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2022 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: When and how to use Zero-RB to win your league

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For the past few years I’ve been a bigger proponent of Zero-RB than most, but even I qualified that by saying that if you had a top-four pick, you probably shouldn’t employ the strategy. That has changed for 2022. I’m fine with taking both Justin Jefferson and Cooper Kupp in the first four picks, which opens up a wider range of Zero-RB paths than past years, when it was mostly only available to teams drafting in the back half of the first round.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that catches must count. I’d prefer they count for a full point, but this strategy can work in a 0.5 PPR league as well, just not for teams with a top-five pick. If you’re able to start two quarterbacks, all the better. If it’s tight end premium as well, then we’ve reached the point where I actually prefer Zero-RB. 

As a proponent of no intentional positional strategy, this is where I must emphasize that you should not lock yourself into a Zero-RB approach. If you’re in a league with a bunch of guys eschewing running back, you should be stockpiling them. You should never be stuck in a particular draft strategy without consideration of what your league-mates are doing. This article is about employing Zero-RB when the strategy presents itself as the best option, not about locking it in beforehand.

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Now that we’ve straightened out when to go Zero-RB, let’s talk about how. In my Running Back Preview I gave you my favorite Zero-RB targets, and I’ll update those as ADP gets more firm. But first I’d like to tackle the dream Zero-RB build, then three paths based on current ADP. 

My dream scenario starts with me landing Jefferson in Round 1, Mark Andrews in Round 2, D.J. Moore in Round 3, Brandin Cooks in Round 4, and Mike Williams in Round 5. That gives me four of my top-14 wide receivers and my No. 2 tight end. 

The only place, other than running back, this team is lacking is at quarterback. If you’re really feeling frisky you can possibly find Jalen Hurts in Round 6. If you miss him, Tom Brady could be there in Round 7. If you’re in a league that goes crazy for quarterbacks early, then your first five picks may be even better than my dream scenario. In that case I could target one of Trey Lance or Justin Fields and pair them with one of Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, or Derek Carr

Now, it’s possible if you’re at the back end of the draft that you miss out on Kupp, Jefferson, and Ja’Marr Chase in Round 1. In the scenario, I’m pivoting to Travis Kelce and replacing Andrews in Round 2 with Stefon Diggs. Let’s look at three possible starts based on different draft positions you could build from. I’ll go through Round 6 on the Hurts build, and through Round 5 on the others. Note, all three of these builds are possible according to Fantasy Pros Consensus PPR ADP

  • Pick 4 Justin Jefferson, Mark Andrews, D.J. Moore, Brandin Cooks, Mike Williams
  • Pick 8 Ja’Marr Chase, Mark Andrews, Michael Pittman, D.J. Moore, Courtland Sutton, Jalen Hurts
  • Pick 11 Travis Kelce, Stefon Diggs, Michael Pittman, D.J. Moore, Courtland Sutton

All three of these teams have four of my top-20 wide receivers and either my No. 1 or No. 2 tight end. The team from Pick 8 also has my No. 5 quarterback. Now it’s time to attack the running back position like a college freshman and a day-old pizza. Eat until you’re full and then eat some more. Here’s that list from the preview, for reference:

Round 6Miles Sanders, Kareem Hunt, Tony Pollard
Round 7 Chase Edmonds, Kenneth Walker
Round 8Michael Carter, Rhamondre Stevenson
Round 9James Cook, Nyheim Hines
Round 10Dameon Pierce, Tyler Allgeier, Alexander Mattison
Round 11Raheem Mostert, Isaiah Spiller
Round 12 – Marlon Mack, Mark Ingram
Round 13 –
Kenneth Gainwell, Rachaad White
Round 14 or later
Khalil Herbert, D’Onta Foreman

Now, there’s a wide range of backs here. There are high-upside handcuffs who won’t pay off without an injury, 1B backs who can be flexes early or league-winners with an injury, and less exciting backs with higher floors. I would like a mix of all three types. First, I want two backs I can view as flexes or better for Week 1. Then, I want as much upside and as many shots as I can get from Rounds 6-14. With these builds, I’d expect a minimum of six of my final nine picks would be running backs, with at least one more upside wide receiver and a quarterback mixed in. 

