Whether you’re picking first overall in a lame four-team fantasy football league or you’re going balls to the wall in a 20+ man league, it’s always a tough call. Actually, in past years the call was probably largely obvious. Maybe one year it was LaDainian Tomlinson for the top spot, another it was Shaun Alexander, another it was Adrian Peterson and another it was Terrell Davis. If you do recall, though, LT, Alexander and TD all hit walls might hard, so if you took that “sure” pick atop the rest of the available talents, you may have ended up regretting it.
The burn of taking Peterson first overall in 2014 fantasy drafts may still reside in your aching side, while those preparing to draft #1 overall in 2015 fantasy football drafts may have no clue what they’re about to do. Jamaal Charles regressed mildly last year, Calvin Johnson wasn’t up to his regular form either and that Adrian Peterson, well, getting burned two years in a row would be a real son of a bitch. Le’Veon Bell would be fun if he wasn’t out for the first three games of the year (suspension), while DeMarco Murray can’t possibly live up to the damage he dished out on the league a year ago.
So, which way do you turn on draft day when the clock is ticking?
It’s true that it’s not nearly as obvious as it may have been in year’s past. The lack of “draft this guy, ya idiot” clarity can be numbing in a fantasy sport that usually has numerous can’t miss options. This year, not so much. Some fantasy experts think Bell is a risk, Charles is in decline, Megatron isn’t worth the reach, Jimmy Graham is in a new system, The Gronk is too big of an injury risk and any quarterback is isn’t worth the top pick due to the position being so deep.
We know it’s a brutal call, so we gathered up all the “#1 pick” advice we could find. Check out the links and hit our own breakdown of the proposed top pick at the bottom of this article:
FantasyPros.com had a bit of a round table recently with some of fantasy football’s brightest minds. Three of them vouched for Adrian Peterson, two suggested you role with Jamaal Charles, one said roll the dice with The Gronk and one more went against the grain a tad by saying Odell Beckham Jr. was worth the top spot.
USA Today’s Tim Heaney explained last month with Green Bay Packers stud running back Eddie Lacy should be the top pick in fantasy drafts. ESPN’s Tristan Cockcroft seems to love him some Lacy, too. NumberFire.com gets in on the Lacy hype train, as well.
Sports World News ponders five viable options for the top spot, including oddities like DeMarco Murray and Marshawn Lynch.
ESPN’s writers continued to take a side here, as Matthew Berry provided a strong argument for Kansas City Chiefs star rusher Jamaal Charles last month. Mike Clay makes a fantastic argument for Adrian Peterson being the top pick, as well. Eric Karabell rolled with Le’Veon Bell despite a three-game ban sapping some of his overall upside. We can take this as it is – four very good looks at four strong options – or ESPN just paying four different writers to defend guys at random. Either way, it’s a good amount of info and all four make sense as top picks.
Okay, but which one of those guys (or someone else) makes for the best selection at #1 overall?
I think the Lacy love is a bit much. I love his talent and his offense, but the your best fantasy bet in GB isn’t Lacy. It’s Aaron Rodgers. Murray and Lynch as the top pick aren’t totally blind, but they’re reaches. Quarterback is too deep to draft one first overall, while no tight end or wide receiver is good enough for me to take the dive at that spot, either.
For me, it’s down to Bell, Peterson and Charles. Bell’s suspension and the unlikelihood of him exceeding what he did last year (as that’s awfully hard to do – ever) puts him slightly behind Peterson and Charles, who are my two favorite guys going into 2015. I like Charles more than Peterson, and it’s close. Peterson is going to be a total beast. However, Charles offers more upside and I like his system better considering exactly what he does best. We’re splitting hairs here, but Charles is the most reliable fantasy running back and probably the most stable player, overall. There are plenty of good options out there, but I’m going running back at the top spot and if I’m there, my guy is Charles.