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This article is about a 20-minute read.
The premise of a Pick-a-Player question is as follows:
- Three comparable players are available.
- The draft is at a stage where these players are usually drafted.
- You can take one of them or pass on all three for someone else.
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It's the 1.11 pick in a 12-team, PPR, 4-point passing touchdown draft. The players listed below are off the board. Would you take Nick Chubb, Tyreek Hill, or Josh Jacobs? Or would you pass on all three?
- 1 quarterback
- 2 running backs
- 3 wide receivers
- 1 tight end
- 1 flex (RB/WR/TE)
- 1 kicker
- 1 defense
- RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR/13
- RB Saquon Barkley, NYG/11
- RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL/10
- RB Alvin Kamara, NO/6
- RB Dalvin Cook, MIN/7
- RB Derrick Henry, TEN/7
- RB Joe Mixon, CIN/9
- RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC/10
- WR Michael Thomas, NO/6
- WR Davante Adams, GB/5
And the winner is -- Chubb! And Hill! Oh, and Jacobs! That's right -- no consensus here. See the percentages below.
None of the Three
Footballguys Shark Pool
Comments from the Staff
This is between the two running backs to start out the draft from 1.11. Josh Jacobs gets my vote with mid-to-high RB2 season under his belt as a Round 1 rookie in 2019. The floor and ceiling combination is extremely high for those qualifiers historically and Jacobs essentially was a non-factor in the passing game last year, which was his more glowing trait fantasy-wise entering the NFL. I would put strong odds Jacobs is an RB1 this year with explosive upside if his receiving acumen is unlocked with higher volume through the air. Nick Chubb would be an excellent choice in this range as well, but I would hope to get him early in Round 2 with Jacobs getting the tiebreaker as the preferred choice before the turn.
I'm passing on all three and debating between Kenyan Drake, Miles Sanders, and Julio Jones here. The format (PPR with three starting wide receivers) makes the wide receiver position as valuable -- if not more valuable -- than the running back position. I prefer Jones over Hill due to Hill's weekly floor and the plethora of weapons in Kansas City. And I'd choose him over Hopkins because Hopkins' situation on a new team gives me pause.
Ultimately, I'd select Jones here because he has the highest floor of the three, and I can take some risks on high-volatility players later in the draft.
A running back who is not heavily involved in the passing game is more dependent on the success of the offense. The better the offense, the more yards per play, yards per drive, scoring chances, etc. It all benefits the back, especially one that isn't relied upon as a consistent pass-catcher. This is where I am concerned with Josh Jacobs. Last year, Jacobs looked great at times, and other games, he produced average numbers. When he produced above-average numbers the team also followed suit with a win or an honorable effort.
In 13 games played, Jacobs only scored in four of them. In each of those four games, he finished in the weekly Top 10 among fantasy backs. All four of those games were also won at home by the Raiders (DEN, CHI, DET, LAC). In 7 of the 13 games played, Jacobs finished outside of the weekly Top 20.
The success of Jacobs lies heavily on the success of the Raiders and their offense in general. If you believe the Raiders are on the rise, which many believe, then Jacobs too is on the rise, perhaps to an even higher degree. If you feel that the Raiders have a long way to go before becoming a contender in the AFC West, then Jacobs may not be the best option in the second round.
Like Ryan, I would probably target Kenyan Drake or Miles Sanders in this situation. Both will be heavily used as receivers, which removes the success of the offense from the equation even though I believe both Arizona and Philadelphia will have productive offenses. Neither back is flawless though. Both Drake and Sanders each only had one game of 20+ carries in 2019. Drake had only four games with a score and Sanders had five games. Both are expected to assume more of a wide-spread role with their team as a rusher and receiver, but there still is an area of uncertainty of being a high-volume rusher which increases fantasy production and appeal. That could all come together this season, but it could also be the reason why both don't ascend into elite territory.
An outside-the-box possibility is James Conner. He has been a 50+catch back with double-digit touchdowns before. At least he can say he's been there before. With the Steelers offense coming back into form and Conner reportedly healthy and motivated, I can see a reason for picking him here even though he can be had a bit later in the draft. There are still some questions to his durability, but if production, volume, and execution are critical for the pick, Conner checks off those boxes.
