How to take a “Contrarian” strategy ground approach in fantasy football

Barry Gipson
4 min readAug 25, 2023
This season I will implement my CONTRARIAN ground game strategy in all 3 of my leagues on ESPN.

I Like To Go Against The Grain

I’ve always approached things in my life differently. My fantasy football strategy this season will be no different. How can I approach my 3 leagues differently this season? This is always the burning question in my brain. The term “Contrarian” in fantasy football explains my strategy this season.

Contrarian sports betting is a strategy that involves betting against the public or popular sentiment, with the notion that the public tends to be biased towards favorites and overvalues particular teams or players.

The devaluation of the NFL RB this summer was, and still is very disrespectful to watch heading into the regular season. I predict these skilled players can provide tremendous value within your rosters.

With the NFL gone “Pass Happy” in recent years, much attention has been placed on the WR/TE positions. To go after and draft in the earlier rounds. Like I always say you have to be able to read the draft room first.

Your draft position in your league can determine which direction you decide to go. In this ESPN mock draft case study, I go “Contrarian” with the fourth pick as an example of the RB over the WR.

Here is my screenshot picking 4th on ESPN with a contrarian ground game strategy. Just below WR M. Gallup on the bottom is QB Brock Purdy not visible in the screenshot.

Drafting 4th can be difficult without a strategy

I approached this mock draft with a PPR frame of mind. When going with a ground game you want guys who can also catch out of the backfield. My first pick was RB Christian McCaffery currently ranked 2nd on ESPN PPR boards. I followed up in the second round with Dameon Pierce who is currently ranked 21st.

In the 3rd and 4th rounds of the draft, I held true to the running game. Picking up RB James Connor who is currently ranked 17th on ESPN and then grabbing…



Barry Gipson

A Father, Dallas Cowboys fan, and veteran sharing advice and more for the '24 NFL season. A pivot in content.