For several years I subscribed to DraftSharks for my online fantasy football info. It was a nice service, but two years ago their service kept crashing in the hours leading up to the 1 p.m. games, so I gave up on them.
However, they still send me email updates, probably trying to entice me to sign back up. Tuesday they sent me one asking if it’s time for the WR-WR? I didn’t read it, but anyone with half a brain in their melon knows they’re referring to the greatness of Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson and Reggie Wayne and last year’s Wes Welker, Randy Moss, etc. and whether you should pick them with the first two picks in your fantasy football draft, as opposed to the common RB-RB draft.
I talked about such craziness before the season started at Sloppy Potatoes and made that play this year, picking Moss and Wayne in one of my leagues. While I started slow out of the gate with the duo, they picked it up in enough time for me to back into the playoffs and make the final with a less-than-intiimidating rotation of Jonathan Stewart, Mewelde Moore and Kevin Smith as my starting running backs (I had Chris Perry and Rashard Mendenhall, but they didn’t pan out, obviously).
Now, I had read about the theory before, but I was always reluctant to do it. Even as I sat with the 11th pick of a 12-team draft, I wasn’t sure if it was the right call, but I did it anyway.
WR-WR is a good call right now, because wide receivers — especially in Points Per Reception leagues — are putting up some massive numbers. Obviously, you wouldn’t go WR-WR if you were picking in the top three or four, but the one super-dominant running back is becoming extinict.
as an example, let’s focus on the last eight teams to play this season:
|Stud RB||None||Stud RB||LaDainian Tomlinson|
|Stud WR||Steve Smith||Stud WR||None|
|RB Combo||DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart||RB Combo||None|
|Stud RB||None||Stud RB||None|
|Stud WR||None||Stud WR||None|
|RB Combo||Brandon Jacobs and
|RB Combo||Chris Johnson and
|Stud RB||Brian Westbrook||Stud RB||None|
|Stud WR||None||Stud WR||None|
|RB Combo||None||RB Combo||Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain|
|Stud RB||None||Stud RB||Willie Parker|
|Stud WR||Larry Fitzgerald and
|RB Combo||Edgerrin James and
It was a year of two-running back teams, and the playoff teams reflect the trend. These teams are the best and relied more on a duo of running backs than stud receivers. In our copycat NFL, teams are going to do whatever they can to integrate this into their game plan.
There will be even more good running backs available on draft day next year. In the table above there are 10 draftable running backs in combos, and with Westbrook, Tomlinson and Parker it makes 13 running backs that fantasy owners will target next year in the top half of the draft.
In comparison, there are as many stud receivers (we can’t anoint DeSean Jackson, Santonio Holmes or Vincent Jackson yet) on the list as their are stud running backs. And it could be argued that all three WRs should be picked before Parker next year. While even numbers don’t scream “huge change,” when compared to a past that was ruled by running backs it is significant.
The days of 14 consecutive RB picks to start a draft are over. Wide receivers have evened the field. And while it’s a good call to ignore Larry Fitzgerald next year, I wouldn’t ignore the WR position. If you don’t pick WR-WR or RB-WR next year you’ll be playing catchup all season.