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, Jamaal Charles, 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 Odell Beckham Jr. is the #1 Pick

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Who would have ever thought that with the first pick of your fantasy football draft you’d be tempted to take a sophomore receiver? That will be the case for some owners this season as they should at least flirt with the idea of selecting Odell Beckham Jr. with the first overall pick. Is it risky? Absolutely! Does he have the potential to finish atop the rankings in fantasy points in 2015? Without a doubt. Before I go into detail about Beckham, I’ll list some pros and cons about him.

Pros:

He’s young and talented, he’s built a great rapport with his quarterback as a rookie, he has an insanely high ceiling, he possesses all the tools that a receiver needs to be elite, he has great hands, he runs great routes, and he showed the ability to be a consistent receiver.

Cons:

Hasn’t produced at a high level in the NFL for an entire season, durability can be a concern, and regression is almost inevitable.

Analysis

Odell Beckham Jr.

I was thinking of a word to describe Beckham’s rookie season and some of the words that came into my head were remarkable, monumental, superb, and extraordinary. However, I don’t even feel that any of these words would be suffice. His rookie campaign was one for the record books. In just 12 games he caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged nearly eight catches per game, 108.75 yards per game, a touchdown per game, and 10.8 targets per game. With these averages, he would have caught 121 passes for 1,740 yards and 16 touchdowns had he played a full season.

Beckham went over the century mark in receiving yards seven times and had 150+ receiving yards in two games. He exhibited his ability for big plays as he caught 16 passes of 20+ yards and six passes of 40+ yards. His route running was great and his explosiveness made it nearly impossible to cover him down field. Not to mention his exceptional hands. He caught 70 percent of the passes thrown his way. For fantasy owners he was pure gold. He averaged 17.2 fantasy points per game in standard leagues, 24.8 in PPR leagues, and 21 in half PPR leagues. He finished seventh overall amongst receivers in fantasy points.

The one knock on Beckham is durability issues. He missed the first four games of his rookie season with a hamstring injury and he’s already dealing with hamstring issues during minicamps and OTAs, which raises a big red flag. However, the upside he offers is tough to pass up on. Even if he misses a couple of games, he’s proved that he’s capable of making up for any missed time. As a fantasy owner, you have to be thinking regression; it’s just silly to think he will produce at such a high-level again this season. That being said, for a player of his caliber, regression isn’t as bad as one would think. I mean, he was producing numbers that are almost unheard of, so a step back will only put him in the same tier as the elite receivers.

Many people are apprehensive and feel like they need to see more out of Beckham before labeling him with the elite tag. While I usually am of the same opinion, I think that he is the exception to the rule. Some of the plays I watched him make are not flukes. These are big time plays from a big time player. The future is bright for Beckham and while the bar is set very high for him, I’m realistic and I know that it’ll be difficult to have the same averages. However, I’m also aware that he doesn’t need to perform at such a high level to be an elite weekly fantasy option.