Fantasy Football mock draft: The zero running back strategy in full-point PPR scoring


Mock drafts are useful for trying new things. It’s why we encourage you to do as many as possible before your actual Draft Day. You get to experiment with different strategies and figure out what works best for you in building your Fantasy team.

In our latest 12-team, PPR mock draft — you can watch the live results here — I tried something different from the No. 12 spot by taking a Zero RB approach. It’s the first mock draft this season where I’ve gone Zero RB, and I have mixed feelings on the results.

My first five picks, in order, were Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, CeeDee Lamb, Julio Jones and Lamar Jackson. I went with Lamb over Amari Cooper in Round 3 with Cooper still dealing with his ankle injury, but otherwise, these were easy selections.

For the most, I love this start. All four receivers are starters on my team and should be great if healthy, and I have a star quarterback in Jackson. But Round 6 is where the struggle started, and it made me slightly regret this approach. And it had nothing to do with the running backs.

It was frustrating when I saw T.J. Hockenson and Kyle Pitts get selected right in front of me at the end of Round 5. I had planned to draft a quarterback at this turn, but I also wanted one of those tight ends. In hindsight, I should have drafted Hockenson, Pitts or Mark Andrews in Round 4 instead of Jones, and I could have selected a different receiver in Round 6 like Kenny Golladay, JuJu Smith-Schuster or Courtland Sutton, among others.

I ended up with Blake Jarwin at tight end in Round 14, and that’s the only potential hole on this roster if Jarwin isn’t a quality Fantasy option this year. While I like Jarwin as a sleeper, I would have preferred a tight end with a higher ceiling like Hockenson or Pitts.

Now, when you take a Zero RB approach, the key to all of this is what you do at running back. And I like the group that I put together with Javonte Williams, Zack Moss, Melvin Gordon, Latavius Murray, Jamaal Williams and Samaje Perine. The Broncos backfield will hopefully deliver one starting Fantasy option out of Javonte Williams and Gordon (I prefer Williams), and Moss should be a borderline starter as the best running back for the Bills. 

Murray, Jamaal Williams and Perine are lottery tickets in case they get increased workloads during the season, but I expect Murray and Williams to have prominent roles on their teams and get enough work to be useful if I have to start them. The waiver wire is also vital to making Zero RB work.

And if we were playing out this league then I would have trade options at receiver, especially since I have two quality reserves in Tre’Quan Smith and DeVante Parker. Smith is a solid sleeper with Michael Thomas (ankle) out to begin the season with the Saints.

I probably won’t use Zero RB much this season because wide receiver is so deep this year. Most likely, I’ll take a modified approach with one running back in the first two rounds. And that will probably be the next strategy I use in our next mock draft.

In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We also award one point for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and DST. There also are six reserve spots for a 15-round draft.

Our draft order is as follows:

