Arizona RB David Johnson should be drafted first in every fantasy football league


To talk about fantasy football long before training camp starts may seem a little premature, but some things can be said and will remain as true on Draft Day as they are now. Kickers should be drafted last, defenses second to last, and Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson should be the first guy off the board.

Yes, David Johnson should be the first guy off the board; not Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliot, or Todd Gurley. It shouldn’t be Antonio Brown (or any other wide receiver) either.

But why?

A case could certainly be made for any of the running backs. However, at the same time, a case could be made against them being the No. 1 pick as well. But when it comes to the No. 1 pick in the draft, you want the guy that is most likely going to be a sure thing.

What could knock a guy out of contention to be the first pick may seem petty. But when you are lucky enough to get that pick you really don’t want to pick the wrong guy.

  • Le’Veon Bell: When healthy and on the field, he is absolutely one of the most productive players in fantasy football. But he had a slow start after last season’s contract holdout, and he’s holding out again.
  • Ezekiel Elliot: The Dallas Cowboys are going to ride their stud running back for all he’s worth. But expect them to try not to overwork him. Since he isn’t as big a threat in the passing game, he will not end up producing as much as the other guys.
  • Todd Gurley: He was an absolute beast last season with 2,093 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns. The only downside to taking him first is that there is no telling what version will show up in 2018. He was a stud as a rookie, then a flop in his sophomore season, but then dominated the competition last year. Chances are he’ll dominate again—but can you be sure?
  • David Johnson: After giving fans a taste in 2015, he blew up in 2016, and then became the consensus No. 1 pick in every draft last year. But then he was injured in the first game of the season and knocked out for the year. He will be back and ready to go for the 2018 season and still wants to go for 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. It sounds like the Cardinals are planning on running him early and often. Whether it’s Josh Rosen or Sam Bradford, he’ll be targeted plenty in the passing game, too.

In conclusion…

Injuries are always a concern, but it’s not like he blew out his knee or tore his Achilles. A wrist injury is not going to impact his ability to run.

All four should and probably will go inside the top five of most fantasy drafts. If you go with one of the others, it will not necessarily be a bad choice. But it will likely not be the best choice.