I must be the low man on Jacobs because I have him ranked at the back end of the second round. I like him well enough, but don't love the Raiders situation and think Jacobs could have too many down weeks to justify a first-round selection. Having written the Tyreek Hill Player Spotlight, I absolutely believe he's worthy of first-round consideration, but not if that means passing up on Nick Chubb. Chubb has league-winning upside. He has the talent to be the best back in football, full stop. With a new coaching staff and a healthy Kareem Hunt, there are risks, but I'm willing to make that bet particularly if it means I can still grab Tyreek Hill or Julio Jones with my early second-round pick.
Being at the 1.11 pick, I have the person at 1.12 about to ruin my day.
Analyzing the situation I would think it unlikely 1.12 takes two wide receivers on the turn, but I have to be prepared for that situation. I absolutely love Tyreek Hill this year, but If I take him here there is every chance the corner takes Hopkins and Chubb making me throw up more than just a little. If I take Chubb then chances are I get one of Hopkins and Hill, hopefully, Hill on the way back.
Being PPR doesn’t worry me in the slightest. Chubb is one of the best pure instinctual running backs in the NFL and with just a slight increase in touchdowns easily justifies his first-round tag. The presence of Kareem Hunt is overplayed. He is a relief back and third-down option.
I take Chubb and have my fingers crossed for a wide receiver on the way back.
This really comes down to a draft strategy pick, regardless of rankings.
While I personally have Tyreek Hill ranked above Josh Jacobs on my overall rankings, I am taking Jacobs here from a strategy perspective and based on that list of players already taken. With only two wide receivers off the board, I do not see the drop from Hill to either Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins, so I am okay with letting Hill slide in the hopes he is still available at my next pick. If I let Jacobs go, I don't see him coming back to me in a league where eight backs are off the board and an owner sitting with two picks after mine who probably has similar concerns. In a perfect world, Nick Chubb and another player go at the turn, giving me both Josh Jacobs and Hill.
As for why I like Jacobs this season, the young rusher established himself as a lower-tier fantasy RB1 last season, racking up 1,150 yards on just 242 carries (4.8 yards per carry), but he found the end zone only seven times. Oakland / Las Vegas limited his snaps, using him only on 55% of the offensive plays. This lower utilization limited his involvement on passing downs as he only had 20 catches all season. Defenses keyed on the rookie tailback as the primary offensive option, as Oakland struggled to find adequate wide receivers after cutting ties with Antonio Brown before Week 1. Expect Jacobs to be on the field more in his second season as he has the talent as both a receiver and a pass blocker, plus the Raiders have greatly improved their wide receiver corps thanks in part to drafting Henry Ruggs III in April to balance out and open up the offense. If Jacobs can play the full slate and increase his touches, he can easily finish well within the Top 10 tailbacks for the season.
Hill is out because of the depth at wide receiver this year. I feel like I would be able to get a wide receiver that is much closer to Hill at the 3/4 turn than an RB that is close to Jacobs/Chubb. That narrows it down to Jacobs vs. Chubb.
Jacobs is being drafted near his ceiling at current ADP, but that might not be too aspirational as Mike Mayock has admitted that Jacobs' shoulder injury kept them from ramping up his passing game involvement. Jacobs is a very advanced back in the passing game and if he adds 40-50 receptions this year, he will justify the pick here. I'm still going with the proven commodity of Chubb, who will be in a running-back-friendly offense that should allow him to vie for the league lead in rushing yards again this year.
My pick is Chubb. I'm perfectly fine with either Hill or Julio Jones in the second round and one of them should fall for the 2.02, so I'm locking up the running back I want in the first round.
I understand the interest in Kenyan Drake and Miles Sanders, but without going into detail, I'm taking the safety of Chubb every time over those two guys. I think that Kevin Stefanski's offense is going to let Chubb cross 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns, and that floor is what I want with my top running back.
Jacobs is an exciting player, but it has occurred to me that he feels almost like Chubb-lite. Their passing game roles are uncertain, but their talent and roles are otherwise unquestioned. I agree with Jordan that I would look long and hard at Jacobs in the second, but in the first, I like Chubb.
