Fantasy Football Mock DrafT – Zero RB Strategy vs. Zero WR Strategy

Fantasy Football Mock Draft Strategy – Zero-RB vs Zero-WR

The CPGM Front Office conducted a fantasy football mock draft with their writers to see how different fantasy football strategies can be implemented. Are you a Zero-RB drafter? Zero-WR drafter? Or are you trying to get the best value no matter the position? CPGM Juice and I entered this fantasy football mock draft without previously discussing our strategy and the result was that he decided to draft three running backs with his first three picks (Zero-WR) and I drafted three wide receivers with my first three picks (Zero-RB). In addition, we both are strong believers of not drafting a quarterback in the early part of your drafts. Instead, waiting on later round QBs like Matt Ryan and Jared Goff in this mock.

CPGM Juice’s first 3 picks (Draft position 1.05):

Le’Veon Bell
Dalvin Cook
Damien Williams

CPGM Headley’s first 3 picks (Draft position 1.10):

Davante Adams
JuJu Smith-Schuster
Stefon Diggs

Personally, I like to pick towards the end of the first round, especially using the Zero-WR strategy. You don’t need to contemplate passing up a bell-cow running in the top of the first round. Then you can snag two potential top 5 wide receivers as the running backs fly off the board early in fantasy drafts.

After we drafted heavy at our respective positions, the challenge starts now. CPGM Juice will need to fill out his roster with wide receivers that will out-perform their draft value. While, I will do the opposite and get running backs that will out-perform their draft value. In addition, I have to consider drafting backup backs that will become potential RB1s if the starter goes down or the starter does not perform up to standards.

The positive of going with a Zero-WR strategy is that the NFL is littered with talented receivers that plays a majority of their team’s snaps. This is now a pass first league. While the running back position is more limited later in the draft as teams either rides one guy or implements a running back by committee approach where multiple running backs get an even amount of snaps and one back doesn’t separate from the pack.

On the other hand, positives of going with the Zero-RB strategy is that the wear and tear of the running back position lends itself to more injuries and if you lose one of your top draft picks for the season, it can be a death blow to your fantasy football team. Every single year there are big injuries to the running back position and a player from your waiver wire blows up to become a RB1. This doesn’t happen quite as often at the wide receiver position.

CPGM Juice’s Wide Receiver depth utilizing the Zero-WR approach (18 man roster):

Robert Woods
Tyler Boyd
Sammy Watkins
Marvin Jones
Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Anthony Miller
Michael Gallup
Golden Tate
Hunter Renfrow

The Rams most consistent and dependable receiver Woods ends up being CPGM Juice’s number one receiver. He finished as a WR1 last season in 12-man leagues so getting him in the 4th round is excellent value. The presence of Cooper Kupp back in the lineup gives some pause for him to repeat as a WR1. Nevertheless, a solid pick to lead his receiver unit. The injury to AJ Green for the Bengals makes Boyd the de-facto number one receiver in Cincinnati. I was high on Boyd before the Green injury and I think his value remains the same with Green out of the lineup.

The next five receivers are the number two options in their respective offenses. Watkins and Valdes-Scantling gives CPGM Juice a piece of what should be explosive offenses with great quarterback play. Jones and Gallup are explosive big play threats that should see a bunch of single coverage lining up opposite Kenny Golladay and Amari Cooper. Miller is the wildcard as he is one of my fantasy sleepers in a creative Matt Nagy offense that schemes receivers open. CPGM Juice’s last two picks are a suspended Golden Tate that should be involved in a Giants offense with a dearth of weapons once he gets back, and Renfrow a favorite of CPGM Juice who can win easily in the slot.

CPGM Headley’s Running Back depth utilizing the Zero-RB approach (18 man roster):

Leonard Fournette
Tevin Coleman
Rashaad Penny
Kalen Ballage
Jaylen Samuels
Matt Breida
Chase Edmonds
Ryquell Armstead

Say what you want about Fournette and his injury risk, but getting him in the 4th round can be one of the biggest steals. In 2017, the Jaguars led the NFL in rushing attempts and yards with a healthy Fournette as he finished the fantasy season as the RB9. The Coleman/Breida handcuff stock is up with Jerrick McKinnon having a setback with his knee. I am buying shares as the 49ers rushing offense is their strength. Despite not having their starting quarterback last season, the Niners finished as the 13th ranked rushing offense.

Another backfield to target this season is the Seahawks backfield. I got a piece of that backfield with Penny, the Hawks first round pick last season. Chris Carson is still the guy in Seattle but with the departure of Mike Davis it should be a two-headed approach for a rushing attack that led the league in rushing and finished second in rushing attempts in 2018. If Carson goes down, Penny would have an opportunity to catapult himself into RB1 range.

Ballage and Samuels are both talented backs that will share their backfield load with Kenyan Drake and James Conner. Ballage has been receiving first team reps in camp while Conner’s injury risk due to his physical nature will be something to monitor. Edmonds will never supplant David Johnson but the new offensive philosophy in Arizona lends itself to more plays. Which in turn, lends itself to more opportunities for Edmonds to show his versatility in the offense. Lastly, Armstead is just a handcuff for Fournette as his injury risk is well documented.

So which strategy do you prefer? Zero-RB vs Zero-WR strategy?

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