Welcome back for our second Best Ball Draft of the season!
The 12 of us got together to try and build the best possible team, according to the best ball format (If you’re unfamiliar with Best Ball, check out this link). In our first draft, we tried to project rookies before the NFL draft while we built our squads. This time around we are post-draft, and get to factor in some rookie landing spots. Enjoy
1) @TheRealHalupka 7) @aalarson
2) @zaragozaanthony 8) @MikeCOliva
3) @kyleFFfellas 9) @DFF_Lukas
4) @dibari22 10) @DFF_MSte
5) @JhawkChalk89 11) @WhiskeyD0G
6) @DFF_MitchLawson 12) @MattJonesTFR
In the second installment of the DFF Best Ball draft series, we again outline the analysis on the mindset to player selections and strategy. The draft order was randomized again providing each team a different perspective.
*Quick Note: This draft took place over the first week of May, before the news of Ingram’s suspension, Henry’s injury, etc.*
Team Owner: Stephen Halupka (halsteve)
Draft Slot: #1
Initial Strategy: Picking first meant I was going to get a top running back early, but also meant I would be potentially at the end of positional runs. It was essential for me to take the players I want, even if it was a round early because they weren’t coming back to me.
Favorite Pick: Randall Cobb in the 11th. Cobb and Adams are the only proven wide receivers for Aaron Rodgers this season. 2018 could be a big-time bounce-back year for Cobb in the Green Bay offense. Even with Jimmy Graham in the fold, Cobb has 1,000 and ten upside in 2018.
Biggest Reach: Matthew Stafford round 8. I knew I needed a QB, and I probably should have waited for round 10, but the options for a QB1 would be bone dry at that point. I could have taken a QB with some more upside like Big Ben, but settled for the stability of Stafford.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): I thought Michael had an excellent draft. Each of his first three wide receivers drafted has the opportunity for 90 catches. Royce Freeman in the 8th will look silly come draft season in August. Being able to get the stability of Rivers and the upside of Dak at QB will also go a long way for his team.
Closing Comments: Picking first can be quite tricky if you lock yourself into one strategy instead letting the draft come to you as an owner. Make sure you get YOUR guys, even if you pick them a round or two early because they might not make it back to you if you pass on a player you like. I was able to balance a lot of positional needs later in the draft by taking some players with high upside if things fall into place like Spencer Ware, Jack Doyle, and John Brown.
Team Owner: Anthony Zaragoza (zaragozaanthony)
Draft Slot: #2
Initial Strategy: My first best ball draft strategy was pretty simple, draft the best player available. Unfortunately, my team was pretty weak following this method. This could have been because I just drafted bad players to begin with, but I wanted to switch it up for the second go around to test a new strategy. I tried to draft a top tier starter at each position (Brady, Bell, Evans, and Gronkowski), sprinkle in some low floor guys around them (Lynch, Tate, Landry) and take some chances on high upside guys in the late rounds (Ballage, Wilkins, Benjamin). That way I have a guy to lead me at every roster spot and give me a chance to compete in this league week in and week out. Mission accomplished.
Favorite Pick: TJ Yeldon, 17.2 – Leonard Fournette is a beast. So, this has nothing to do with me thinking TJ Yeldon will take carries away from the former LSU Tiger next season. What I love about Yeldon is that he’s the clear cut #2 guy in Jacksonville and plays behind a running back with a history of injuries. If Fournette misses any time in 2018, Yeldon should have plenty of touches in an offense that loves to run.
Biggest Reach: Ben Watson, 13.2 – Based off his ADP, I should have waited till the last round to draft Ben Watson. But getting Gronk earlier in the draft, allowed me some wiggle room to snag the newest tight end for the New Orleans Saints. Watson was good for the Ravens last season, finishing as the #11 TE in PPR. Now that he’s in a better offense, he should at least match those numbers in 2018.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): Kyle August (@KyleFFFellas). Zeke, Howard, and Ajayi are a great trio of running backs that any owner would love to have on their team. Sprinkle in Davante Adams, Michael Crabtree, and Greg Olsen into the mix, and you have yourself a solid lineup every week. The quarterback position is the only question mark (Trubisky, Flacco) for Kyle on this team. But all in all, kudos to the Fantasy Football Fella for a solid team nonetheless.