I guess I am the sucker, but in a start-3+ wide receivers PPR league, I am always taking Tyreek Hill here. One of Chubb, Jacobs, or Mile Sanders will return to you and I prefer this start over selecting Chubb and watching Tyreek Hill vanish at the turn.
This situation would be different if Davante Adams had not been selected yet for me as I rate Davante Adams/Tyreek Hill nearly equal. Wide receivers are deep in 2020, but the truly elite ones do run dry fairly quickly.
Of these three, I'd take Chubb, but if I'm following my draft board, I'm going away from all three and taking Kenyan Drake. If I want a receiver badly, I will gamble that Julio Jones or Tyreek Hill come back to me at 2.02. I have to stick with Drake and if both receivers are gone, I'm fine, as I still have Chubb, Sanders, and Jacobs to choose from in the second.
I would take Chubb out of this trio. Derrick Henry was the RB3 in PPR leagues without a passing game role in 2019 and Chubb can have a similar season in an offense that is set up well to run the ball.
Josh Jacobs is the player I would take in this trio. Jacobs in his rookie season showed he will be the focal point of this offense coming this season as the first-round draft pick averaged 18.6 carries per game as the Raiders. What makes Jacobs especially intriguing is that he is being undervalued due to the perceived lack of receiving ability as he only caught 20 passes last year. He is a league-average receiver as a running back and should have the opportunity to catch 40-50 passes this year as the Raiders need a consistent option outside of Darren Waller.
Select Comments from The Shark Pool
I would go with Hill, since he is a relatively safe top wide receiver with a high ceiling, and I doubt he would be available by your next pick. I do not value either Jacobs or Chubb enough to end up with them this early, especially in PPR where neither of them catch the ball much and they both have better pass-catching backs on their team's roster in Richard and Hunt respectively. Since there are only the two picks at the bend for Team 12 until our next pick, we still have plenty of available backs to choose from at 2.02. I would rather have Sanders or Drake over these two if I was going running backanyway, in that order. I think it is likely at least one of those two running back are left, and somehow if Team 12 picks both of them you still have a reasonable choice between Julio Jones and your favorite between Chubb and Jacobs or another top back like Aaron Jones. If you go with Julio Jones, then ideally you could grab two of David Johnson, James Conner, or Chris Carson at 3.11/4.02. WR/WR is perfectly reasonable in a start-three wide receivers, PPR system if they both have first round grades.
Going back to Hill and Mahomes last full season together, Hill had five games over 28 points. Chubb and Jacobs had two combined last year. Hill gives you a fighting chance when you are facing the Christian McCaffrey owner. Selecting Chubb or Jacobs seems like you are spotting 100 points to the guys drafting in spots 1.01-1.05 at the running back position. I would prefer to claw some of that advantage back by getting a leg up at wide receiver.
You are preaching to the choir, I went with Hill too, I do not need to be convinced! I would have Hill ranked 1.07 with this scoring.
I can't pick anyone, because I broke my finger smashing buttons trying to trade up to 1.08, 1.09, and 1.10 to get Tyreek Hill.
Hot Sauce Guy
Tyreek Hill, and it’s not close.
I'd go with Jacobs out of running back scarcity. I've become -- partly because of this exercise -- fairly certain that in order to win this year in redraft you have to appreciate the backs for what they are, which is scarce. If you have a chance to get Jacobs at 1.11 and potentially Chubb or even Ekeler, if this is PPR, at your turn, you're shoring up a position that will show little value later.
I think that running backs are king again in fantasy football.
So do you think Jacobs is the better fantasy player in a combined board or are you just selecting him because so many backs are already taken?
I guess if you're talking raw points and nothing else, I'm taking Hill. But there are still going to be a ton of receivers left that will give you a closer value to Hill at the end of the third round than you'll find a back close to Jacobs at the end of the third. So, yeah, I'm selecting him based on how many backs have been taken and what's left, really. I know I'm not picking for another twenty picks after my first turn, so I'm really worried about throwing late darts at running backs with either muddled positions or guys that are still vying for touches as opposed to a quality receiver that you'll likely find in the third or fourth. I think it's a rudimentary VBD, really, what I'm doing, just without math. Unless you have a few guys you think you can get late at running back whom you really believe in, that seems to be the way it's working this year.
