Choosing between an RB and a WR for the flex position can be a crucial decision that can significantly impact your team’s performance.
Whether it’s better to play a running back (RB) or a wide receiver (WR) in your fantasy football lineup depends on various factors, including the specific players, matchups, and your team’s overall strategy.
So, is it better to play RB or WR?
In PPR leagues or leagues that heavily favor pass-catching RBs, starting an RB might be more advantageous. In standard leagues or leagues with a larger number of teams, wide receivers might have more value due to the depth of the position.
Let’s look at where to use RB and where to use WR. By analyzing both cases, we will decide what to use.
Advantages of Running Back (RB):
Consistent Volume: Running backs tend to get more consistent touches, including carries and receptions, which can lead to stable fantasy point production.
Goal-Line Opportunities: RBs often get goal-line carries, increasing their chances of scoring touchdowns, which are valuable in fantasy football.
Workhorse RBs: Some elite RBs are “workhorses” for their teams, meaning they handle a significant portion of the offensive workload, making them potential fantasy stars.
PPR Value: In PPR leagues (points per reception), pass-catching running backs can be even more valuable as they earn points for each reception.
So, RB performs better if we want consistent volume, goal-line opportunities, workhorse RBs, and PPR value.
Advantages of Wide Receiver (WR):
Big-Play Potential: Wide receivers have the ability to score big points on a single play through long receptions and touchdowns.
Variety of Scoring Opportunities: WRs can score points in various ways, including receiving touchdowns, long gains, and even occasionally rushing or returning the ball.
Depth at Position: The wide receiver position generally has more depth, which means you have a higher chance of finding good options on the waiver wire or through trades during the season.
Matchup Advantage: If your WR has a favorable matchup against a weak pass defense, it could lead to a big fantasy performance.
So, WR performs better if we want big-play potential, scoring opportunities, and matchup advantage.
To make this decision, you need to consider several factors:
First of all, look at the opposing teams’ defenses against the run and the pass. If the opposing team has a strong run defense but a weak pass defense, starting a wide receiver might be a better option. Conversely, if they have a weak run defense but a strong pass defense, starting a running back could be more favorable.
Then, review the recent performance of the RB and WR. You should check their stats, recent form, and injuries.
Now, you can consider the volume of touches each player gets. Running backs generally have more opportunities for carries and receptions, which can lead to consistent points. Wide receivers rely more on targets from the quarterback, and their production can be more variable.
Score settings is another important thing to consider. Different fantasy leagues have different scoring settings, such as points per reception (PPR) or standard scoring. PPR leagues can make pass-catching RBs more valuable since they get points for receptions.
Finally, consider your overall team strategy. If you have a solid RB1 and RB2 but lack depth at wide receiver, it might make sense to start a WR in the flex position to balance your roster.
What is better to have RB or WR in PPR?
In PPR (points per reception) fantasy football leagues, pass-catching running backs (RBs) tend to have a higher value compared to standard-scoring leagues. PPR scoring awards fantasy points for each reception made by a player, which means that RBs who are involved in the passing game can significantly boost their fantasy production.
Here are some reasons why RBs are often more valuable in PPR leagues:
More Touches: Pass-catching RBs are typically involved in both rushing and receiving, which means they have more opportunities to accumulate points. They not only get points for rushing yards and touchdowns but also for receptions and receiving yards.
Consistency: PPR scoring helps mitigate the impact of players having lower rushing yardage games because they can still contribute through their receptions. This consistency can be valuable, especially when compared to some boom-or-bust wide receivers who might rely on big plays.
Third-Down Backs: Running backs who serve as third-down or receiving specialists are particularly valuable in PPR leagues. They are often targeted by their quarterbacks on short passes, providing a safe outlet option and accumulating PPR points.
Red Zone Usage: RBs who are involved in the passing game often see more opportunities in the red zone, increasing their chances of scoring touchdowns and earning additional points.
