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 (Adrian Peterson, Rob Gronkowski, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, 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 Antonio Brown is the #1 Pick
It wasn’t too long ago that a running back went first overall in just about every single redraft league. It was essentially frowned upon to take anything other than a running back with the first pick. In fact, almost every pick in the first round was a running back, as it was the most valuable position in fantasy football. Noticed how I said was? Over the last couple of years many teams have shifted in the direction of a running back by committee approach. Another thing that has changed is how the game has become more of an aerial attack sport, which adds value to the receiver position. Something else to consider is that many fantasy leagues have switched to point per reception (PPR) or half PPR.
Taking the above points into consideration and being that in this instance you’re the first pick in your home league fantasy football draft (PPR format), you have tons of players to choose from and unlike in past years, several positions to choose these players from. Decisions, decisions! Finally, after all the pondering you’ve come to a decision and the commissioner announces “the pick is in”. Antonio Brown is the first player off of this year’s fantasy football draft.” Wait, what?? Yes, that just happened and it may actually be an excellent pick. Here are some pros and cons about taking Brown first overall.
Target vulture, consistent, focal point of passing attack, finished first in fantasy points in the league in PPR scoring, and is capable of double digit touchdowns.
The amount of weapons on the offense could cause Brown to see a minor dip in targets.
It may seem unorthodox for fantasy owners to be taking a wide receiver with the first overall pick, but with all the changes in the league, this is very feasible and not a bad way to start your team. Last year a new draft tactic called the zero running back strategy became trendy. This basically means that a fantasy owner doesn’t take a running back in the first couple of rounds of a draft. I had already been doing this for a couple of years and it was a working strategy for me.
Let’s look at Antonio Brown’s numbers last year: 129 receptions, 1,698 receiving yards, and 13 receiving touchdowns. For those who are rewarded for a punt return touchdowns, he had one of those too. He outscored every player, yes I said player, in PPR formats with 380.9 fantasy points. The second most fantasy points scored by a receiver was 340.9 fantasy points.
Brown has posted back-to-back 100+ receptions seasons. He topped his 2013 season in 2014 in just about all categories. He caught more passes, had more yards, scored more touchdowns, reached the century mark in yards in more games, and averaged more yards per game. The only number that dipped was his yards per reception, but only by 0.4. Brown was the second most targeted player in the red zone (32 targets) and was the most efficient player in the red zone as he caught 73.3 percent of his red zone targets. He wasn’t only efficient in the red zone; he was efficient anywhere on the field. He caught 71 percent of the passes thrown his way. Another thing that I consider to be of relevance is that he had eight games with 100+ yards, that shows consistency. To be honest, there wasn’t much he could do wrong last year and I’m fully expecting him to carry that over into the 2015 season.
There is only one concern for me for Brown, and that is that this offense has several young receivers that can spell some targets from him. However, that’s not significant enough for me because he was targeted 181 times last season and all he really needs to get 100 receptions is about 142 targets (number is based off of his efficiency numbers from 2014). It’s tough to think that Brown will see more than a 20 percent dip in targets.
It’s clear that the good outweighs the bad in this scenario and that Brown can easily be the first overall pick in your leagues. After all, he did score the most fantasy points (PPR formats) in 2015!