Out of these, I’m taking Hill solely for the reason that I like three running backs fairly equally in Chubb, Jacobs. and Miles Sanders, and I’ll get one of those with my next pick. Julio Jones would be the only other consideration but not enough to want to go WR/WR here.
Jacobs by a lot. In my opinion, he is the last of the elite running backs.
Hill is a stud, but at 1.11, with only two receivers off the board so far, you're going to have a top-five wide receiver available at 2.02 by definition. Regardless of ADP, you might even get Hill if the owner at 1.12 is a Stud-RB enthusiast. If you take Hill, there's a good chance 1.12/2.01 are Jacobs and Chubb and now you're probably going receiver again at 2.02 and hoping to take your RB1 with the 35th pick. And you'll be forced into taking at least one at the 3/4 turn because, after Round 5 or so, it's a wasteland. Yuck.
I love Chubb's talent -- and he could put up high rb1 numbers in Year 3 -- but at this point, it would be a bit of an outlier season, especially in full PPR. He's more of a high floor low ceiling pick. Jacobs was a first-round talent, looked the part, can run catch and score touchdowns, the team should be improved over last year, and they now have deep speed along with a stud tight end to keep safeties away. He's got a similar floor to Chubb, but it's possible he makes the second-year leap we've seen from plenty of other top backs.
The next tier of running backs has some high upside guys but with a lot more warts. Get your anchor RB1, and your whole draft works easier after that.
Disagree. James White is always a playable PPR option available in the wasteland. He finished two spots in front of Jacobs last year. I’ve been seeing Bell available at the 3/4 turn who could easily match Jacobs.
13 games, 1314 yards as a rookie is pretty good.
Wait that's Todd Gurley
Jacobs had 1316 yards in 13 games.
The difference, of course, is that they were both first-round picks and both were good at running catching and scoring touchdowns. Wait a minute, they don't sound that different,
I love having dynamic players who can score on any play from anywhere. That would be Tyreek Hill. Especially in a 3-WR league. Then I will take my favorite RB on the way back. I think there is more opportunity than normal to snag a future quality starter or maybe even a league-winner at running back later in the draft. This is both because of COVID-19 and also because there is some really good depth behind established starters. I love the WR/RB start from this position. I plan on loading up on upside running backs in the mid to late rounds.
Actually, I change my answer to Miles Sanders. I thought he had been picked originally. I think it's possible to get Hill on the way back.
Out of the three players listed, one of them has upside through the roof. That player is Hill. He's the easy choice here. Chubb has Hunt to kill a lot of his value, and while I like Jacobs a lot, there isn't much difference between Jacobs, Chubb, Aaron Jones, Sanders, or Kenyan Drake to me. I am going to get one of these at 2.02.
So I take Hill and pray Jacobs lasts two more picks.
Hill is a no brainer, and if the two running backs come around the corner, I would not care which one gets to me at 2.02.
Last three years, Tyreek Hill 220 receptions, 3522 yards, and 26 touchdowns in 43 games.
Last two years, 135 receptions, 2339 yards, and 19 touchdowns in 28 games.
Specifically in 2018, during Mahomes' MVP season, Hill had 87/1479/12.
I think it's reasonable to project him for 80 catches, 1300 yards, 10 touchdowns - that's his per-game production over the three seasons. It includes a little of the 2018 MVP season and a little of him playing dinged up.
You are guaranteed one of those three in the second round if you take Jacobs at 1.11. You are not guaranteed a stud running back there.
I can understand if you are higher on Hill than I am, but unless you're expecting him to repeat or exceed his best season, or are very down on Jones/Godwin, he's really not head and shoulders above the next two receivers on the board. He's definitely an exciting player and a guy you want to have in your lineup on Monday night no matter how many points you need to win, but I don't personally care whether I get him or Julio Jones, who has been better all three of the last three years.
I do care about which running back I get. Maybe I'm too high on Jacobs, but I think he takes a big step forward in year two.
