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Eric Mack and I continue our positional previews for the upcoming Fantasy Football season, and this time we bring in SCFE columnist Michael Tomlin, to discuss the 2016 Running Backs Preview. (We covered the Quarterbacks Preview in our podcast earlier this week with Mark Strausberg.)

free agent running backs

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

Before we go too deep into the running backs position, Michael Tomlin shares his opinions on the Zero RB Theory, and why this has become such a popular mode of drafting.

Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of the ol’ Stud RB Theory, but have had to shift course in recent years because of the rise of the NFL passing game, and the acceptance of two-RB committees on most NFL offenses.

Then we start talking about the So-Called Fantasy Experts’ Staff Running Back Rankings, and where we all differ among the group at the top.

For three years now, I’ve been a fan of Devonta Freeman, and that continues this year, while many are worried Tevin Coleman will steal too many touches. Freeman has three-down ability, with good size for a short guy (does that make sense?).

Tomlin likes Jamaal Charles, who is coming back from another torn ACL injury, and all three of us agreed that we think J.C. will rise again! I’m worried about a few of the top guys, like Doug Martin and rookie Ezekiel Elliott, whereas Tomlin completely disagrees with the high-ranking of Cardinals tailback David Johnson.

Grizzle or Sizzle is Back!

Well, it never really left, but everyone’s favorite Fatcast segment is back for another round, as we pick a trio of players with different opinions from Fantasy writers.

In the 2016 Running Backs Preview episode, we choose whether Thomas Rawls, DeMarco Murray and Chris Ivory are each “Grizzle” (fat stuff you throw out in the garbage) or “Sizzle” (hot stuff you can’t get enough of!).

2016 Running Backs Preview: Rookies and Sleepers!

We also look at some of the first-year guys coming into the league, like Ezekiel Elliott (first-rounder!?!), DeAndre Washington in Oakland and Chicago’s Jordan Howard.

(You can also read the recent articles we posted for rookie running backs, sleeper RBs and running backs busts!)

This was a quiet rookie class of running backs, outside of Elliott, and the big seasons out of last year’s rookies (like Todd Gurley and David Johnson) likely has us overly excited about this year’s crop.

CORRECTION! As I listen back to this podcast, I noticed I said that in the past 16 seasons, “only three rookies have finished as the highest-scoring running back” – when in fact, I meant to say “only three rookies have finished as the highest-scoring rookie” in that season. So that’s a big difference! Sorry about that.

In our “Finders Sleepers” segment, we each chime in on one player we like as a late-round running back to pick in larger leagues.

The “Fantasy Fatcast” podcast is really starting to gain some momentum! This is our third podcast in a week, and we’re excited for next week’s pair of podcasts, previewing the 2016 wide receivers and tight ends.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this 2016 Running Backs Preview in this Fatcast episode, and please email us your questions at for our upcoming position previews!

You can also tweet us @EricMackSports, @DavidGonos and @Tomlin3 – and please follow the site @SoCalledFanEx!

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