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Who Should You Draft In The First Round Of Your Fantasy Draft?

With new faces on new teams and new rookies in the league, how do you know who to pick first? A QB might be a necessary first-round pick this year. Are there any rookies that could be picked in the top 10? This year's fantasy draft will look a lot different this year. Don't panic! This article is the perfect guide through every pick in a 10-player PPR league.

The Slam Dunk #1 Overall:

The new face of Madden is a superstar on the field and your fantasy team. Christian McCaffrey is a difference-maker for whoever drafts him. He was the highest scorer per game last season averaging 24.4 in his 16 games. The 49ers have a very similar roster as last year and will likely use McCaffrey in the same style.

He racks up points easily in PPR leagues because they use him as a power back and a receiving back. While he is known for being a hard runner who can easily put up over 100 yards in a game he also averaged 4 receptions per game and 35 receiving yards per game which easily tacks on another 7.5 fantasy points per game. He also scored a combined 21 touchdowns last season, a huge impact to his fantasy points.

There is no doubt about this pick as McCaffrey had multiple 40+ point games last year and in his worst three games, he scored no less than 13 points. If you pass up on McCaffrey #1 overall you will regret it throughout the season.

Easy #2 Pick:

Assume the highest fantasy point per game scorer CMC is off the board. What is the next best pick? How about the player with the most points in fantasy football last year with 403.2 in 17 games. Ceedee Lamb was at no lack of production last year with eight different 25+ fantasy point games.

Lamb is going to become an even bigger factor this year with the loss of running back Tony Pollard and wide receiver Michael Gallup. Pollard now in Tennessee forced Dallas to sign Ezekiel Elliott from the Patriots after only putting up 642 yards last season. This likely loss of production will force them to use Dak's arm more this season and who better to throw to than star receiver Ceedee Lamb?

Picks 3-7 Depend On Personal Choice:

The next 5 picks are a little more up in the air. It depends on how you like your team whether you favor consistency or ups and downs from your players. The tough part about this year is how it is very wide receiver-heavy. If you favor running backs over wide receivers then you are going to want to pick a top back as fast as you can. Aside from McCaffrey, ESPN Fantasy lists Bijan Robinson, Breece Hall, and Saquan Barkley as the next three best running back selections.

Running Backs

Personally, I think Robinson is at best a mid-second-round pick. He was very inconsistent last year with a lot of single-digit performances and lower teen fantasy point games. Breece Hall, I feel the same way about. He finished the season strong finishing his last three games with 43.1, 27.6, and 29.0 fantasy points but aside from those he had a couple of 20 fantasy point games and quite a few under 12.

Running backs I do like go a little further down their list. I think Saquan Barkley in the mid to late first round is a good pick. He showed a couple of single-digit games last year but aside from those he was a very consistent 18-22 fantasy point scorer. This was on a struggling Giants offense, however. Now that he is with the Eagles, I think he can put up better numbers on a top 7 scoring offense.

Alvin Kamara is another favorite of mine this season. On top of his nearly 700 yards rushing in 13 games last season, he was the third-leading receiver on the Saints with 75 receptions for 466 yards. In a PPR league receiving backs are valued very highly because of their ability to score a lot on the ground and through the air.

Wide Receivers

If you are someone who prefers receiving playmakers then you are in luck because there are a lot of them this year. Because of this, I would not stress about a receiver if you are a later pick in a snake draft because there will still be plenty of candidates early and middle of the second round. Assuming Ceedee Lamb is drafted early on here is what I think your pick should be.

If you like a consistent receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown is the perfect receiver for you. He did not have a lot of breakout games but he did hit 30 points in two of his games. However, he also scored more than 16 points in all but 3 games last season including many 20-point games. The Lions are starting to pick up some conversation proving themselves last year with their star receiver St. Brown. I believe this will continue this season and the Lions will have a top-tier offense with St. Brown as their centerpiece.

Another big playmaker to consider rafting is Ja'marr Chase. Chase had a lower season total than St. Brown but in different fashion. He had some breakout games including his game in Arizona last year where he scored 52.2 fantasy points. On the flip side, he had quite a few single-digit games. Losing Joe Burrow after 10 games had an obvious impact on the lack of performance but how much assurance can we have that Burrow will stay healthy this year? Chase is a guy you want to draft if you are in for a roller coaster and can strategically start him based on his opponent and who is throwing him the ball.

Finally, two receivers that easily need to be in this conversation are Tyreek Hill and A.J. Brown. The reason I list them closer to the bottom is because of their counterparts. Hill lined up opposite Jalen Waddle can be a risk in some games although it did not seem to make much of a difference last year with his yearly total of 376 fantasy points. A.J. Brown lines up with DeVonta Smith and has a big name back in the backfield. While these two still had plenty of production last year I am reluctant to take them at the beginning of the first round because their points can rely so heavily on their teammates.

Late Rounders

The late-round picks are where it can get risky and fun this season. After those flexes are gone in the earlier picks the remaining flexes start to decline out of first-round value. Timing your quarterback pick this year will be essential. Of ESPN Fantasy's first ten quarterbacks listed, there are only five I would want as a starter on my team. Along with that, why not take a chance? There is one rookie I would be willing to use a late first-rounder on.

According to their listed players, ESPN has Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and CJ Stroud will be the first to go in that order. If you wait too long the ninth and tenth best options at quarterback are said to be Caleb Williams and Jayden Daniels who may have fantastic years but it's risky to rely on a rookie QB as a starter. Picking a QB early is also beneficial because you make your opponents panic. They will likely start picking quarterbacks in the second and third rounds which throws off their whole draft plan and leaves some of the second and third-round flexes more available to you. I also believe Josh Allen should not be your plan A. He was the highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy last year but he was very inconsistent and lost a lot of points due to turning the ball over. This year he also lost his leading receiver, Stephon Diggs.

If you are willing to draft a quarterback in the first round, it should be either Jalen Hurts or Lamar Jackson. I favor Hurts because he has more receiving weapons and because of the "brotherly shove" play, we all heard about millions of times last year. This play happening once or twice a game last year was a free six points to fantasy players who started Hurts. I like these two guys as the best fantasy quarterbacks this year because of their ability through the air and with their legs as yards on the ground are 2.5x more valuable than yards through the air.

Rookies are always a risky move in fantasy football. You never know how any college player will fan out in the NFL. That being said I believe there is only one rookie who is worthy of being picked in the first round this year and that is Marvin Harrison. As the 4th overall pick, he was the top-picked flex in this year's draft.

Anyone who watched him at Ohio State knows that he will likely become an instant playmaker in the NFL. He instantly turned into WR1 for the Cardinals' struggling wide receiver group and has a good quarterback throwing him the ball with Kyler Murray. I think he will be the guy who slips away from a lot of people in fantasy football this year.

Read More NFL News From Stadium Rant Here: NFL News


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