Zero-RB Build from Pick 4

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1.4 Justin Jefferson
2.9 Mark Andrews
3.4 D.J. Moore
4.9 Brandin Cooks
5.4 Mike Williams
6.9 Kareem Hunt
7.4 Tom Brady
8.9 Chase Edmonds
9.4 James Cook
10.9 Alexander Mattison
11.4 Dameon Pierce
12.9 Isaiah Spiller
13.4 Khalil Herbert
14.9 Jahan Dotson

You’ll notice a lot of rookie running backs in these builds because they aren’t yet being pushed up in ADP like they normally are. Pierce and Allgeier in particular seem to have pretty clear paths to starter reps, but I prefer Pierce because Cordarrelle Patterson is likely to keep Allgeier off the field for passing downs this year.

Zero-RB Build from Pick 8

1.8 Ja’Marr Chase
2.5 Mark Andrews
3.8 Michael Pittman
4.5 D.J. Moore
5.8 Courtland Sutton
6.5 Jalen Hurts
7.8 Chase Edmonds
8.5 Michael Carter
9.8 Treylon Burks
10.5 Nyheim Hines
11.8 Dameon Pierce
12.5 Isaiah Spiller
13.8 Mark Ingram
14.5 Tyler Allgeier

Mark Ingram doesn’t look near as attractive now that Alvin Kamara’s court case has been delayed again, but that doesn’t mean he should go back to being undrafted again. For one thing, a video leak or settlement could lead to a midseason suspension, and for another, Kamara could miss time. Ingram’s age makes this surprising, but he’s a pretty high-upside handcuff at the worst and may be more of a 1B like Hunt or Pollard. 

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Zero-RB Build from Pick 11

1.11 Travis Kelce
2.2 Stefon Diggs
3.11 Michael Pittman
4.2 D.J. Moore
5.11 Courtland Sutton
6.2 Miles Sanders
7.11 Tony Pollard
8.2 Chase Edmonds
9.11 Kirk Cousins
10.2 Justin Fields
11.11 Dameon Pierce
12.2 Isaiah Spiller
13.11 Tyler Allgeier
14.2 Jahan Dotson

I would not be surprised if a few of these running backs, especially those in the double-digit rounds, see their ADP get boosted in the coming weeks. But it’s hard to lay out a plan based on what ADP might be, so I’m using what consensus currently is. The original list of Zero-RB targets shows how early I’m willing to target these backs, while the three draft plans show the best-case scenario according to current ADP. Keep abreast of changes, and adjust accordingly.



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Three Stars from Day 3 of WJC: Canada’s McTavish joins elite company – Sportsnet.ca

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Canada and the U.S. dominated in their second game of the tournament while Czechia and Finland went toe-to-toe and needed a shootout to determine a winner on Day 3 of the World Junior Hockey Championship.

The Canadian team rebounded from a sluggish performance with an 11-1 win over Slovakia, a game in which captain Mason McTavish added his name to the country’s record books.

Against Switzerland, the United States took their game to another gear that their opponent could not match as they cruised to a 7-1 victory to improve to 2-0 at the tournament.

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Finland dropped a crucial point as they had to overcome a 2-0 deficit but were able to pick up the shootout win over their rival Czechia.

Here is a look at the top performances from Day 3 of the world juniors.

3rd Star: Luke Hughes, USA

Coming from a great hockey family, Luke Hughes is making most of his opportunity as one of the top defencemen for the U.S. 

The younger brother of Quinn and Jack displayed his mobility and vision against Switzerland with a three-point effort. He now has five points in his first two games of the tournament — more than either of his brothers ever achieved at this event in fewer games.

Hughes leads all defenceman in scoring so far in the tournament and is tied for fourth overall.

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The 18-year-old played 21:18 against the Swiss to lead the U.S. in ice time playing on the top pairing with Brock Faber. His play from this point will be a crucial part of his team’s success given the creativity he displayed, especially on Matt Coronato’s goal in the second period.

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He made another top-notch set up on Thomas Bordeleau’s power-play goal in the third period as he delayed enough to get the defenders to pull towards his side of the ice.

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2nd Star: Carter Mazur, USA

Coming into the tournament, Carter Mazur is looking to build off an impressive season at the University of Denver. 

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While he was in a scoring slump in his first NCAA season, the Detroit Red Wings prospect made a call to his NHL team’s assistant director of player development, Daniel Cleary. After that, he would go on to finish with 14 goals and 38 points in 41 games.

