We've officially entered the final countdown. Week 1 of the NFL season is just days away and for many of us, we still have a fantasy football draft or three left to complete. By this time you've checked out numerous draft strategies including those found in the FREE fantasy football draft guide.  These fantasy football draft strategies can be deployed based off different sets of fantasy football player rankings and fantasy football player projections. So far in the FREE Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide we've provided plenty of article content from draft strategies to dynamic tier rankings for each position as well as breaking down sleepers, busts and rookies. There is even the FREE Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet for positional rankings, draft grid and more. Our Fantasy Alarm staff has even participated in two  staff Mock Drafts to give you a look at how we would go about drafting our rosters while applying the concepts and content from the draft guide with the current stream of information we have regarding player depth charts, usage and expectations as we head into the 2022 fantasy football season.

Check Out the Fantasy Alarm Staff Fantasy Football Mock Draft 1.0 Here

Check Out the Fantasy Alarm Staff Fantasy Football Mock Draft 2.0 Here

However, I recently saw a tweet from Fantasy Alarm's own Kev Tompkins which stuck with me.

Now, this take got some pushback, including a rebuttal from our own Howard Bender.

I think both takes make sense. There is certainly a different strategy that can come into play when you are drafting your season long fantasy football teams but a mock draft is just that, a draft. With seasonal fantasy football there is great importance with how you manage your team AFTER that draft. The mechanics of drafting is essentially the same, draft players that you think will give you the best odds to score the most points.

With Kevin's take you is applying those same basic generalities and suggesting, why not try to win a little money at the same time?

With that said, I entered a fantasy football Best Ball draft over on Underdog Fantasy to see if I really felt like there was any different mindset when it came to drafting this team in a Best Ball format instead of a normal fantasy football mock draft.

  • Draft Position: 6th
  • Starting Rosters: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLX, 10 BE
  • Scoring: Half-point PPR

Fantasy Football Mock Draft Analysis

Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

If you follow me on twitter then you know that there is no QB that I am higher on this year than Eagles QB Jalen Hurts

I think the Eagles brought in an elite WR in A.J. Brown to bolster the team's receiving room and help improve the overall passing production from Hurts now that his top targets are Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert instead of last season having the rookie Smith as his top target and the likes of Quez Watkins, Jalen Reagor and Greg Ward vying for targets.

We also know that the fantasy value from Hurts doesn't only come from his ability to throw the ball but his ability to run the football as well after he ran for 784 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. I think Hurts has the capabilities of improving upon his QB6 finish in points per game last season with a possible top 3 year on the horizon. 

As QB depth on this roster I snagged Jameis Winston in the 12th round who is healthy and has a vastly improved receiving group as well as we enter the 2022 NFL season with a healthy Michael Thomas, 1st round pick Chris Olave and free agent signee Jarvis Landry now leading the charge along side the always dangerous Alvin Kamara. Winston has a top 3 QB finish on his resume after throwing for over 5,000 yards and 30 touchdowns for the Buccaneers back in 2019. He certainly has a group of receivers capable of helping him reach those numbers here again.

The elephant in the room is the selection of Deshaun Watson.  This pick may be the first time where Mock Draft strategy and Best Ball strategy clash. In a standard mock draft there is no reason to take a third QB. In Best Ball, it's not uncommon, especially when it comes to a player like Watson who has a top 5 fantasy season in his past and could be a key contributor to a Best Ball playoff team.

Fantasy Football Running Backs

With deeper benches we went with seven running backs in this Best Ball draft. In a standard fantasy football mock draft that is likely two too many but I also the way I went about drafting these running backs isn't all too different with how I've approached my current seasonal drafts as well. 

