Number One Overall Pick
Andrew Dieb: ICON SPORTSWIRE

Who Will Be the Number One Overall Pick for 2021 Fantasy Football

Having the number one overall pick in fantasy comes with a lot of emotions. While you are excited you get to pick whoever you want, you don’t want to mess up. I will never forget when my buddy took Le’Veon Bell first overall in 2018 and Todd Gurley fell to number two. In that same season, Bell sat out the whole season and Gurley had one of his best seasons as a pro. In my friend’s defense, he is a Steelers fan, but any right-minded person would have taken Gurley. That is what makes the first overall pick so intriguing. Let’s not forget last year when Christian McCaffrey was the consensus number one pick who went on to only play in three games the whole season. I will never forget that because I had the first pick and took McCaffrey but shoutout to James Robinson for saving my season. These are the five players that may be worth the first overall pick in 2021 Fantasy Football.

Christian McCaffrey

2020 Fantasy Stats- 73.4 total points, 24.5 pts/game

While only playing in three games in 2020, McCaffrey managed to average almost 25 points a game on a bad Panthers team. Since McCaffrey broke out in the NFL, he has been an elite running back and is super productive in the passing game. McCaffrey’s 2019 season he was in a rare class, rushing for over 1,000 yards and adding another 1,000 receiving yards. He has established himself as a guy who could be the number one overall pick every year in fantasy because besides Alvin Kamara no other running back is as active in the passing game as McCaffrey.

I think OC Joe Brady after a disappointing first season is out for blood. He was the talk of the town when was on the LSU championship team in 2019. Brady came to the Panthers with high expectations and after a 4-12 season, he has become an afterthought. With Sam Darnold, a plethora of weapons, and a health McCaffrey, Brady could take this offense to the next level. I expect McCaffrey to get back to his 2019 self and have a huge season. The only caution with McCaffrey and a lot of running backs is his health. McCaffrey missed 13 games in 2020 and if he goes down again, it could spell bad for fantasy owners and the Panthers.

Alvin Kamara

2020 Fantasy Stats- 294.8 total points, 19.7 pts/game

Kamara had a huge season in 2020. Not only did he explode in the running game going for 932 yards and 16 touchdowns, but he also led all receivers in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Kamara added 83 receptions, 756 yards, and six more touchdowns in the passing game. His 22 touchdowns were the most out of all offensive players besides quarterbacks. Like McCaffrey, Kamara has been one of the most reliable fantasy players since he broke out in the league. I am looking forward to how Sean Payton is going to use Kamara in his first year removed from Drew Brees. I expect Jameis Winston to win the starting job in New Orleans and while I think they will push the ball down the field more, Kamara will get his touches. I think the first couple weeks of the season as Winston gets acclimated as the starter, the Saints are going to lean on Kamara.

Derrick Henry

2020 Fantasy Stats- 314.1 total points, 19.6 pts/game

The man rushed for 2,000 yards and 17 touchdowns; I could end it right there. Henry is the best pure running back in the NFL and is coming off his best season. The only downside to Henry is unlike Kamara or McCaffrey, Henry is seldom used in the passing game as he only had 19 receptions for 114 yards in 2020. Another pro to taking Henry number one is that no one in that Titans backfield is taking any touches or touchdowns away from Henry. He had 378 rushing attempts, easily the most in the league, Henry will get his touches and has yet to sustain a serious injury.

Dalvin Cook

2020 Fantasy Stats- 293.8 total points, 21 pts/game

Ah, my favorite running back in the league. The Vikings had a really disappointing season, but I fully blame that on their defense, it was atrocious. A few bright spots for the Vikings however came from rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson and stud running back Dalvin Cook. Watching Cook thrash the Packers in week 8 put the biggest smile on my face. The special thing about Cook is that he is utilized in both the passing and rushing game, which only ups his fantasy value. While he only had one receiving touchdown, he added 361 receiving yards which was top ten among all running backs. I think Cook will have another huge year in 2021, Vikings upgraded their offensive line and their defense should be much improved. With a better defense and a potent offense, Cook should get a lot of late-game touches to run out games. The one thing I will say about Cook is that Alexander Mattison gets touches as well. This really does not matter in the grand scheme of things but expect Mattison to get some touches and a touchdown or two.

Travis Kelce

2020 Fantasy Stats- 207.76 total points, 13.9 pts/game

Do I advise taking a tight end as the number one overall pick, probably not, but fuck it let’s get weird. I want to preface this by saying that a running back should go first overall but if you’re feeling risky, why not take Kelce. Kelce has been one of the more consistent players in the NFL as in the past five seasons he has had over 80 receptions and 1,000 yards each year. Kelce also became the first tight end to have five straight 1,000 yard seasons and he is coming off his best season as a pro. In 2020, Kelce had 105 receptions, 1,416 yards, and 11 touchdowns.

Kelce has a decent argument to go number one in only PPR leagues but again if you are playing PPR I don’t like you. Going off PPR stats, Kelce finished with 312.7 points which rank 17th in total points for all offensive players including quarterbacks. Out of all receivers and tight ends, Kelce had the third-most receiving yards and was tied for fifth in receiving touchdowns. Kelce has also shown an ability to stay healthy throughout the season.

I don’t get the Saquon Barkley or Ezekiel Elliott hype going into 2021. Saquon is coming off an ACL injury and I don’t trust the Giants enough to take the risk on Barkley. As for Elliott, I have a hard time seeing him return to elite fantasy status. I’d rather have Jonathan Taylor or Nick Chubb than those dudes from the NFC East. Honorable mention goes to Davante Adams, he had a monster season in 2020 and the only reason he is not on this list is because of Aaron Rodgers. While I think Rodgers will suit up for Green Bay in 2021, I can guarantee that Adams will not have the same season with Jordan Love throwing him balls.

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