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.
On the Clock with Pick 1.09
RB Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs
Hunt led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,327 yards on 272 carries with eight touchdowns for 4.9 yards per carry and caught 53 of 63 passes for 455 yards and three touchdowns. The stats are impressive considering the Chiefs run blocking graded out as one of the worst in the NFL. He had an NFL-high 19 runs of 15 yards or more.
Hunt still needs to improve his pass-blocking skills as he was taken off the field sometimes in obvious pass situations. Even with that issue, he still had 325 touches. Hunt did have a stretch during the season that frustrated Fantasy owners because he wasn’t getting the ball. He had three games of fewer than ten carries and didn’t score a touchdown from Weeks 4-13. He made up for it in Weeks 14-16 with at least 28 touches in each game.
The Chiefs’ offense has a different look with Patrick Mahomes taking over at quarterback for Alex Smith and Sammy Watkins adds another talented deep threat. Defense have to account for Watkins, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce making it a little easier for Hunt.
Spencer Ware missed all of last season with a torn PCL and LCL and he’s back, but shouldn’t cut into Hunt’s workload too much. Running backs under Reid usually perform well in Fantasy and that’s one of the positives for Hunt.
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On The Clock with Pick 1.10
RB Melvin Gordon, Los Angeles Chargers
I can’t say it enough, but volume is extremely important in Fantasy and Gordon gets it consistently. Gordon doesn’t have the explosiveness of some of the other first-round back, but the touches will be there.
Gordon played 16 games for the first time in three seasons last year. He had 284 carries for 1,105 yards and eight touchdowns and caught 58 of 83 passes for 476 yards and five touchdowns. He had 295 touches in 13 games in 2016. Gordon hasn’t averaged more than 3.9 yards per carry in a season and the detractors point that out.
One of the reasons is a Chargers offensive line that has struggled in run blocking. Gordon was fifth in scrimmage yards and finished as the RB5 in PPR. Over the last two seasons, he’s had at least 75 percent of the teams snaps and touches at running back and the Chargers didn’t do anything at the position to deviate from changing it. The offensive line should be better and Gordon is in line for 300 touches if he stays healthy in a good offense. Gordon has been a Top seven RB the last two seasons and could be more involved in the passing game with the loss of Hunter Henry. It’s razor-thin close with Hunt and Gordon.
Next: Picks 1.11 and 1.12