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Fantasy Football: Should You Take Beckham First?

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Is Odell Beckham Jr. the safest first-round fantasy pick?

NFL: New York Giants-Training Camp
Odell Beckham participates in drills on Friday.
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

I call him ODB. I realize that most prefer OBJ, his initials. But I like ODB, in honor of a NY legend, Wu Tang’s own Ol’ Dirty Bastard. And in my opinion, ODB is as safe as it gets in round one of your fantasy draft.

I have a belief that early round fantasy picks are about high floor performers, with obvious built in upside. I prefer my early picks to be stable, foundational investments of your fantasy roster. The middle and late rounds is where I like to gamble. In rounds 1-5, I like sure things. And if Odell Beckham’s first three years are an indicator, he’s the surest thing around these days. Bottom line: he has eclipsed 1300 yards and 10 TD’s in each of his three NFL seasons. If you could guarantee production from a first round pick, a floor of 1300/10 is the type of bankable scoring that leads to fantasy chips.

The three top RBs, David Johnson, LeVeon Bell, and Zeke Elliott obviously will garner more touches, and have more theoretical upside, but also carry significantly more risks. Elliott has a possible suspension looming, Bell is holding out for a new deal, and they are ALL running backs. Injury risk is real, and in round one, minimize risk.

Now we’re left with Antonio Brown, ODB, and Julio Jones. I understand every agrument for going Brown here, as he has been the standard bearer for high floor, safe first round picks. He also has more competition for touches than Beckham, and if Bell plays 16 games, who knows if Brown can keep his torrid pace alive. Julio is the NFL WR from who most resembles an X men, but his red zone usage is erratic, and I fear a Super Bowl loss hangover from the Falcons. That leaves our man ODB, who despite a ton of drama and negative media coverage, still gets you 1300/10. That’s his floor. His ceiling? Hopefully, we find out this year.