We tell you how to approach your first pick from every spot
in the first round in a PPR format.
Pick One: Saquon Barkley is the consensus No. 1 overall pick, but when play begins for real, I believe the Giants passing game will still have to earn its respect from opposing defenses. Meanwhile, Christian McCaffrey performed like the best RB in Fantasy last year with his QB playing with a bum shoulder. Barkley will get even more defensive attention this year with Odell Beckham Jr. gone and nothing much will change in Carolina.
Ideal Pick: Christian McCaffrey
Top Alternative: Saquon Barkley
Pick Two: Barkley is now the obvious pick. Alvin Kamara won’t compile as many total yards from scrimmage as Barkley or McCaffrey.
Ideal Pick: Saquon Barkley.
Top Alternative: You Take McCaffrey if you are at this Fantasy Football Draft spot and Barkley goes first.
Pick Three: Alvin Kamara is the last true elite RB remaining and is now an obvious choice.
Ideal Pick: Alvin Kamara
Top Alternative: McCaffrey does slide to this spot in some drafts. The third spot is a McCaffrey or Kamara slot this season. Some do take Kamara as early as No. 1 overall, but the workload is not going to be expanded in a major way with Mark Ingram gone. Latavius Murray will take over that role.
Pick Four: Most Fantasy owners go for a WR here in their Fantasy Football Draft. I say if you get a shot to draft one of the Top 6 RBs this year you cannot pass on it. James Conner more than proved last year he is capable of posting quality RB1 numbers and he will likely pace himself better over the full season this year.
Ideal Pick: James Conner
Top Alternatives: Le’Veon Bell, Davante Adams.
Pick Five: Bell is going to come back determined to prove he can still perform at a superstar level.
Ideal Pick: Le’Veon Bell
Top Alternatives: David Johnson, Davante Adams
Pick Six: Many owners have been burned by Johnson and are afraid to go back to him this season. That could be a Fantasy Football draft mistake. The Cardinals offense will be improved and he will be a big part of the progress. He is also the last of the truly prime RBs on the board at this point.
Ideal Pick: David Johnson
Top Alternative: Davante Adams
Pick Seven: This is where you start to nab the WRs. Adams is the No. 1 WR in Fantasy Football, as his role should not change much at all in 2019.
Ideal Pick: Davante Adams
Top Alternative: Michael Thomas
Pick Eight: No DeAndre Hopkins yet you say? Read on. In the meantime, I’ll take Thomas as a very safe Fantasy superstar selection.
Ideal Pick: Michael Thomas
Top Alternative: Julio Jones
Pick Nine: Hopkins now? Nope. I am going to go with Julio Jones here in my Fantasy Football Draft. No other WR has as much weekly upside and while he does get injured from time to time, it does not seem like his foot issue is a major one.
Ideal Pick: Julio Jones
Top Alternative: DeAndre Hopkins
Pick 10: Okay, now you can go for Hopkins. But why did I wait five to six picks longer than everyone else usually does? Because as indicated in this report, Hopkins has battled a lot of injuries recently and is at risk to start missing some time this year. Hopkins is unlikely to fall to the 10 spot in most leagues, though, so realistically you should be going with Thomas or Jones here.
Ideal Pick: DeAndre Hopkins
Realistic Picks: Michael Thomas, Julio Jones
Top Alternatives: Joe Mixon, Tyreek Hill
Pick 11: Joe Mixon will face a lot of defensive attention without A.J. Green and plays behind a shaky offensive line. But that was also true last year and he finished eighth at the position in points per game after 16 weeks last year. Mixon will be a true workhorse and is versatile. He will be a big Fantasy stats compiler.
Ideal Pick: Joe Mixon
Top Alternatives: Tyreek Hill, Odell Beckham Jr.
Pick 12: Tyreek Hill was the No. 1 WR in Fantasy Football last season after 16 weeks. If you get him at this point of your Fantasy Football Draft, I would actually consider pairing him with Patrick Mahomes as your back-to-back picks in Rounds One and Two. I always strongly recommend waiting on a QB, but this situation is the exception. If you can pair up Hill with Mahomes, I say go for it. It’s an aggressive strategy DFS players will admire. Treat your league like a GPP and get the best upside combination in all of Fantasy Football. I won two championships riding with the combination last year.
Ideal Pick: Tyreek Hill
Top Alternatives (and final first rounders for larger leagues): Odell Beckham Jr., JuJu Smith-Schuster, Travis Kelce, Ezekiel Elliott.
Scott Engel is a 20-plus year veteran of the Fantasy Sports industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Association’s Hall of Fame. He is a four-time FSWA Award winner and nine-time finalist. He won the CBS SportsLine Hall of Fame Award for his longstanding service and was a featured Fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. Scott is a longtime and award-winning host on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He was the Managing Director and driving content force behind RotoExperts.com for more than a decade and helped launch the FNTSY Sports Network.