We at DFF cannot get enough of off-season activity, whether it involves player profiles, player evaluation, rankings, or league drafts. Over the course of the off-season, we will bring you numerous Best Ball drafts to assist with how draft boards are playing out along with the analysis of the mindset of player selections and strategy. Once we have completed a number of drafts, we will provide a numerical indicator representing the player’s movement in draft position from the prior best ball draft.
We utilized Draft.com, so team defenses were not selected. Roster construction consists of 1 QB – 2 RB – 3 WR – 1 TE – 1 FLEX over 18 rounds. Below is the draft grid, as well as a breakdown of each owner’s strategy and an assessment of their team draft.
1) @JhawkChalk89 7) @zaragozaanthony
2) @dibari22 8) @DFF_MitchLawson
3) @DFF_MSte 9) @WhiskeyD0G
4) @kyleFFfellas 10) @DFF_Lukas
5) @aalarson 11) @MikeCOliva
6) @TheRealHalupka 12) @MattJonesTFR
Team Owner: Nathan Coleman (RiggosRevenge)
Draft Slot: #1
Initial Strategy: For Best Ball, your draft philosophy is pretty straightforward. The goal is to find talented players with the most opportunity and volume at the best value possible. My mentality is to be both aggressive and reactionary because drafts are always fluid. If you are aggressive, start chain reactions in regards to making a run on certain positions. To be reactionary you need to understand position scarcity and roster construction. For me when I draft in Best Ball, volume and value are king.
Favorite Pick: Devante Adams Pick 3 – Adams will be a top 10 receiver in a top 5 offense without Jordy Nelson.
Biggest Reach: Ty Montgomery (ADP-127.1) (Selected – 11.1) – Ty Mont is not durable and he probably won’t get the volume that I’m looking for.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): @DFF_MSte – Probably the most balanced team of the group.
Closing Comments: Overall I think I executed my strategy for the most part. My only concern is TE depth. A common trend in this draft was lack of depth. Best Ball can be a war of attrition and each position has a sweet spot as far as how many players are needed. For example, if you draft only one QB and he gets hurt your season is over.
Team Owner: John Dibari (dibari22)
Draft Slot: #2
Initial Strategy: I don’t play much best ball, but with the little bit I have played, I knew I wouldn’t mind targeting players who I might otherwise avoid due to inconsistency like Kenny Stills, for example. I also knew I wanted to hit quarterback early and often. QBs score the most fantasy points, and we always seem to lose several key starting QBs each season so I wanted to make sure I could weather the injury storm should it hit.
Favorite Pick: It’s hard not to like Le’Veon Bell at 1.02, but that’s easy, so I’ll have to say Kenny Golladay. I was one of the Kenny Golladay hype train conductors last off-season, and I’m still aboard until it falls off the rails. We’ve seen his upside in a game or two already and if he only has 2 big weeks again in 2018, I’m ok with that in best ball because they’ll probably be matchup winning weeks.
Biggest Reach: Kenneth Dixon. I used 3 early-ish picks on quarterbacks and didn’t anticipate so many running backs coming off the board so early. As a result, as we got deeper into the draft, the pickings were slim and I just grabbed Dixon who may not even have a job on opening day. He wasn’t a “reach” as far as overpaying and drafting a guy early goes, more of a “reach taking a garbage player just to fill a position of need.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): @mste89
Closing Comments: I’d hate this team if it were a regular league. But as a best ball team, I’m happy with it. I wanted to get 3 elite QBs and I did. There’s a good chance all 3 end the year as top 12 quarterbacks. Most importantly, they aren’t going to be scoring points against me. I have 2 high upside, high floor studs in Rob Gronkowski and Bell to go with my quarterbacks and Larry Fitzgerald is as steady as they come so I really like my base score each week just from those players. I sprinkled in a ton of guys who can have a single big game at any moment too, giving me what I feel like a really high ceiling any given week.
Team Owner: Michael Stephenson (mste89)
Draft Slot: #3
Initial Strategy: After drawing the 3-spot I know two things; I’m locking up a top 3 RB and I’m not getting any of my top WRs, so my plan was to stock up at RB early. I generally like to end up with 3RB and 3WR after 6 rounds if possible, but other than taking best/highest-ceiling player available I generally don’t plan too far ahead in drafts, go with the flow.
