You’re on the clock! Who do you pick? I will go through the first round and give my thoughts on who to take with the pick. This is based on a 12-team, PPR Fantasy Football World Championship (FFWC) format with one starting quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end and two flex spots.
Pick 5 and 6: Antonio Brown vs. Alvin Kamara
On the Clock with Pick 1.05
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown could easily go earlier. Brown is going later than usual because of the focus on getting the three-down running back that catches a lot of passes. Brown is one of the most consistent players in Fantasy Football the past several seasons and provides an extremely high floor with a high ceiling, which is ideal for a first round pick.
Brown has stayed healthy through his career, missing six games without a major injury since 2011. He missed the final two weeks last season with a calf injury. Brown has at least 101 receptions in five straight seasons. He has at least 1,499 receiving yards in four of the last five seasons and at least eight touchdowns in five consecutive seasons. In 11 of his 13 full games last season, Brown had at least double-digit points in PPR formats.
Brown can gain separation easily and averaged 15.2 yards per catch last season, his highest mark since 16.1 in 2011. The Steelers offense remains one of the best in the NFL, and one of the few things that could hurt Brown is Ben Roethlisberger missing time.
On The Clock with Pick 1.06
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
Kamara was a league winner as a rookie in 2017. In the high stakes leagues, he was drafted since drafts are 20 rounds, but in some leagues with fewer rounds, he might have been a waiver wire add. Kamara was the third back to open the season behind Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson. Kamara averaged less than four carries in the first four games and still finished as the fourth overall player last season.
Kamara had 120 carries for 728 yards (6.1 yards per carry) with eight touchdowns and caught 82 of 101 targets for 826 yards and five touchdowns. Kamara averaged 7.7 yards per touch. Clearly, it’s going to be difficult to match that efficiency.
Mark Ingram is suspended for the first four games, so Kamara will see more volume. The Saints were heading in that direction in the final few games of the season when Kamara was getting more touches than Ingram.
Even with the efficiency going down, the volume will go up. It likely won’t be a significant jump in touches, but it will be enough to negate some of the decrease in efficiency. The Saints have always been positive for running backs and all five offensive linemen return.
Coach Sean Payton knows how to utilize Kamara to get the most out of him and it’s primarily in the passing game. Kamara has a high floor even with less volume than other running backs. He had at least 12 points in PPR formats from Week 3 until Week 17 except for Week 14 when he left early with a concussion.
Next: Picks 1.7 and 1.8
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