Should fantasy managers be cautious of early-round running backs?

Yahoo Fantasy analysts Liz Loza and Dalton Del Don weigh the importance of drafting top-tier receivers and early running backs in fantasy drafts.

Video Transcript

DALTON DEL DON: You know, another interesting thing is, this running back is becoming more and more of a younger players' position, but all these guys were talking about Cook, McCaffrey, Henry, and Ekeler are all post-25, and some are 27, 28 years old. So that's why I'm personally going to-- after Taylor, I'm pivoting to Justin Jefferson, and Ja'Marr Chase, and even Kupp, Adam. I'm looking more to receivers than I ever have just because of these question marks. And there are these gigantic tiers of running backs where I'm just going to let the room itself make these decisions. To me, there are so many similar players.

LIZ LOZA: So if you have the third pick in a standard 12-team, half-point PPR league, are you going to take Cooper Kupp, Ja'Marr Chase ahead of the five spot? Or would you land on, let's say, Dalvin Cook, or Derrick Henry, per your rankings?

DALTON DEL DON: Yeah, Taylor the clear one, and then I have Kupp, Jefferson, and Chase next. Yeah--

LIZ LOZA: All right, that answers it.

DALTON DEL DON: That's very different for me too, but yes, I would go-- I would look to the receivers before those backs. Do you disagree, Liz?

LIZ LOZA: I don't disagree in theory. But in practice, it will be tough for me. Like, if I'm talking transparently, and I'm sitting there with the draft, it is something that I will probably write about and recommend because I think it is the safer option. But I also think it's incredibly difficult when you're there and the clock is ticking to not grab Dalvin Cook.

DALTON DEL DON: Yeah, I agree. And I used to be of the jam robust RB strategy big time. But yeah, I'm pivoting, and I also like the way it breaks down with the fliers, and these running backs 25 to 45 range. But yeah, it's tough--

LIZ LOZA: But that's where it is though, right? Like, that's-- I feel like it is in that just outside of the top 20 where you can get the Travis Etiennes, and you can get the JK Dobbins, and you can get--

DALTON DEL DON: Yeah, that's fair, yeah.

LIZ LOZA: --that, like, glut of upside players at the position. Now, it'll be interesting again to see if that ADP doesn't rise. But if I'm-- I think, here's a better question. What if you have the 11th pick? Are you taking a receiver, assuming that Chase and Kupp have been selected? Or are you taking Joe Mixon? And dot, dot, dot, you taking Joe Mixon ahead of Davante Adams in 2022?

DALTON DEL DON: So I have Adams ahead of them right now. I have Adams and Lamb ahead-- right ahead of them, then Mixon and Chubb, running back. So yeah, this really looks like I'm personally leaning more toward the wide receiver. I do play a lot of PPR. So yes, I understand how PPR is obviously skew this just a tiny bit.

But yeah, it's just-- it's a strategy that I've decided to employ this year and we'll see. I mean, the running backs are the-- you get the workhorse, the guy that gets to the goal line, he stays healthy, and he gets the targets, I mean, yeah, obviously the upside is higher than a receiver. But fewer and far in between, and to me, the targets is what I'm going after in my first round.