Fantasy football draft season is upon us and even though no one who’s paid to know this stuff actually knows anything whatsoever about reality, football or fantasy, VICE has been staying up-to-date on this stuff so you can decide which football players to put on a fake team that might compile more football statistics than your friends’ fake teams, and win you an extremely modest amount of money compared with the number of hours you’ll spend deciding what to do with your fake football team.
(This is Part 2. Part 1, quarterbacks, is here.)
Keep in mind that luck, not human intelligence, is the greatest predictor of success in fantasy football. Any fortuitous outcome is a fluke, but saying it happened for a reason keeps writers in business and, on a macro level, is pretty much the basis of our entire economy, if not the single most recognizable through line of our species’ checkered history! It’s a sham! We’re all going to die someday and until then, we have no control over anything, and that’s never going to change! SO LET’S PLAY SOME FUCKING FOOTBALL.
Running backs are very important in fantasy football because they carry the ball and you can measure how far they’ve carried it. They are not as important in real life football, because how far they can carry the football is very dependent on the big fat strong guys on the offensive line. But those big fat strong guys can’t get any credit for that, aside from occasionally getting first-class seats on the team plane. They’re big and they’re fat and they’re strong, and their brains are absolutely turning into pudding thanks to CTE, and anyway, when you watch football on TV they don’t look like they’re doing anything but standing around and being fat. Look at the running backs! The running backs have the ball! Watch what they do with it. They jump and spin and run! Out of the way, fat guys! (The fat guys are like you and me, good honest Americans who do all the work around here and never get any credit for it). ((Fuck those big stupid fat guys, we don’t want to identify with them, do we?)). (((RUNNING BACKS RUN WITH THE BALL!!!)))!! ((((Like how we take the ball and run with it at our business meetings that are so important)))).
Here’s an overview of this year’s running backs:
RAY RICE, LeSEAN McCOY (pictured), and ARIAN FOSTER: These guys are going to be the first three guys people take in your fantasy football draft. They are the same guy. Better than 70 percent of all people playing fantasy football will not end up with one of these guys on their fantasy football team, but that will not stop people who make more money per year than three high school math teachers combined from telling you all about the differences between them. There are no differences between them. They are the same guy. They grab the ball and run. They are good at it. These guys are “studs,” which is an agricultural term for “livestock of sufficiently well-bred quality that their sperm is worth (stupid) money.” You definitely want to get one of these guys’s sperm if you can. Buy them for your fantasy team and then milk their sperm all year long, and brag to your friends about how covered you are in their sperm. Their hot, sticky statistically-strong football sperm. Smear it on your face. Sell it by the jar.
JAMAAL CHARLES (pictured), ADRIAN PETERSON, CHRIS JOHNSON, FRANK GORE, DARREN McFADDEN, and MATT FORTE: Sometimes guys who run with a football in their hands are great at it and then not great at it, and sometimes they get hurt, and sometimes other defenses figure out how to stop them, and, all the time, they get older and slower and less good because everybody is always tackling them all the time and it hurts their legs. These four guys used to be better than they are, but they are still good, but they will probably never be as good as they used to be, because time moves forward and we’re all going to die some day. Consider them in the first or second rounds.
TRENT RICHARDSON (pictured), DOUG MARTIN, LAMAR MILLER, and DAVID WILSON: But wait! Look at these guys! These guys are young! One of them—or maybe two of them—will be great at running with the football! Isn’t that exciting? We don’t know which ones yet. Probably Trent Richardson if he doesn’t get hurt. Maybe one of the other guys too. Which one? We don’t know! We never know anything! Us humans are not that smart! Take Trent Richardson in the third round if he’s still available there, and wait on the other guys until your roster is full of other dudes. Then when they turn out to be the sucky ones, drop them and start over again with one of the following guys…
PROBABLY SOME FUCKING GUY: Every year there’s a person who comes from “nowhere” to be one of the best fantasy football players of the year. What the shit, right? It’s almost like “why do we even bother” when people like this get to just be so awesome and good. This is going to be somebody that nobody drafts that gets an opportunity to be great at fantasy football because another running back on their team gets injured and all the big strong fat guys in the offensive line don’t get injured, and then they are the best. What guys are these guys? I don’t know, Ben Tate? DJ Ware? Evan Royster? I don’t know. It’ll be some fucking guy you DON’T draft, I can tell you that much. Life is so unfair sometimes. For all you know about how likely Evan Royster is to be great at running with a football this year, it’s like you might as well be living in a Haitian shantytown, sharing a hasty dinner of fire-roasted rat with the other roving earthquake orphans yet to be captured by an underground organ-harvesting facility.
Stay tuned for wide receivers, tight ends, and other guys whose skills will determine your team's fate, and therefore your happiness.