2016 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Picking at No. 1 overall in standard leagues
It's our annual pick-by-pick series where we help you draft from a specific spot in the first round. At No. 1 overall in a standard league, Dave Richard thinks running back is still a way to go.
When it comes to Fantasy Football, it's your job to be prepared. Every year, it's our job to help you prepare, which is why Jamey Eisenberg and I take part in a two-man draft. It's to give you an example of what you might (and might not) expect when it comes to drafting in your 12-team non-PPR league.
Naturally, there are picks that we love, some we hate and some we wish we could have had. By the time you're done reading this you should at least have a baseline of what we'd recommend doing from your draft slot.
Here is my team at No. 1 overall in a standard format ...
- 1.1 Todd Gurley , RB, Los Angeles Rams
- 2.24 Devonta Freeman , RB, Atlanta Falcons
- 3.25 Aaron Rodgers , QB, Green Bay Packers
- 4.48 Michael Floyd , WR, Arizona Cardinals
- 5.49 Greg Olsen , TE, Carolina Panthers
- 6.72 Jarvis Landry , WR, Miami Dolphins
- 7.73 Kevin White , WR, Chicago Bears
- 8.96 Jordan Howard , RB, Bears
- 9.97 Willie Snead , WR, New Orleans Saints
- 10.120 Tyler Eifert , TE, Cincinnati Bengals
- 11.121 Theo Riddick , RB, Detroit Lions
- 12.144 Bengals DST
- 13.145 Stephen Gostkowski , K, New England Patriots
- 14.168 Jameis Winston , QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
My move in non-PPR leagues is to go with a stud running back first. They're rare and they carry the most potential.
Getting a young, touch-heavy rusher with plenty of goal-line opportunities like Gurley gives my team a difference-maker at his position much like one of the elite receivers at their spot or Rob Gronkowski among tight ends.
I don't mind the risk -- you must be willing to take some chances in building your team -- because the reward is great. Typically, the elite running backs post more Fantasy points year-to-date than the elite wide receivers.
But perhaps the thing I like best about picking No. 1 overall is the quality of player left when you're up in Rounds 2 and 3.
Normally I like going with two receivers with my next two picks but in this draft I had last year's Fantasy breakout darling Devonta Freeman and top quarterback Aaron Rodgers fall in my lap. I couldn't resist, even if Freeman is a player I'm nervous about drafting.
Had I stuck with receivers then I would have picked up Keenan Allen and Brandon Marshall . They're not bad, but locking up two great running backs and my favorite quarterback in Fantasy with my first three picks gives me a head start I couldn't have imagined.
Naturally, my focus shifted to receiver in Rounds 4 and 5. I love Michael Floyd's potential in a potent Cardinals offense and I just know what to expect from Greg Olsen. Frankly, I didn't love any of the other receivers waiting for me in Round 5 ( Jeremy Maclin was the best available) so I settled on Olsen over a No. 2 wideout. Normally I wouldn't wait this long for a No. 2 receiver.
The waiting paid off in Rounds 6 and 7 as I corralled two young pass catchers in Jarvis Landry and Kevin White. Between the two of them I should be able to field a second wideout every week and have a flex to at least start the season with.
The rest of my draft was focused on snatching up players with high upside along with some depth. I didn't take as many running backs as I normally do, but with Gurley and Freeman at the top of my board, I didn't feel any pressure to do so. I even passed on a shelf running back for Winston, figuring I had a better chance of dealing off Winston for roster help in-season rather than finding a magical stud running back at 168th overall.
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