Montgomery and Aaron Jones in a lot of dynasty leagues, and that, combined with the relatively low ceiling for Williams, probably makes me shy away from Jamaal right now. Certainly, the situation is starting to shape up nicely for Williams to have at least some role.

    I'm not as excited about West since he's still relatively expensive in half-ppr and standard, and I don't expect them to be able to run the ball effectively. Martin, Kelley, Perine, Rawls, Foreman, Turbin are middle to late round RBs who are more interesting in half or standard than in PPR.

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