I have to admit- I am selfishly writing this article. I recently found out in my longest standing redraft league that I will have the 1st pick in the draft this year. There’s a consensus quickly forming for the #1 overall pick in PPR leagues: Saquon Barkley seems to be the most popular pick to go off the board first. However, Christian McCaffery had himself a helluva season last year and I think he could make the case for best back this year (especially in PPR leagues). Let’s make a case for both guys to be the #1 pick and see who has the stronger argument.
Saquon Barkley- 352 touches for 361.60 PPR Points last year
Saquon exploded onto the scene last year as well as anyone could have hoped for finishing as RB3 on the year. He only had one game under 10 pts and only 3 under 20 points all season. OBJ has been swapped out for Golden Tate (who is facing a 4 game suspension) and the other unproven weapons in the offense don’t strike fear in the hearts of defensive coordinators. How will Saquon perform being the primary focus of defenses week to week? I also think that if rookie QB Daniel Jones see any serious playing time this year that boosts Saquon more because they will most likely lean even heavier on the run game.
The only other thing that scares me is the miniscule chance of a one year wonder.. We’ve seen guys throughout the years like Peyton Hillis, RGIII, Gary Barnidge, Trent Richardson and Jeremy Hill have one monster seasons then fall off the map. I’m not saying that’s where I think Saquon is heading- but I’m a big proponent of safety first in the early parts of the draft which may keep me away from Saquon at the first overall.
Christian McCaffery- 343 touches for 380.5 PPR Points
CMC finished the fantasy season as the RB1- almost a full 20 points ahead of Saquon. CMC had 4 games under 20 points last year but ZERO under 10 (13.50 PPR points in week 1 was his season low). That is the kind of consistency I like to see out of my #1 pick.
There have been some rumblings that Panther’s Head Coach Ron Rivera has wanted to scale back CMC’s plays- but not his touches. Not sure how that makes sense but that is the one concern I have for CMC. They don’t have a proven backup or change of pace back in Carolina and CMC looks like he is ready for a full workload by putting on a ton of muscle. The other concern is that we never really see a RB put back to back overall RB1 seasons.
I’m not sure you can really go wrong with either of these guys as a the 1st pick of your draft. If I was a betting man (which I am) I would probably lean toward CMC as my first choice off the board. The chances of him repeating as the overall #1 are low, but the fact he had double digit scoring every single week last year is enough for me to take him when the draft clock starts ticking.
Who are you taking to kickoff your fantasy drafts this year? Let me know on Twitter @FootballBry15. Don’t forget to listen to Jet Set Fantasy Football podcast every week (rate, review, subscribe) to play along with some games, listen to some bad jokes and some less bad fantasy football thoughts.