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On July 1, I participated in a low-stakes ($5 buy-in) Best Ball draft on Yahoo. Since most of the draft recaps and results you find online are from “expert” leagues, I thought it would be a useful exercise to examine something else – something that may actually resemble what your home draft will look like.

Yahoo’s format is half-PPR scoring with QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, FLEX, D starting lineups. I used our Yahoo Best Ball Position Allocation article in conjunction with our rankings and Evan Silva’s Tiers to draft. I had the No. 7 pick.

 

Editor’s Note: Our Draft Kit is jam-packed with everything Evan Silva, Adam Levitan and Drew Dinkmeyer think you need to get ready for the season. It’s just $35 and comes with a $25 coupon to use at FFPC. Click here for details

 

 

ROUND 1
1.1 — Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
1.2 — Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
1.3 — Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Cowboys
1.4 — Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
1.5 — Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
1.6 — Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
1.7 — Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals
1.8 — Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
1.9 — Kenyan Drake, RB, Cardinals
1.10 — Aaron Jones, RB, Packers

Notes: As expected, Round 1 was extremely RB-heavy. The chalk construction in season-long this year will be two RBs in the first three rounds and then capitalizing on the WR depth through the middle rounds. … Dalvin Cook has very little leverage in his holdout threats, but his injury history plus the talent of Alexander Mattison plus the small holdout risk would make me lean toward Alvin Kamara over Dalvin. … I debated between Joe Mixon and Derrick Henry. Ultimately I want to be high on Cincy’s quietly loaded offense which adds QB Joe Burrow, WR Tee Higgins, OT Jonah Williams (off injury) to AJ Green, Tyler Boyd and John Ross. Still, the Titans’ relentless commitment to The Big Dog was tempting as Mixon (who has some mild holdout concern of his own) will lose a bit of work to Gio Bernard.

ROUND 2
2.1 — Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
2.2 — Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
2.3 — Nick Chubb, RB, Browns
2.4 — Davante Adams, WR, Packers
2.5 — Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
2.6 — Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
2.7 — DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Cardinals
2.8 — Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
2.9 — Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
2.10 — Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers

Notes: I would not have taken Aaron Jones over Davante Adams, Miles Sanders or Tyreek Hill. In fact, I prefer to be low on Jones this year given his unsustainable TD rate from 2019 plus the presence of Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon. … I was thrilled to have Adams slip to me as he has arguably the highest projected target share in the NFL this season. While starting RB-RB is appealing, in a 10-team league I was confident I would be fine at the position. Note that Evan Silva has Davante 6th overall in his Top 150 and I got him at 14. … Clyde Edwards-Helaire will need to leave Damien Williams in the dust to pay off this 2.5 draft position. It’s in the range of outcomes, but certainly leans aggressive.

 

ROUND 3
3.1 — George Kittle, TE, 49ers
3.2 — Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
3.3 — Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
3.4 — Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
3.5 — Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions
3.6 — Melvin Gordon, RB, Broncos
3.7 — James Conner, RB, Steelers
3.8 — Allen Robinson, WR, Bears
3.9 — Odell Beckham Jr, WR, Browns
3.10 — Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers

Notes: In a 10-team league which starts a single QB, the impact of the quarterback position is mitigated. I wouldn’t have considered Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson, even if they got to me. … At some point in the draft, we’re going to have to take a RB over a WR even though we prefer the WR. In other words, I like the available WRs more than RBs available in almost every round. But of course, we need RBs. So even though in a vacuum I prefer Adam Thielen, Juju Smith-Schuster, Calvin Ridley, Allen Robinson and other WRs to James Conner, I thought it was correct to reach a bit here. Conner has a true path to a bell cow role in a very good offense, something not available if I waited at RB.

 

ROUND 4
4.1 — Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings
4.2 — Todd Gurley, RB, Falcons
4.3 — Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
4.4 — Amari Cooper, WR, Cowboys
4.5 — Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens
4.6 — Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks
4.7 — Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars
4.8 — JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Steelers
4.9 — Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts
4.10 — Calvin Ridley, WR, Falcons

Notes: The wideouts typically available in Rounds 4, 5 and 6 are part of the reason the first couple rounds are so RB-heavy. Adam Thielen, Amari Cooper, Juju Smith-Schuster and Calvin Ridley all have top-5 WR seasons well within their range of outcomes. In hindsight, I should have taken Juju over Amari to pair with James Conner and then prioritized Ben Roethlisberger. Stacking – even in 10-team leagues – is +EV as Mike Leone showed here.

