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How to find fantasy value in crowded running back situations

The Broncos added Jamaal Charles to an already crowded backfield featuring Devontae Booker and C.J. Anderson. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

There's an expression in football that when you have two quarterbacks, you have none. The point is this: If you can't settle on one quarterback to play, it's almost always because neither option is good enough to cement full-time status. Not good.

The same logic does not apply to the running back position. Few teams rely exclusively (or nearly exclusively) on just one back. There are exceptions -- Ezekiel Elliott dominated touches for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie -- but the reality of today's NFL is that a shared workload in the backfield is what works best for most teams.

That can be tricky for the purposes of fantasy football. So let's sink our teeth into the six NFL backfields that -- as of this writing -- have plenty of names to sift through. Rather than merely picking "the back" to own, let's dig deeper, sort through circumstances and help you draft smarter.

Let's keep this in mind: The pads haven't even been put on yet. Things can change. But for those who are early (way early) drafters, this is a starter kit of advice. Suffice it to say the ESPN Fantasy team will be checking in on these backfields all the way until the season starts.


Cincinnati Bengals: Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Hill, Joe Mixon