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, Antonio Brown, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., and LeSean McCoy) 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 Eddie Lacy is the #1 Pick

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“The draft has now begun. Team one you’re on the clock!” These are the words that fantasy owners can’t wait to hear. All the research you’ve done during the offseason and all the mock drafts you’ve participated in will ultimately provide you with one answer, and that is who you’re taking at this first overall pick. This is of course, assuming that you get the first pick. So for this article’s sake, you were fortunate to have the first pick.
What now? Who are you taking? With the entire player pool at hand, there are several ways that you can go. In fact, there’s so much value in the first round that I’d be more content with a late pick in the round so that I can take advantage of the value in the early second round. Unfortunately, that’s not the case here. That being said, with the first pick, Team one selects Eddie Lacy. Surprise, surprise, Lacy goes first overall and much like with any other pick, there are some pros and cons.

Pros:

Young legs, great offense, finished top six in fantasy points in all formats, dual threat running back, good for just about 10 touchdowns, and capable of a full work load.

Cons:

He’s never been the No. 1 running back in fantasy points and pass first offense can limit his rushing attempts per game.

Analysis

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Many times fantasy owners are hesitant to take a player who’s really never finished first in fantasy points at their position as the first pick. I don’t think that’s a winning strategy. In fact, I’d rather be a year early on a player than a year late. You can’t skip on a player in a draft because you’ll look dumb if he duds. That’s out of your control. The best thing to do is gather all of your research and make the best educated guess based off of your notes. At the end of the day, nobody can predict exact performances by any player. Yes, we may come close, but there’s no perfect pick.

What we do know is that Lacy improved in several categories including receptions, total touchdowns, total yards, targets, average yards per run, red zone targets, fantasy points per game, and over all receiving stats. This tells me a couple of things. First, that he proved he’s capable of not only running the ball, but also catching passes and that comes a long way in an offense like the Packers run. Something else that stood out to me was that, as a rookie, he didn’t score any receiving touchdowns, but last season he caught four.

One thing that didn’t appeal to me was that he dropped in red zone runs by nine touches, however I quickly noticed that he made up for it with nine more passing targets in the red zone. What this means to me is that he’s consistent, which is something that I place a lot of emphasis on when selecting a player in the first round. There have been stories that have come out where Lacy is expected to be limited with his touches to keep him fresh, but I’m ok with that because he actually did more with less last season. In 2013 he carried the ball 284 times and in 2014 he carried it 246 times, but averaged 0.5 more yards per carry in 2014 than he did in 2013.

While it’s unlikely that Lacy will receive 300+ carries this upcoming season, I still think the 250 carries along with being more involved in the passing game and being part of an offense who had the fourth most red zone scoring attempts in 2014 warrants a first overall pick for Lacy. He’s almost locked in for double digit total touchdowns and 1,500 total yards. Sign me up for that!