Lack of Depth: In PPR leagues, the wide receiver position is typically deeper, with more viable options available on the waiver wire. This makes pass-catching RBs rarer and more valuable.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that wide receivers become irrelevant in PPR leagues. Elite wide receivers who consistently receive a high volume of targets and make receptions are still extremely valuable fantasy assets. However, PPR scoring can elevate the value of pass-catching RBs and create a more balanced playing field between RBs and WRs.
Should I start an RB or a WR in the flex position if my RB1 and RB2 are both facing tough run defenses this week?
If both your RB1 and RB2 have tough matchups against strong run defenses, it might be wiser to start a WR in the flex position. WRs have a better chance of producing points through receiving yards and touchdowns, even against solid pass defenses.
My RB1 is a workhorse back, but my WR1 has a favorable matchup against a weak pass defense. Who should I start in the flex?
In this scenario, starting your WR1 in the flex position might be the better choice. While RB1 workhorse backs can be valuable, a favorable matchup for your WR1 against a weak pass defense could lead to a high-scoring performance.
My RB2 is a pass-catching specialist with a lot of receptions. Should I prioritize him over a boom-or-bust WR with big-play potential for the flex?
In a PPR league, your RB2’s pass-catching ability is valuable, and he might be a safer option than a boom-or-bust WR. However, consider the rest of your lineup and your opponent’s team to determine if you need a high ceiling (WR) or a stable floor (RB).
My RB1 is injured, and I have a strong WR2 as a replacement. Should I start the WR2 in the RB spot or keep him in the flex and start a different RB in the RB slot?
It’s generally better to start players in their designated positions whenever possible. So, start a different RB in the RB slot, and keep the strong WR2 in the flex. Flex spots provide more flexibility, and you can capitalize on the WR2’s potential in the flex.
I’m in a standard-scoring league, and my RB1 and RB2 have favorable matchups this week. Should I still consider starting a WR in the flex?
Even in standard-scoring leagues, starting a WR in the flex can be a viable option if you have a strong WR with a favorable matchup. Assess the upside of your WR options and the overall team balance before making a decision.
I have an RB and a WR with similar projected points this week. How should I decide which one to start in the flex?
In such a scenario, consider factors like matchup strength, injury status, and recent form. If the RB is facing a weak run defense or if the WR is dealing with an injury concern, that might influence your decision. Additionally, assess your team’s needs – if you need a high floor, the RB might be the safer choice; if you need a high ceiling, the WR with big-play potential might be the better option.
My RB2 is playing on Thursday night, and my WR2 is playing on Sunday. Should I start the RB in the flex and keep the WR as a backup in case the RB underperforms?
It’s generally better to start the RB in the RB2 slot and keep the flex position open until Sunday. By doing so, you retain flexibility in case any unexpected injuries or developments occur during the week. If your RB2 has a poor showing on Thursday, you can still pivot to the WR on Sunday for the flex spot.
I have a WR3 who is in a timeshare with another WR, and my RB3 has been getting increased carries lately. Who should I trust more for the flex position?
In this situation, it might be safer to go with the RB3 who is getting increased carries. Timeshares in the WR position can be riskier, as targets may be unpredictable from week to week. However, consider the matchups and potential game scripts to determine if the increased carries for the RB3 are likely to translate into a productive fantasy performance.
My RB1 is on bye, and my WR2 has a tough matchup against a lockdown cornerback. Which position should I prioritize for the flex replacement?
In this scenario, you should prioritize the RB position for the flex replacement. The absence of your RB1 might create a significant void in your lineup, making it more crucial to find a capable replacement. While the tough matchup for the WR2 is a concern, you can still find a WR with a more favorable matchup on the waiver wire or among your bench players.
I have a rookie RB and a rookie WR with similar potential but limited NFL experience. Which one should I start in the flex?
Starting a rookie can be more challenging since their performances can be unpredictable. In this case, consider the preseason hype, training camp reports, and the roles these rookies have in their respective offenses. Also, check if there are any veteran players who have a track record of consistent production available on the waiver wire. If you’re uncertain about the rookies, it might be wiser to go with the safer veteran option in the flex.