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, 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 Jamaal Charles is the #1 Pick

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The first pick of your fantasy football draft can be the most nerve racking for some. The spotlight is on you and truth be told, you don’t want to mess this up. How do you prevent messing up is the question at hand. ADP rankings currently suggest the Adrian Peterson is the first overall pick in a twelve team PPR format league. Others who have been taken first overall at least once are: Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy, C.J. Anderson, Rob Gronkowski, Julio Jones, Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham Jr., DeMarco Murray, Andrew Luck, and Aaron Rodgers. Clearly, there a several options that can be taken first overall based on the general public. While I don’t agree with every player that listed above, an argument can be made for several of them. In fact, if you’ve been reading my series of articles, I’ve discussed several players on that list.

This time around, with the first pick I’m selecting Jamaal Charles. Much like any other player, there are pros and cons with taking Charles number one overall. Let’s take a look at some.

Pros:

He has finished top four in rushing yards in three of the last five years (keep in mind he missed 14 games in 2011), dual threat running back, has shown consistency over the years, is the best player on this offense, and is in a system that is suitable for his strengths.

Cons:

Carries have lessened each year over the last three seasons and has missed at least one game in three of the last four seasons.

Analysis

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Charles’ 2014 numbers can be deceiving to fantasy owners, causing them to steer away from him, with the first overall pick that is. However, that can be a mistake. You see, Charles was hampered by a high ankle sprain for the majority of the season. He suffered the injury in week two and didn’t look like he was completely healthy for the rest of the season.

Well guess what?

He’s had all offseason to fully heal and there have been reports that Charles has shed some weight and is eating much healthier as he plans on being around for several more years. After all, he’s only 28 years old and has never carried the ball more than 285 times. In fact, take away the season he played just two games and Charles is averaging just 206 carries per season. While the volume may not appear to be first pick material, it’s important to note that in his worst season of his NFL career, he averaged five yards per carry. Yes, that’s right! He has yet to fall below five yards per carry in any single season. Talk about efficiency! This can’t even be said about Adrian Peterson.

That being said, Charles does more with less which is a plus in more than one regard. He will still put himself in a position to be able to produce elite numbers and doing it with fewer carries means less wear and tear on those legs. It’s really a win-win situation. Another thing that stands out to me is that in the last two seasons, despite seeing fewer touches, he still managed to score double digit total touchdowns in each of those seasons. The Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid’s system and style of offense bodes well for Charles. He’s a dynamic running back that is capable of running and catching, which is what makes him so valuable. He’s caught 40 or more passes in four of the last six seasons and has combined for 12 receiving touchdowns over the last two seasons.

The only fear is durability. But even though he’s always dinged up, he finds a way to get on the field and play. Taking Charles first overall may not be ideal to many, but the numbers clearly warrant it. He can easily finish with the most fantasy points of his position if he stays healthy. I’m hoping that’s the case.