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Fantasy Football 2014 Draft Strategy- Who to Take in the First Round?

So far, the average draft position (ADP) for the first round is as follows:

1.   LeSean McCoy

2. Jamaal Charles

3. Adrian Peterson

4. Matt Forte

5. Calvin Johnson

6. Eddie Lacy

7. Peyton Manning

8. Jimmy Graham

9. Marshawn Lynch

10. Demaryius Thomas

Six running backs, two wide receivers, one quarterback, and one tight end- very interesting.  Last year, the first round consisted of nine RB’s and one WR.  What caused this decrease in running backs?  Well, many people believe the running back class for this year is a lot worse, and I agree- which is exactly why you should take a running back in the first round.  In a 10-team league, the only non-running backs worth taking in the first round are Graham and Johnson, and that is only if you have a late first round pick.  And then you would have to take a running back in the second round.

Now, this is not to take away from Manning or Thomas.  Its just that Graham and Johnson are so much farther ahead of everyone else at their position.  The current projections for the 2014 season have Johnson scoring over 20 more than the second WR, and Graham scoring almost 50 more than the second TE (which is why I would take him ahead of Johnson.)  But, the quarterbacks and running backs are all so close there is not a clear number 1.

For those of you who like to take quarterbacks in the first round, I urge you to wait until at least the second.  There are three elite quarterbacks this year: Rodgers, Brees, and Manning, any of which can outperform the other two on any given week.  So you may want to wait until one goes, then grab one of the other two on your next turn, which will probably be in the second round.  If you don’t grab one of these three, then you will be able to get better RB’s and WR’s, and will still end up with a decent quarterback.  Two quarterbacks who are primed to have a big year, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler, both have an adp over 85.

So, without further ado, I will show you who to take in the first round, depending on your draft number.

Picks #1-4- Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, and Adrian Peterson.  I like them in that order, but these are certainly the four elite running backs for this year, so take whoever you want and you will be fine.  Unless, of course, you have the fourth pick, just take whoever is left.  Also, if you have one of these early picks, your second and third picks will be pretty close together, so you could go with a QB or WR in the second round, and then take a RB with your third pick.

Picks # 5-6- Eddie Lacy or Marshawn Lynch.  I think Lacy is ready for a huge year, so I would take him ahead of Lynch.  You saw what he did last year, and now that Rodgers is healthy, teams will have to respect the pass more, which will leave more room for him to run.

Picks #7-10- Demarco Murray, Le’Veon Bell, Arian Foster, Montee Ball, Alfred Morris, Jimmy Graham, Calvin Johnson.  I would take Murray, then Graham, then Johnson, then one of the other running backs.  Murray and Morris will be the most dependable of the running backs.  I see risk in Foster, and am not sure what to expect from Ball.  I like Bell, but am worried that he will lose some touchdowns to Blount.  If you do get a running back with one of these picks, chances are Johnson will already be gone.  If you want a WR, go with Demaryius Thomas.  If anyone is going to score more than Johnson this season, it will be him.  Also, remember that if you do not get a running back in the first round, you must get one in the second.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your draft.

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