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The State of the NFL RunningBack


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I wanted to get some discussion on the running back situation in the NFL. It seems that more and more teams are willing to employ some forms of rbbc. Although there are still a lot of teams that use a feature back I see a trend happening that could gtreatly affect the fantasy football world. There's no doubt that rb's take a pounding during the course of the nfl season. It's causing teams to look at the way they use their main running back. Teams realize they have a lot of money invested in their ball carriers and want to assure they get maximum results and minimize the risks of injuries. Since teams are now employing some form of rbbc now what effects does this have on the fantasy world? Anymore when you're drafting a rb guys are looking to draft their handcuff as well.Case in point is the Denver rb siutation. No none seems to be the main ball carrier, so Dayne and Bell seem destined to split carries . Yes,there's still a lot of teams where a fantasy owner can draft a rb and be assured that they will get at least 75% of the carries. If this trend continues what kind of effect is this gonna have for the fantasy football world. Will it come down to us seeing more and more fantasy leagues start drafting running back teams? I can see why it's very important to get two good rb's early in a fantasy draft that will carry the majority of the load. Is anyone in a league where they draft a running back team where they get points for all the stats of that teams rb's? I'd like to get some views and opinions on this growing trend of rbbc and how it's going to or already has effected fantasy football. Will there come a day when we no longer draft a single running back but draft team rb's?

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I posted a thread awhile back about the RBBC in the NFL, and my theory is pretty simple im my opinion. The NFL in the 60's 70's and 80's featured RB who were some of the tuffest SOB's on the feild and the DT players were not qiute as fearsome and fast as they are in todays game. Jim Brown was phenomenal, but watch some film when ya get the chance, as he was hugh compared to many DT players of his era-would he still be effective today,yes, but not as much of a force vs today's DT players. Also, add in the additional games that we are accustomed to, but I still remember the 14 game season with no bye weeks. RB's are still fantastic atheletes in fantastic shape but the players on the other side off the ball are not there now because they are not good enough to play offense, they are soley DT players because it's the path they choose. The DT are bigger, faster and hit very, very hard, which over a 17 week season in which the RB has to play 16 of those weeks-takes alot of punishment. I'm not saying there are not some Iron Man RB's who can't carry the whole load of a 16 game season, but I do beleive most just can't hold up due to the advances on DT-just my :D


However, DMD did post some interesting info regarding this RBBC appraoch, so perhaps he will enlighten us once again-Boss care to reply????

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I am not so sure RBBC's have changed as much as everybody thinks they have. Going down the list of teams, its still easy to project a starter for almost all of the them, someone who should get the vast majority of carries.


Furthermore, teams have been using third-down backs for quite some time, and even in the old days, the up-and-comer still got some carries from the entrenched vet. The biggest reason I think the RBBC was kind of always relevant was because the fullbacks used to get a lot more carries. Teams would have fullbacks that were better runners and receivers than they were blockers sometimes.

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I don't think I would enjoy playing in a league that employed the team running backs concept. Fantasty teams could almost be run on autopilot at that point instead of each individual owner's management skills. Once that happens, we might as well stop playing Fantasy Football and start playing Bunko with our wives.

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I don't think it is a function of physical size and ability really. Players now are bigger and faster across the board, including RBs. What is the culprit is mostly the offensive systems found in college and the pros. There is much more devotion to more complex offenses that feature more speciaists that are related to the different packages that coaches use. If you wanted to blame anyone in particular, consider Bill Walsh who used Roger Craig and Wendell Tyler (later Rathman) back in the mid-80's.


But I also think that while it seems that there is so much RBBC, the reality is that it is not all that much more now than it has been. You mention Csonka but in the perfect season, Csonka had 195 carries to Jim Kiick's 162.


Consider these realities from the past


1975 DAL - Dorsett (208) and Robert Newhouse (180)


1964 CLE - Jim Brown (280) and Ernie Green (109)


1991 BUF - Thurman Thomas (288) and Kenneth Davis (129)


1978 Steelers - Franco Harris (310) and Rocky Bleier (165)


What historically happened was a bigger use of the fullback than we see anymore. Think about it, other than Alstott there really has been no rushing fullbacks for a long time. That is because the NFL had many team go away from the traditional pro set (or "I" formation). Now it is more common to have a speedy third down back because there is more emphasis on passing.


I think you could almost argue that there is less RBBC now with players like Edgerrin James, Alexander, Tomlinson and so on that take a huge portion of their team's runs.


I'd probably write an article about this but in the end it won't help anyone win this year. I have and will write an annual break down of RBBC in the league.


Interesting subject to me though.


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