Getting the No. 1 overall pick in your Fantasy football draft is a gift. Cherish it. Celebrate it. But you have one job when given this selection — don't screw it up.
We know Christian McCaffrey could get hurt and not live up to expectations. That's part of the game. But your responsibility is to put other great players on the same Fantasy team with McCaffrey, and hopefully build a championship roster.
We'll get to that in a moment. But first, let's explain why you're here at the start of our pick-by-pick series.
What we've done here with this 12-part series on CBS Sports is a four-man PPR mock draft between me, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings and Ben Gretch. We each built three of the 12 teams in this 15-round draft to show you a different strategy from each spot.
This is an outline that you can follow if you pick from any of these draft spots in your league. The key is to study the strategy and not necessarily the players to see if it works for you. Each team is different, and we offer an explanation on how each roster was built. None of these teams are perfect, but the strategy behind them is something you might use on Draft Day.
As a reference point, all touchdowns in this league are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We also award one point for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE and FLEX (RB/WR/TE).
Here's my team from No. 1 overall:
- 1.01: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
- 2.12: Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
- 3.01: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers
- 4.12: D.J. Chark, WR, Jaguars
- 5.01: David Johnson, RB, Texans
- 6.12: Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
- 7.01: Marvin Jones, WR, Lions
- 8.12: Darrell Henderson, RB, Rams
- 9.01: Josh Allen, QB, Bills
- 10.12: DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles
- 11.01: Steven Sims, WR, Washington Football Team
- 12.12: Golden Tate, WR, Giants
- 13.01: Darrel Williams, RB, Chiefs
- 14.12: Anthony McFarland, RB, Steelers
- 15.01: James Washington, WR, Steelers
OK, so you got McCaffrey, now what? In most cases, the Round 2-3 turn will likely be WR-WR, but don't be afraid to take Aaron Jones if he falls — or pounce on George Kittle if he's there. You can also go with Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson if you want one of the top quarterbacks. I was happy to get Jones, who was the No. 14 running back off the board, and I love the upside for Smith-Schuster. This was an excellent start.
I went with another WR-RB turn next with Chark and Johnson, and I love the potential of this team. Add in Marvin Jones, Waller and Allen, and I feel highly confident in this starting lineup.
My backup running backs aren't as strong as I would like, but Henderson could be a steal if he's the starter for the Rams. And Williams is looking like the handcuff for Clyde Edwards-Helaire, which gives him value as a late-round pick.
Now, my reserve receivers are excellent with Jackson, Sims, Tate and Washington. If needed, I'd be extremely comfortable playing one of them in the flex spot.
I was torn on Henderson or Marvin Jones for my favorite pick, but I went with Henderson since I got him one round later, as well as the position he plays. If he proves to be better than Cam Akers and is the leader of the Rams backfield, he could be a low-end starter or flex. He's one of my favorite sleepers — as is Jones — and he's the perfect No. 4 running back to target any time after Round 7.
We know Jones is going to regress after he had more than 1,500 total yards last season and scored 19 total touchdowns. The addition of second-round rookie A.J. Dillon will be a problem, and we'll see how far Jones' production falls. But I'm hoping he can still get 1,200 total yards and score 10 touchdowns, as well as catch 40 passes. Had I not drafted Jones, I would have taken Mahomes. I prefer to wait on a quarterback, so Jones was a better fit for how I draft.
I'm expecting a big bounce-back season from Smith-Schuster now that Ben Roethlisberger is healthy. He's a No. 1 Fantasy receiver, and he's more than worthy of being drafted toward the end of Round 2 in all leagues. But if he doesn't live up to those expectations or gets hurt, I'm left with a receiving corps of Chark, Marvin Jones and some combination of Jackson, Sims, Tate and Washington. That's a good group, but it doesn't have a lead singer. Smith-Schuster needs to be that guy for this team to contend for a championship.
So which Fantasy football busts should you completely avoid? And which running back going off the board early should you fade? Visit SportsLine now to get cheat sheets from the model that called Baker Mayfield's disappointing season, and find out.