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Prices on running backs in salary cap rooms have historically been higher than wide receiver prices. In the past few years, that has steadily changed, and now wide receivers command more money.
To that end, we asked our staff a couple of questions.
Note: All answers assume the following criteria:
- Start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE
- 4-point passing TDs
- $200 cap
- 12 teams
Should we be taking the discount at running back and trying to go against the general trend? Or should we be using the cheaper running backs to push even more money elsewhere on our team?
Jason Wood: Flexibility is critical. Salary cap leagues are about dynamically isolating the value arbitrage, and rarely does that value present in the same way from year to year or league to league. The key is to be mindful of price discovery in the early action and have confidence in your own budget and prices to determine where the profit will be gained. Winning a salary cap draft is no different from a serpentine draft; it's all about getting the right players and avoiding the busts.
Ben Cummins: Allocate more funds to the wide receivers in start 3WR full PPR leagues.
Jeff Bell: The cop-out answer is to read your room, always. The second part is to know your league rules and utilize Footballguys’ custom draft rankings. If you have a league that is not up on every trend on fantasy football social media, the reality is running backs still likely hold major value. That said, the guiding principle in these drafts should be to grab value where available. If the pricing on running backs allows you to walk out with three elite options and you are comfortable playing lower-end receiver options, grab it.
Andrew Davenport: I've debated this in my head and gone back and forth on the idea, but ultimately this is one of those times when I think it's going to be smarter to go with the crowd and sink money into other positions besides running back. The builds I've had where I took the depressed running back prices and spent up for the higher tier backs because of the 'value' left me at too big of a disadvantage elsewhere, specifically at wide receiver. The prices on running backs are lower for a reason, and I've been saying for years that wide receiver points were too cheap in auctions. The market has finally adjusted, but I'm sticking to my core philosophy of pushing a large percentage of my cap to wide receivers, not runners.
With top receivers going for $55-$60 and top running backs going for $45-$55, would you rather have a player like Ja'Marr Chase or a player like Austin Ekeler when you consider the difference in price can sometimes be $10-$15?
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