Saquon Barkley or Jonathan Taylor?

If you're reading this you're probably stuck with a mid-first round pick in your fantasy draft. You've missed out on the top four backs (McCaffrey, Cook, Kamara, Henry) and are hesitant to take Zeke or a receiver, so you've settled on the decision between the next highest ranked running backs, Saquon Barkley and Jonathan Taylor.

Taylor has received incredible hype since his strong finish last year, enough to the point where he's been going fifth overall in some leagues. If you've already bought in that much, stop reading because it's too late to save you now, but anyone willing to listen, Saquon could be a league winner this year.

While all the mainstream questions about these two address the health of Barkley, I believe the biggest concern is the situation Taylor has found himself in. A few weeks ago I would not have called the Colts unstable, but conditions are brewing that could make it a volatile environment for a fantasy back. OG Quentin Nelson and QB Carson Wentz both find themselves sidelined with the same injury, which could see either of them miss from 1-6 weeks of regular season action. A team starting the season without its best player and another starter at the most important position is not a situation I want my first round pick to be in. If you're afraid of taking Saquon because he might miss week one, then you should be terrified of Jon Taylor trying to play the first stretch of the season without Quentin Nelson blocking in front of him. Oh, and good luck finding Taylor red zone opportunities with Jacob Eason or Sam Ehlinger spinning the rock. Now these could be easily fixed with a swift return from the injured Colts, but one man in Indianapolis is out to make sure Taylor doesn't get all his fantasy points. If you were a Taylor or Marlon Mack owner these past two seasons you're probably very familiar with Nyheim "Mr. Leech" Hines. The Colts have been and always will be a backfield by committee team, and this guy seems to benefit the most from it. The best pass catcher in the Indy backfield, the Colts always figure out how to get Hines touches. Taylor could have 60 rushing yards on a drive but all of a sudden one 8-yard swing pass later and Hines is in the end zone. If you own Jonathan Taylor, I'm telling you you're going to be ripping your hair out watching Nyheim Hines backflip in the end zone.

Now if Saquon Barkley is healthy on the other hand, Wayne Gallman will return to his comfortable seat on the bench and let all the points be had for Saquon. I think the injury last year has people forgetting how good Barkley actually is. He had over 2000 total yards and 15 touchdowns in his rookie season, his only full year so far. Also included in those numbers were 91(!!) catches out of the backfield, a fantasy owner's dream. When he's on the field Barkley is arguably the best running back in football, and sorry Kenny Golladay but he's still the best pass-catcher on the Giants too. If all I have to count on is one of the most physically gifted 24-year olds on earth to just be healthy and I'll get all that production in the middle of the first round, please sign me up.

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