What’s up FANation, to get you ready for the upcoming Fantasy Football season I am going to be hosting a slew of $10 Best Ball drafts over on BestBall10s. If you have not yet created an account on BestBall10s you should sign up HERE to join in on the fun!
Once your account is created be on the look out for the announcements made from the Fantasy Alarm twitter account regarding the contest invites. These drafts are currently being held every Wednesday and Friday at 8pm ET and they are INVITE ONLY which means you do not need to worry about auto drafters here. These drafts are just $10 to join and pay $100 to first place.
In this article series I will be breaking down my drafts from these leagues. Going over different draft strategies that I employed and overall opinion on the team that was drafted.
Let’s take a look at the draft from this past Wednesday where I had the 5th overall pick.
So, for this draft I wanted to wait on taking a QB. Typically, in these Best Ball drafts I have targeted a quarterback in the middle rounds but there are quite a few solid QB’s that are going after Round 10. With this being a Best Ball draft, you want to be targeting between two-to-three quarterbacks, so my plan was to do that in the later rounds and fill up on skill position players early.
Sitting with the fifth overall pick I had hoped to land one of the top running backs on the board with the idea that it would likely be a decision between Ezekiel Elliot or Alvin Kamara with the assumption that Michael Thomas would have gone among the top four picks where is average ADP has him being taken about fourth overall. To spoil my plans however Thomas was not taken and fell to me at No.5. Now, this clearly isn’t awful. The man is the best receiver in football by far but the running back depth this season is scarce due to the shared backfields that many will find themselves in this season. The recent holdout news with Dalvin Cook had me gun shy on drafting him because it would have forced my hand into taking Alexander Mattison likely a few rounds sooner than I would have liked to and if Cook doesn’t end up sitting out then I overspent on his handcuff who will do me no good most weeks during the best ball season. So, I decided to go with the best player on the board in Thomas as taking any of the other running backs on the board at this time would have certainly been quite the reach.
After selecting Thomas in round one 10 of the next 14 players taken were running backs. Like I mentioned above, the number of backs this season which find themselves with a foothold at the position seems fewer than in years past. There was no doubt that I was taking a RB in round two and I had Leonard Fournette queued up to be that player until….the dreaded snipe. With Fournette gone I am looking at a running back pool that is honestly full of question marks. THIS is why taking a running back early this year seems to make the most sense. I went forward with Chris Carson , even with him coming off a season ending injury and with the fact the Seahawks were pretty keen on signing a veteran running back to play behind him whether it was the failed attempt at Devonta Freeman or the eventual signing of Carlos Hyde who was coming off a 1,000 yard season in Houston. If healthy and able to hold onto the football then Carson shouldn’t be challenged too much here but he is certainly without some question.
We get a quicker turn around in round three and there was a mix of players taken between my selection at 2.8 and my next pick at 3.5 with two tight ends, three wide receivers and three running backs coming off the board. Again, to my dismay, my target of Clyde Edwards-Helaire was snagged a few picks before me as was David Johnson who I have been on record already of expecting a bounce back season from him as part of that Houston Texans offense. Knowing a running back here is a must given the lack of depth I went with another risky play in James Conner . Conner of course was a breakout play in 2018 but was god awful in 2019 like the rest of the Steelers offense with Ben Roethlisberger on the shelf. There are plenty of reports that Conner is ready to go and healthy heading into the 2020 season and his ability to be a factor in both the run and passing game makes him appealing.
In round four I was looking to add a wide receiver because I was again on the wrong end of a run with eight receivers coming off the board between my picks. With this being a full-point PPR league, I went with Vikings receiver Adam Thielen . with Stefon Diggs now in Buffalo and the team addressing the position with a rookie receiver I figure for Thielen to continue to be the team’s No.1 target in their passing attack. Last year was a down year for him as he battled injury and inconsistent QB play. The Vikings also run the ball a ton but if Cook is truly going to hold out then it is possible a change in offensive philosophy happens.
For round five I went back to the running back position with a favorite of mine so far this draft season in Kareem Hunt . Not only did Hunt show up after being suspended last season to be an elite receiving running back in PPR formats he also has the highest upside of any handcuff in fantasy in my opinion. If something happens to Nick Chubb then Hunt could very easily be a top-five fantasy back so getting to him be my RB3/flex was something I am more than OK with.
The BB10 format starts three wide receivers so with my sixth pick in the draft I went with the Patriots Julian Edelman . I know many are down on the Patriots offense this season because Tom Brady is no longer there but if anyone watched the Patriots offense over these past few seasons they would have known that the offense wasn’t really that good anyhow. Stidham is reportedly already working with Edelman this offseason with organized throwing sessions and reports are that Edelman is healthy and ready to prove that Tom Brady didn’t make him great. At the very least, the Patriots offense should be a bit simpler and I expect Stidham to know his bread and butter throws will be to Jules this season.
