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100 Fantasy Football Tips in 100 Days, Day 32: Small-School RBs Get My D*ck Hard

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Today’s very inappropriate tip comes via my book Fantasy Football for Smart People: Lessons from RotoAcademy (Voume 2.0).

If you don’t develop small (large) man-crushes on multiple NFL rookies every season, you just aren’t living life. Is it creepy that I stay up late to watch highlight videos of 20-year olds playing a game, obsess over their arms lengths, get seriously disappointed if they don’t jump as high in the air as I’d like, then tweet at them to let them know we’re still friends? I don’t know, but I won 50 percent of my fantasy football leagues last year, so you tell me.*

The type of player who is very quickly moving up my list of man-crushes—it’s a physical list I keep under my pillow—is the late-round, small-school running back. I’ve already published some data on why I like both late-round and small-school running backs, with the reasoning being the same. Basically, because running backs are so dependent on their teammates for production, they’re really difficult to project.

NFL teams are horrific at identifying running back talent, as evidenced by the fact that mid and late-round rookies have had greater efficiency than first and second-rounders since 2000. That’s sad.

There are certain traits that I like in running backs—straight-line speed is a big one, as is the ability to catch passes—but I also want to pay as little as possible at a position with basically random results, hence buying into mid/late-round players. Many times, those guys are from non-BCS schools since scouts don’t trust their ability and would prefer to draft Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram in the first round over and over.

Read more of my new book Fantasy Football for Smart People: Lessons from RotoAcademy (Voume 2.0).

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