Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Jun 2009

Who Would You Take Number One, Today?

Assume a standard scoring system. Who would you take if given the first overall pick in an upcoming fantasy draft? Would you try and trade down? Is there an obvious candidate?

Without factoring in the still-embryonic KUBIAK, I don't see how you take anyone but Adrian Peterson.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 04 Jun 2009

33 replies , Last at 17 Jun 2009, 9:11pm by ricolie

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by BucNasty :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 12:30pm

I haven't looked into schedules, but I think it would have to be Peterson. It's not that I think he'll be the fantasy leader at year's end, he just seems like the safe pick. He's young, the offense runs through him, and there's no serious injury concern.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 12:36pm

... and his defense will keep games fairly close = no playing from (too far) behind = plenty carries to around.

3
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 12:42pm

Yeah, I think it has to be AP. Westbrook's got the ankle thing (and is frequently injured), Matt Forte shows lots of promise (he'll catch loads of balls from Cutler, and defenses should have to back off a little bit) and . . . I dunno, maybe Michael Turner doesn't break in half from his workload? Haven't really thought about it much, but AP seems the logical first choice.

4
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Adam B. (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 12:53pm

It's been a long time since a QB (Brady) or WR (Moss) merited being in this discussion -- I can make the argument for Drew Brees as a top-four pick in a 10-team league (or less), but in a league that requires you to start two RBs, you have to go RB early this year.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by BucNasty :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 1:03pm

Don't be surprised to see Fitz go extremely high.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Adam B. (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 1:16pm

The gap's much, much bigger between Brees and the QBs who played in 2008 (i.e., excluding Brady) than it is between Fitz and other WRs -- hell, Andre Johnson topped him in many formats.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Kibbles :: Fri, 06/05/2009 - 3:37am

A couple of points. First and most obviously, that was before Fitzgerald did what he did in the playoffs. Having the best postseason of any WR in NFL history certainly changes the complexion of the argument. Secondly, the gap between Brees and his peers wasn't that large, especially considering the abundance of quality fantasy QBs compared to WRs. QBs 2-7 all scored within 3 points per game of Brees (Rodgers, Cutler, Warner, Rivers, Romo, Schaub). Outside of Cutler and maybe Romo, all of those guys are in remarkably stable situations. That's half of the starting fantasy QBs in the league- you could have an average starting QB and still score within 3 points per game of Brees last year. Typically, QB7 is coming off the board somewhere in rounds 6-8. If I can wait 7 rounds and only lose 3 points per game, I'm happy with that. If you wait at WR, there's a much bigger dropoff- you might have 30 WRs come off the board at that point. An average starting fantasy WR (i.e. WR18/19) scored 5 1/2 points less per game than Fitz did last year. That's a much bigger dropoff if you wait 7 rounds at WR.

6
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Key19 :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 1:03pm

Standard = PPR or no?

All I've ever played is PPR, so that's standard to me. lol

Either way I would be hard pressed to not take AP. Forte would be close probably. Honestly I haven't thought about this that much.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Birdman (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 1:10pm

I generally like to trade down if possible, but I don't know if I would this year. It seems that Peterson is a fairly safe bet, whereas the other top backs have more question marks.

9
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by underthebus :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 1:28pm

I think you can make a case for MJD.

07/08
AP = ATT:601 REC:41 TotalYDS:3494 TDs:23
MJD = ATT:364 REC:102 TotalYDS:2564 TDs:23

If you add in MJD's 06 rookie season you get.
MJD = ATT:530 REC:148 TotalYDS:3941 TDs:38

Yes I understand AP did it in less games, but MJD was in a time share for the last 3 years. Just going by attempts and receptions MJD blows AP out of the water. It's not a stretch to say that MJD with a better line and being the lone ball carrier will be the top fantasy player this year. If you are in a PPR league, then there's no question that MJD is the best choice.

10
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by theprophecy :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 1:29pm

In PPR, it's Forte; non-PPR, Peterson. MJD deserves consideration also, but that's it. It's a pretty short list this year.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Omar E (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 1:39pm

MJD or AP...

12
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by drobviousso :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 2:15pm

I think this year, I'd prefer to be a later pick. (assuming serpentine)

13
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by rashreflection (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 2:15pm

Someone in another thread had the best idea - take Peterson and trade him for MJD + someone else to fill whatever hole you end up with.

MJD put up insane numbers in a RBBC and doesn't appear to be as much of an injury risk as Peterson, he plays a much bigger role in the passing game, and his general perceived value is noticeably lower.

14
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by buzzorhowl (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 2:51pm

In the one league I've played in, QBs were way more important than RBs; your QB typically gave you 40 to 60 pts a game, and the difference between a good QB and a mediocre QB could be 20 to 30 pts. So I tend to think of drafting QBs first, and that makes me think of Drew Brees. But if you're going for an RB, yeah, of course it's Peterson.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Pete (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 3:10pm

Chris Johnson is the one to take in my book. I don't care if some TDs are stolen away, that guy is so fast. And AP gets hert a lot more. If you don't care about injury take AP. Considering he is injury prone I go with Chris Johnson. No one is going with the Car RB?

18
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Sophandros :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 3:52pm

I need to make sure that you have the #1 overall pick in a money league.

-------------
Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

16
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 3:14pm

I think Tomlinson still warrants a mention, as does Gore. However, I would ultimately choose Peterson, and it wouldn't be a particularly hard decision.

