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Your Call: Who should be the first pick in fantasy football?

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TSN.ca Staff
9/1/2011 2:22:51 PM
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The NFL season gets underway in just over a week and we all know what that means – Fantasy Football is back!

We're now in the heart of Fantasy draft season, the time of year you put aside useless time wasters like work and cleaning the house. You are now far too focused on doing your research, setting up your rankings, and logging countless hours of mock drafts to ensure that at long last this is the year you come out on top.

And now that you've done all of your homework we want to know who you think should be the first pick in the fantasy draft? It's Your! Call.

In most fantasy formats you are likely going to get the most value out of a high-end running back with the top pick. The best of the bunch this year look to be Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster and Chris Johnson. All are worthy of a high selection with Maurice-Jones Drew and Jamaal Charles also worthy of consideration.

Peterson is coming off his worst season in four years as a pro having run for a meager 1,298 yards and 12 touchdowns. Consider that those numbers came with an offensive line of matadors and a poor Vikings attack in general. With the offensive line getting a boost in Minnesota AP could easily tack on an extra 100+ yards and a few more scores to his totals. He is a proven fantasy commodity with four years of top-level performance.

Peterson has also featured more in the passing game as his career has progressed. Last season he caught 36 passes for 341 yards and a touchdown and should repeat those types of numbers through the air.

Johnson followed up his incredible 2,006 yard 2009 campaign with a solid 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns last season for the Titans. Johnson is also a solid pass-catcher out of the backfield having notched 44 catches for 245 yards and a TD last year.

The biggest question mark for him this year is how his contract holdout, which caused him to sit out nearly the entire pre-season, will affect his performance. He is certainly still capable of an elite season but could be affected by the lack of reps early in the season. His wheels are as good as it gets though and noone can run away from defences the way this guy can.

Now we turn to Foster, the breakout star of the 2010 season. If you were the one who picked up Foster off the waiver wire or took a flyer on him late in your draft last year, well done. This year he definitely isn't slipping past the first three picks and maybe not even the first.

The Texans young stud exploded for 1,616 yards and 16 touchdowns last season in winning the NFL rushing title. Oh, and he caught 66 passes for an extra 604 yards and two more scores.

The only question with Foster is whether or not he will suffer a letdown with all the hype and attention he is getting this year. But even if he does regress some, Foster should still pick up well over 1,000 yards and score plenty of touchdowns.

Okay, so those are the top running backs but who do you take if you're league places more emphasis on quarterbacks?

There is a shortage of elite fantasy QB talent so if you are in a league that values the signal-callers heavily you better pounce early. The two guys talked about most often as being worthy of a top-pick at the QB spot are Aaron Rodgers and the newest $100 million man Michael Vick.

Rodgers is more of a traditional pocket passer who is going to throw for a ton of yards and rack up touchdown passes. Last season Rodgers threw for 3,922 with 28 touchdowns against just 11 interceptions in 15 games for the Packers.

Rodgers is actually a decent scrambler as well and will give you a few bonus yards and touchdowns in the running game. Last year he rushed for 356 yards and had four touchdowns.

Vick meanwhile isn't going to throw for the type of numbers Rodgers is but he is surrounded by a bevy of offensive talent in Philadelphia and will still put up stats through the air.

Where Vick really stands out though is in his ability to run the football. In just 12 games for the Eagles last season Vick ran for 676 yards and had nine touchdowns. He is the type of athlete that can easily put up a 250 yards passing, 2 passing TD, 100 yards rushing, 1 TD stat line.

Besides Rodgers and Vick, other top options at quarterback include regular fantasy first-rounders Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning.

Now it's not very often that a receiver is going to go first because of the depth of the position. But if you are in some kind of weird points per reception league with a ton of receiving bonus points there are a few guys that stand above the rest.

Houston's Andre Johnson is a freak of nature. The Giants' Hakeem Nicks looks poised for a monster year. Larry Fitzgerald will benefit from a quarterback upgrade in Arizona, while Calvin Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Roddy White and Greg Jennings will also all put up big numbers.

Now with all this talent out there who do you take first? Which one of these guys is going to lead you to immortal glory and fantasy supremacy? As always it's Your! Call.

Adrian Peterson (Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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