Many fantasy football sites have a running back ranked No. 1 — either Arian Foster, Ray Rice or LeSean McCoy.
But I didn’t take a ground-and-pound approach to my rankings. I went with Aaron Rodgers. It isn’t that Foster, Rice or McCoy are bad picks. They are great running backs that — if healthy — should return the cost of a first-overall pick.
On the other hand, if you take Rodgers in the top spot, you’re not only getting a proven elite player, but the risk of a quarterback going down to injury compared to a running back is much lower. Same can be said for the next two QBs in line, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
Rodgers has missed only two starts in four seasons as the Packers’ starting QB. Brady hasn’t missed a start since 2008. Brees has only missed one start in the past seven seasons.
Running back is a different story.
Foster missed three games last season with a hamstring problem. Rice has missed three starts over the past three seasons, but had four games with 10 or fewer carries last year. McCoy missed just one start last season, but he has been limited to eight games with 11 or fewer carries over the past two seasons.
The point is, running backs are more susceptible to having their playing time reduced due to injury than a quarterback. So, don’t be afraid to take Rodgers (or Brady or Brees) with the top pick and grab your main back in the second round, where you can likely find guys like Ryan Mathews, Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch or Adrian Peterson.