1. Nate Williams, Podcast Listener Participant

2. Andrew Baumhor, CBS Sports HQ Producer

3. Frank Stampfl, Fantasy Baseball Today Podcast Host

4. Dan Schneier, Fantasy Editor

5. Scott Engel, SportsLine Fantasy Analyst

6. Chris Towers, Senior Editor, Fantasy

7. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer

8. R.J. White, Managing Editor, SportsLine and CBS Fantasy

9. Heath Cummings, Senior Fantasy Writer

10. Adam Aizer, Fantasy Football Today Podcast Host

11. Mike Miller, Podcast Listener Participant

12. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer

Round By Round

Round 1
PosTeamPlayer
1Nate Williams C. McCaffrey RB CAR
2Andrew Baumhor D. Cook RB MIN
3Frank Stampfl D. Henry RB TEN
4Dan Schneier A. Kamara RB NO
5Scott Engel T. Kelce TE KC
6Chris Towers A. Ekeler RB LAC
7Dave Richard J. Taylor RB IND
8R.J. White A. Jones RB GB
9Heath Cummings D. Adams WR GB
10Adam Aizer E. Elliott RB DAL
11Mike Miller S. Barkley RB NYG
12Jamey Eisenberg T. Hill WR KC
Round 2
PosTeamPlayer
13Jamey Eisenberg S. Diggs WR BUF
14Mike Miller D. Hopkins WR ARI
15Adam Aizer C. Ridley WR ATL
16Heath Cummings J. Mixon RB CIN
17R.J. White N. Chubb RB CLE
18Dave Richard N. Harris RB PIT
19Chris Towers G. Kittle TE SF
20Scott Engel A. Gibson RB WAS
21Dan Schneier D. Waller TE LV
22Frank Stampfl A. Brown WR TEN
23Andrew Baumhor C. Edwards-Helaire RB KC
24Nate Williams J. Dobbins RB BAL
Round 3
PosTeamPlayer
25Nate Williams J. Jefferson WR MIN
26Andrew Baumhor D. Metcalf WR SEA
27Frank Stampfl K. Allen WR LAC
28Dan Schneier D. Swift RB DET
29Scott Engel T. McLaurin WR WAS
30Chris Towers J. Allen QB BUF
31Dave Richard D. Montgomery RB CHI
32R.J. White A. Robinson WR CHI
33Heath Cummings P. Mahomes QB KC
34Adam Aizer C. Carson RB SEA
35Mike Miller R. Woods WR LAR
36Jamey Eisenberg C. Lamb WR DAL
Round 4
PosTeamPlayer
37Jamey Eisenberg J. Jones WR TEN
38Mike Miller D. Henderson RB LAR
39Adam Aizer A. Cooper WR DAL
40Heath Cummings T. Lockett WR SEA
41R.J. White D. Moore WR CAR
42Dave Richard C. Godwin WR TB
43Chris Towers T. Etienne RB JAC
44Scott Engel M. Evans WR TB
45Dan Schneier M. Sanders RB PHI
46Frank Stampfl J. Jacobs RB LV
47Andrew Baumhor C. Kupp WR LAR
48Nate Williams B. Aiyuk WR SF
Round 5
PosTeamPlayer
49Nate Williams M. Davis RB ATL
50Andrew Baumhor J. Chase WR CIN
51Frank Stampfl D. Johnson WR PIT
52Dan Schneier A. Thielen WR MIN
53Scott Engel M. Gaskin RB MIA
54Chris Towers C. Edmonds RB ARI
55Dave Richard C. Claypool WR PIT
56R.J. White K. Hunt RB CLE
57Heath Cummings M. Andrews TE BAL
58Adam Aizer T. Hockenson TE DET
59Mike Miller K. Pitts TE ATL
60Jamey Eisenberg L. Jackson QB BAL
Round 6
PosTeamPlayer
61Jamey Eisenberg J. Williams RB DEN
62Mike Miller R. Mostert RB SF
63Adam Aizer K. Murray QB ARI
64Heath Cummings J. Smith-Schuster WR PIT
65R.J. White K. Golladay WR NYG
66Dave Richard D. Prescott QB DAL
67Chris Towers J. Jeudy WR DEN
68Scott Engel M. Carter RB NYJ
69Dan Schneier T. Higgins WR CIN
70Frank Stampfl D. Smith WR PHI
71Andrew Baumhor C. Sutton WR DEN
72Nate Williams T. Boyd WR CIN
Round 7
PosTeamPlayer
73Nate Williams A. Rodgers QB GB
74Andrew Baumhor D. Goedert TE PHI
75Frank Stampfl T. Sermon RB SF
76Dan Schneier O. Beckham WR CLE
77Scott Engel M. Pittman WR IND
78Chris Towers R. Anderson WR CAR
79Dave Richard J. Robinson RB JAC
80R.J. White L. Fournette RB TB
81Heath Cummings D. Harris RB NE
82Adam Aizer B. Cooks WR HOU