Favorite Pick: I’m torn between Legarrette Blount in the 15th and Kelvin Benjamin in the 10th here, but I have to go with Benjamin. Now I am the furthest thing from a K-Benj fan as you’re ever going to find, but everyone has their price. With Zay Jones‘ off the field issues, Benjamin could be looking at an undisputed no.1 role, with the Bills having no option than to feed him targets. Guaranteed targets are like gold-dust in best ball and you aren’t gonna find it often at the 10.10 pick.
Biggest Reach: Positionally, I’ve never been one to take a TE early, so Kelce at the 3.03 is a massive reach for me, but I had my heart set on one of Davante Adams or Adam Thielen coming back to me at the 2-3 turn and neither did. This pick did make me feel a lot more comfortable only picking up 2 TEs however as I’m very confident that Kelce will be my starting TE way more weeks than not.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): @kyleFFfellas takes it for me. He is absolutely stacked at RB with Zeke/Freeman/Howard. He should always have a QB1 between Goff/Dak/Mccown and a TE1 from Olsen/Anderson/Macdonald. His WRs are a little hit and miss but there is tons of upside amongst them.
Closing Comments: Everything fell really nicely for me after missing out on my WR targets in the 3rd. I ended up with a really balanced team without any glaring weaknesses, although a lot could go wrong at the RB position if I’m unlucky. Rivers/Winston/Bortles are like the late round QB dream team, despite leaving WR until the 4th round I’m delighted with Alshon and Allen Robinson as my WR1&2. I like the guaranteed volume in K-Benj, and Chris Hogan’s huge upside, he was the WR10 before he got hurt last year. I rounded off the WRs with some high upside picks, Moncrief will be a red zone threat and the Jags have paid him like they’re going to use him. Tyrell Williams has put up 15+ PPR points 9 times in the past 2 seasons, ideal for best ball, and Quincy Enunwa could step back into a massive role with the Jets. I love this squad and really wish this had have been for $$$.
Team Owner: Kyle August (KyleFFFellas)
Draft Slot: #4
Initial Strategy: Generally, my main objective in best ball formats is to make sure I have enough depth across my team to ensure that I have starters every week. Nothing is worse than taking zeros that could have been prevented. Past that, my strategy is simple and is the same every draft; best player available.
Favorite Pick: I’ll go with Greg Olsen at 5.4. One thing I’ve found myself doing more this year than ever in drafts is trying to lock down one of the top 6 TEs, especially in any type of PPR format. Olsen was a top 5 TE in 0.5 PPR leagues each of the last three seasons before missing time for the first time in his career in 2017. Add in that I was able to get Olsen 2 rounds later than Gronk, Kelce, and Ertz, and I think it was good value.
Biggest Reach: Taking Marqise Lee at the 9.4 (112th overall) was technically a reach based on his 125.8 ADP. I didn’t love the pick, but I do think there is sometimes upside with Lee who could be the WR1 in Jacksonville this season.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): @DFF_MSte – Really like his RBs with DJ and Ingram at the top. He’s has three very solid WRs and was still able to get Kelce.
Closing Comments: All in all, I like my squad quite a bit. I accomplished my main goal, and was able to build decent depth at QB & TE late in the draft and stacked my RBs while landing some high upside WRs.
Team Owner: Aaron Larson (aalarson)
Draft Slot: #5
Initial Strategy: My view on best ball is that you throw consistency out the window and try to find as many players as possible that can win you a week, even if they’ll disappear other weeks. I wanted to get just enough high floor guys on the roster to keep me competitive when none of the high ceiling guys hit. I also wanted to try and find a quarterback/receiver stack that had potential to blow up multiple times this season.
Favorite Pick: I like a lot of my picks, but if I have to choose I’m going with Ben Roethlisberger. I know it’s not a very sexy pick, but I took the best wide receiver in the league Antonio Brown and young stud JuJu Smith-Schuster as two of my first three receivers. At that point it I began anxiously hoping nobody would snipe Big Ben from me, but thankfully I was able to wait for a few rounds before I grabbed him. I’m pretty confident that the AB-JuJu-Big Ben stack will win me a few weeks in this league.
Biggest Reach: There’s a good chance Lamar Jackson won’t start a single game this season, but he is the kind of raw talent that will put up some big fantasy games if he does.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): @dibari22. He has a phenomenal stable of quarterbacks with Watson, Newton, and Garoppolo. Le’Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy are as good of a running back combo as you can hope for and his receiving corps is littered with big game potential. Oh, and he has Rob Gronkowski too. Well done @dibarri22.
