As the game of fantasy football grows, so do various draft strategies, but this one in particular isn’t a popular one to an All-Pro running back.
The term “zero RB” refers to a strategy of favoring the wide receiver position over running backs, especially in the first three or four rounds. It’s an extreme term as it doesn’t literally mean you don’t draft a running back. You’re ideally drafting at most one running back in favor of drafting an elite receiver, tight end, or quarterback.
The wide receiver and tight end positions are of particular interest, as there could be value found in a late-round QB. However, a late-round tight end is rarely going to match the production of those in the elite tier, like Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts and Darren Waller.
However, not everyone is a proponent of the “zero RB” strategy, especially Derrick Henry, who sent a warning to those employing the tactic.
“It’s been brought to my attention that people are using a ‘zero RB’ strategy,” Henry said in a Yahoo Sports video posted Thursday. “Zero who? Come on people. Last year, I was on pace to gain 2,000 yards for the second straight year, and now you’re trying to cancel me so you can take some extra receivers? Get out of here. So you’re telling me you’re gonna come up to my face and cancel running backs? I don’t think that’ll ever happen.”
Now, the question on people’s minds is, why would you fade Henry? Well, the Tennessee Titans running back is being drafted at an average draft position of six in Yahoo leagues, according to FantasyPros. This is good for RB4 and is ahead of other first-round picks like Ja’Marr Chase, Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs.
It’s also important to note the format to employ “zero RB.” This strategy works effectively in PPR-leagues where you have three starting wide receiver positions. This can also be employed in half-PPR leagues, like Yahoo, but a league that allows you to start three receivers and a receiver in the flex spot leans more favorably to the wide receiver position.
This is due to injury risk at the running back position — Henry is coming off a foot injury from last season — and value found in later rounds. The idea is to load up on elite pass-catchers and take tailbacks like Chase Edmonds (85 ADP), Rhamondre Stevenson (89 ADP), or Tony Pollard (93 ADP), who each carry potential league-winning upside without sacrificing an early pick.
The important thing is there is no right answer. The draft is just one of many important aspects of fantasy football. There is also finding the right trade or making smart waiver wire moves that can help win a league championship.
Whether you choose to fade Henry in drafts is up to you, but if he scores three touchdowns in a game against you, don’t say he didn’t warn you.