RBBC - Running Back By Committee

Fantasy Football RBBC Definition

RBBC is an acronym for the phrase "running back by committee". The phrase refers to a team's decision to start multiple RBs instead of concentrating on one or perhaps two solid choices. RBBC is a common topic on fantasy football boards and forums. RBBC, or in fact any "player by committee" situation, is one of those things you either love or you hate.

Before the popularity of RBBC offenses, NFL teams usually put all their energy behind one back, who got around 30 targets per game, more or less depending on that team's offensive system. Now, many NFL teams use some form of RBBC -- why do they do it? When you run two or three backs they tend to stay fresh more often because they run less plays. Another good reason to have a running back committee is to use a "one two" punch tactic. Quick backs capable of breaking long yardage runs backed up by big bruisers who can get over the goalline. I would venture that just about every team in the league is using some sort of running back committee. How can you use this to your advantage?

It is sometimes difficult for fantasy football managers to wrap their heads around RBBC strategy, even though it is pretty straightforward fantasy stuff. Let's take a look at the 2009 Dallas Cowboys for instance -- who would you draft between Felix Jones and Marion Barber? They are both gonna get field time, but they're going to play very different games.

Are you looking for an RB to put up big yards or score more TDs? Or maybe you're betting on one of the two of them (most likely Barber) getting hurt . . . in that case, draft the other half of the committee. Alternatively, turn a talented committee back into your own personal sleeper -- make the longshot bet that your guy will earn more targets than his committee member, and you could be investing in more than just a good backup roster pick.

Some fantasy football managers use the RBBC system as a built in form of insurance. Think about the 2009 Indianapolis Colts -- between Joseph Addai's injury last year and injuries to his QB and much of the O-line, he didn't put up stellar numbers. But a healthy Addai (and a potentially scrappy rookie Donald Brown as backup) could produce big fantasy numbers as well as a nice piece of Addai insurance in the process. If the bigwigs at the Colts headquarters have enough faith in Brown to backup Addai, you can rest easy making the same decision.

RBBC doesn't have to be a dirty word. In fact, it should be seen as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. If it does nothing else, the tendency of NFL teams to use a running back by committee system adds another layer of draft strategy for us in the fantasy football universe.

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