Closing Comments: Very happy with my team the second time around. Good balance at the QB, WR and TE positions. But once again, I am lacking that solid #2 running back most teams have in this league. If none of my late round sleepers at RB pan out for me, I will be asking a lot from Tevin Coleman and Marshawn Lynch this season. But overall, very satisfied with the squad I assembled.
Team Owner: Kyle August (KyleFFFellas)
Draft Slot: #3
Initial Strategy: Like with any draft, I don’t try to box myself into a specific strategy. However, in best ball leagues, it’s important to make sure you have enough depth to avoid zeros and ensure that bye weeks don’t line up with QBs and TEs.
Favorite Pick: Martavis Bryant, pick 10.10 – I waited a bit on WR in this draft due to the RBs that fell to me earlier. With that, I knew I had to take a few flyers at the position. I think there is a good shot that Bryant is the WR2 in Oakland and we’ll continue to see him make big plays like we saw we the Steelers. In a best ball draft, you’ll get to enjoy those big weeks when he does hit.
Biggest Reach: Cooper Kupp at 6.10. I’m going to find myself taking Kupp earlier than most in 2018, so I’m totally fine reaching a bit here. The kid saw a ton of Red Zone looks last season, and with Watkins now in KC, that leaves even more on the table for Kupp inside the 20s. Like him as a sleeper pick to be this year’s Marvin Jones.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): @zaragozaanthony – Not going to get much better at WR & TE than Anthony’s squad with Evans, Gronk, Landy, and Tate. Obviously, his RBs are a little weak, but I think between Coleman and Lynch there’s enough for an RB2.
Closing Comments: I feel like there is a lot of value at WR late. I went RB with 3 of my first four picks and still felt like there was enough left to round out a strong WR core. As usual, wait on QB as long as possible and go ahead and take those dart throws in best ball. You can enjoy the ‘boom’ without the pain of the ‘bust’ weeks.
Team Owner: John Dibari (dibari22)
Draft Slot: #4
Initial Strategy: I was hoping to go for the best player available, with a slight bump to quarterbacks. Best ball scoring, Quarterbacks score the most, if I take a few early, I increase my odds of hitting a big week at any given time, and by taking three quarterbacks early, I take away a high scoring option from my opponents.
Favorite Pick: Marcus Mariota in the 9th round. I already had two quarterbacks in Russell Wilson and Jimmy Garoppolo, but I thought this was a nice place to grab Mariota. Wilson is a fantasy stud, but he mixes in quite a few stinkers in with his big weeks. Garoppolo is essentially unproven, but I’ll take Kyle Shanahan’s QB. Adding Mariota to the mix, with a new coaching staff in place seems like a no-brainer. There is a good chance one of these three will be a top 10 fantasy scorer each weekend.
Biggest Reach: I had quite a few. I missed out on several running back tiers so towards the end of the draft, and I was grabbing any warm body with upside. In rounds 15, 16, and 17 I took Doug Martin, Elijah McGuire, and Jaylen Samuels after taking Matt Breida in the 13th. They might all end up being close to worthless all year, but they can all pop for a single big game for one or two weeks, which is all I can hope to get out of these later picks with no better options on the board.
My vote for best draft (besides my own): This is our second best ball draft, and overall, I was less impressed with most of our teams compared to the first go around- including my own. I like the team @MikeCOliva put together. Tons of high upside guys who can pop on any given weekend. Many of his picks have a low floor too, so he might be looking at a highest score, lowest score on alternating weeks, but the potential upside is tremendous.
Closing Comments: This draft got away from me. I’m happy with most of the team, but as I mentioned, I missed out on a lot of good running backs. As my picks came up, I didn’t like any backs on the board at that time, and when it would come back to me, even more were gone. I painted myself into a corner and was forced to take some real garbage towards the end. On the flip side, this looks to be the year to zig when everyone else zags, and I employed a bit of a zero-RB strategy which may pay off when others went RB early and often. We’ll see how that plays out.
Team Owner: Nathan Coleman (JHawkChalk)
Draft Slot: #5
Initial Strategy: My strategy for this draft was to take 3 RB in the first four rounds and then take the best player available afterward. Unfortunately for me, I drafted Mark Ingram pre-suspension so that will cost me. The strength of my team appears to be the receiving core where I was able to balance high upside players(Jones, Goodwin, Anderson) with low floor guys(Robinson, Bryant, Meredith) as well.