I followed up my Edelman pick with another Patriot, this time James White . Again, with this being a Best Ball format I am perfectly OK with having players on the same team. Especially when those two players are likely going to touch the football A LOT this season. Everything I said about the simpler offense with Edelman in New England could hold true for James White as well. A lot of the early years under Brady and Belichick were designed around screens to receivers and running backs. White has 70-80 catch upside out of the backfield and NOW we get news that Sony Michel had offseason foot surgery, we may see White a little more as a runner as well which is something he does not get enough credit for.
In round eight I made my first of what will be a few let’s call them questionable picks. I chose A.J. Green . Green is supposedly healthy and ready to play this season. He has the No.1 overall pick as his QB and though he has a lot of injury recent injury concerns he is only a season removed from 75 catches, 1,078 yards and eight scores. If good-to-go I think there is some decent upside him as a receiver on a team that figures to be trailing and needing to throw a lot this year. Of course, he could also get hurt again and never play….that would be rough.
In round nine I went back to the running back position to get some additional depth and selected the Dolphins Matt Breida . Breida is another interesting and risky pick here for a few reasons. First, he has a ton of injury history over the past few seasons. Second, he also brings some very solid upside as he has shown to be an explosive playmaker when he can stay on the field. Initially the Dolphins will use him as a change of pace back behind Jordan Howard but if Howard struggles and Breida stays healthy he may end up getting a bigger piece of the pie. Like Green though, Breida could also get hurt and now my Best Ball team could be in trouble.
Capping off a run of risky picks lets toss in Rob Gronkowski shall we? Gronks injury history is well documented. I mean the man retired last season due to the wear and tear on his body. With a season off to recover Gronk is back and this time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he joins Tom Brady . Can Gronk reclaim his old form? Maybe but unlikely. If he can stay healthy I think we something like 65 catches 750 yards and eight touchdowns. Or, he gets hit too hard again and the back or knee or arm or shoulder go out and he misses time.
Ok, so things begin to go a little haywire here and for a few reasons. First, I had not yet addressed the QB position which was by design, I had been targeting the likes of Dak Prescott , Kyler Murray , Russell Wilson in previous drafts but wanted to give the “wait on QB” approach a try here. Heading into my pick I had hoped to get Tom Brady however to open round 11 four of the first five picks off the board were quarterbacks….quite frustrating. With my pick I went with Ben Roethlisberger . All reports are that his elbow is 100% and that he is in great shape. Apparently he had been dealing with some elbow issues for a while and this surgery was able to clear those up. With this being a Best Ball draft I know there will be a few games here where Big Ben chucks it so I like that upside. Given the run of QB’s being taken I ended up taking a quarterback with three straight picks, going with Phillip Rivers and Joe Burrow in rounds 12 and 13. I know that Rivers is going to throw a lot in Indy and again, with this being Best Ball I just need him to pop off a few times during the season. With Burrow, he was the No.1 overall pick coming off the greatest passing season in college football. He has a slew of talented receivers to throw the football to in Cinci as well and the team likely will need to pass often. If he has a few three touchdown games that will be enough for me.
In round 14 I snagged my second and final tight end in Jack Doyle . I am hoping he becomes a safety blanket for Rivers and provides some protection against Gronks injury history.
Round 15 I took currently unsigned running back Devonta Freeman . This is obviously a huge gamble given the format as he could end up being a total zero if he goes unsigned. My trust is that he ends up somewhere once camps begin. He is a decent handcuff and has some receiving skills that teams may covet where he may fit as a change of pace back.
In round 16 I realized that I only had drafted four receivers so far and needed to address that position ASAP. Unfortunately, the depth right here was pretty brutal. I ended up taking Kenny Stills who is the No.3 receiver in Houston but could find himself as the potential No.1 given the injury histories of Brandin Cooks and Will Fuller . Still has OK in his first year with Houston but not nearly the player he was in Miami. It’s possible that year-two in Houston with DeAndre Hopkins no longer on the roster can open up some opportunities for the relatively talented receiver.
Round 17 was another total dart throw with the pick of Devin Funchess . Allen Lazard was taken a few picks before me and he likely has the lead as the No.2 receiver in Green Bay but Funchess is a big target and an end zone threat. I don’t mind taking shots on guys that will be catching footballs from Aaron Rodgers .
Round 18 I went with 49ers rookie Brandon Aiyuk. The Niners drafted him in the first round and needed a replacement for the departed Emmanuel Sanders . I know the 49ers run the ball a lot and when they do throw the football It is likely going to George Kittle and Deebo Samuel but the first round investment in Aiyuk makes him an intriguing dart for me here at the end of the draft.
To close out the draft I went with back-to-back defense picks which is how you should approach all drafts. I took the Houston Texans and the Miami Dolphins. I think the Dolphins are a bit appealing given the offseason acquisitions they made on the defensive side of the football and the AFC East could be fairly weak. With Houston they have some playmakers on the defensive side of the football and the teams in that division do not really scare me too much.