Who’s Your No. 1 Overall Pick in PPR drafts? (2018 Fantasy Football)
There are several questions when it comes to the first round of fantasy football drafts in 2018. One such question is related to who should be the pick in PPR drafts. We asked our writers and got their feedback.
Le’Veon Bell (RB – PIT)
I think this will be his last year in Pittsburgh. They will literally run him into the ground to justify his franchise tag. He might not be the most efficient, but he’s the workhorse among workhorses.
Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)
Bell is an elite two-way player in a high-powered offense that has shown a reliance on him in recent seasons. He has averaged 27.5 touches per game over the past two season, a 440-touch season-long pace. With their window to win another Super Bowl with Ben Roethlisberger closing, Pittsburgh has every reason to continue giving Bell an enormous workload.
Jordan McNamara (@McNamaraDynasty)
Per Scott Barrett of Pro Football Focus, over the past two combined NFL seasons, Le’Veon has the MOST fantasy points scored by a non-quarterback. Bell has finished as a top-five running back in his last three consecutive healthy seasons. He just set career highs in targets and receptions and his offense is missing the ninth-most air yards from 2017. Last year, he ran more routes per game than Julio Jones, AJ Green, and Tyreek Hill, per Scott Barrett. Bell led the league in carries (321) in just 15 games last season. In what amounts to another contract season, it’s fair to set his touches over/under at 400. DJ competes in receptions, Gurley’s offense is the only one that’s arguably better, and Zeke’s offensive line is in the same tier as Bell’s, but only Le’Veon has all three factors plus the longest track record of top-five success.
Eli Weiner (@eweiner_bball)
David Johnson (RB – ARI)
How we quickly we forget that DJ wasn’t just the top scoring overall RB in 2016, he was the top scoring player. While DJ’s floor might be a little lower than Le’Veon and Gurley’s, his ceiling is undoubtedly higher – we’ve seen it. DJ is the most likely of all RBs to go 1,000-1,000. He’s their top option in the running game and second option in the passing game. He’s game-script proof. And maybe, just maybe, Arizona isn’t nearly as bad as people think they will be. Pound for pound, I think he’s the most talented RB in the league. Give me the guy that carried many of us to multiple 2016 titles!
Jason Katz (@jasonkatz13)
Todd Gurley (LAR)
Having already changed my mind a few teams, I certainly understand the logic behind picking the workhorse Bell. Yet his biggest edge is also a concern because 406 touches in 15 games is a lot for an RB who has averaged 12.4 games played per season over his five-year career. Although a healthy Bell has a higher floor (especially in PPR) than Gurley, I feel safer trusting the younger rusher with less mileage on his legs.
Andrew Gould (@andrewgould4)
After the fantastic season we saw out of Todd Gurley last year in Sean McVay’s offense, he’s the easy pick for top billing. If anything, the Rams look poised to be even better in 2018 and Gurley will remain the most important part of the team’s offense. We can expect some regression in the TD department, but Gurley’s high floor and skill set make him an extremely safe bet.
Jody Smith (@JodySmithNFL)
While anyone would be right to consider Le’Veon Bell, no one else is in contention to be taken over Todd Gurley first overall. I side with Gurley because he was sl far and away above the field last year that he even outscored all QBs not named Russell Wilson. Plus there is the fact that Bell hasn’t exactly been the most durable back thus far.
Bobby Sylvester (@bobbyfantasypro)
With the first pick in a PPR redraft league, I’m not getting cute – I’m taking Todd Gurley with no hesitation. Everyone knows about his outstanding season last year, but even with Jeff Fisher actively trying to depress his numbers before then, Gurley still had success. He would have finished as the third-best running back in PPR in 2015 if you prorated his stats to a full season, and even with 2016’s disaster, he still managed to finish as a top-15 back in the format. In Sean McVay’s offense, there’s little to no risk with Gurley whatsoever, and he nudges out Le’Veon Bell for me in the top spot.
Dan Harris (@danharris80)
Picking at No. 1 should mean you get the player who has the best chance at finishing as the top player, not the person who has No. 1 upside. Because of that, Todd Gurley is the No. 1 pick in 2018 drafts. When running backs finish No. 1 the previous year, it’s well known that they rarely repeat. Most wind up losing carries or regressing in the touchdown department, but it’s extremely hard to see either of those happening this year. Sean McVay has proven to be one of the best play-callers in the league, and they just added so much talent to the defensive side of the ball, meaning they should never be forced into a shootout. Because of that, Gurley’s carries aren’t going anywhere but up. As for his touchdowns, the Rams have so much talent at wide receiver that it forces defenses to be honest. It’s why Gurley saw eight or more defenders in the box just 16 percent of the time in 2017, which ranked as the third-lowest percentage in the league. The addition of Brandin Cooks should only help. It’s possible that someone dethrones Gurley, but again, he’s the most likely to finish No. 1 in 2018.
Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliere)
Antonio Brown (WR – PIT)
Consensus top-5 pick going after the big four of Zeke, Gurley, Bell, and DJ. Almost a virtual lock for 100-1,500-8. Safest pick with a ton of upside, without having to choose an RB from the aforementioned group. Consistently scores more than the top RB every year.
Zachary Hanshew (@ZaktheMonster)
Thanks to all of our writers that contributed! Let us know who you think the first player off the board should be in 2018 PPR leagues.
Check out our other recent collaborative piece, Who’s Your RB1 in Standard-Scoring Leagues?