Similar to how the video killed the radio star in the late 1970’s, the running back by committee (aka. RBBC), approach is killing the fantasy football teams in today’s fantasy leagues. For those of you who are scratching your head at what I just wrote, you’re probably too young to remember when MTV (Music Television), actually played music videos. When you’re done reading this, go ahead and Google search, “first music video to ever air on MTV” and you’ll understand the first sentence of this article.
Let’s first discuss what the term “Running Back By Committee” means. Shall we? In fantasy football, “RBBC” refers to an NFL team who doesn’t utilize one, lone featured back in their offense. Their team’s offense elects to take a “committee” approach during the course of a game and use multiple running backs. How running backs are used on any given week all depends on that weeks game plan. Given the way particular players are used, it’s easy to see why this approach could cause numerous headaches with the fantasy owners of these players.
This nightmare which over the years has increased and frustrates fantasy teams owner’s, reared its ugly head once again during this past Monday night matchup. Monday night, when the Philadelphia Eagles took on the Indianapolis Colts it was suppose to be Lesean McCoy’s time to shine, Right? After all, most fantasy drafts had McCoy coming off their board within the first three picks. However, my off season prediction proved true when it came time to see how they would utilize fellow running back, Darren Sproles, who was signed as a free agent by the Eagles in the off season.
Sproles, in my opinion, has a similar running style as that of McCoy. Both are small framed, with low centers of gravity. They both are shifty runners with breakaway speed, real “ankle breakers” if you will. I felt before the season began, Sproles, would cut into McCoy’s on field production and ultimately McCoy’s fantasy numbers. Now don’t get me wrong, Shady McCoy still had a productive fantasy outing this past Monday night. He touched the ball a total of 24 times and had 79 yards rushing with a score. He also managed to pull in 4 receptions for 23 yards for a combined total of 19 fantasy points in a PPR format. However, cutting into McCoy’s production, Sproles caught 7 passes for 152 yards. He also carried the ball 4 times for 26 yards and a touchdown for a total of 24 fantasy points in the same format. Unfortunately for McCoy owners, the statistics showed similar production in the previous game as well. In week one when the Eagles faced the Jaguars, McCoy carried the ball 21 times for 74 yards. He also caught 6 balls out of the backfield for 41 yards and totaled 17 fantasy points. Sproles again out produced McCoy, rushing for 71 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. He also caught 4 balls out of the backfield for 14 yards and totaled 18 fantasy points. Over the first two games of the season, the RBBC approach the Eagles have taken has allowed Sproles to out produce McCoy by six fantasy points. Not very many, right? However take into consideration McCoy flew off the board within the first three picks of your fantasy drafts. Sproles lingered around until the middle to later rounds.
It seems we are seeing this more and more in the NFL. We’ve been dealing with this fantasy dilemma for several years and it appears as though it’s not going away any time soon. After going through each individual team, I guess there could be arguments made on whether or not a team’s running back situation warrants an RBBC label.
Here are a few teams who already have fantasy team owners pulling their hair out:
Buffalo: C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson
Cleveland: Ben Tate and Terrance West
San Francisco: Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde
Tennessee: Shonne Green and Bishop Sankey
Detroit: Joique Bell and Reggie Bush
New England: Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen
and now, Philadelphia: Lesean McCoy and Darren Sproles
Let’s face it. If you were one of the lucky ones who had received one of the top three picks in your fantasy football drafts this year, you were ecstatic at the beginning of the season. There was no doubt that one of the fantasy studs who are Jamaal Charles (injured), Adrian Peterson (suspended) or Shady McCoy (RBBC) were going to be on your roster. What a great feeling, huh? So, tell me. How’s that work’n out for ya?