BB10s Best Ball Draft Recap: June 19
Jon Impemba breaks down his draft from the Fantasy Alarm Invite Only Weekly Best Ball draft
What’s going on FANation? We are continuing to host Best Ball drafts over on Best Ball 10s every Wednesday and Friday at 8pm ET. These drafts are INVITE ONLY so make sure you are following the Fantasy Alarm twitter and be on the lookout for the post for when the draft room is open and invites are going out if you wish to join.
Let’s take a look at Friday’s draft which included myself along with Howard Bender and James Grande and break down my draft strategy.
In the majority of the Best Ball drafts I have done so far this season I tend to find myself targeting a QB in the 5th-to-7th round and will end up with the likes of Kyler Murray , Dak Prescott or Russell Wilson as my starting QB. In this draft I waited a bit longer than usual and went with the combination of Tom Brady and Baker Mayfield with back-to-back picks in rounds 10 and 11.
With the Brady pick, this one certainly comes with some risk, but it is risk I am willing to take. As a Patriots fan I know how Brady struggled over the past few years, but I am also very aware of the flaws in the New England offense and for the most part the issue was never Tom Brady . By all accounts Brady is re-committed to proving that he is not in decline and is already getting to work with his offense which includes Mike Evans , Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski . The trio of receiving weapons is unlike anything Brady has played with in a very long time in terms of complete upside.
Like Brady, Baker Mayfield has his detractors this season. After struggling in 2019 I think there is a strong bounce back potential here this season. The new coaching staff has to be an improvement over what he had last year under Kitchens and the Browns offensive line should be much improved this season as well which in theory will give Mayfield some time to actually stand in the pocket and make plays. The Browns offense is also loaded with Odell Beckham , Jarvis Landry , Austin Hooper , Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt all at his disposal. Hunt had proved to be an elite pass catching option when he returned from his suspension last season and the signing of Austin Hooper should give them more consistency at the position than they got out of the talented by erratic David Njoku .
Luckily, this is a Best Ball format, so I do not need to decide which QB to play each week. I will leave that up to the fantasy football gods and hope that given the weapons around them these two QB’s can put up some nice stats on a weekly basis.
I mean, this position is going to be an interesting one to watch develop this season. The amount of running backs in a committee make demand for running backs early in drafts even greater than in years past. So, I began my draft with a selection of THREE straight running backs and all of whom who are considered to be the “bell cow” back on their roster.
So, with my first pick I selected Nick Chubb . Listen, I realize that after Kareem Hunt returned last season that Chubb’s numbers dipped, especially in the passing attack, however, at this point in the first round and given the other backs on the board I trusted him a lot more to produce than the likes of Kenyan Drake or Josh Jacobs whom went a few picks after. I think Chubb can return top 10 value this season by putting up Derrick Henry type production where he rushes for 1300 yards and 10+ touchdowns. I’m a bit bullish on the Browns this season if you haven’t noticed.
I followed up my pick of Chubb with Leonard Fournette who should get all the carries he can handle in Jacksonville. The lack of touchdown production last season was certainly a bit worrisome but his ability to make an impact in the team’s passing attack was a welcomed sight. Now, the Jaguars did sign Chris Thompson this offseason and I expect him to cut into some of the pass catching load that Fournette had last season but Thompson is also injury prone so I am not really that worried.
Finishing off my run of three running backs to start the draft we have David Johnson . I have been on the come back train for David Johnson this season almost immediately from the get go. I find that the Texans will feature him to prove that trading DeAndre Hopkins was not the wrong move (It still was) and early reports from the Texans staff is that Johnson will be a three-down back for Houston. It makes sense why many are down on DJ given how last season went but even in his “disappointing” 2018 season he still managed 1,386 yards, 50 catches and 10 touchdowns. We know if he can stay healthy there is legit top 10 RB upside here.
For my depth plays, I had actually wanted to draft James White in round seven but he was sniped the pick before me so I went with Matthew Breida. The Dolphins added Breida this offseason in a trade with the 49ers and I love the fit. The question as always with Breida is health. The man has a hard time staying on the field but when the ball is put in his hands usually very good things happen. He will be in a split backfield with Jordan Howard who is now on his third team in five seasons which speaks to his potential and Breida should be the pass catching back since Howard has hands of stone. I reached a bit early for Breida here but I am not taking any chances when it comes to building RB depth.
The final two RB’s I took were Chase Edmunds and Jaylen Samuels . Both are pure depth plays with Samuels likely providing a bit more immediate value given his pass catching role in the Steelers offense out of the backfield. Edmunds was an effective handcuff for David Johnson last season until he too got injured. I am skeptical when it comes to Kenyan Drake so I think Edmunds could be a solid grab.
Everyone will tell you that the depth at the wide receiver position this season is better than we have seen in quite some time. With the lack of depth at the running back position you are seeing top tier wide receivers actually drop in ADP. I started my draft with thee straight running backs, it was just something I believe in doing this year more than any other year in the past. I followed up that run of backs by going with three straight receivers in rounds five-through-seven.
