Show Navigation
Show Menu

MFL10 Draft Strategy Guide: RB Draft Strategy

By Jared Smola 8:45am EDT 6/23/15

Note: If you’re unfamiliar with MFL10 leagues, check out the Intro article before reading on about RB strategy.


Spoiler alert -- the MFL10 RB strategy is simple: load up early. Check out the data …


How Many RBs Should I Draft?

The chart below shows how many points we can expect a team to score based only on the number of RBs rostered.

The optimal strategy is to select 4 RBs. That’s an interesting finding because selecting just 4 is a contrarian play. Over the past 2 years, only 8% of teams went with 4 RBs. The vast majority -- about 72% -- drafted 5 or 6 RBs. So drafting 4 -- and then using the extra roster spots to enhance other positions -- can give us a distinct advantage.

It’s also worth noting that some teams that selected just 3 RBs have fared quite well. But that’s based on a sample size of just 47 teams. As the confidence intervals show (those thinner red lines), taking just 3 RBs might also be an awful idea. We need more data to draw conclusive results, so we hope to have a better idea after this season. For 2015, don’t deploy the 3-RB strategy. Let others be the guinea pigs.

As the charts below show, rostering just 4 RBs is the optimal strategy regardless of whether you load up on them early in your draft. But adding that 5th makes more sense if you don’t go RB heavy early (i.e. 4 RBs in your first 5 picks).


When Should I Draft My RBs?

The data here is overwhelming. Selecting 4 RBs among your first 5 picks gives your team the highest expected point total.

Check out the chart above again. If you take 4 RBs in your first 5 picks and then don’t take any more RBs, you’re expected to score 2,378 points. If you take a 5th RB, that number drops to 2,350.

If you don’t secure 4 RBs within your first 5 picks, your expected point total is 2,330 -- 48 below the optimal strategy. That number climbs to 2,346 if you don’t take 4 RBs early and roster just 4, but even that expected point total is below the RB-heavy marks.

Based on the data from the last 2 years, your odds of winning your league and finishing among the top 2 climb sharply when you take 4 RBs within your first 5 picks. Your win rate jumps from the average 8.3% to 10.4%. Just by using this strategy each draft you can expect to at least break even. The odds of placing go from 16.7% to 19%.

The charts below show the optimal time to take each of your top 4 RBs.

Ideally, you’ll land 2 of the first 16 RBs off the board. And you’ll have 4 RBs by the time 29 have been selected.

Notice the dip around the first 3 picks in the RB1 chart. That’s a result of the early-1st-round RBs that have busted over the past 2 seasons: Doug Martin, Arian Foster and Ray Rice in 2013; Adrian Peterson in 2014. That’s not a fluke, either. Top-ranked RBs tend to have a high bust rate. So your best bet might be to snag Rob Gronkowski or an elite WR in the 1st round, and then take 4 straight RBs. We’ll have more on overall draft strategy in the final part of this series.

It’s also worth pointing out the peaks and valleys in the RB3 and RB4 charts. That data says that you should try to get your 3rd and 4th RBs before 25-30 RBs are off the board. But if you can’t, you should wait until late in the draft -- around RB45 to 60 -- to fill out your 3rd and/or 4th RB spots.

If you do feel the need to take a 5th RB, the data shows that you shouldn’t do so until the 14th round or later.


Who Should I Target?

You’ll want to consult our  RB rankings and MFL10 ADP when targeting your early-round RBs. These guys tend to present good value within the first 4 rounds:

Arian Foster
C.J. Anderson
Frank Gore
Andre Ellington

If you’re looking for a RB late, keep these guys in mind:

Roy Helu
Terrance West
DeAngelo Williams
Theo Riddick
Lance Dunbar
Fred Jackson
Jerick McKinnon
Montee Ball
Andre Williams


Next up: MFL10 WR Strategy


Related Fantasy Football

Top Late-Round RB PPR Targets

Top Late-Round RB PPR Targets

10:22am EDT 8/2/23

What's the key to finding the top late-round RB PPR targets? And who are the best targets in 2023 fantasy football drafts? We've got your answers here!