Those tips have now turned Mazur into a scoring machine as he accounted for two of the team’s seven goals and was also named the player of the game as the top line of Mazur, Landon Slaggert, and Thomas Bordeleau had an impressive performance against Switzerland

After a scoreless first period, Mazur wasn’t going to make any mistake on a point-blank chance in front of the net with Mackie Samoskevich making a great pass from behind the net.

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With the Americans looking to add to their lead, Mazur was once again the beneficiary of a great pass from Slaggert as he made no mistake from the front of the net.

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He added another assist on Slaggert’s goal later in the period for his third point of the game. Through his first two games at the world juniors, Mazur has four points and is tied for sixth in scoring.

1st Star: Mason McTavish, Canada

On a night where Canada dominated from start to finish, Mason McTavish joined some elite company with a night he’ll certainly remember for a long time.

The 19-year-old joined Mario Lemieux, Simon Gagné, Brayden Schenn, Taylor Raddysh, Maxime Comtois and teammate Connor Bedard as the only players to score four goals in a single world junior game for Canada. The tournament record for goals in a single game is held by Sweden’s Ola Rosander who had six back in 1987.

With his performance against Slovakia in a dominant win for Canada, McTavish now sits atop the scoring lead with eight points in two games after registering six points in this game.

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McTavish scored his first goal of the game on a breakaway — with Canada already leading 5-0 midway through the second — making no mistake to beat Tomas Bolo, who came into the game after starter Simon Latkoczy was pulled going into the second period.

His second goal came off a great play by Joshua Roy who flipped the puck in the air to Brennan Othmann who then set up McTavish as he finished with a backhander to put Canada up 7-1. McTavish would complete the second-period hat trick, a day after Alexander Blank did the same for Germany, after a selfless pass from Roy on a 2-on-0 break.

Canada would capitalize on a turnover on McTavish’s fourth goal as Othmann set him up alone in front of the net and he made no mistake.

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There was some doubt about whether McTavish would suit up for Canada after playing a fair amount of hockey last season. Making his NHL debut with the Anaheim Ducks, the third overall pick from the 2021 NHL Draft played in a total of 72 games between the NHL, AHL, OHL, Memorial Cup and the Olympics.

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Instead, McTavish decided to join the team in Edmonton and take on the role as captain where he has excelled centring Canada’s top line with Bedard and and a rotation of Roy and Othmann.

Canada will now look forward to a matchup against Czechia with a chance to improve to 3-0.

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Field of Dreams Game 2022: A celebration of baseball memories in an Iowa cornfield

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The Field of Dreams is an opportunity for fans and players alike to reflect on the people and places that taught them to love baseball, Jake Mintz writes.



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Ravens extend NFL record for consecutive postseason wins following Thursday’s victory over the Titans

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USA Today

The No. 21 is now synonymous with the longest winning streaks in NFL regular and preseason history. the 2003-04 Patriots won 21 consecutive games, an NFL record. On Thursday night, the Ravens won their 21st consecutive preseason game after securing a 23-10 decision against the Tennessee Titans

Baltimore has not lost a preseason game since 2016. Joe Flacco was their starting quarterback when the streak began, while Steve Smith Jr., who this past year was eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time, was heading into his final NFL season. Baltimore’s roster also included Terrell Suggs, who was entering his second-to-last season with the franchise. 

Along with not losing preseason games, another constant in Baltimore over the past six years has been kicker Justin Tucker, who is entering his 11th season with the Ravens. Tucker’s field goals of 47, 25 and 47 yards on Thursday night helped Baltimore pull out the win after falling behind midway through the second quarter. 

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The Ravens won Thursday’s game by winning the turnover margin while holding the Titans to 1 of 3 red zone efficiency. One of those turnovers was scooped up by Kyle Hamilton, the Ravens’ first-round pick in this past year’s draft. 

Baltimore won despite the efforts of Malik Willis, the Titans’ rookie quarterback who overcame a slow start to score his first NFL touchdown, a 7-yard run early in the second quarter. Speaking of quarterbacks, the Ravens received a strong night from Tyler Huntley, who completed all but two of his 18 pass attempts that included his game-winning touchdown pass to Shemar Bridges



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