Win Your Fantasy Football Draft With Data: Part #1 RBs


Don’t want to rain on your parade football fans, but fantasy football has far more to do with data, analytics, and statistics than it does with actually playing football. As with managing a business, information is the greatest advantage you can have in managing your fantasy football team.


In this post we will tell you why you may be under valuing running backs like Chris Carson, Miles Sanders, and Justin Jackson (Justin who?) and over valuing Rashaad Penny, Damien Williams, and David Montgomery. But first, let’s talk about the different ways having better information can give you an unfair advantage against your competition.


There are several types of informational advantage you can gain:


Depth: You know more about a player or players than anyone else in your league

Speed: You can learn about injuries and other important news first

Accuracy: You value the wisdom of the crowd over so called “experts”

Context: You can know why things happen and not just when they happen

Without one or more of these informational advantages you stand little chance of winning your league. But fear not, our team of super nerds at RelayiQ is developing a free tool that gives you all four of these informational advantages against your opponents. Our ADP Alerts App tracks the ADP or “average draft position” of every player in the league and automatically sends you alerts when a player rises or drops dramatically from their previous ranking.


Let’s take a look at some players who make not always make the news but are showing spikes or drops in their draft position that you will want to know about come draft day. We are going to use the PPR format but the free RelayiQ ADP alerts app lets you use Standard or PPR scoring.


Evaluating Running Backs with ADP Data


Chris Carson vs Rashaad Penny (and Damien Williams)


Fantasy fans expected a real running back battle between Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny in Seattle this preseason. The Seahawks are built to run so there may be fantasy value for both these backs but correctly predicting which player will get the majority of the carries as the RB1 will pay off handsomely. Early on it was popular to believe that Penny had a high ceiling and could overtake Carson as RB1. This is looking less and less to be the case. Using our free ADP app I receive alerts with accompanying graphs anytime a player moves up or down substantially in ADP value. So I am among the first to know that Carson has been moving up quickly and Penny is starting to tank. Not only do I see the one day jump in position but can easily see the trend over several days time.



I love Chris Carson as a sneaky RB1, he is going 40th but has the talent and opportunity in Seattle to be a top five RB this year. I will be stretching to take him as early as the second round and will be taking Carson over RBs like Damien Williams who is going off the boards with an ADP of 28. Both Carson (Seattle) and Williams (Kansas City) are in systems with huge opportunity for running backs but it is clear that Carson is by far the more talented back and can be taken 13 picks deeper into the draft.


Rookie Battle: Miles Sanders vs David Montgomery and Josh Jacobs


Miles Sanders has been all over my RelayiQ ADP draft alerts. His ADP trend suggests he is a likely the RB1 for the Eagles and yet he is still going in the 5th or 6th rounds. Sanders primary competition in Philadelphia is Jordan Howard who’s ADP is dropping fast as it becomes increasingly clear that Sanders will carry the weight as the feature back for the Eagles.



I am drafting Miles Sanders in all of my leagues, he may have the most value at the moment of any RB in the draft (certainly among the rookie backs). No doubt Josh Jacobs and David Montgomery are also very talented. But David Montgomery (ADP 38) has to share carries with Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis, and Jacobs is on a crappy Raiders team that will have to pass more than run if playing from behind. You can have both Montgomery and Jacobs at 37, I will happily take Sanders at 68, at full 31 picks later and get similar value.



Using ADP for Sleepers and Deep Sleepers: Kalen Ballage, Justin Jackson, Devin Singletary


I’m a believer that leagues are won in the second half of the draft, not the first. Almost everyone has roughly the same opinion on where the first 50 to 75 players will be drafted but the best fantasy football players find value deep into the late rounds. Let’s look at some RBs with major upside that are quickly rising up the ADP ladder.


Kalen Ballage

You are not alone if Kalen Ballage is no where on your fantasy radar. Ballage is in a preseason battle with Kenyan Drake to lock down the RB1 position for the Miami Dolphins. Many sites including Fantasypros still have Drake listed as the RB1 on their depth charts. But based on the ADP trend alerts I received for both these players with RelayiQ’s free app it is clear that Ballage is quickly making headway toward winning that battle.





Justin Jackson and Devin Singletary (Deep Sleepers)


Both Justin Jackson and Devin Singletary are rocketing from fantasy obscurity (> 150 ADP) toward fantasy relevancy (< 150 ADP). This is one of many reasons I love RelayiQ ADP alerts. I never would have known about Jackson or Singletary this early because they are just too far down the list (for now). But with fans having less faith in Melvin Gordon resolving his contract issues before the season starts and some doubting that Austin Ekler has locked down the starting position, Jackson could have some real sneaky value in drafts. Similarly, LeSean McCoy has a lot of mileage on those legs and it is beginning to show. Only a matter of time (maybe even a few games) before Singletary takes over.




So why is a company like RelayiQ that helps companies make data-driven decisions with customized analytic notifications making a free fantasy football app? Because we believe when you see how easy it is to make data driven decisions for your fantasy team it will become incredibly obvious that you should be using the same tools to drive success in your business. Forget about staring at dashboards - just set up your alerts and start making data driven decisions today. You can sign up to be among the first to test the fantasy football ADP app for free or sign up for a free trial of RelayiQ for your business. Either way you will improve your chances of winning!


Here is an example of what the alerts look like. They allow you to drill in to the individual player level and set your own thresholds.



And stay tuned as we will be putting out similar blog posts for WR, TE, and QB in the coming days.


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