Favorite Pick: Robby Anderson in the 10th round is a steal, he dropped because of the legal trouble that he has recently been cleared of. The Jets will find themselves playing from behind often, and that means extra volume for Anderson.
Biggest Reach: My final pick was Goedert who isn’t even the starter for the Eagles. I’m assuming that Goedert will assume the Trey Burton role and Ertz will potentially miss a few games as is often the case.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): No surprise here but the best ball vet @MikeCOliva had the most balanced team in terms of upside and roster construction.
Closing Comments: I hate to admit it, but I made a colossal error when I drafted Eli Manning. Usually, in Best Ball, I like to either draft 2 TEs or 2QBs so I can grab some extra depth at the skill positions. I drafted Manning without looking at the bye week schedule(rookie mistake as Wentz also has a bye the same week), and as a result, I am pretty much guaranteed terrible week 9 score. The best rosters have balance, upside, stacks, and depth and I failed for this round. The good news is that playing best ball is a great way to refine your skills for the real drafts to come and for that I am grateful.
Team Owner: Mitch Lawson (DFF_Canuck)
Draft Slot: #6
Initial Strategy: I didn’t pay a lot of attention to RBs in this draft. After getting Kamara in the first, I concentrated on giving myself a chance to score big in the WR, TE, QB positions. I have several Boom/Bust options, so my gut reaction is to hate this team (being a redraft guy), but I think it has potential.
Favorite Pick: Devante Parker in the 7th round. Tannehill may be hard to trust, but Parker is a great chain-moving WR who should get plenty of receptions from the short-throwing Tannehill with Landry out of the picture.
Biggest Reach: Kerryon Johnson in with the 8.7 pick. His ADP is 150 at time of writing. I think that will improve, but this is also a reach because he is my de facto RB2. That’s a scary prospect, even if you do love him as a player. I hedged my bets by also drafting Goal-Line Vulture LeGarrette Blount. Let’s hope Abdullah doesn’t miraculously become competent.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): Anthony Zaragoza (@zaragozaanthony). He’s scary at almost all positions, as I believe he has a Top 3 QB/RB/TE. Mike Evans is my WR8 in redraft, but it’s worth noting that he had more Top 15 WR weeks (6) than Julio Jones(4), Michael Thomas (4), and AJ Green (5), all of whom were drafted ahead of Evans. Anthony will hit some home runs this year.
Closing Comments: Again, I’m more of a redraft guy. I employed a best ball strategy and followed it as best as I could. Looking at my team as a redraft guy, I don’t like what I see. Looking at it as a born-again best baller…It could be great. But I think some other guys had a better draft.
Team Owner: Aaron Larson (aalarson)
Draft Slot: #7
Initial Strategy: I made a conscious effort to pick running backs early and often. There are only so many high volume running backs, and they don’t stay on the board long. While there aren’t many elite receivers, there is a plethora of mid-range PPR options and late round dart throws available. I planned to go running back heavy early, get a top receiver in the first four rounds, and take the best available players in the back half of the draft. I also usually try and stack one of my quarterbacks with a few receivers to try and hit a few big weeks.
Favorite Pick: Corey Clement at pick 11.7 seems like a steal to me. I don’t think Philadelphia is ready to make Jay Ajayi a true workhorse back, and with LeGarrette Blount gone to Detroit, Clement should see plenty of opportunities. He probably won’t be a top performer for me week-to-week, but I’m expecting him to score as an RB2 or Flex several times this season.
Biggest Reach: I picked Sammy Watkins at 5.7, the 54th pick in the draft, while his ADP currently sits at 83.1 according to Draft. At this point in the draft, I felt I needed a high upside receiver, and I’m buying into the theory that Watkins could have a resurgent year in Kansas City with Andy Reid calling plays and Patrick Mahomes chucking it deep. Watkins has burned plenty of fantasy owners over the years, but I still feel pretty good taking him in round 5.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): Mitch Lawson (DFF_Canuck) drafted a solid team littered with some big-time playmakers, he gets my vote for the best team that isn’t mine.
Closing Comments: I like this team much more than my team from the first DFF Best Ball Draft. I usually don’t like drafting a quarterback early, but I couldn’t pass on Rodgers at 4.6. I also love Alex Smith backing him up stacked with Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, and Jordan Reed. I was able to get solid depth at every position and feel like this team has no real weaknesses.