83Mike Miller D. Chark WR JAC
84Jamey Eisenberg Z. Moss RB BUF
Round 8
PosTeamPlayer
85Jamey Eisenberg M. Gordon RB DEN
86Mike Miller R. Wilson QB SEA
87Adam Aizer D. Johnson RB HOU
88Heath Cummings M. Thomas WR NO
89R.J. White C. Samuel WR WAS
90Dave Richard W. Fuller WR MIA
91Chris Towers A. Brown WR TB
92Scott Engel J. Herbert QB LAC
93Dan Schneier L. Shenault Jr. WR JAC
94Frank Stampfl N. Fant TE DEN
95Andrew Baumhor J. Conner RB ARI
96Nate Williams A. Trautman TE NO
Round 9
PosTeamPlayer
97Nate Williams M. Jones WR JAC
98Andrew Baumhor K. Drake RB LV
99Frank Stampfl T. Brady QB TB
100Dan Schneier R. Tannehill QB TEN
101Scott Engel D. Samuel WR SF
102Chris Towers M. Williams WR LAC
103Dave Richard M. Brown WR BAL
104R.J. White J. Landry WR CLE
105Heath Cummings R. Jones RB TB
106Adam Aizer T. Pollard RB DAL
107Mike Miller D. Mooney WR CHI
108Jamey Eisenberg L. Murray RB NO
Round 10
PosTeamPlayer
109Jamey Eisenberg J. Williams RB DET
110Mike Miller G. Edwards RB BAL
111Adam Aizer A. Dillon RB GB
112Heath Cummings J. Waddle WR MIA
113R.J. White D. Singletary RB BUF
114Dave Richard I. Smith TE MIN
115Chris Towers T. Hilton WR IND
116Scott Engel T. Coleman RB NYJ
117Dan Schneier T. Cohen RB CHI
118Frank Stampfl M. Gallup WR DAL
119Andrew Baumhor J. Hurts QB PHI
120Nate Williams N. Hines RB IND
Round 11
PosTeamPlayer
121Nate Williams C. Davis WR NYJ
122Andrew Baumhor G. Bernard RB TB
123Frank Stampfl J. White RB NE
124Dan Schneier E. Sanders WR BUF
125Scott Engel M. Hardman WR KC
126Chris Towers E. Moore WR NYJ
127Dave Richard J. Smith TE NE
128R.J. White M. Stafford QB LAR
129Heath Cummings T. Marshall Jr. WR CAR
130Adam Aizer H. Ruggs III WR LV
131Mike Miller L. Thomas TE WAS
132Jamey Eisenberg T. Smith WR NO
Round 12
PosTeamPlayer
133Jamey Eisenberg D. Parker WR MIA
134Mike Miller D. Watson QB HOU
135Adam Aizer J. Burrow QB CIN
136Heath Cummings A. Mattison RB MIN
137R.J. White J. McKissic RB WAS
138Dave Richard M. Brown RB MIA
139Chris Towers D. Booker RB NYG
140Scott Engel X. Jones RB LAR
141Dan Schneier Rams DST LAR
142Frank Stampfl T. Higbee TE LAR
143Andrew Baumhor J. Reagor WR PHI
144Nate Williams K. Gainwell RB PHI
Round 13
PosTeamPlayer
145Nate Williams R. Bateman WR BAL
146Andrew Baumhor C. Beasley WR BUF
147Frank Stampfl P. Lindsay RB HOU
148Dan Schneier T. Williams WR DET
149Scott Engel R. Gage WR ATL
150Chris Towers R. Moore WR ARI
151Dave Richard P. Campbell WR IND
152R.J. White J. Brown WR LV
153Heath Cummings D. Evans RB TEN
154Adam Aizer A. Rodgers WR GB
155Mike Miller G. Davis WR BUF
156Jamey Eisenberg S. Perine RB CIN
Round 14
PosTeamPlayer
157Jamey Eisenberg B. Jarwin TE DAL
158Mike Miller R. Penny RB SEA
159Adam Aizer D. Williams RB KC
160Heath Cummings Ravens DST BAL
161R.J. White Football Team DST WAS
162Dave Richard Buccaneers DST TB
163Chris Towers J. Meyers WR NE
164Scott Engel R. Tonyan TE GB
165Dan Schneier S. Shepard WR NYG
166Frank Stampfl A. St. Brown WR DET
167Andrew Baumhor N. Agholor WR NE
168Nate Williams W. Gallman RB SF
Round 15
PosTeamPlayer
169Nate Williams Saints DST NO
170Andrew Baumhor Steelers DST PIT
171Frank Stampfl 49ers DST SF
172Dan Schneier H. Henry TE NE
173Scott Engel Dolphins DST MIA
174Chris Towers Patriots DST NE
175Dave Richard T. Lawrence QB JAC
176R.J. White J. Cook TE LAC
177Heath Cummings J. Kelley RB LAC
178Adam Aizer Chargers DST LAC
179Mike Miller Bills DST BUF
180Jamey Eisenberg Broncos DST DEN