Closing Comments: I really like the team I ended up with. My running backs are a little shaky, but there are a few PPR guys that should keep them competitive. I truly think I have the best receiver group in the league, and I think my tight ends could get me some sneaky points this season. Trey Burton may turn out to be the steal of the draft if he becomes Matt Nagy’s Chicago version of Travis Kelce. Overall I really like my odds in this league.
Team Owner: Stephen Halupka (halsteve)
Draft Slot: #6
Initial Strategy: We’ve seen a huge influx of talent at the running back position over the last two seasons and wide receiver start to drop off as a result in terms of overall ADP. I wasn’t targeting two high end wide receivers per se, but there is more running back talent to go around than in years past, so loading up in the middle of the draft was fine by me. Being able to gobble up both DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green with my first two selections made it much easier to concentrate on running back for the next few selections in the middle rounds and fill in the gaps in my roster.
Favorite Pick: Tarik Cohen. He was criminally underused by the uninventive John Fox last season in Chicago. Now with an offensive mind like Matt Nagy at the helm, Cohen should be an every week contributor. He has the speed and agility to make splash plays in a given week, so if I can couple that with some more regular production, he could be a great every week flex if not more.
Biggest Reach: Marcus Mariota. The quarterback run had started and I was one of the last to take one. Mariota was the best option remaining in my eyes, but he will have to play much better in 2018 to justify his QB1 status on my team. I’m counting on Matt LeFleur to help turn Mariota into a productive fantasy quarterback for the upcoming season as the Titans move from ground and pound to a more spread team.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): dibari22. Really like what he did with two top running back options in Bell and McCoy. Along with Gronk and Larry Fitzgerald, he has a really nice core of players with some upside. Outside of Larry Fitzgerald, he should be able to piece together the remainder of his receivers into something that could end up being special with Sammy Watkins and Kenny Golladay.
Closing Comments: So I guess this team will be tied to how well the Bengals perform throughout the season, with Dalton, Green and Mixon on my roster. That aside, I went with a ton of youth at the running back position with both Derrius Guice and Sony Michel, two backs who should be opening day NFL starters as rookies. I’m solid at everywhere but quarterback where I’m counting on a rebound from Marcus Mariota and Andy Dalton both.
Team Owner: Anthony Zaragoza (zaragozaanthony)
Draft Slot: #7
Initial Strategy: Regardless of position, I tried to select the most talented player available in any given round. I got a quarterback earlier than I usually do using this method, but having Tom Brady on your team isn’t the worst thing in the world. On the same token, I missed out on having two top notch running backs on my team. Went with Mike Evans in the second round, because I love his potential. But I didn’t draft another RB till the fifth round, leaving me with Kareem Hunt as my lone stud running back. I was able to draft a few good sleepers at the RB position to make up my shortcomings.
Favorite Pick: Tevin Coleman. Devonta Freeman is the undisputed number one back in Atlanta. But over the last two seasons, Tevin Coleman has made his presence felt in that offense. Coleman had an impressive 183 touches in 2017, only 49 behind lead back Freeman. This was an improvement from 2016 when the gap was over 100. If the trend continues from the last two seasons, and there is no reason to believe it could get worse for him, Coleman has the potential to go over the 200 touch mark and be a top 20 RB in PPR formats this season.
Biggest Reach: Tom Brady. I hate getting quarterbacks early. Just hate it. But sticking to my strategy of “best player available”, getting Brady in the fourth seemed like the right thing to do for my lackluster team. The Brandin Cooks trade could hurt Brady a little in 2018, but then again, we are talking about Tom Brady. Not the worst pick but with the way the QB’s went in this draft, I could have waited 1-2 rounds and went with a better RB2 instead of Brady.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): John Di Bari (@dibari22). A trio of high upside quarterbacks, a great tandem at running back, a solid WR group and a man they call Gronk. Great job by JDB.
Closing Comments: Not overly happy with my team. I feel like I have a squad that has a great chance at finishing in 6th place. Not exactly what I was hoping for at the beginning of the draft but still some hope as the draft went on. The key to this squad with be the bench guys. If Leonard Fournette gets hurt, TJ Yeldon should get some quality games. If Devin Funchess builds from his solid 2017 season, Funchess could get into top 20 WR status. If Isaiah Crowell can forget 2017 and be the lead man in New York, the production and touches should follow. A lot of what ifs for this team but not too far-fetched either.