Team Owner: Mike Oliva (MikeCOliva)
Draft Slot: #8
Initial Strategy: After our first draft last month where I let the RB position get away from me and struggled to put together a nice RB group, my strategy for this one was to make sure I addressed RB early and often so I had a solid group of guys well before we hit double-digit rounds. Things went well, and I was able to get some quality RB’s early. I also wanted to wait on QB and TE like I usually do so I could focus on RBs but also have strong WRs.
Favorite Pick: It’s two picks but I love the QBs I was able to land in the ninth and tenth rounds. I always like to have two top-12 QBs and was able to get Cousins at 9.08 and Big Ben at 10.05. I feel like both should have great seasons again this year with Cousins getting a significant upgrade in weaponry by moving to Minnesota and getting Diggs, Theilen, Rudolph, and Cook. Big Ben still has Brown and Bell and will have an even better JuJu in his second year. I feel confident both will finish in the top-12 at the QB position, so to land them both in the 9th/10th rounds was perfect for the way I went about building my team.
Biggest Reach: Based on ADP, very few of my guys were reaches as I was lucky enough to have a lot of the players I liked fall to me, but I’d have to say Michael Gallup at 14.05 was a reach. His DRAFT ADP is 199.4 (which works out to 17.06), but that includes pre NFL Draft leagues. In the last two weeks over at Fanball, his ADP is 164 (which is 14.08) – mainly right around where I grabbed him. I think he is going to be a week one starter for Dallas, who is lacking a true WR1. Additionally, Terrance Williams getting arrested on Saturday, May 19th might lead to the Cowboys cutting ties with him. Either way, I think Gallup might end up putting up the best rookie season numbers of any WR in this draft class, and he is someone that I’d be comfortable reaching for since I think he’ll provide a significant return on investment given his recent MFL ADP of WR62.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): I really like Nathan’s team. He started with three solid backs: David Johnson, LeSean McCoy, and Mark Ingram giving him a strong RB group. He then landed some WRs that I like in Allen Robinson, Marvin Jones (one of my favorite WRs this year), and Marquise Goodwin. Add in Wentz at QB, and good depth at other positions, and I think his team is excellent all around.
Closing Comments: Our first draft went terribly for me as the RB position got away from me. This draft, I focused on a strategy where that would not happen again, and luckily I was able to execute it flawlessly. I have two top-12 QBs, strong RBs and WRs, and a TE combo of Kittle and Brate (two guys I think will have excellent seasons). Overall, I’m pleased with this team, and I’d be shocked if it wasn’t a contender in the league.
Team Owner: Lukas McLean (Lukasm_90)
Draft Slot: #9
Initial Strategy: Coming into the draft my plan was simple. Hammer RBs early and often and try my best to avoid reaching as much as possible. What was very obvious is I was not the only one to share this idea. That lead to Deandre Hopkins being available at 1.09 and your boy was not about to pass on a player of this caliber. I thought most everything else went pretty well considering. The plan, like always was to wait on the QBs and TEs which I feel reasonably happy with. The one mistake I made was a two-parter. 1A, considering the start 2 RB and 1 flex settings I drafted too many RBs. Which lead to 1B, wishing I selected a WR at 3.09 (where I selected Drake).
Favorite Pick: My favorite pick was a combo pick. Stacking Jamaal Williams at 7.09 and Aaron Jones at 8.04. Locking down the explosive Packers backfield cheaply should provide many RB2 weeks with the upside for RB1 spikes mixed in. I feel for the price it’s a smart move coming into the middle rounds.
Biggest Reach: My biggest reach has some hindsight bias baked into it, a great process am I right? I’ll probably go with CMC at 2.04 and let me explain why. I happily made this selection only to have Carolina sign CJ Anderson about 2 hours later. CJ probably won’t be the biggest drain on CMC, but it’s going to hurt, especially with the 0.5 PPR settings. Would have likely gone in a different direction.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): It’s a tough call with all the talent littered in this draft. Overall I think Mitch Lawson (DFF_Canuck) has the strongest roster. But as with everything, time will tell.
Closing Comments: Overall I feel a lot better about this draft than my last one. I think I have a strong RB core even if I probably selected one too many and 1 RB too high. It did have a trickle-down effect as it would have made my WR3 stronger and/or my QB1 stronger. All and all I’m happy and feel this roster should be competing with the best of them.
