Five Automatic 1st Rounders in your Fantasy Football Draft

Five Automatic 1st Rounders in your Fantasy Football Draft

Ryan Knuppel
3 years ago
3 min read
Five Automatic 1st Rounders in your Fantasy Football Draft

Over the coming weeks, you will undoubtedly read many articles about late-round sleepers, players to avoid, and the top defenses to stream for your fantasy football team. However, for all the expert analysis out there, there are a handful of players that, no matter what type of league you’re in, will be confidently selected in the first round. 

Here are five players who are automatic locks to be drafted in the first round of your upcoming fantasy football drafts.

1. RB Christian McCaffrey - Carolina Panthers

Although McCaffrey suited up for just three games in 2020, the Panthers running back is still the consensus first overall pick. He made the most of his opportunities when he was on the field, earning 374 total yards with five touchdowns.

When healthy, CMC is a fantasy stud. He is a near-lock for both 1,000 rushing and receiving yards each, with plenty of touchdowns as well. While some may wonder if his numbers with Sam Darnold at quarterback will impact his status as fantasy’s top player, he’s at worst an easy first-round pick.

2. RB Dalvin Cook - Minnesota Vikings

Cook has gotten better and better with each passing season, with last year officially solidifying his status as an elite first-round pick. In 14 games, Cook ran for 1,557 yards with 16 touchdowns, to go along with 361 receiving yards.

The fifth-year back, who will be 26 by Week 1, came close to putting up 2,000 all-purpose yards despite sharing the field with other strong fantasy options like receivers Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. Cook will be selected high up on draft boards, right there with McCaffrey as a consistent top-five selection.

3. RB Derrick Henry - Tennessee Titans

If there is anyone that is considered a true “workhorse” running back, it’s Henry. The bruising back led football the last two years in rushing attempts, yards, and touchdowns, with 2020 seeing him eclipse the 2,000-yard mark on a whopping 378 carries.

While Tennessee has a decent passing game and just added Julio Jones into the fold, Henry is guaranteed to have 20+ carries a game, every game. While all of the work he gets may come around to hurt him later on, the 27-year old should be drafted early in the first round for this season.

4. RB Alvin Kamara - New Orleans Saints

Much like McCaffrey, Kamara is one of the few backs who has as much value as a receiver as a runner. Last season was another example of that, as the 25-year old had just under 1,000 yards rushing and approximately 750 receiving yards to go with a career-high 21 total touchdowns.

There is a big question mark, though, with the retirement of Drew Brees, as Kamara’s numbers dipped fairly significantly with Taysom Hill at QB for four games. However, whether Hill or Jameis Winston starts under center, Kamara’s role in the offense is locked in, fiving fantasy managers confidence to select him high.

5. RB Nick Chubb - Cleveland Browns

Unlike the previous four running backs, Chubb has to share quite a bit of his snaps with another running back, Kareem Hunt. However, Chubb still managed to rack up over 1,000 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in just 12 games.

Entering a contract season, Chubb is in a great position to succeed, running behind one of the best run-blocking lines in the league. He has consistently averaged over 5 yards a carry, over 1,000 yards a year, and should have a good shot to reach double-digit touchdowns yet again. For all of those reasons, Chubb will go off the board early in drafts this fall, perhaps as high as fourth or fifth overall, depending on the draft.

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