2022 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: When and How to Use Zero-RB to Win Your League

Over the past few years I’ve been a bigger supporter of Zero-RB than most, but even I qualified that by saying that if you had a choice of the top four, you probably shouldn’t use The strategy. That’s changed for 2022. I’m ok with taking both Justin Jefferson and Cooper Kupp in the top four picks, which opens up a wider range of Zero-RB paths than in previous years, while he doesn’t was primarily available only to drafting teams in the back half of the first round.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that catches should count. I would prefer them to count for a full point, but that strategy can also work in a 0.5 PPR league, but not for teams with a top five pick. If you’re able to start two quarterbacks, great. While this is also a tight bounty, we’ve reached the point where I actually prefer Zero-RB.

As a proponent of no intentional positional strategy, this is where I must emphasize that you should not lock yourself into a Zero-RB approach. If you’re in a league with a group of guys who avoid running, you should stock them up. You should never be stuck in a particular draft strategy without considering what your teammates are doing. This article is about using Zero-RB when the strategy presents itself as the best option, not locking it in first.

Now that we’ve straightened up when to switch to Zero-RB, let’s talk about it How? ‘Or’ What. In my Overview of Running Back I’ve given you my favorite Zero-RB lenses, and I’ll update them as ADP gets firmer. But first, I’d like to touch on the Zero-RB dream build, then three paths based on the current ADP.

My dream scenario starts with Jefferson landing in round 1, Mark Andrews in round 2, DJ Moore in round 3, Brandin Cooks in round 4 and Mike Williams in round 5. That gives me four of my top 14 wide receivers and my No. 2 tight end.

The only place, other than the running back, that this team lacks is at quarterback. If you’re feeling really dashing, you can possibly find Jalen Hurts in Round 6. If you miss him, Tom Brady could be there in Round 7. If you’re in a league that goes crazy for quarterbacks early, then your top five picks maybe even better than my dream scenario. In this case, I might target one from Trey Lance or Justin Fields and pair them with one from Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers or Derek Carr.

Now, it’s possible if you’re at the back of the draft that you miss Kupp, Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase in the first round. In the script, I pivot to Travis Kelce and replace Andrews in the second round. with Stefon Diggs. Let’s look at three possible starts based on different draft positions you could build from. I will go through Round 6 on the Hurts version, and Round 5 on the others. Note that these three versions are possible according to Fantasy Pros Consensus PPR ADP:

  • Pick 4 Justin Jefferson, Mark Andrews, DJ Moore, Brandin Cooks, Mike Williams
  • Pick 8 Ja’Marr Chase, Mark Andrews, Michael Pittman, DJ Moore, Courtland Sutton, Jalen Hurts
  • Pick 11 Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs, Michael Pittman, DJ Moore, Courtland Sutton

These three teams have four of my top 20 wide receivers and my No. 1 or No. 2 tight end. The Pick 8 team also has my No. 5 quarterback. Now is the time to attack the running position ball like a freshman and a one-day-old pizza. Eat until you are full, then eat some more. Here’s that list from the preview, for reference:

Round 6 – Miles Sanders, Kareem Hunt, Tony Pollard
Round 7 – Chase Edmonds, Kenneth Walker
Round 8 -Michael Carter, Rhamond Stevenson
Round 9 -James Cook, Nyheim Hines
Round 10 – Dameon Pierce, Tyler Allgeier, Alexander Mattison
Round 11 -Raheem Mostert, Isaiah Spiller
Round 12 – Marlon MackMark Ingram
Round 13 –
Kenneth Gainwell, Rachaad White
Round 14 or later
– Khalil Herbert, Foreman D’Onta,

Now, there’s a wide array of backs here. There are high cuffs that won’t pay off without an injury, 1B fullbacks that can be flexed early or league winners with an injury, and less exciting fullbacks with higher floors. I would like a mix of all three types. First, I want two fullbacks that I can see as flexes or better for Week 1. Next, I want as many upsides and as many hits as I can get from Rounds 6-14. With these builds, I would expect at least six of my last nine picks to be running backs, with at least one other inside wide receiver and one quarterback shuffled around.

Zero RB build from choice 4

1.4Justin Jefferson
2.9 Marc Andrews
3.4 DJ Moore
4.9 Brandin cooks
5.4 Mike Williams
6.9 Kareem Hunt
7.4Tom Brady
8.9 Chase Edmonds
9.4 James Cook
10.9 Alexander Mattison
11.4 Dameon Pierce
12.9 Isaiah Spiller
13.4 Khalil Herbert
14.9 Jahan Dotson

You’ll notice a lot of rookie ball carriers in these builds, as they aren’t pushed into ADP yet like they normally are. Pierce and Allgeier in particular seem to have pretty clear paths for starting reps, but I prefer Pierce because Cordarrelle Patterson is likely to keep Allgeier off the field for transmissions this year.

Zero RB build from pick 8

1.8 Ja’Marr Chase
2.5 Marc Andrews
3.8 Michael Pittman
4.5 DJ Moore
5.8Courtland Sutton
6.5 Jalen hurts
7.8 Chase Edmonds
8.5 Michael Carter
9.8 Treylon Burk
10.5 Nyheim Hines
11.8 Dameon Pierce
12.5 Isaiah Spiller
13.8 Mark Ingram
14.5 Tyler Allgeier

Mark Ingram doesn’t look as attractive now that Alvin Kamara’s trial has been delayed yet again, but that doesn’t mean he should go undrafted again. On the one hand, a leaked video or a settlement could result in a mid-season suspension, and on the other hand, Kamara could run out of time. Ingram’s age makes this surprising, but he’s a pretty high handcuff at worst and maybe more of a 1B like Hunt or Pollard.

Zero RB build from choice 11

1.11 Travis Kelce
2.2 Stefan Diggs
3.11 Michael Pittman
4.2 DJ Moore
5.11 Courtland Sutton
6.2 mile sanders
7.11 Tony Pollard
8.2 Edmonds Hunt
9.11 Kirk Cousins
10.2 Fields of Justin
11.11 Dameon Pierce
12.2 Isaiah Spiller
13.11 Tyler Allgeier
14.2 Jahan Dotson

I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of those running backs, especially those in the double-digit rounds, see their ADP increase in the coming weeks. But it’s hard to make a blueprint based on what ADP might be, so I’m using current consensus. The original Zero-RB target slate shows how prepared I am to target those backs, while the three draft plans show the best-case scenario under the current ADP. Keep up to date with changes and adapt accordingly.

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