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, 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 Le’Veon Bell is the #1 Pick

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It’s that time of year that fantasy football league commissioners activate their leagues and set the draft order. There’s nothing like checking your email and seeing that message from the host of your league saying “your league has been activated.” The time is finally here. You and your league members get together and set the draft order. What do you know? Your name was pulled out of the hat first and you’re now officially on the clock. There’s plenty of time to catch up on news if you’ve been out of the loop. Now is the time to do your research and gather as much information to make the best educated guess possible. This season, there’s a tough decision to be made. I mean, how often do fantasy owners get the first overall pick in their fantasy draft and have to consider skipping out on arguably the best player in fantasy football? That’s certainly the case this season.

As I’ve mentioned in some of my previous articles, there are several options that you can go with at the first overall pick and while many have ruled out Le’Veon Bell because of his suspension, I’m still ok with taking Bell first overall. That being said, let’s look at some pros and cons for Bell.

Pros:

He led league in fantasy points in PPR formats (second in standard) amongst running backs, he’s an every down back, he’s a dual threat, game tempo doesn’t affect his snap count, he offers a very high ceiling as well as floor, and he’s young.

Cons:

He could miss up to four games of your fantasy football season due to suspension and bye week which accounts for 25 percent of the fantasy season in most cases and may have to shake off some rust at first.

Analysis

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Bell led the league in fantasy points amid running backs in PPR formats. In fact, he finished second in fantasy points amongst all players in PPR formats. He ran the ball 290 times for 1,361 yard and scored eight rushing touchdowns. He also added 83 catches for 854 yards and three touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2014, Bell improved in just about all aspects of his stats. He improved on his average yards per carries and games in both rushing and receiving, he topped 100 rushing yards in more games than the previous season, scored more receiving touchdowns, caught more passes, ran and received for more yards, and scored more touchdowns. For those who were concerned with a sophomore slump, that was non-existent for Bell. He totaled 100 yards in all but three games last year. As I mentioned above, game tempo doesn’t affect Bell that much. The Steelers could be behind or ahead and he remains a focal point of the team’s offense. He averaged a tad over 23 touches per game.

Bell is expected to appeal his suspension and there’s a chance that it could be reduced as he is a first time offender. However, even if he does miss three or four games, he could easily make that up when he returns. You see, while many look at it as they will not have Bell for four weeks, I view it as once he returns I’m going to have the running back that scores the most points for those 8-12 weeks assuming you make the playoffs. Plus when I’m drafting, I’ll already have a plan and may jump on some players earlier than ADP simply because I’m aware that Bell won’t be in my lineup the first couple of weeks. Sometimes it’s better to get 80 percent of a specific player than 100 percent of a player and this is one of those times. I’m not concerned about the potential three game suspension enough to turn my back on Bell. At this point if you look at the entire running back pool, I don’t think anyone offers the upside that Bell does when on the field. Knowing that, I’ll take the chance and draft him first overall because when he returns, I know that I potentially have the best back in fantasy.