Team Owner: Mitch Lawson (DFF_Canuck)
Draft Slot: #8
Initial Strategy: I tried to bear in mind the idea of aiming for ceiling rather than the floor, and tried to find some studs and some sleepers at each position while remaining balanced. I also tried to employ the strategy of avoiding a “run”. Meaning if I saw 5 out of the 6 owners before me, pick a WR, I’m not going to panic and pick a WR because the position took a hit. Rather I tried to go the opposite route and get ahead of the trends by picking an RB or QB.
Favorite Pick: I know it’s an early draft pick, but I’m so thrilled that Keenan Allen was available in round 2. If Kamara had not been available at the 1.08, I might have drafted Allen there (Over Julio and OBJ). But instead he fell to me with the 2.05 pick and I snatched him up. Keenan Allen had seven 100+ yard games in 2017, which was only bested by Antonio Brown. That type of explosiveness is what you need in best ball.
Biggest Reach: Chris Carson (ADP 97.3), selected with pick 8.5. Chris Carson was, in my mind, the best of the messy Seahawks RB carousel. He only appeared in 4 games before breaking his leg, but he made an impression in those games. What intrigues me is his potential use in the passing game with Jimmy Graham out of town. However, reaching a full round ahead in the 8th round to pick a guy who could end up riding the bench all year long is a risky proposition.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): @WhiskeyD0G. I graded all of these teams out individually, and in the end @WhiskeyD0G barely edged out @DFF_MSte89 and @dibari22. What won him the best draft was his unreal WR group, plus top-heavy talent at QB and TE to carry his weaker RB position. If Rodgers or Ertz get injured though, he is in a precarious position.
Closing Comments: I’m really thrilled with my draft. I took some calculated risk but I have enough studs to keep my team going. I loaded my RB bench with potential starters and sprinkled in some Home Run swings at WR. Obviously, everyone is going to love their own team, but I can’t wait to see how this season shakes out for the group I’ve selected.
Team Owner: Shaun Crandall (WhiskeyD0G)
Draft Slot: #9
Initial Strategy: My strategy for this draft and many best ball drafts this year will be to stockpile the wide receiver position early. Running back will go early and often allowing a push of sure value at wide receiver down draft boards. I also wanted to target pass-catching running backs in later rounds to provide a bit of a floor for those picks.
Favorite Pick: Ryan Switzer[/profiler]. He was my last pick in this draft at 18.4, and I wouldn’t expect him to be available this late as we go through the summer months. Switzer caught 4 passes for 32 yards in the season finale and I think he should provide a nice floor weekly as the check-down for Dak Prescott.
Biggest Reach: My selection of Javorius Allen at 16.4 with an ADP of 211.3 would constitute a reach, and in a month after the NFL Draft concludes it may reflect as a “bust”. If Baltimore selects an RB on Day 2, Allen may become free in most drafts with this selection becoming a waste. If, however, that selection on Day 2 is a player similar to Ronald Jones, then Allen’s value remains as he is the pass-catching back in this offense.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): I like the roster construction of @zaragozaanthony. He has, what I would call, a “counter-punch” at the QB, RB, and WR. These would be players I would envision complimenting each other week over week and provides a nice floor. If this is Austin Hooper’s breakout year in year 3, which is typically when we see the TE position start to show promise, then this team will be a competitor.
Closing Comments: I, unfortunately (or fortunately), depending on how you look at it, slept through my 3rd and 4th round picks and auto-drafted Aaron Rodgers and Zach Ertz. I wouldn’t have selected either position this early, but I can’t complain with who was chosen.
Team Owner: Lukas McLean (Lukasm_90)
Draft Slot: #10
Initial Strategy: I planned to start the draft off with players I felt had high projected volume and a safe floor. I wanted to then supplement these players with highly volatile players that had to power to boom and win me weeks.
Favorite Pick: Landing Kenny Stills at 9.10 was probably my favorite pick. The amount of vacated targets available and the fact only Parker sits in front on him on the depth chart was very attractive. Stills is a proven “Boom” player who might have a greater floor then we can expect.
Biggest Reach: My whole draft felt like a reach. It truly felt like I was being sniped pick after pick after pick. After round 3 none one I planned on selecting was there for me when it was my turn on the clock. I’m going with Carson Wentz at 8.03 because of where the rest of the QBs went. I feel I lost value above replacement on a skill position. Should have waited.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): My team is definitely not the best lmao. I really enjoyed what the guys around me did though. If I had to name just one I would have to choose “mste89”.
