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How the rise in RPO usage impacts fantasy

Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) hands off to running back Kareem Hunt (27) during the game agains the Tennessee Titans n the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Arrowhead stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you lived under a rock during the 2017 NFL season, you probably heard run-pass options, or RPOs, mentioned once or twice (or a hundred times). These play calls were arguably the biggest buzz phrase in football this season.

Contrary to what football Twitter might tell you, RPOs aren’t a media creation. In fact, they’ve been around for several years. But before we discuss the origin of these plays, it’s important to establish exactly what we mean when we refer to a run-pass option. Then we can take a look at what impact, if any, RPOs have had on fantasy football production.

Simply put, an RPO is a play where the quarterback has the option of a run or pass play. Unlike play action where the offensive line is in pass protection, they run block in an RPO. But how do you differentiate a regular run play from a run on an RPO? Look to the receivers. If they’re running routes, it’s an RPO. If they’re blocking, it’s a regular run play.

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