Big Board Showdown RB Draft Strategy
Welcome to the Big Board Showdown! Seven Rounds. One Champion. We’re going to opening up leagues to everyone soon, but in the meantime we need to get prepped for the 2021 NFL Draft!
This year is going to look a little different than last year. The 2021 version of Big Board Showdown will feature a salary cap. You will have 259 💰 to spend on creating your roster of 12 players - 2 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 OL and 4 DEF.
This season, unlike last year, you can pick ANY player you would like …… so long as you fit all 12 players into your budget. You could load up on running backs by selecting Najee Harris and Travis Etienne, but at what cost? The strategy is all up to you!
If you’re not familiar with the 2021 NFL Draft prospects, don’t worry because we’re here to help. In this article we are going to breakdown some of the top RB’s in this draft class and provide you with what we think is the right way to approach drafting the RB position.
This is not a particularly great running back class and isn’t very deep, either. It may not make sense to take the top 2 RBs, but you’re going to want two guys who are drafted before the end of the fourth round.
So who should you be looking to select with your two RB spots? We’ve got you covered:
Surprise! An Alabama running back is the highest ranked player for his position in the draft. Shocker, I know. But Harris comes in as a ready made pro prospect who should excel from the first snap. He’s built like a pro, has good speed, great vision, great hands and elite athleticism.
Harris scored 30 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide in 2020 en route to a National Championship. He is a three-down back in a league that rarely sees them any more. A team like the Steelers could absolutely turn him into their version of Derrick Henry.
Travis Etienne — Clemson — Projected R1, P31
Etienne surprised almost everyone by turning down the chance to turn pro last season. A four-year player at Clemson, Etienne produced at an elite level for four seasons and really improved as a receiver during his time in school.
He is electric with his balance and foot work and is very difficult to tackle in space. While he has room to develop as an inside runner, he can create chunk plays on the ground or through the air and should bring a home run element to any offense he joins.
Javonte Williams — North Carolina — Projected R2, P2
Williams stared in a two-headed backfield at North Carolina and figures to have a more productive pro career than he did at Chapel Hill. He is an incredibly strong running back that is hard to slow down.
In high school Williams was a linebacker, which says all you need to know about his size, skill and toughness. He still has room to grow as a pure running back, but has as much natural talent as anyone in the class.
Once you get past those top three running backs is where you’re going to have to make your bones in Big Board Showdown. There are plenty of other places to spend money in this format. What you should be doing is targeting players who are rising up the draft boards and could sneak into the second or third rounds of the 2021 Draft.
Here are some names to watch:
- Kenneth Gainwell — Memphis — Projected R2, P20
- Trey Sermon — Ohio State— Projected R2, P31
- Michael Carter — North Carolina — Projected R3, P7
- Demetric Felton — UCLA — Projected R3, P24
- Rhamondre Stevenson — Oklahoma — R3, P33
- Khalil Herbert — Virginia Tech — Projected R4, P6
- Jermar Jefferson — Oregon State — Projected R4, P14
- Chuba Hubbard — Oklahoma State — Projected R4, P25
- Larry Rountree — Missouri — Projected R5, P1
- Jaret Patterson — Buffalo — Projected R5, P9
- Javian Hawkins — Louisville — Projected R5, P27
Late-Round Roster Fillers
If you choose to go the “zero RB” strategy and spend as little money as possible on the position, here are the players you could be selecting from as you try to fill your roster.
- Chris Evans — Michigan — Projected Round 6
- Elijah Mitchell — Louisiana — Projected Round 6
- Kene Nwangwu — Iowa State — Projected Round 7
- Kylin Hill — Mississippi State — Projected Round 7
- Brenden Knox — Marshall — Projected Round 7
- Pooka Williams Jr. — Kansas — Projected Round 7
- Spencer Brown — UAB — Projected Undrafted
- Josh Johnson — Louisiana Monroe — Projected Undrafted
- Trey Ragas - Louisiana — Projected Undrafted
- Gerrid Doaks - Cincinnati — Projected Undrafted
This strategy is pretty interesting. If no running back is going to bring home a TON of value for you in this game mode, why not just punt on the entire position and try to hit a couple of late round gems?
Could this be the league winning strategy? Time will tell, but we’ve seen worse ideas.