ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Running Back Draft and Auction Strategy 2012

Updated on July 10, 2015
Jones-Drew, Foster, Rice
Jones-Drew, Foster, Rice

Having explored the wide receiver draft and auction strategy for 2012, we now move to running backs. Running backs might actually be the simplest of all positions: bid big on the big boys or go to the well.

Will Chris Johnson return to elite RB status?

See results

Most of the running back tiers are pretty clear. There are the unquestioned elite (presented in alphabetical order and not in ranked order): Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice. Maurice Jones-Drew usually comes in step behind those three but a step ahead of everyone else. You then get the players who easily could end up as top-3 but have more question marks than any of the top-4 RBs: Chris Johnson, Marshawn Lynch (is a suspension coming?), Ryan Mathews and Darren McFadden. At that point, with the exception of Trent Richardson and maybe DeMarco Murray, there is no RB expected to get a full three-down and goal-line workload. The drop-off thus comes here, after these 8-10 RBs.

Michael Bush and Matt Forte, Chicago Bears RBBC
Michael Bush and Matt Forte, Chicago Bears RBBC

The next tier of RBs -- those who could put up #1 RB numbers -- is lengthy, perhaps around fifteen deep. Moreover, with the proliferation of the running-back-by-committee in the NFL, there are many further RBs available later who will put useful stats either as a second RB (i.e., C.J. Spiller) or a goal-line back (Michael Bush). Thus, the need to spend a high draft pick or significant auction dollars on those lesser RBs is diminished: there will be plenty of valuable and viable choices in later rounds or for cheaper!

Will Marshawn Lynch continue to score TDs on a near-weekly basis?

See results

While it is clear that spending big on any RB after the top-25 is not wise, what do you do with RBs in that middle tier, from 10-25? I would argue that, barring a great value pick or price or a hunch or sleeper pick, you pass. First of all, that tier is lengthy but closely bunched: odds are that you will get a similar-valued RB later or cheaper. Second, the question is the relative value. Usually, your choice comes down to a second-tier RB or a first-tier WR. Would you rather spend big on a very questionable RB or, for a similar pick or price, get a MUCH better and more reliable player at another position? The second-tier RBs -- the numbers 10-25 -- just don't offer enough in 2012 given the depth of the third tier behind them.

Will Ryan Mathews succeed as a full-time RB?

See results

Moving up to those 4th-10th ranked RBs, that's all up to you. Are you really confident that MJD can repeat, or that Richardson is an immediate star or that McFadden will play 13+ games? If so, they're worth their cost. If not, get the guys in the lower tiers instead: the previous paragraph applies to them, too!

Will Darren McFadden stay healthy (13+ games) this year?

See results

Thus, your running back draft or auction strategy for 2012 becomes quite clear. Either big bid on the big boys (the top-3 plus any other of the top-10 in whom you have high confidence) or go to the well with lower-ranked guys. Believe me, you won't be excited about getting your #20 RB while a top-10 WR is sitting there. If you have a hunch or a sleeper on a 10-25 ranked-RB whom you think will emerge as a legitimate #1 RB, definitely play it and go get him. Otherwise, if you don't get one of the big boys, save your draft picks or auction money for other players; you can get reliable serviceable RBs -- without much drop-off -- in the later rounds or for less money. While everyone else is scrambling to assemble a team full of #2 RBs, you'll be stacked at other positions with little drop-off in your RBs.

Question or responses? Let me know in the Comments section below!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)