Team by Team

Nate Williams
RdPkPlayer
11 C. McCaffrey RB CAR
224 J. Dobbins RB BAL
325 J. Jefferson WR MIN
448 B. Aiyuk WR SF
549 M. Davis RB ATL
672 T. Boyd WR CIN
773 A. Rodgers QB GB
896 A. Trautman TE NO
997 M. Jones WR JAC
10120 N. Hines RB IND
11121 C. Davis WR NYJ
12144 K. Gainwell RB PHI
13145 R. Bateman WR BAL
14168 W. Gallman RB SF
15169 Saints DST NO
Andrew Baumhor
RdPkPlayer
12 D. Cook RB MIN
223 C. Edwards-Helaire RB KC
326 D. Metcalf WR SEA
447 C. Kupp WR LAR
550 J. Chase WR CIN
671 C. Sutton WR DEN
774 D. Goedert TE PHI
895 J. Conner RB ARI
998 K. Drake RB LV
10119 J. Hurts QB PHI
11122 G. Bernard RB TB
12143 J. Reagor WR PHI
13146 C. Beasley WR BUF
14167 N. Agholor WR NE
15170 Steelers DST PIT
Frank Stampfl
RdPkPlayer
13 D. Henry RB TEN
222 A. Brown WR TEN
327 K. Allen WR LAC
446 J. Jacobs RB LV
551 D. Johnson WR PIT
670 D. Smith WR PHI
775 T. Sermon RB SF
894 N. Fant TE DEN
999 T. Brady QB TB
10118 M. Gallup WR DAL
11123 J. White RB NE
12142 T. Higbee TE LAR
13147 P. Lindsay RB HOU
14166 A. St. Brown WR DET
15171 49ers DST SF
Dan Schneier
RdPkPlayer
14 A. Kamara RB NO
221 D. Waller TE LV
328 D. Swift RB DET
445 M. Sanders RB PHI
552 A. Thielen WR MIN
669 T. Higgins WR CIN
776 O. Beckham WR CLE
893 L. Shenault Jr. WR JAC
9100 R. Tannehill QB TEN
10117 T. Cohen RB CHI
11124 E. Sanders WR BUF
12141 Rams DST LAR
13148 T. Williams WR DET
14165 S. Shepard WR NYG
15172 H. Henry TE NE
Scott Engel
RdPkPlayer
15 T. Kelce TE KC
220 A. Gibson RB WAS
329 T. McLaurin WR WAS
444 M. Evans WR TB
553 M. Gaskin RB MIA
668 M. Carter RB NYJ
777 M. Pittman WR IND
892 J. Herbert QB LAC
9101 D. Samuel WR SF
10116 T. Coleman RB NYJ
11125 M. Hardman WR KC
12140 X. Jones RB LAR
13149 R. Gage WR ATL
14164 R. Tonyan TE GB
15173 Dolphins DST MIA
Chris Towers
RdPkPlayer
16 A. Ekeler RB LAC
219 G. Kittle TE SF
330 J. Allen QB BUF
443 T. Etienne RB JAC
554 C. Edmonds RB ARI
667 J. Jeudy WR DEN
778 R. Anderson WR CAR
891 A. Brown WR TB
9102 M. Williams WR LAC
10115 T. Hilton WR IND
11126 E. Moore WR NYJ
12139 D. Booker RB NYG
13150 R. Moore WR ARI
14163 J. Meyers WR NE
15174 Patriots DST NE
Dave Richard
RdPkPlayer
17 J. Taylor RB IND