With my fourth pick I went with Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans . I made a statement after drafting Evans that IF I am going to be bullish on Tom Brady this season then I have to be bullish on his receivers as well. I know many are down on Evans this season and his ADP reflects that as he drops into the fourth round and is picked as WR12 and while I understand some of the hesitation I also feel like we shouldn’t be totally dismissing him. Evans has recorded at least 1,000 yards in every season he has been in the league. For the most part, the QB play that he has had to work with has been sub-par. I understand that Chris Godwin took a major step in 2019 and the addition of Rob Gronkowski will also have an impact but the Buccaneers did not bring in Tom Brady to have him hand the ball off to Ronald Jones here. They are going to spread the field and throw. The efficiency that Brady should bring to the Bucs offense should be beneficial for Evans. His upside was just too much to pass on in round four for me.
Following up my pick of Evans in round five, I went ahead and drafted Tyler Lockett in round five. Lockett was not my first choice here, I will be honest with that. I had actually hoped Adam Thielen or DJ Chark would have made it to me but that was not the case. In prior drafts I have taken DK Metcalf so I decided to grab Lockett here almost as a hedge against those picks. I like Lockett, he finally notched a 1,000-yard season in 2019 and the touchdowns were once again there as he scored eight after finding the end zone 10 times in 2018. I don’t see any major regression here even if Metcalf leaps him as the primary target for Russell Wilson .
Finishing off my run of receivers I grabbed another of my favorites in Cowboys receiver Michael Gallup . I am big on the Cowboys offense as many are but I am not worried that the team added CeeDee Lamb when it comes to Gallup because I actually think Gallup leads Amari Cooper this season. We believe that year-three for receivers is usually a breakout point and for Gallup he is already coming off a season in which he caught 66 passes for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns. He is more consistent than Cooper and there is 55 catches and 800 yards to be claimed from the vacated Randall Cobb . I think Lamb likely fills the Cobb production here but I trust that Gallup and Prescott put up some big points this season.
Forth depth I felt lucky to grab Julian Edelman as my WR4. He is still the top receiver in New England and someone that Jarett Stidham should be heavily relying upon in his first year as a starter. As long as Edelman stays healthy he should lead the team in targets and approach a 100 catch season.
Finishing up the receiver position I went and grabbed rookies Brandon Aiyuk in round 12 and Justin Jefferson in round 13. I added Dede Westbrook in round 18 and James Washington in round 19 to finish off the skill positions.
With Aiyuk and Jefferson it’s all about the opportunity. Aiyuk could not be the de facto top receiver to open the year following the injury to Deebo Samuel which will cost him the first few weeks of the season. Aiyuk was a player the 49ers traded up for to draft in the first round and many expected him to fill the void of the departed Emmanuel Sanders . Now he will get a chance to be very involved from the jump. With Justin Jefferson we have a similar situation where the Vikings used their first-round pick to draft him after they traded away Stefon Diggs . Jefferson is coming off an incredible college season and while it is a lot to ask of a rookie to fill the shoes of a Stefon Diggs , the opportunity to produce will be there.
The picks of Westbrook and Washington were pure depth plays. Westbrook has flashed upside to put up some big numbers at times but he is the clear No.2 receiver on a team that runs the football a lot and drafted a receiver in the second round this season. Given the PPR format here I think there will be some weeks where Westbrook can find himself as a scoring player for this team. Washington is another dart throw here. With Ben Roethlisberger back I see the Steelers passing attack bouncing back and Washington still managed 700-yards last year with poor QB play. All I need is a week or two from him where he has 2 catches for 60 yards and a TD and I will be all set.
Round nine is where I have normally grabbed my tight end this season. In most drafts I have gone ahead and drafted Rob Gronkowski but seeing I was invested in Mike Evans already and the fact that Evan Engram was still on the board I felt like passing on Gronk was the right move here. I am a big Evan Engram guy. When healthy, which I know is a big question with him, Engram is an elite fantasy tight end. His 16-game average over the last two years is 75 catches for 879 yards and five touchdowns. Unfortunately, over the last two seasons he has only played in 19 total games but that just goes to show you what he is capable of. Those averages are not too far off of what we normally get from Zach Ertz who goes 3-to-4 rounds earlier in most drafts. In Best Ball I will gladly take the risk here at this point in the draft given the upside.
For my second tight end I went with an equally risky pick in Greg Olsen . Now, there is a good chance both of these guys end up hurt and this Best Ball team could be bust however Olsen did turn in 14 games last season after being limited to just 16 total games over the previous two seasons. The move to Seattle could be pretty beneficial here as the Seahawks offense had involved the tight end pretty heavily whether it be Will Dissly or Jacob Hollister . Olsen should be the starter to open the year and if he connects with Russell Wilson and can stay healthy we might see something in the ballpark of 50-60 catches for 600 yards and a handful of scores which is more than OK for a TE2.
I normally do not care much about the defenses that I take to be completely honest. As long as they are not a complete sieve then I am OK with taking any two. In this draft however I did go and draft the Ravens defense to give me a legit defensive option and potentially the number one overall defense in fantasy this season. With my last pick I took the Houston Texans because I like the pass rush there and there is some potential for upside with them if they can stay healthy.