Thank you, Mr. Wide Receiver, for that ZERO yard gain on a bubble screen that you guys ran on 3rd and four.  Even though it killed your team’s drive, you still get a fantasy point for that!

The world is changing, and soon we may live in a world where non-PPR leagues no longer exist.  I’m not a fan of PPR leagues for the very reason I mentioned above.  A player can get a point for a play that hurts their team (in this case, a zero yard gain).  Actually, come to think of it, a player can gain NEGATIVE yardage on a screen pass, and still register one fantasy point just for catching a football.  It makes no sense to me, but I cannot deny that PPR leagues are getting more popular.  Of course, no one can get on the same page with their PPR rules:  some leagues award one point, some award half-a-point.  Makes no sense to me, but let’s move on.

I always script my first round as part of my Fantasy Football Draft Matrix process.  I’m sharing my scripts with you, today, so jot this down before I change my mind and keep my strategy to myself.  I’ve included first-round scripts (ten team leagues) for non-PPR, 1 pt. PPR, and 1/2 pt. PPR leagues.  Something for everyone.  This one’s on me.

Non-PPR

10. Devonta Freeman, RB
9. Jordan Howard, RB
8. Antonio Brown, WR
7. Kareem Hunt, RB
6. Alvin Kamara, RB
5. Melvin Gordon, RB
4. David Johnson, RB
3. Todd Gurley, RB
2. Le’Veon Bell, RB
1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB
I can’t find anyone else that has Ezekiel Elliot as their top overall, and that’s just the way I like it.  I’ll get my number one overall at 3 or 4.  He’s been the second highest scoring RB (PPG) two seasons in a row and no one else can claim that.  I called it last year when I advised you to take him in the second round amid the swirling controversy he was facing at the time.  Worked out pretty good if you ask me.  And isn’t he still running behind arguably the best line in football?

Everyone else under the sun has Todd Gurley number one.  You’re free to take him, but strictly from a law of averages point of view, I’m guessing he regresses a little this year.  And remember the debacle in 2016?  No fantasy football rushing champ has repeated since LaDainian Tomlinson did it in ’06-’07.  Same for Alvin Kamara.  Odds are he’s due for a slight pullback.  Even though Mark Ingram will miss some games due to suspension, I can’t see him improving upon last year.

I think David Johnson at 4 is a steal.  He was pretty much the consensus number one pick last year, and remember, he’s coming off a wrist injury.  A wrist.  Not a knee.

Remember two years ago, when everyone was predicting the end of the RB era?  So-called experts had Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham as the top two picks?  First of all, I wasn’t that kind of expert.  That said, we only have one WR in the top 10.  Breaking up the sweep, Antonio Brown has finished second, third, first, and first among WRs over the past four seasons.  That kind of production can only be compared to that of Jerry Rice.  Still, I don’t love having a WR much higher than where he is at number 8.  Generally speaking, all elite WRs will have the occasional game when they only get 3 receptions.  If the guy’s not open, the guy’s not open.  RBs, on the other hand, are guaranteed a fixed amount of carries based on play calling.  Targets don’t always translate to receptions.

And I’ll probably be ridiculed for having Freeman and Howard in my top ten, but I deliberately do not take players who have not performed at a certain level for two or more seasons.  Freeman has done it twice.  Howard has done it twice.  Leonard Fournette had a really nice rookie year.  Let’s see him do it again before I make him eligible for first-round consideration.  And I don’t know how anyone can project Saquon Barkley as a top ten pick (I’ve seen him in the top 5 in the opinions of others).  He had a great season.  In college.  I know, I know.. Ezekiel did it.  Kamara did it.  But he’s not those guys.  He may be better.  He may be worse.  I don’t know.  So I’d rather give up the upside of a hot rookie in favor of someone I know can get 150 fantasy points because he’s done it multiple times.

Well, this should wet your appetite for now.  I’m aiming to have my projections posted here in time for the Hall of Fame Game.

0.5 PPR

10. Michael Thomas, WR
9. DeAndre Hopkins, WR
8. Odell Beckham, Jr. WR
7. Antonio Brown, WR
6. Melvin Gordon, RB
5. Alvin Kamara, RB
4. Todd Gurley, RB
3. David Johnson, RB
2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB
1. Le’Veon Bell, RB

1.0 PPR

10. Michael Thomas, WR
9. Melvin Gordon, RB
8. DeAndre Hopkins, WR
7. Odell Beckham, Jr. WR
6. Antonio Brown, WR
5. Todd Gurley, RB
4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB
3. David Johnson, RB
2. Alvin Kamara, RB
1. Le’Veon Bell

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