218 N. Harris RB PIT
331 D. Montgomery RB CHI
442 C. Godwin WR TB
555 C. Claypool WR PIT
666 D. Prescott QB DAL
779 J. Robinson RB JAC
890 W. Fuller WR MIA
9103 M. Brown WR BAL
10114 I. Smith TE MIN
11127 J. Smith TE NE
12138 M. Brown RB MIA
13151 P. Campbell WR IND
14162 Buccaneers DST TB
15175 T. Lawrence QB JAC
R.J. White
RdPkPlayer
18 A. Jones RB GB
217 N. Chubb RB CLE
332 A. Robinson WR CHI
441 D. Moore WR CAR
556 K. Hunt RB CLE
665 K. Golladay WR NYG
780 L. Fournette RB TB
889 C. Samuel WR WAS
9104 J. Landry WR CLE
10113 D. Singletary RB BUF
11128 M. Stafford QB LAR
12137 J. McKissic RB WAS
13152 J. Brown WR LV
14161 Football Team DST WAS
15176 J. Cook TE LAC
Heath Cummings
RdPkPlayer
19 D. Adams WR GB
216 J. Mixon RB CIN
333 P. Mahomes QB KC
440 T. Lockett WR SEA
557 M. Andrews TE BAL
664 J. Smith-Schuster WR PIT
781 D. Harris RB NE
888 M. Thomas WR NO
9105 R. Jones RB TB
10112 J. Waddle WR MIA
11129 T. Marshall Jr. WR CAR
12136 A. Mattison RB MIN
13153 D. Evans RB TEN
14160 Ravens DST BAL
15177 J. Kelley RB LAC
Adam Aizer
RdPkPlayer
110 E. Elliott RB DAL
215 C. Ridley WR ATL
334 C. Carson RB SEA
439 A. Cooper WR DAL
558 T. Hockenson TE DET
663 K. Murray QB ARI
782 B. Cooks WR HOU
887 D. Johnson RB HOU
9106 T. Pollard RB DAL
10111 A. Dillon RB GB
11130 H. Ruggs III WR LV
12135 J. Burrow QB CIN
13154 A. Rodgers WR GB
14159 D. Williams RB KC
15178 Chargers DST LAC
Mike Miller
RdPkPlayer
111 S. Barkley RB NYG
214 D. Hopkins WR ARI
335 R. Woods WR LAR
438 D. Henderson RB LAR
559 K. Pitts TE ATL
662 R. Mostert RB SF
783 D. Chark WR JAC
886 R. Wilson QB SEA
9107 D. Mooney WR CHI
10110 G. Edwards RB BAL
11131 L. Thomas TE WAS
12134 D. Watson QB HOU
13155 G. Davis WR BUF
14158 R. Penny RB SEA
15179 Bills DST BUF
Jamey Eisenberg
RdPkPlayer
112 T. Hill WR KC
213 S. Diggs WR BUF
336 C. Lamb WR DAL
437 J. Jones WR TEN
560 L. Jackson QB BAL
661 J. Williams RB DEN
784 Z. Moss RB BUF
885 M. Gordon RB DEN
9108 L. Murray RB NO
10109 J. Williams RB DET
11132 T. Smith WR NO
12133 D. Parker WR MIA
13156 S. Perine RB CIN
14157 B. Jarwin TE DAL
15180 Broncos DST DEN





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