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In the coming weeks I’ll be rolling out my Zero RB targets for 2020. But first I want to spend some time covering the strategy more generally. Below I’ve outlined what the Zero RB strategy is, why it works, where to use it, which RB profiles to target, and why 2020 is shaping up to be an ideal year for the strategy.

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1. What is Zero RB and where did it come from?

Fundamentally, Zero RB is exactly what you’d expect it to be: you don’t draft RBs… for a while anyway.

The strategy was originated by Shawn Siegele in 2013, the same year he took 1st and 2nd place in the NFFC High Stakes Main Event. And it has since become a well known (although not always popular) high stakes strategy.

In Shawn’s original article he specified that he preferred to take, at most, one high upside RB through the first five rounds. And generally speaking, the strategy will have you mostly avoiding RBs in the high leverage rounds and then targeting RBs later in the draft when many of your leaguemates will be catching up at WR. But Zero RB isn’t just a set of prescriptions for how many RBs to take or when to take them. To use the strategy, it’s critical to understand how it works.

2. Why Does Zero RB work?
Projection Error

The first reason that Zero RB works is that drafters consistently overestimate the reliability of projections.

Projection error exists at every position, but RBs — despite being easier to project on a week-to-week basis than WRs — are particularly exposed at the season-long level. Let’s take Josh Jacobs as an example. He’s going 20th overall in FFPC ADP despite having just 20 receptions last year. Looking at projections though, Jacobs is a defensible pick in this range. You’ll typically find him projected for at least 30 receptions this season.

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