With the 6th overall pick and then the 19th overall pick I went with back-to-back running backs in Dalvin Cook and Javonte Williams. Cook is a player that I've really started to target in drafts lately. This is a player that has an injury history that scares some off but his overall offensive contributions should not be going overlooked. Cook missed four games last season and still finished with 1,159 yards and six touchdowns on the ground while adding 34 receptions for 224 yards through the air. He was on a 17-game pace to total over 1,800 yards while adding 44 receptions. Cook's ceiling was on display in 2020 when he rushed for 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns in just 14 games while adding 44 receptions for 361 yards. The new offense in Minnesota has had some worried that it may be too pass centric but this is the same offense that made Darrell Henderson an RB1 last year when he was healthy.

Javonte Williams has been a controversial player this offseason with those who love him at ADP and those who hate him at ADP. I was initially on the hate side of the fence, willing to wait until the later rounds to grab Melvin Gordon who put up nearly identical numbers to Williams last season in what many figured could be a similar time share. That was of course until Melvin Gordon himself came out and said the Broncos want to see Williams be the main guy. I'm going to trust the Gordon isn't blowing smoke here and therefore look to take Williams in the second round where he could very easily put up a first round caliber season.

As a rookie Williams rushed for 903 yards and four touchdowns while hauling in 316 yards on 43 receptions all while playing with the likes of Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock at quarterback. With Russell Wilson now under center the expectations are high for this Broncos offense and that could mean more scoring opportunities and potentially even softer front's for Williams to carve up while opposing defenses worry about Wilson and his receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy (we will get to him shortly). 

For running back depth we went with Devin Singletary, Brian Robinson, Jeff Wilson, Rex Burkhead and J.D. McKissic. Not exactly the household names but players that do hold some fantasy football value. 

Robinson is the notable pick here for obvious reasons. He was shaping up to be the starting running back for the Commanders before the unfortunate incident which saw him get shot during a robbery attempt. Fortunately for his health he escaped serious injury and the team has stated they are optimistic about seeing him on the field this year. Whether in Best Ball or seasonal fantasy football, Robinson is a great stash option. Related to the Robinson pick was that of J.D. McKissic. We know that McKissic has the Commander's third-down role on lock and he put forth some real solid efforts last season in this offense even when Antonio Gibson was going good. McKissic provides some insurance on the Robinson pick but has some stand-alone value here as well, especially in a PPR style format.

Devin Singletary was a running back I was super excited about heading into this season and then Buffalo went and drafted James Cook in the NFL Draft. Cook is looking like he will handle the team's third-down back duties while Singletary acts as the starting back and that is good enough for me as we saw what Singletary can do in this Buffalo offense last season when they actually decide to have some sort of balanced attack. In the red zone Singletary proved he can score the football which is good news for Buffalo as they should want to keep Josh Allen from taking any unnecessary hits.

Jeff Wilson and Rex Burkhead are insurance plays with some stand-alone value here as well. With Trey Sermon now out of San Francisco along with JaMychal Hasty the backup running back position behind Elijah Mitchell is on the shoulders of Jeff Wilson who has proved more than capable of being a productive back when called upon. This is also a Kyle Shannahan offense that isn't afraid to ride the hot hand and use multiple running backs in his offense. It was just two seasons ago that Wilson rushed for 600 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games with the 49ers after Raheem Mostert went down with an injury.

Burkhead is another player that may be a head scratcher to some but the reality of the matter is that behind rookie running back Dameon Pierce only sits Burkhead and Dare Ogunbowale on the roster. Burkhead is a back that has pass catching ability but is also no stranger to handling the early down workloads. We even saw a monster effort from Burkhead at the end of last season when he tore apart the Chargers for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.  If anything happens to Pierce, Burkhead could be the guy in Houston. 

Fantasy Football Wide Receivers

A total of six wide receivers made the cut here in a league format where you have to start at least three. This was another position where I didn't find that being in a Best Ball draft really altered my draft strategy from how I've drafted this position for seasonal fantasy football.

The receiving group drafted here went as followed: Tee Higgins,  Jerry Jeudy, Michael Thomas, Adam Thielen, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Michael Gallup.

