Running Back by Committee or Loser-By-Committee?
The four most dreaded words in fantasy football are: running back by committee. Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of fantasy owners more than a committee in the backfield. Who’s going to get the ball? How many carries will they get? Will they get goaline touches? Who gets garbage time touches? None of these questions can be answered until after the game — when it’s already too late.
There are a few teams that enjoy torturing owners more than others and they are as follows: New England, Cleveland and New York. It’s like their head coaches don’t even care about fantasy football! These teams like to spread the carries around most and make it just about impossible to start a running back from their team (or at least impossible to feel good about it).
So how do you avoid this plague? You need to grab your backs early. If you don’t want to get stuck with a running back in a committee situation, you need to go out and draft the bellcow backs with your first few picks. There’s no other way to guarantee success here, really. These guys come off the board quickly because not only are they getting more carries but they’re more reliable and they’re just plain better. You know why Adrian Peterson doesn’t split carries? Because he’s damn good, that’s why. So you need to be willing to spend high draft picks on top notch backs if you don’t want to be guessing who’s getting the ball on Sunday.
The carry leaders in 2015 were Peterson, Doug Martin, Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman and Frank Gore (seriously). You don’t need me to tell you that most of these guys will be off the board in the first round. Avoiding the running back by committee is as simple as committing yourself to drafting an established back in an established offense. Look at their previous carries, look at who else is on the roster and look at how they’ve split carries in the past. Last but not least, watch the news wire — sometimes coaches will simply tell you what their plan is. You can’t always trust them, but it’s better than picking blind.