Allow me to start with a disclaimer: I am no expert on best ball drafts. Last year was my first time delving into this realm. I won some money, but nothing insane like a quarter-million dollars. So, when addressing this field of growing popularity, it is not with a mindset of “Do as I say or you’re an idiot.” Mine is more of a “This is how I look at it. You can take or leave it.”
As my buddy @DFF_Swag likes to say, best ball drafts are kind of like mock drafts with cash incentives. With that in mind, let’s take a look at not only some trends in the best ball world, but also across fantasy football in general. I will make some comments on my picks and thoughts behind them. In addition, I will highlight some interesting trends and some things that really stuck out to me in the draft.
Platform: Draft App
Format: 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1 TE, 1Flex, 10 bench spots, ½ PPR, Snake Draft
1.11: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
He’s a tier 1 wide receiver for me with a very high floor.
2.02: Todd Gurley easy autodraf…Never mind, he went 2.01. Dalvin Cook, RB Minnesota Vikings
I didn’t want to miss out on a top tier running back, and I thought I could easily grab Gurley at the top of the second. Without him being there, I went with the running back with whom I felt most comfortable.
Round Three: Here’s where things start jumping off the page. Josh Gordon went 3.08 in this draft. The best ball format does make that an easier pill to swallow, but that is a solid three rounds earlier than he is normally taken right now. His arrow is clearly pointing up for fantasy players.
3.11: Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
I’m very happy he fell to the end of the third. Not much analysis there.
Round Four: James White went at 4.03. That was ahead of Marlon Mack, David Montgomery, and Amari Cooper. I know there are some concerns with the players I listed, but I would take all of them ahead of White. Satellite backs are much easier to draft in a best ball format since you don’t have to nail down their big weeks. Keep that in mind during your drafts. Also, Hilton has already dropped to the 4.12 following the Luck retirement.
4.02: Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders
I was hoping he would make it back around the turn, and I was fortunate.
Round Five: Cooper Kupp goes at 5.03 vs. Kenny Golladay at 5.04. These two were several rounds apart a few weeks ago, but given the pessimism around the Detroit passing game and the positive reports of Cooper Kupp, the ADPs seem to be creeping closer together. Ekeler is still going behind Melvin Gordon, 5.08 to 4.08 respectively, but it’s not far off.
5.11: O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With a couple of stable assets at running back and wide receiver, plus my opponent on the turn was without a tight end, I decided to grab the last tight end in the second tier. If he went at the turn and I missed out, I’d have to punt the position until the later rounds. Trust me, it gets ugly. I’d rather have a stabilizing force at the position.
Round Six: Another interesting move: Vance McDonald goes several spots ahead of Hunter Henry. I’m not a huge Henry guy, but the ADP game alone says that this was an interesting choice. It also tells me McDonald is a consistent riser who may not be available in the double-digit rounds like he used to be a month ago.
6.02: D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
*Insert generic analysis about how he’s great here.
Round Seven: Lamar Jackson goes at 7.08. Yes, you read that correctly. Similar to wide receivers, quarterbacks with high ceilings and potentially low floors will also go earlier than expected. If you think you can punt QB and grab someone like Jackson late, that may not work out.
7.11: Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks
The divide between the ADPs of Penny and Carson is becoming a gaping chasm. Still, at the end of the seventh round, Penny has one of the better upsides of the remaining RBs.
8.02: Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
I’m ok with him in the eighth round because while he may burn a roster spot due to injury for a few weeks, I don’t have to do the “He’s questionable, leaning towards playing, we’ll see where he is in pregame warm-ups” dance. If he’s hurt, he’s a zero on my bench. If he’s healthy, he’s the number two option in KC and that’s hard to pass up in this spot.
Nine quarterbacks have gone by 8.06. Some teams have multiple at that position. This is not the way I prefer to play, but it is something to consider. As I mentioned with Lamar Jackson going so early, that pool looks a little thinner than usual. Also, LeSean McCoy, who was close to undrafted earlier in the offseason because of all the bodies in the backfield, went at 9.03. His ADP seems to be creeping up, however slowly.
9.11: Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
10.02: Kalen Ballage, RB, Miami Dolphins
Both are upside and depth plays. I mentioned before about how satellite backs go earlier than normal. The exception seems to be Ballage because of the ambiguous backfield. As for Sutton, everyone points to players like DeSean Jackson and their big-play potential, how it’s made for best ball. What’s flukier than touchdowns? As a big receiver, I think Sutton has touchdown upside, and I’d rather have that in a format where I don’t have to guess when he’s getting them.
11.11: Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
12.02: Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
I’m locking down the quarterback position in the later rounds. Dak has a great opening schedule, and by then the Lions’ offense might be clicking. Everyone is quick to bash Detroit, but Stafford isn’t far removed from some great seasons.
13.11: Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Professional Football Team
14.02: Sam Darnold, QB, New York Jets
I’m grabbing depth at the onesie positions. Andrew Luck is gone and Ebron is still there, but Jacoby Brissett found some success with Jack Doyle during the 2017 season. And I really like Darnold. I’m stoked he’s still there.
15.11: Gerald Everett, TE, Los Angeles Rams
16.02: Ty Montgomery, RB, New York Jets
Does anyone else remember the couple of games in which Gerald Everett was a beast? Well, I can get those at no cost.
And TyMonty, once a highly coveted running back in dynasty leagues, is relegated to backup duties and only relevant if Le’Veon Bell gets injured. Except that he has looked great and could get enough passing work to drive Bell owners insane.
17.11: Gus Edwards, RB, Baltimore Ravens
18.02: Justin Watson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
So those are some of my takeaways. You’ll notice I had few in the first couple of rounds and even fewer at the end, but that’s understandable. Early, most people go chalk, and later, people are mining value and grabbing their guys. No one is going to throw their phone through the window because you took Christian McCaffrey over Alvin Kamara, just like they won’t for taking Jalen Hurd in the sixteenth round. However, I hope you gleaned a little information on some ADP and player value changes, as well as got a couple of useful tips for your best ball drafts. One final thing, if you do several best ball drafts, feel free to diversify. I try to pick a few players in each draft to whom I don’t have a lot of exposure, thereby minimizing my risk if they are injured or crash and burn. Plus, it’s fun to root for more players. There is still plenty of time! Go win some money and prepare for your seasonal draft!
Thanks for reading this! If you would like to interact on Twitter, you can find me @DFF_sbt1030. Thanks again and good luck this year!