Jul 30,2014

Zero RB Theory vs Triple RB Theory

I like knowing things. And when I don’t know about something, I want to dig in and become educated on the topic. Well, except for calculus and Kim Kardashian’s latest gaming venture. Those two things I have zero interest in studying.

Anyway, last week when Sigmund Bloom was on the X’s and Y’s Podcast, he mentioned the Zero RB strategy. I noted it. The next day, Nando Di Fino tweeted that Mike Salfino would be explaining this same theory to the masses. It was time to start digging.

I had, of course, heard of Zero RB drafting before, but (perhaps foolishly) dismissed it as yet another fad within the ever growing fantasy community. That still may be the case. However, I’m fascinated by the logic and inspired to give it a try.

For those of you who haven’t fully tumbled down the fantasy rabbit hole, let me briefly explain. Zero RB theory was first postulated by Shawn Siegele who has competed in over 200 leagues and was crowned the 2013 NFFC Primetime Champion. Aptly known on Twitter as the FF Contrarian, Siegele suggests steering clear of running backs until the fifth or sixth round of a draft. Instead, he advises targeting an elite tight end and focusing on talent at the wide receiver position throughout the first 4-5 rounds. He asserts that since top-tier wide receivers accumulate more points and remain more consistent than their counterparts in the backfield, a team that is flush at the wide receiver position doesn’t have to rely solely on their RB core, which – as we’ve all experienced – is the most volatile and unpredictable position on a roster. Simply put: Rather than hoping Eddie Lacy and Le’Veon Bell stay healthy, why not eschew the whole panic attack, add Jimmy Graham, Brandon Marshall, Randall Cobb, and Pierre Garcon and THEN circle back to RBs with breakout potential or who are in sweet timeshares.

Admittedly, this approach takes an enormous amount of patience. The first few weeks are likely to be rough, but once lisfrancs are inevitably fractured and achilles are heartbreakingly torn, the handcuffs on your roster become more valuable. It’s actually similar to an idea I had personally proposed a few seasons ago. This year, however, I’m going to stick to my guns and sacrifice my two home leagues to a little experiment.

In one league, I will daringly employ Siegele’s Zero RB theory. In the other, I plan to utilize the more well-known Triple RB strategy. The RB-RB-RB method is basically the opposite of Zero RB. In it, an owner spends their first 3 picks on RBs, hoarding upper-level talent at the position. The aim is to achieve resiliency and dodge randomness.

A scientific sample size two teams does not make. Still, I’m excited to lay one (but hopefully not both) of my teams at the feet of the fantasy gods. I’ll keep you updated on the drafts – and their results – as the season unfolds. In the meantime, stay tuned for an interview with the Contrarian himself and another draft-centric edition of the X’s and Y’s Podcast next week!