Would You Rather: Draft Saquon Barkley or Ezekiel Elliott No. 1 in Fantasy Football

Max Staley
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys / Ronald Martinez

Cover Photo: Getty Images

Running back is often the cornerstone of building a championship-caliber fantasy football team. And there are few, if any, backs better than Saquon Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott. Both of these NFC East powerhouse running backs are going at the top of most fantasy drafts, and picking between them is no easy task.

If you find yourself with the top pick in your draft, you'll likely be deciding between Elliott and Barkley, so let's break down which RB you'd rather have for the 2019 season.

While Elliott might be the best all-around RB in the NFL, his behavior off the field has been troubling. Elliott has found himself mired in another off-field incident this offseason, and he missed six games due to suspension in 2017.

Of course, he bounced back last season, tallying 1,434 rushing yards and nine total TDs in his 15 games played. He also took a massive step forward as a receiver last season, hauling in 77 balls for 567 receiving yards, both of which were career highs.

Assuming Elliott isn't facing a suspension, his ability as a runner and improvement as a receiver could make him the No. 1 fantasy RB in 2019.

However, he'll likely face some stiff competition from Barkley. As a rookie, Barkley racked up 2,028 total yards and 15 total TDs en route to earning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

It's fair to expect some improvement from Barkley in year 2, especially since the New York Giants made key additions on their offensive line, grabbing Kevin Zeitler from the Cleveland Browns and RT Mike Remmers. If Barkley makes a second year jump, he has a real shot at finishing as the No. 1 RB in fantasy this season.

With two players this talented, you likely can't go wrong drafting either one. However, Barkley might be a little more dependable given Elliott's history of off-field issues, which arguably makes the Giants' RB the safer pick.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.