FFL: First-Round Strategy

Originally Published: July 6, 2005
By Scott Engel | ESPN Fantasy Games
You spend many hours thinking about it. Projecting how it might turn out. Looking at how others have fared before you. But you can never know what to fully expect during the first round of your draft. You should be ready for anything, though, at just about every pick.

No pick is easy, even the highly coveted first selection. So here's a complete look at what you should be thinking at every pick in round one, and what players are the best selections to consider at each slot.

Pick One: Here's where the argument begins: LaDainian Tomlinson or Peyton Manning? Shaun Alexander is also an outside consideration when he resolves his contract issues. Tomlinson is the best combination of reliability and all-around production at what is widely considered the most important position in fantasy football. When you consider that most leagues require you start at least two running backs, and there might be only approximately 20 dependable starters, Tomlinson's case grows stronger. Also consider that many RBs will break down during the year at some point, and you possibly reduce your field of dependable starters even more. In 2004, only four of the top 10 RBs in ESPN.com's leagues started every game.

Scott Engel | email

ESPN Fantasy Games
Scott Engel covers fantasy sports for ESPN.com.

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