Read More »
Week 5 FanDuel Cash-Game Picks

Week 5 FanDuel Cash-Game Picks

1:10pm EDT 10/9/20

A position-by-position look at how to attack Week 5 cash games on FanDuel.

Read More »
Podcast: AFC East Preview 6-23-20

Podcast: AFC East Preview 6-23-20

10:06pm EDT 6/23/20

Will Zack Moss outscore Devin Singletary? Who's the RB to own in Miami? And is there any Jet worth drafting as long as Adam Gase is around? Let's kick off our divisional preview series ...

Read More »
NFC Backfield Breakdowns (Updated)

NFC Backfield Breakdowns (Updated)

9:08am EDT 8/26/19

16 backfields. Hundreds of possible outcomes. Let's dig in ...

Read More »
Smola's Pros vs. Joes Draft Recap

Smola's Pros vs. Joes Draft Recap

8:07am EDT 7/29/19

Smola opened with 3 straight RBs: Joe Mixon, Melvin Gordon and Aaron Jones. Here's how the rest of his draft played out ...

Read More »
Fantasy Football Podcast: AFC East Projections 5-23-19

Fantasy Football Podcast: AFC East Projections 5-23-19

7:05pm EDT 5/23/19

The 2019 fantasy football rankings are LIVE! But how did we get to those numbers? This new series digs in ...

Read More »
6 PPR RB Sleepers

6 PPR RB Sleepers

8:07am EDT 7/25/18

6 RBs going in the 10th round or later set to soak up targets and help your PPR squad.

Read More »
Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

Draft using the best dynamic tool in the industry. Our fantasy player valuations (DMVP) change during your draft in response to...

  1. Exact league settings - direct sync
  2. Opponent and Team Needs
  3. Positional scarcity & available players
  4. Ceiling, injury risk, ADP, and more!

You need a dynamic cheat sheet that easily live-syncs with your draft board and adapts throughout your draft using 17 crucial indicators.

Get your Draft War Room Today
Winning Your League Starts Here Trophy
Why Wouldn’t You Invest
$36 to Win Your League?
Check out thisleague-winning info
2023 Draft Package Now - Sept 15

$39

Get Instant Access
2023 In-Season Package Sept 5 - Mar 7

$39

Get Access Sept. 5
2023 DFS Package Sept 5 - Mar 7

$49

Get Access Sept. 5
Best Value – All Access Pass
DS Insider Membership All 3 Packages

$127 $36

Semi-annual
Get Instant Access
Draft War Room Included Draft War Room Draft War Room Draft War Room Included Draft War Room
Unlimited Live-Draft Sync Included Unlimited Live-Draft Sync Unlimited Live-Draft Sync Unlimited Live-Draft Sync Included Unlimited Live-Draft Sync
Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings
3D Projections Included 3D Projections 3D Projections 3D Projections Included 3D Projections
In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles
Mock Draft Trainer Included Mock Draft Trainer Mock Draft Trainer Mock Draft Trainer Included Mock Draft Trainer
DMVP Trade Values Included DMVP Trade Values DMVP Trade Values DMVP Trade Values Included DMVP Trade Values
The Perfect Draft Included The Perfect Draft The Perfect Draft The Perfect Draft Included The Perfect Draft
Breakout & Comeback Player Included Breakout & Comeback Player Breakout & Comeback Player Breakout & Comeback Player Included Breakout & Comeback Player
Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring
Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor
Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts
In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings
“Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool
“Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications
Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder
Trade Navigator Trade Navigator Included Trade Navigator Trade Navigator Included Trade Navigator
Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares
In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems
Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice
Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data
DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder
DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections
Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks
High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews
DFS Independent DFS Independent DFS Independent Included DFS Independent Included DFS Independent
Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles
Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates
Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates
To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives
All-Access Draft Sharks App All–Access Draft Sharks App Included All-Access Draft Sharks App Included All-Access Draft Sharks App Included All-Access Draft Sharks App Included All-Access Draft Sharks App
Get Instant Access Get Access Sept 5 Get Access Sept 5 Get Instant Access

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play