How big of an impact does draft position have on winning the league championship? Let's discuss this!
Picking in the draft with the number one pick is a big deal. You're guaranteed a shot to pick the best performing player in the NFL, but the answer is never clear as to who that will be. Will the best receiver in the league go down with an injury, or will the rookie quarterback steal the show? It's somewhat of a guessing game.
Most number one picks choose the top running back available, even though quarterbacks score more points. The reason for this strategy is that there are many viable quarterbacks, but a small number of elite running backs. Locking up a top running back is always the top priority in fantasy drafts, especially for general managers with one of the top few picks.
Does having the number one pick really guarantee you a good chance at the league championship? The answer is not necessarily.
Remember that in a snake draft, whoever has the first pick in the first round has the last pick in the second round. For this reason, any draft spot is fairly equal. The success of a team with the number one draft pick relies heavily on the player drafted first overall. If that player has a fantastic year, you have a strong chance at winning your fantasy league. If he doesn't live up to expectations, you'll find your team in trouble.
What determines your chance at the league championship is how you manage your team. The draft is a big aspect of that, but dealing with problems during the season is what will make or break your fate. If your star player gets injured, how do you deal with that? Did you prepare earlier in the season or are you working on your feet? Are you active in adding the best free agents and making sure your lineup is always set? Are you able to make trades to strengthen your team when it's time for a mixup?
In fantasy football, anyone who manages their team well stands a chance at winning the league championship. The NFL and fantasy football is unpredictable, which makes it crucial to prepare accordingly.
Past Top Draft Picks in Fantasy
The top draft pick in fantasy football is almost always a running back. In 2018, the most popular top pick was running back Todd Gurley. Looking back to 2017, the most popular top pick was running back Le'veon Bell. In 2016, the fantasy football community was fairly split between wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Todd Gurley. This is the most recent time a wide receiver was considered for the top pick.
Heading into 2019, most rankings have running back Saquon Barkley as the top draft pick. Barkley is a sensible pick considering the pattern of a young running back being the top fantasy player. Barkley was a rookie last year, and could explode next year after being slotted around pick number 5 last season.