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Who To Draft First: LT or AP?
Fantasy football leaguers lucky enough to be selecting first overall have a tough decision to make. This decision is deciding between drafting LaDainian Tomlinson or Adrian Peterson with the first overall pick. This decision is a tough one because both players are enormously talented running backs who run behind above average offensive lines and play for teams that are committed to running the football.

In deciding which player is most worthy of the number one overall selection, I have decided to evaluate and compare each player according to 3 factors. These factors are: upside, risk and team situation.

By upside, I am referring to the ability of each player to finish this upcoming fantasy football season as the number one overall ranked player.

LT

Tomlinson possesses great upside. He is only one year removed from his career year of 06’ when he amassed roughly 1800 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and 31 total touchdowns. He came back down to earth last season, finishing with 1474 rushing yards, 475 receiving yards and 18 total touchdowns. LT certainly has the sort of upside that would allow him to finish this upcoming fantasy football season as the number one overall ranked player.

AP

If there is any player with greater upside than LT, it is Peterson. He finished his 07’ rookie campaign with 1341 rushing yards, 268 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns. His numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt because he had only 238 carries last season. His low carry total can be attributed to his missing two games due to injury and his splitting carries with Chester Taylor. His upside for 2008 is great; considering that he will be the primary back and that he will not have to share too many carries with Chester Taylor. A line from a Nov.2nd game against Houston adequately represents his upside as a primary back- 30 carries for 296 yards and 3 touchdowns. AP possesses the type of enormous upside that would easily allow him to finish this upcoming fantasy season as the number one overall ranked player.

Edge: AP

By risk, I am referring to anything that could potentially stand in the way of each player maximizing his upside.

LT

Tomlinson carries a moderate level of risk. His two big risk factors are his age and the amount of carries he has logged during his career. He is 28 years old and has carried the football at least 313 times in each of his 7 seasons. As mentioned earlier, Tomlinson followed up his unbelievable 2006 campaign with fairly ordinary numbers in 2007. Considering his age and mileage, there is a good chance that a decline is underway and that he will never again approach his 2006 numbers.

AP

Peterson also carries a moderate level of risk. His single risk factor is his health. He battled injuries throughout his career at Oklahoma and missed 2 games last season due to injury. I label Peterson as only a moderate risk due to his youth and the lack of hits that he took last season (only 238 carries in 08’). Drafters of AP have only to worry about his avoidance of injury.

Edge: Even

By team situation, I am referring to the offensive weapons that complements each running back and whether or not those offensive weapons are able to keep defenses honest.

LT

LT is surrounded by a good deal of talent on offense. Antonio Gates is an elite tight end, Chris Chambers and Vincent Jackson are a dangerous tandem at wide receiver and Phillip Rivers is a capable quarterback with the ability to utilize all of his weapons. San Diego’s skill position players keep defenses honest and prevent defenses from focusing solely on LT.

AP

AP does not benefit from playing with Minnesota’s skill position players. The Vikings have perhaps the most one-dimensional offensive attack in all of football. Sidney Rice and Tarvaris Jackson have some ability but they are unpolished and unaccomplished. Defenses playing the Vikings have little reason but to focus almost entirely on stopping AP.

Edge: LT

After evaluating and comparing both players according to the three factors (upside, risk, team situation), a decision needed to be made between LT and his team situation or AP and his upside. I decided to go for the latter. LT won leagues for his owners in 06’. Tom Brady won leagues for his owners in 07’. I will be selecting AP first overall in the hopes that he will maximize his upside, have a monster year and single-handedly win my league for me.

Posted by David Martorano at 5/15/2008 9:55:00 PM
Comments (5)

Yet Another Mock Draft
Just finished up drafting the Rotowire entry in the Creative Sports NFL magazine mock draft... don't want to step on their toes by revealing too much of how it went, but there were some interesting picks:

- picks six through 12 were as follows (I had pick #10): Marshawn Lynch, Larry Johnson, Tom Brady, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Marion Barber, Randy Moss. Gore over Barber was a tough call, but the league is PPR (point per reception scoring) which tipped it to Gore IMO

- tumblers: Chad Johnson went with the 12th pick of the 3rd round (I passed him up to take Torry Holt); Marvin Harrison went exactly one round later

- Darren McFadden lasted to the 11th pick of the 4th round; from what I've seen he's got the most volatile value of any player on the board right now

- last skill player taken: Ted Ginn, with the 4th pick of the 15th (last) round

My team (in the order they were picked): Frank Gore; Lawrence Maroney; Torry Holt; Plaxico Burress; Derek Anderson; Felix Jones; Kevin Curtis; Anthony Gonzalez; Kenny Watson; Aaron Rodgers; Dallas DEF; Owen Daniels; Leon Washington; Roydell Williams; David Akers

Posted by Erik Siegrist at 5/12/2008 7:26:00 PM

Comments (6)

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