There are going to be great debates over who should be the 1st overall pick in this year’s fantasy football drafts. Do you go with a stud running back slated for an insane amount of touches? Or do you go with a big time wide out who is set to have another target heavy season? Since there is no definite answer, we’re here to tell you why each of these players (Rob Gronkowski, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., LeSean McCoy, and Eddie Lacy) have a legitimate shot to be the number one pick in fantasy football drafts.

CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE #1 PICK SERIES:

1) Why Odell Beckham Jr. is the #1 Pick
2) Why Rob Gronkowski is the #1 Pick
3) Why Le’Veon Bell is the #1 Pick
4) Why Antonio Brown is the #1 Pick
5) Why Jamaal Charles is the #1 Pick
6) Why LeSean McCoy is the #1 Pick
7) Why Eddie Lacy is the #1 Pick
8) Why Adrian Peterson is the #1 Pick

Why Adrian Peterson is the #1 Pick

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Up until last season, Adrian Peterson was pretty much the clear cut number one overall pick. In some instances he would fall to the second pick or maybe even the third pick, but for the most part he was taken first. Assuming you’re on the clock with the first overall pick, would you take Peterson?

That’s the question that fantasy owners will be facing on draft day. I’ll list some pros and cons on Peterson below.

Pros:

All but guaranteed double digit touchdowns, has finished first in his position before, has been a reliable and consistent running back throughout his career, is one of the few workhorses that remains in the league, big play ability, and when he is on the field, he tends to be the best player out there more often than not.

Cons:

Age is a concern as he turned 30 years old this past March, he’s usually dealing with injuries despite playing through them, and he has a lot of miles on those legs.

Analysis

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Peterson played just one game in 2014. After an incident with the law, he was suspended for the remainder of the season and did not play football. Prior to last year, he scored double digit touchdowns every season and rushed for more than 1,200 yards in all but one season. Clearly he’s consistent and has been one of the better fantasy options in seven of the last eight years. Losing him was a huge blow to fantasy owners last season and unless they snagged C.J. Anderson off of waivers or drafted flawless, their season likely came to an end early. That just goes to show you how much of an impact Peterson has on a fantasy team.
Since there aren’t many stats to go over from last year, let’s touch on some of his previous seasons. Peterson rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2012 and followed that with nearly 1,300 yards in 2013. He averaged over 90 yards per game each year and averaged no less than 4.5 yards per carry in any of those seasons. He’s never averaged less than 80 yards per game in a season in his entire NFL career and in the only game he played last season, Peterson carried the ball 20 times for 75 yards. It’s safe to say he was starting off on the right track. Since 2009, Peterson has finished top two in fantasy points among running backs three times. If you disregard last season where he only played one game, that’s three times in five seasons where he either finished first or second in fantasy points at his position. That’s impressive to say the least.

I know, I know. He is 30 years old and that’s usually when running backs begin deteriorating. While that is true for the most part, there are always exceptions to the rules, and quite frankly that’s what I consider Peterson to be. He fell in the NFL draft due to his history with injuries and was able to overcome that adversity. Then in 2011 he took an awkward hit and tore his ACL in the left leg that put him on the shelf for the remainder of the season and required surgery. That didn’t keep him from rushing for the second most yards in NFL history, eight yards shy of the all-time record. There’s a pattern here, every time Peterson falls, he gets back up and shocks the world. Why would this season be any different? Yes , his age may be a factor, but let’s not forget that he didn’t play all of last season, so he was able to rest and is coming into this season with fresh legs. While there are younger guys with potentially higher ceilings, sometime taking the reliable “oldie” can take you far.