Have quarterbacks outperformed running backs in fantasy football leagues?

In recent years, skilled Fantasy Football players have used the first two rounds of their draft to land running backs who will rack up points for their fantasy teams. Last year, however, eight of the top 10 fantasy point scorers were quarterbacks. Is this a trend that will continue in the coming seasons? I think there are some factors that will help continue this trend.

The first factor is that most teams now employ a two-runner attack. Last season, fewer than half of the teams had a 1,000-yard rusher. Even the Denver Broncos, who led the league in rushing as a team with more than 2,600 yards, were led by a running back who had less than 1,200 yards. (Their second leading rusher was their quarterback) Using a two-back attack also keeps a running back fresh in the game, providing more pressure on the defense. This is a trend that most teams are moving toward and not moving away from. Even the selection of running backs in the first round of the NFL draft has dwindled. Only 3 were selected last year and two of them were chosen in the final two first round selections.

The second factor is that most teams launch themselves into the air to move the ball. Last season, 20 quarterbacks threw for more than 3,000 yards, while in 2006 only 14 quarterbacks threw for that many. In fact, a residual effect of the passing assault is that 4 receivers were in the top 21 in fantasy points last season.

The final factor is the rule changes that the National Football League has made in recent years. They have increased the definition of defenseless players to include receivers who have caught the ball but haven’t had a chance to protect themselves. This takes the hit that defensive players used to use to separate the ball from the receiver. Also the rules that have been put in place to protect the quarterback in the pocket have helped them feel more comfortable throwing the ball.

All of these factors lead to the conclusion that you should seriously consider drafting a quarterback in the first round of your fantasy draft. When selecting your players, keep in mind their team status, their age, and their skill set. Also take a serious look at the quarterbacks in the first and second rounds.

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