Yesterday, I told you about the importance of round one of the fantasy football draft. Your star player will likely come from the first round. There are eight studs, and you’ll want one. My eight are Le’Veon Bell, Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, David Johnson, Antonio Brown, Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley and DeAndre Hopkins.
Track record is important. Three of them (Bell, Gurley and Kamara) averaged more than 20 fantasy points per game last year. Two (Brown and Hopkins) averaged 19.4. Elliott was suspended for six games but averaged more than 20 per game when he was in action. Johnson was No. 1 in 2016 but got injured in the first game of 2017.
There is only one player in the eight that has no NFL track record, and that’s Barkley. Everyone believes he will be an impact player in his rookie year. But he’s seventh on my list because he hasn’t played a down yet. Barkley may be the best of the bunch, but the rookie still has something to prove in a New York Giants uniform.
If you’re in a 10-team league (like I was last year), there’s a 4-1 chance you will not get one of the top eight picks. If so, my No. 9 pick is Kareem Hunt and my No. 10 is Melvin Gordon. Eight of the top ten players on my list are running backs. Brown and Hopkins are wide receivers. Brown has more of a track record than Hopkins.
If I get the No. 9, or No. 10 pick, my consolation is that I will get an early second-round pick. There are plenty of good players that will be drafted in the second, and I wouldn’t mind picking No. 9 and No. 12 in the draft. I also wouldn’t mind picking No. 10 and No. 11 in the draft. My top pick may not be as good, but I’ll have two good players.
Tomorrow: Drafting a winning team, part 3.