Drafting number 1 in fantasy football

2019 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Picking at No. 1 overall in non-PPR leagues

Picking at No. 1 overall leaves decisions, too. Here’s one expert’s approach to building his team from the top.

Non-PPR draft slot: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

It’s always a great feeling to draw the first pick. Everyone is on the table.

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Of course, this year, there is a quartet of backs at the top of most people’s boards. For me, in PPR, Ezekiel Elliott is a notch below the other three. But in this mock draft — where Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings, and I each drafted three teams to give you a look at how to approach draft strategy from any draft spot — we’re using a non-PPR format, which brings Elliott right to the top of my board.

Per my projections, he should have been number one. I chose Saquon Barkley.

The two feel like coin flip in this format, and I can see easily see the argument for Elliott number one. I’m not too worried that Elliott hasn’t reported yet, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t cross my mind as I broke what was essentially a tie on my board.

And that’s the fun of picking first. Even when the tier is tight, there’s something to be said about making your decision rather than others making it for you.

Of course, there are still decisions to be made at pick two, three, and beyond. That’s why we’ve put together a 12-part series on this mock, which features a starting lineup of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, and 1 DST. All touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving, and one for every 25 passing. And again, no points for receptions.

Here’s how my team came together after I made my decision on Barkley.

In most non-PPR drafts, RBs will come flying off the board, but that wasn’t necessarily the case here. Three drafters started without a RB in either of the first two rounds, and eight wide receivers and the three elite tight ends were all off the board by the 2/3 turn. That left me with the chance to nab Damien Williams, one of my favorite second-round running backs this season.

With two strong running backs locked in, I went heavy on wide receiver for three straight rounds. In non-PPR, I tend to target receivers who more of a downfield profile, which Hilton and Golladay have, while Moore is a player I just simply believe in after a 960-yard rookie season that included being more of a part-time player for much of the first half.

I’m more willing to take shots in The Running Back Dead Zone in non-PPR, and Freeman and Foreman are two bigger backs that have a profile more conducive to the format. Mayfield and McDonald are my fifth quarterback and eighth tight end, and I felt the value was right to dip into those positions where I did.

With three strong starting wide receivers, I took upside shots on Valdes-Scantling and Harry, and closed out my WR group with Richardson, another wide receiver with a downfield profile who is a forgotten man this year after signing a big free agent deal last offseason then promptly missing more than half his first season in D.C.

My late-round running back picks, Bernard and Edmonds, are guys behind workhorse backs I feel confident have the No. 2 jobs in those offenses.

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