Closing Comments: I’m really not satisfied with my overall draft. I felt a combination of draft slot and good old fashioned bad luck played a roll. Really hard to be happy with the amount of times I was sniped 2-3 picks before my selection. That’s what happens when you draft with a sharp group of guys though.
Team Owner: Mike Oliva (MikeCOliva)
Draft Slot: #11
Initial Strategy: So far this year I’ve tried to start drafts with two RBs in the first three rounds since I think there is a lot of value at WR in the mid-rounds whereas RB dries up really quick after round 3. Therefore, my initial strategy was to grab RBs early and then go after upside WRs in the mid-rounds. That strategy changed as this draft went on as I had to adjust to the picks made by the guys around me. Also, my typical roster construction for bestballs is 2-3 QBs, 5RBs, 7WRs, and 2-3TEs. I believe this is the optimal roster for the format and it has led me to a solid ROI in the last few years.
Favorite Pick: Andrew Luck at 10.02. I took him as my QB2 and made sure to take a third QB in case we end up in a situation like last year where he is “a week away” for an entire season. If he’s healthy, he could legitimately be the QB1 and landing him in the 10th round seemed like a good risk given his incredible upside.
Biggest Reach: Amari Cooper at 3.11. Nothing we saw last year justifies Cooper being a third round pick. He has all the talent in the world, is still only 23, and Gruden has already said he will be the focus of the offense – something the release of Michael Crabtree supported. However, except for one monster game last year, he looked nothing like the WR1 you would desire in the third round. This is a pick that could either blow up in my face or turn out to be genius. It’s a massive risk at 3.11 and I would have been far more comfortable with it had I taken him in the fourth or fifth round.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): @mste89 – I really loved what he did in this draft. His running backs are fantastic with his RB5 being Blount, a guy I’m really high on this year. His WRs are strong and well suited for best ball and Kelce is my TE1. I’m not in love with his QBs as Winston and Bortles aren’t exactly reliable, but based on the strength of the rest of his roster, I think those two will be serviceable enough to hold down the fort while his studs do the heavy lifting.
Closing Comments: This was one of my worst drafts so far this year. The RB position got away from me as I went way too heavy on WRs in the early rounds. Assuming Barkley is all that we expect, I will still need major contributions from Duke Johnson, Brieda, Abdullah, and/or Mike Davis. Frankly, I’m not optimistic that will happen. If the Browns take Barkley, my team is completely done. I love my team otherwise, but I feel that I’m so behind in the RB department that it may be tough to compete. Realistically, I will need a top 10 season from Barkley and some luck with my other RBs to even finish in the top half of the league. This was a good reminder that RB gets thin very quickly this year and if you don’t have at least two strong RBs to build around, you will be at a major disadvantage no matter how well the rest of your draft goes.
Team Owner: Matt Jones (Mattjonestfr)
Draft Slot: #12
Initial Strategy: I went out of my way in this draft to not go ZeroRB. This is the time in the year to figure out how comfortable I am with different strategies so I went off the board and out of my comfort zone here. I waited far too long on TEs and came up pretty empty there so I’m hoping the rest of my team picks up the slack there. Being on the turn also threw me off a bit because I felt like I needed to do a lot of multi-position pairings and reach for guys in certain spots because of the long wait between picks.
Favorite Pick: Julio at 2.1 is bananas to me. The value that’s popping up at WR in the early going of drafts right now is going to probably end up meaning that Zero-RB is viable once again this offseason. There’s a chance that ADP swings back a bit as the offseason goes on, but if it stays this way, I’ll lock in those target numbers at value in drafts.
Biggest Reach: The ADP doesn’t bear this out, but Russell Wilson is a reach because I never draft QBs early. I wanted to see how my draft settled in if I went TE or QB early. With Gronk gone already, I decided to lock in a good bet for a bunch of QB1 performances.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): JDB (dibari22) has my favorite team, mainly because I’m jealous of his QB corps. That team overall might have the most rushing upside between the QBs and the tandem of Le’Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy. The WRs are solid and you can basically throw in Gronk as your de facto WR1.
Closing Comments: After seeing these results and other mocks, I’m probably going to end up going ZeroRB next time just to see how it plays out because I think the value is there once again this year. If not, I’ll just copy JDB’s strategy and get all the rushing QBs.