Owning the top pick in a draft is both a gift and a nightmare. Do you take AP, Charles, Lacy or Le’Veon Bell, all of whom are ranked at the top spot by at least one expert? Or do you take someone else that’s unsuspecting, but extremely talented? For many, this conundrum makes the top pick a nightmare situation where ANY number of players could go in the top spot and produce.
Yes, in this case, choice can be bad. There’s more than one “good” decision, but there are certainly better arguments for one player over another. So how should one decide? One way is to hear out the arguments from experts in the fantasy football world. We asked 7 experts to name who their top pick would be in standard leagues and you can find their answers below.
Q. Who should be the #1 pick in standard league formats and why?
Adrian Peterson (RB – MIN)
“Peterson was fantasy’s number one overall pick last season and he deserves that title once again this year in standard scoring settings. The Hall of Fame talent will assume his role as the NFL’s premiere workhorse back with rested legs and one of the most talented supporting casts of his illustrious career. As added incentive, we may finally see Adrian get more involved in the passing game considering Norv Turner’s fondness for throwing the football to his backfield. Passing up on all of these fantasy positives based on the assumption that he will fall victim to the common age 30 running back demise, is wrongly overlooking just how remarkable this running back has been over the last eight years.”
– Sablich Brothers (The NY Times)
“This is a close call between Adrian Peterson and Eddie Lacy for me. In PPR leagues, it would be a close call between Jamaal Charles and Le’Veon Bell. In standard leagues, I’ll give Peterson the nod over Lacy, mainly because he has a proven track record. Excluding last year, of course, Peterson has scored double-digit touchdowns in every season of his career. That’s including 2011 when he played in just 12 games. Over those seven seasons, he has also rushed for an average of 1,445 yards. I’ll take Peterson with my first pick in standard scoring leagues.”
– Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)
“Don’t overthink this one folks. Peterson is coming off a very restful, angry vacation, and likely wanting to shift people’s focus back to the field to protect his legacy. It’s also fair to mention that he will be working under an offense put together by Norv Turner, who loves to utilize his primary backs in all facets of the game. The majority of the time, the top 5 RBs year-to-year are fresh faces from the previous year. To gamble on RB parity and put yourself behind with the first pick is not necessary and quite unwise. Take the proven champion with a grudge on an effective and improving offense.”
– Nathan Miller (Revelation Sports)
Jamaal Charles (RB – KC)
“While an argument can easily be made for a handful of players, like Adrian Peterson and LeVeon Bell (even with the scheduled missed games), my clear #1 overall pick in 2015 is two players handcuffed together. Yes, I’m talking about Jamaal Charles handcuffed to Knile Davis. With a 10.08-11.01 ADP, Davis costs literally nothing, but Davis is one of the only backups in the league that can play like a high-end RB1 if called into action. As for Charles, he is still as good as any runner in fantasy, and he is capable of 1,800+ total yards, 50-60 receptions and 10-14 scores during any 16-game season; If both are healthy, Charles is the guy, and elite, but together it feels like the safest 1.01 in 2015.”
– Smitty (Fantasy Football Starters)
Rob Gronkowski (TE – NE)
“I think a strong case can be made for Gronkowski to be taken #1 overall. Hear me out. Look at the rest of the position and how weak it is. You’ll be getting WR1-type numbers out of a position that most people are barely getting anything out of. The value of replacement level players at every other position dictate that going with the only elite tight end could be a very profitable move. Position scarcity at its finest!”
– Jeff Collins (FantasyAces)
“Even at 1.01, Gronk’s my guy. Even if Tom Brady misses four games, he’s my guy. I’m sure there are purists who’ll disagree, but this season the gulf between Gronk and any other tight end is massive. Like, light years massive. I can find upside WRs and late-value RBs since I won’t own Dez, OBJ or Adrian Peterson and this season… I’m perfectly ok with that.”
– Micah James (FFMagicMan)
Odell Beckham Jr. (WR – NYG)
“It probably sounds a bit cliche, but I’ve got to go with Beckham Jr. OBJ absolutely took the league by storm last season posting, on average, over 108 receiving yards per game. At that pace, and despite missing the first four games of the season, he still found himself as a top ten wide receiver. Simply extrapolating his stats shows he would have easily been the top wide receiver if he played all year, and that’s in receiving yards AND touchdowns! With a full season it should be extremely interesting to see just how well he can do.”
– The FFGhost (Dynasty League Football)