Higgins may be considered the No.2 WR in Cincinnati but he was a monster over the final six games of the season, averaging 6.2 receptions for 107.5 yards. Despite missing three games he finished the year with 74 receptions for 1,091 yards and six scores. He was on pace for 90 catches and 1,375 yards. Both Higgins and Ja'Marr Chase are being taken among the top 15 wide receivers with some expecting Joe Burrow to contend for the league passing title this season.

Jeudy has been my GOT TO HAVE IT guy this season at wide receiver. 

I loved Jeudy coming out of college but he could not have landed in a worse spot given who the Broncos had at the QB position over the past two season.

As a rookie, despite having Drew Lock start 13 games that season and have to deal with a WR in Kendal Hinton also getting a start due to covid issues on the team, he still managed a respectable line of 52 receptions, 856 yards and three touchdowns. He now has a QB in Russell Wilson that has supported multiple 1,000+ yard receivers in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett during his time with the Seahawks and also has a 40 passing touchdown season under his belt as well. I'm buying hard in on Wilson this season allowing Jeudy to reach his full potential.

As a WR3 I snagged a player in Michael Thomas that has only played seven games since 2020 but also was a video game player in 2019 where he finished with 149 receptions, 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns. 

Now healthy, Thomas has a QB in Jameis Winston that loves to chuck the football and if Thomas is capable of putting forth even some of his prime self then he is a bargain at his current ADP and could be one of the best values of the draft at the position, potentially only rivaled by Chris Godwin who went a round earlier than I took Thomas and could also be a top 10 fantasy receiver when healthy.

For depth I added Adam Thielen who has been a touchdown machine for the Vikings over the past two seasons and as we discussed, they have a new coach that his bringing with him the Rams style of offense that just saw Cooper Kupp explode. Now, Adam Thielen likely is more of the Robert Woods than Cooper Kupp in this offense with Justin Jefferson the clear star but this is an offense in Minnesota that we are expecting big things from and if Thielen stays healthy, he is a great pick for a WR4.

MVS and Gallup are two guys that I've loved taking in drafts at their ADP. Gallup has recently become much more appealing now that he has avoided the PUP list and could be ready to go for Week 1 after being cleared by the team's doctors. With Amari Cooper no longer in Dallas we should see Gallup quickly ascend to the team's No.2 receiver behind CeeDee Lamb, even with rookie Jalen Tolbert getting some hype. 

With MVS, Patrick Mahomes now has another fast wide receiver to throw downfield to with the one difference here being that unlike Tyreek Hill or Mecole Hardman, MVS has size to him. Valdes-Scantling is 6-foot-4, 206lbs and still has that sub-4.40 speed. That type of size allows Mahomes to just throw it up downfield and allow MVS to make a play on it at the highest point and that is an exciting thought. 

Fantasy Football Tight Ends

I usually get my tight end advice from Andrew Cooper as he is the resident tight end expert here at fantasy alarm with his dynamic tight end rankings, his yin-yang tight end draft strategy and so much more. When it comes to this position Coop always wants you to ask yourself one simple question which is whether or not this player has a path to being a top two target getter on their team. If yes, you draft them, if no then you find one that does.

With my first tight end selection I took a player that just seemingly always falls to me in a spot where I am willing to take a tight end and that is T.J. Hockenson. Boy, last season he was one of the hotter tight end names to draft and the guy was pretty damn good, finishing with 61 receptions for 583 yards and four touchdowns in just 12 games.  The injury issues from last season are no doubt casting a shadow but over a 17 game season he was on pace for 86 receptions, 826 yards and six touchdowns. The Lions offense is only marginally different with the team bringing in D.J. Chark on a one-year deal. Rookie first rounder Jameson Williams is on IR to begin the season as he recovers from a torn ACL and there are questions as to when he will be fully ready to go. Amon-Ra St. Brown is the big name being drafted in this offense but he didn't really explode last season until after Hockenson was ruled out for the year. What if Hockenson comes back and gets a 23% target rate again? The Lions are not a team that is expected to win many games this season but they could certainly be competitive if everyone stays healthy. I'm buying in.

The Evan Engram selection was solely based off Coop's recommendations.  You can read all you need to know about Evan Engram here.

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