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, Le’Veon Bell, 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 Rob Gronkowski is the #1 Pick

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We live in a world where taking a running back first overall isn’t a must anymore. Is that something I agree with? Well, yes it is. See, the game of football has changed and at times we can still find valuable running backs in the mid rounds. There are more running back by committees and the league has become a pass happy league which has increased the value of other positions, especially in PPR formats. Think about it, every time a player catches a ball it’s a point. This has opened the playing field and has also created new strategies that fantasy owners can take on draft day.

So what should I do with the first overall pick now that we’ve established this? Get ready for this… I’m taking Rob Gronkowski. I can already imagine your face as you read this sentence with a bit of confusion and maybe some disgust, but don’t stop reading just yet. There’s a chance you may take Gronk first overall in your home league in this year’s draft. Here are some pros and cons for Gronk.

Pros:

He’s pretty much a lock for 10+ touchdowns, he is by far the best tight end in the game and second place isn’t close, he’s a game changer, having him on your roster is like having a wide receiver in the tight end slot, and he’s finished top 5 in fantasy points amongst tight ends in all but one year since 2010 (including two years where he led in fantasy points). Keep in mind he missed nine games in 2013.

Cons:

Durability is a concern and he will be without Tom Brady for four games this season unless Brady’s suspension gets reduced.

Analysis

Rob Gronkowski

Before I breakdown his numbers I’d like to say that I’ve never seen someone party as hard as Gronk after winning a Super Bowl or any championship for that matter. I must admit, it is fun to watch. All that being said, Gronk will be back to football mode this season as he always is. In his five year career, he’s had double digit touchdowns in all but one season. Guess what? The only season he didn’t score double digit touchdowns was in 2013 where he only played seven games. Other than that he’s been a touchdown machine. Last season he caught 82 passes for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns. He didn’t have career best in any category, yet still managed to finish with more fantasy points than any other tight end by a wide margin. In PPR formats he outscored the number two tight end by 36 points which is an average of about three points per game. Let’s be honest, how often don’t we lose to our opponents by less than three points? In standard formats he outscored the number two tight end by thirty points. It’s quite simple; he’s by far the best at his position.

Still not convinced? How about this? The one category that is important for all formats is touchdowns. Gronk finished with the third most receiving touchdowns in 2014 (12). Only Dez Bryant, Antonio Brown, and Jordy Nelson finished with more receiving touchdowns than Gronk. The drop off between receivers and even running backs from one through 10 isn’t as significant as the drop off from Gronk to the second best tight end. In PPR formats, he scored more fantasy points than the number seven back and the number 10 wide receiver. When healthy, this guy is a machine and really can’t be stopped. You’re essentially getting top 10 receiver or running back numbers in your tight end slot. You set yourself apart from all fantasy teams by having this weapon in a position that usually doesn’t produce a high amount of points on a consistent basis.

I’ve never considered a tight end first overall, but when you look at the numbers and the impact that Gronk can have on a fantasy team, there’s no reason why drafting him first overall would be a bad thing. After all, you can still get a quality back or wide receiver in the second round and the drop off from him to the top receiver or running back taken may not be as significant.