Team Owner: Michael Stephenson (@DFF_Mste89)
Draft Slot: #10
Initial Strategy: I wanted to go WR heavy in the early rounds as I went RB heavy in the last one and I wasn’t happy with what that left me a receiver. With how this draft finished I may stick with this strategy going forward.
Favorite Pick: Tyler Kroft 18th Round – Eifert has only managed ten games in the last two seasons combined, and Kroft has been productive when called upon, 7 TDs last season!
Biggest Reach: Royce Freeman, he had an ADP of around 153 when I picked him at the 8.10, his ADP has already risen to 129 at time of writing and will continue to rise. I want this guy on as many teams as I can this year, I think he has a legitimate chance to finish as an RB1, and could well be the highest scoring rookie this season.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): KyleFFFellas, a lot of quality at all of the skill positions and a good chance of QB1 numbers every week.
Closing Comments: As with the first draft I’ve managed a very well-rounded team. I’m confident I’ll always have a QB1 performance between Rivers, Dak and Rosen. I have Melvin Gordon as my RB5 so getting him at the 10 was a no-brainer. Pairing Gordon with Lamar Miller, who put up elite numbers alongside Deshaun Watson last year, and my favorite rookie Royce Freeman, should mean I’m not short of points there too. WR is my real strength with Thomas, Thielen, and Larry asevery week starters, with potential big weeks from the rest of my receivers. I’ve taken a leap at TE that Jimmy Graham will continue to put up TDs in Green Bay, but I like it overall. The only real issue with my team is that I am a little bye-heavy in weeks 9 and 10, and my QB score is all on Josh Rosen in week 8.
Team Owner: Shaun Crandall (WhiskeyD0G)
Draft Slot: #11
Initial Strategy: In any draft where I’m picking in the second half of the first round, the idea will be to select the best available wide receiver. Due to the onus on running backs this year, there will be immense value after pick number 7 of round one with nearly every receiver available for selection. After round one my focus was going to be to select at least another stud receiver and load up on pass-catching backs to provide a higher floor to work with each week.
Favorite Pick: Corey Davis. Corey Davis. Corey Davis. I am targeting Davis in every draft and was thrilled he was still available in the 6th round.
Biggest Reach: Jordan Matthews may have been a reach in round 15 (179) with an ADP of 203. However, any receiver catching passes from Tom Brady is a worthwhile selection. Chris Hogan and Rob Gronkowski will continue to be the red-zone targets, but in an offense as potent as the Patriots, Matthews will see a share valuable enough for best ball drafts.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): This was a tough one as many teams had very balanced rosters, but I thought Mike’s team, who waited on QB and was able to build up very good “1-2 punch players” at the other positions. I believe the Kittle/Brate combination will pay off multiple times over.
Closing Comments: This was a fun draft as it was the first best ball draft I had a chance to compete in after the NFL Draft. As typically happens, the rookies rise up draft boards, then settle as we get further into the summer months. If drafting in the next few weeks, I’d look to acquire veteran players who will provide outstanding floor results, while the competition consumes the rookies.
Team Owner: Matt Jones (MattJonesTFR)
Draft Slot: #12
Initial Strategy: I was on the turn once again this time around and hit the same three picks off the top. I can’t say no to a Fournette, Julio, TY start. I missed on a couple of RBs that I would’ve wanted, namely Lamar Miller, but went Cam/Brees at the 5/6 turn. I haven’t run the numbers, but I think that raises my ceiling quite a bit between Cam’s rushing and a solid Saints offense.
Favorite Pick: I know it’s the second round, and I got some guys below ADP…but Julio Jones falling into the second round makes me extraordinarily happy. Picking an RB at the end of the 1st and getting a guy like him on the way back in the second is one of my favorite sections of drafts so far this year.
Biggest Reach: Probably Tavon Austin because I’m not sure he’s even going to score double digits for the entire season the way he’s played in the past few years. On the other hand, what if the Cowboys do get him into space and he has a role? May end up being a waste of a pick, but there’s some reward there.
My vote for the best draft (besides my own): I like DiBari’s team a lot. Everyone had a good first few rounds, but I like his mid-round picks (Crowder, Eifert, Stills, Ginn).
Closing Comments: I went One RB and probably went a little too light on them this time around. I’m a sucker for WRs…the plan is to go big on RBs next time, but it’s dependent on draft slot. Hopefully, I won’t be 12th again next time.
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