I've heard people say that Carr doesn't throw to his running backs because the Raiders had just 68 receptions from their running backs last year. But in 2018, it was 115.
People worry about Jalen Richard. Richard's 68 catches in 2018 was a symptom of Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch being older backs who needed to be spelled, and not being pass catchers. Last year, their starting running back was too good a runner to take him off the field as much as they did and it was Jalen Richard's numbers that suffered.
They drafted Jacobs in the first round in large part because he can catch, and Gruden loves throwing to his running backs. Michael Pittman had 175 catches as the full-time starter from ages 27 to 29. Then they drafted Cadillac Williams, and he couldn't stay healthy. I think a lot of us remember the RBBC days with Cadillac, Pittman, Alstott, and Earnest Graham sharing work. But Gruden wants to throw to his starting backs. Napoleon Kaufman, Charlie Garner, Michael Pittman - these guys all were getting big-time receiving numbers, and Jacobs is a better runner than any of them.
I see a high floor high ceiling player who could take the next step to becoming elite.
Select Comments from Facebook
I would lean Tyreek Hill here. You could get one of these running backs on the other side of the turn.
Zachary T, I gotta agree. I get the logic behind drafting Jacobs or Chubb here, though. Tough call, gotta go with Hill.
Not if the next team takes both backs.
Rick F, fair point, but this is PPR. Hill has Mahomes and is his WR1. Jacobs and Chubb don't catch passes. They both play on worse teams. If they don't fall, take the next wide receiver.
Well, I tried this move on a previous Pick-a-Player, and I will again here.
I'll pass and take Lamar Jackson. I'm getting my quarterback and arguably the rushing yards/touchdown production I would get from Chubb and probably Jacobs. It's a two-for-one.
After the turn, I'm probably still looking at my choice of Tyreek Hill or DeAndre Hopkins, which is a fine way to start. I can take running backs at the end of Round 3 and the beginning of Round 4 and still potentially lead the league in rushing when you add in at least eight bills from Jackson.
With as many running backs who we’re taken already and the quick turn around at 2.02, I would go with Chubb or Jacobs. Probably Jacobs/
I used to never go with a wide receiver in the first round. Lately, however, I have had success mock drafting with the dominator drafting a receiver in the first round. I like Jacobs, of the three. He is the most consistent and the bell cow for the Raiders. However, In this situation, though, I would pass on all three and take DeAndre Hopkins since he is still on the board.
Jacobs. The great offensive line and having no competition for carries are what separates him from Chubb. Wide receiver is so deep this year, especially in PPR. I would be looking at Miles Sanders, Chubb, or Travis Kelse on the wheel pick after two more players are gone.
I think there is a slight chance Hill comes back to me in the second. I don’t want to risk the possibility of missing out on both backs, so I have to take one of them. I’m probably going Jacobs as I’m not as worried about a committee like with Chubb/Hunt
Knowing wide receiver is so deep, I’m taking Jacobs knowing I’ll probably get a crack at Chubb or Sanders or even Kelce on the way back. I’m waiting on receivers this year
I would grab Jacobs in a flash. The running back pool is much shallower than at wide receiver, so grab backs early and often.
I’d take Tyreek and most likely go running back at 2.02. There should also be a back that I like at 3.11, if everyone panics and goes running back, I can wait and grab some later.
Jacobs has the job to himself, the team committed to the run, and the team isn’t loaded with weapons.
Chubb would be the easy choice if he didn’t have to split with another talented back. Dude's a stud, but the browns will be smart and limit his mileage.
This is the toughest Pick-a-Player so far for me since it is more about strategy than about the player. Because I like each one of those three players very much for 2020, I don't really think I could go wrong picking any one of them, but I would hope to get two of them given the late draft position. Having said that, I would probably take the player least likely to come back to me after the turn. Since there is only one wide receiver but two running backs, I would probably take the wide receiver and hope one of the two backs comes back to me. If not, I would pair Tyreek Hill with Patrick Mahomes II and consider myself the "luckiest man on the face of the earth!"
Go running back. Jacobs could explode this year. Chubb May lose a few more touches this season. Wide receiver is deep, so based on the board that was posted you are going to get a stud in the second round.
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