A running back by committee in football refers to a team that splits the duties of the running back position evenly amongst three or four different running backs.
In these situations, no running back is a “starter” as the top few running backs on the team are considered to be at equal positions on the depth chart.
RBBC In Fantasy Football
Often in fantasy football, the term running back by committee is represented by the acronym RBBC. The reason this term is so popular in fantasy football is because it has a significant effect on a running backs performance.
In fantasy football, you are only able to start a certain number of players each week. Ideally, the running backs you start are going to get a lot of touches throughout the game.
When one of the running backs on your team is in a running back by committee he is going to receive fewer touches. This is because the offensive plays will be split amongst the running backs in the committee.
This is the opposite of three-down running backs who tend to play the vast majority of running back snaps for their team.
Pros And Cons Of Running Back By Committee
Like any other approach to the run game, there are pros and cons of a RBBC. Below we will break down several different advantages and disadvantages of the running back by committee approach.
One aspect of the running back by committee approach that benefits the run game is fresh legs. It is no secret that running the ball in the NFL is a tiring activity. Having your ball carrier fresh off the bench should give him an extra burst when he gets the ball.
By rotating through your running backs evenly you will find that they are much less likely to get fatigued throughout the game.
Give The Defense Different Looks
Often times on an NFL roster a team will have running backs with several different skill sets. This will often include scat backs, one cut backs, and power backs. Each of these running backs is going to offer a different look for the defense.
Whether its a change in speed, elusiveness, or strength seeing a different half-back with the ball each series can be difficult on the defense.
Another benefit of the RBBC approach is the lowered usage of your backs. Previously running back longevity was measured by age. Nowadays the number of carries throughout their career is a more reliable measurement.
By using this approach your running backs will likely have longer careers in terms of years. Additionally lowered usage may reduce the injuries that will occur throughout the season.
Missing A Rythym
Oftentimes it can take a few carries for a running back to really find his rhythm. Despite having more energy when coming off the bench it can be difficult to get back into the flow of the game.
Playing consistent snaps against a defense often allows running backs to get a better feel for the game. Pulling them out after each series can often take away the backs momentum.
Getting The Ball In The Best Players Hands
The aspect of running back committees that often frustrate fans is the fact that the best player isn’t always getting the ball. Despite the relatively even carries amongst committees there is often one that plays better than the rest.
When this situation arises it is common the team will still stick to the RBBC approach. This can ultimately cost your team. As you are not getting the ball in the top backs hands as often as you should.
Wearing Down The Defense
Wearing down the defense is something that power backs excel at. Half backs like Derrick Henry often improve throughout the game as they punish the defense with their physical play.
If a team like the Titans were to implement a committee Henry would not have this same effect on the defense. Taking on a punishing power back once every three drives is much different than facing him every time you step on the field.