17
Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Temo :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 3:38pm

Dan Orlovsky

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Theo :: Fri, 06/05/2009 - 10:26am

He should get penalized with a bazillion points.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by moses74 (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 3:52pm

Brett Favre...

Oh

Wait

Isn't he retired?

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Really anonymous (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 4:00pm

RONNIE BROWN, CHRIS JOHNSON, DREW BREES, PHILIP RIVERS, LARRY FITZGERALD.

In all caps. In that order.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by parker (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 4:54pm

qb: P.manning...I think that defense is going to regress forcing him to put up big numbers
rb: AP....do I need to explain this?

wr: fitzgerald...big time receiver on a big time offense that I believe is going to have a bad defense...I think A. Johnson is going to have the more impactful season but Fitz is going to have the opp to put up some sick numbers.

te: Gates...best TE on a team with a good offense that may have a bad D again.

def: Chicago, going to be playing from ahead a bunch

I'm assuming ppr league

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Monkey Business (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 5:10pm

AP. No question. Unless you're playing with some weird rules, the best RB will always be the top fantasy player, and that's going to be AP.

I actually took him first overall last year. Everyone in my league laughed when I picked him first overall. The next guy took LDT. Guess who has two thumbs and won the league championship? This guy. Guess who didn't make the playoffs? That guy.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Adam B. (not verified) :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 11:34pm

Not necessarily. Tom Brady was the top fantasy player in 2007, for instance. It's all about value relative to position, not absolute points.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Eddo :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 6:15pm

My league gives 1 pt for every 7.5 yards receieving as opposed to every 10 yards rushing, so running backs who catch passes are worth more.

That said, I'd still probably take Peterson, as he's the least likely to have a truly disappointing year. Jones-Drew is my #2, Forte my #3, and Chris Johnson my #4.

I feel like Brees is head and shoulders above every other QB, so I'd strongly consider taking him fifth.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by andrew :: Thu, 06/04/2009 - 7:43pm

Peterson was only a few carries from 370, and then he had a playoff game and then the pro bowl.

As much as it hurts his fantasy numbers, I think they need to go back to platooning him with Taylor. He may not have been hurt hurt, but he was nicked and banged up, and he seemed to become even more boom/bust. In the season finale and the playoff game his numbers looked good but it was mostly one long run and a lot of mediocre runs.

vs NY: 21 att, 103 yards, 4.9 yards a carry. But he broke a 67 yarder. His other 20 carries netted 36 yards, less than 1.8 per att.

vs Phi: 20 att, 83 yards, 4.15 yards a carry. But he broke a 40 yarder His other 19 carries netted 43 yards, 2.26 per att.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by BucNasty :: Sun, 06/07/2009 - 9:00am

I don't know, man, I don't think struggling against Philly and New York is really indicative of anything. If I take him it'll be with the expectation that he'll go down for 2-3 games and then return to form.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by ChiTown11111 (not verified) :: Fri, 06/05/2009 - 1:39am

In a 2 Rb league I would still try to trade down and try and get a 2nd value back. Ap is great, but I think you can pick up 2 Good RBs if you do a goo AP trade.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Kibbles :: Fri, 06/05/2009 - 3:42am

For everyone who is citing MJD's production in an RBBC as a reason to expect improvement... I'm not so sure. First off, if his touches go up, his per-touch production is guaranteed to go down. His total value will go up, but not as much as his RBBC averages would indicate. Second off, his coaching staff has shown a tendency to spell him and keep him fresh. Just because Fred Taylor's no longer in town doesn't mean the coaching staff won't still implement the strategy to some degree. And I don't blame them- it's worked fantastically so far, and has resulted in MJD putting up some of the most insane numbers I've ever seen. MJD's workload is going to increase, but that doesn't automatically mean he's becoming a workhorse.

I think MJD is a better back than Peterson, but I'd take Peterson first in fantasy because he has something MJD most definitely does not- a coaching staff that's not adverse to feeding him the rock 20 times a game.

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by iapetus (not verified) :: Fri, 06/05/2009 - 6:44am

I'm confused by the number of people suggesting MJD. He's not even in the top ten running backs in Madden 2010: http://sports.espn.go.com/videogames/news/story?id=4206757

How can such a weak player be worth a first round fantasy pick, let alone first overall?

(Tongue firmly in cheek, for anyone who didn't realise. I *do* like the idea of drafting AP and trading for MJD plus one, though. If only I could get the first overall pick in one of my leagues this year...)

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by Michael19531 (not verified) :: Sun, 06/07/2009 - 10:09pm

Drew Brees. Has to be

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Re: Who Would You Take Number One, Today?
by ricolie (not verified) :: Wed, 06/17/2009 - 9:11pm

well keep in mind the point structure of your league. there are many players that deserve the #1 pick. u could go with the above mentioned adrian peterson that will be affected by the Q.B.spot. Drew brees no bad choice you want a qb on a loosing team. there having to win in the air. same for rb's pick a team that plays with a lead. deangelo willams is an arguement but hes splitting carries. micheal turner is good he got 2 extra weapons on offense to compliment the running game. dont count out l.t. he will have a rebound season. jones drew is looking to be a good pick. brandon jacobs is going to get more work this year. hes the goal line king. the you got the obvious choices brady,manning?my pick would depend on were i was in the draft list 1st,5th, if i was 1st manning cause i think they will struggle some on the ground and be forced to throw even more. if i was 5th. it would be a running back turner,drew,jacobs.lt. again it depends on the way you aquire points in your league. good luck to all ya!!!

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