Three players, three stars – who should be the first pick in the draft?
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Three players, three stars – who should be the first pick in the draft?

Fantasy football analysts Andy Berens, Scott Pianovsky, and Dalton Dale Donne debate who it should be The first place in the general ranking of the fantasy drag season Whose argument is the strongest?

The Justin Jefferson case

There is no other footballer like him Justin Jefferson. Let’s start with this fact. He has already distinguished himself as an outlier in the history of the game.

Jefferson, who turned 24 in June, holds the NFL records for most receptions (324), receiving yards (4,825) and receiving yards per game (96.5) during a player’s first three seasons. He rated as a fictional WR6 as a junior, then improved to a WR4 in his sophomore year before finishing as WR1 of the year in his third professional season, leading the league in catches (128) and receiving yardage (1,809).

His next missed game would be the first of his career.

We are talking about an almost perfect player. If you were somewhat dissatisfied with Jefferson’s eight receiving touchdowns last season, please know that he led all wide receivers in red zone goals (31) and in chances inside the 10-yard line (19). Rest assured, more downs are on the way.

If you are inclined Ja’Marr Chase On Jefferson Because you think Cincinnati’s offense is much better than Minnesota’s, you might be interested to see last season’s team stats:

  • Bengal: 360.5 total YPG (NFL ranked 8th), 265.0 YPG passed (5th), 26.1 PPG (7th)

  • Vikings: 361.5 total YPG (7), 263.8 YPG passers (6), 24.9 PPG (8)

Both teams, of course, enjoy offensive continuity from year to year, with returning coaches and quarterbacks. With all due respect to Chase, the exceptional player, we shouldn’t overthink the lead on the draft board. It belongs to Jefferson, the best receiver in the game.

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And if you’re a traditionalist fanatic who feels compelled to go back first in general… well, hey, I can empathize with them. I also grew up on running backs. But you shouldn’t need an expert to tell you about the risk of injury in or with the position in general Christian McCaffrey especially.

The main point to make about McCaffrey this season is that he is no longer in Carolina, which has its benefits and limitations. The good news, obviously, is that he leads again in the first attack and an elite rushing attack. The bad news is that he’ll never see about 20 touchdowns in any given week when things are going according to script.

Last season, in which games Elijah Mitchell and CMC The Niners have all appeared (including playoffs), and McCaffrey averaged 15.5 touches. Mitchell averaged 11.2. Sure, that’s fine for McCaffrey in real life, but, for fictional purposes, it undercuts his potential for a golden ticket, game-breaking season.

When selecting a first-place player overall, we look for three big things: reliability, elite production, and league ascent. Jefferson checks all three boxes more emphatically than any other player in our game. Andy Byrnes

case for Christian McCaffrey

First, some compromises. I don’t think this is a great year to be the first overall pick – I’d prefer something less than a few slots – and if I land in the No. 1 spot a few times, I wouldn’t take Christian McCaffrey every time. I was looking to diversify. I’m not hitting the table telling everyone to catch McCaffrey at the top.

But you rank for a reason and McCaffrey is the guy in the yellow jersey for a reason.

Obviously the risk of injury is heavier for running backs, but we also know that if you nail first place overall, you’re taking a brutal step toward winning your league (if we can get Nostradamus’ answer key for just one position early, you want the cheat code repeated each season). And of course McCaffrey offers a dynamic advantage to the top. In his three best years, he was ranked as an RB3, RB1, and RB2, and was the No. 3 player overall in Value-Based Drafting Finalist for 2022, which factors into your marginal advantage in your position. As great as Jefferson was, he ranked two orders of magnitude lower.

I don’t accept that Elijah Mitchell’s presence is a huge obstacle for McCaffrey. Mitchell is a serious injury risk – he’s missed 19 of 40 games with a laundry list of ailments (I was going to list them all, but then I’ll finish counting). And even if Mitchell stays healthy and is a back-up participant, he’s still the alternate. Mitchell doesn’t catch a lot of passes. Don’t sweat McCaffrey’s touches in general, focus on the financial touches that are primarily his alone – third action, rushing action, goal line action. Kyle Shanahan’s crime pilot’s chair is a gift from the gods.

Jefferson has a little more competition on the ball this year—a full season of TJ Hockenson, Jordan Addison arriving. The Ja’Marr Chase managers cannot be sure that Joe Burrow will be ready for the first week. I realize that for some, drafting a first-round draft running back is getting old, old hat. But sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. Run, CMC. Scott Pianofsky

Ja’Marr Chase case

If your draft now, and you want to do it Joe BurrowThe unknown timeline of coming back from a calf injury as a tiebreaker here, I won’t fault you. But if it becomes clear that Burrow will be ready in the first week, which It still sounds like the planChase is the #1 fantasy player entered in 2023.

he He leads the NFL in yards per run run against man coverage Since entering the league, despite suffering a thigh injury last season.

Chase also scored three fewer touchdowns the aforementioned Jefferson during playing 21 fewer games! It is related to Burrow rather than Kirk Cousinswho earned 7.1 YPA last year (Jordan Addison Provides more targeted competition as well). Imagine if Jefferson had to play outdoors Like Chase.

while, Christian McCaffrey It is the greatest risk of injury and saw Significantly reduced use (24.1 chance vs. 16.4) when Elijah Mitchell He was doing well in San Francisco.

Chase is my top fantasy pick in 2023. – Dalton Dale Donne

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