The Game Has Changed, Now Quarterbacks Rule

chuck mitchellContributor IJuly 5, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers scrambles with the ball during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Packers  51-45 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL has changed over the course of time.  Change is inevitable.  In the old days, teams would run the ball, control the clock, and play great defense.  This would most often result in a victory. 

Few teams play that style of football today.   The days of having one bruising back that would wear down defenses are gone.  Most teams today have 2 or sometimes 3 running backs in their offensive attack.  Very few NFL teams have a single featured back. 

So as the NFL changes, so must the world of fantasy football.  Once upon a time, you could build your fantasy football team around two solid running backs.  You would spend your first and second round pick on running back studs that would carry your team.  Enter the running back by committee.  This made building a fantasy team more challenging.

Back in 2003, when I first began playing fantasy football, selecting two running backs early was a necessity.  After two years of drafting according to this approach, I felt that I was drafting a running back in the 2nd round that in all reality had a 6th to 7th round value.  I felt that I was selling myself short. 

The days of dominating running backs had ended and the days of more productive quarterbacks had begun.


There are two positions that score more frequently, quarterbacks and running backs.  Any one playing fantasy football must realize the importance of drafting a quality starting quarterback and a quality back quarterback, for insurance purposes. 

It is more beneficial to draft a quarterback that barring injury will be on the field on every offensive play, other than drafting a strong running back that is caught in a RRBC situation.    Last season ten quarterbacks passed for 4,000 yards and 12 other quarterbacks threw 25 or more touchdowns.  Of the top 20 point producers, 14 of those producers were quarterbacks.  Only 6 running backs scored over 200 fantasy points last season.

How should this change your draft approach for 2010?  You can now build your fantasy league team around an elite quarterback.  An elite quarterback will produce quality numbers on a more consistent basis.  I feel that quarterbacks will go much faster this year on draft day.

Fantasy owners should not at all avoid running backs, but be very selective on draft day.  Running backs have now taken a back seat to the quarterbacks.  There are only a handful of featured backs in the league, and if you are presented with the opportunity to draft one, you should pull the trigger.  However, greater emphasis needs to be placed on drafting 2 quarterbacks sooner rather than later. 

Good luck on your draft.