 

ROUND 5
5.1 — DJ Moore, WR, Panthers
5.2 — A.J. Brown, WR, Titans
5.3 — David Montgomery, RB, Bears
5.4 — Raheem Mostert, RB, 49ers
5.5 — Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
5.6 — Robert Woods, WR, Rams
5.7 — Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
5.8 — David Johnson, RB, Texans
5.9 — DK Metcalf, WR, Seahawks
5.10 — T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts

Notes: The assault on WR continues. Whereas we can punch a ton of holes in guys like Leonard Fournette, David Montgomery, Raheem Mostert and David Johnson, the WR plays in this range are far more solid. … I am a bit concerned the Seahawks will sign Antonio Brown, who post-suspension would eat up a lot of precious target share from Tyler Lockett. Still, Lockett’s rapport with Russell Wilson and explosive talent was worth it here. … Mostert sticks out as an especially risky bet given his eruption late last season came with Tevin Coleman banged up. Mostert also has major downside due to lack of pass-game role and last year’s wild TD rate.

 

ROUND 6
6.1 — Le’Veon Bell, RB, Jets
6.2 — Kareem Hunt, RB, Browns
6.3 — Cam Akers, RB, Rams
6.4 — Terry McLaurin, WR, Redskins
6.5 — Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
6.6 — Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos
6.7 — Devin Singletary, RB, Bills
6.8 — DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
6.9 — Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
6.10 — DJ Chark Jr., WR, Jaguars

Notes: Kareem Hunt is behind Nick Chubb, but still projects for some standalone value through the receiving game and is one injury away from league-winner status. But he isn’t fooling anyone, going at 6.2. … Since I used two of my first three picks on RBs, I continued to hammer WRs through the middle rounds. Terry McLaurin had a standout rookie year, he projects for massive target share from his college QB, and Dwayne Haskins at least has a chance to take a sizable step forward in Year 2. All that said, I would have been fine with Courtland Sutton, DeVante Parker or Will Fuller. I hoped one of them would slip back to me in Round 7.

 

ROUND 7
7.1 — DeAndre Swift, RB, Lions
7.2 — Mark Ingram II, RB, Ravens
7.3 — Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
7.4 — A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
7.5 — Jarvis Landry, WR, Browns
7.6 — Marquise Brown, WR, Ravens
7.7 — Will Fuller, WR, Texans
7.8 — Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
7.9 — Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills
7.10 — Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals

Notes: Based on our position allocation study, I knew I wanted 7-8 WRs. Through six rounds I already had four. Still, I simply could not pass on the value of Will Fuller at 7.7 with DeAndre Hopkins’ 30% target share gone. … Fuller’s slide in this draft is a reminder of how important default rankings in the draft applet are. He is buried in Yahoo’s, so he was not on my opponents’ radar. I’ll have more on leveraging the draft applet rankings when draft season gets closer. Here’s last year’s example.

 

ROUND 8
8.1 — Damien Williams, RB, Chiefs
8.2 — Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals
8.3 — Deebo Samuel, WR, 49ers
8.4 — Evan Engram, TE, Giants
8.5 — Dionte Johnson, WR, Steelers
8.6 — Michael Gallup, WR, Cowboys
8.7 — Sony Michel, RB, Patriots
8.8 — Josh Allen, QB, Bills
8.9 — John Brown, WR, Bills
8.10 – J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens

Notes: It’s optimal to have 2-3 TEs in this format. And given the 10-team league, I like the idea of taking three of the high-upside late-round options such as Mike Gesicki, Noah Fant, TJ Hockenson, Ian Thomas, Chris Herndon, Blake Jarwin etc. Still, given I already had five WRs and two RBs at this point, I thought going for the truly elite ceiling of Evan Engram made sense. Recent reports suggest Engram’s Lisfranc injury is healed. … We know 8.8 is great value for Josh Allen in a vacuum, but again be aware of 10-team, single-QB leagues. … Deebo Samuel’s foot injury has me concerned he’ll open the year on PUP.

 

ROUND 9
9.1 — Brandin Cooks, WR, Texans
9.2 — Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Buccaneers
9.3 — Jordan Howard, RB, Dolphins
9.4 — Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Lions
9.5 — Matt Brieda, RB, Dolphins
9.6 — Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
9.7 — Duke Johnson, RB, Texans
9.8 — Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
9.9 — Tyler Higbee, TE, Rams
9.10 — Jalen Reagor, WR, Eagles

Notes: Jordan Howard goes just two picks before Matt Breida. While I think Breida is the far better talent, the touch projection on Howard is significantly better. … Ke’Shawn Vaughn goes a full round before Ronald Jones. … With only two RBs on my roster through eight rounds, I expected to eventually need five. Given David Johnson’s injury history and Duke’s pass-game role in an offense which lost DeAndre Hopkins, Duke has both standalone and injury-induced upside. Of course I preferred other positions to RB in this spot but again – we have to take RBs somewhere.

 

 

ROUND 10
10.1 — DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles
10.2 — Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers
10.3 — Jared Cook, TE, Saints
10.4 — Zack Moss, RB, Bills
10.5 — Tarik Cohen, RB, Bears
10.6 — Kerryon Johnson, RB, Lions
10.7 — Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers
10.8 — Derrius Guice, RB, Redskins
10.9 — Ronald Jones II, RB, Buccaneers
10.10 — Tony Pollard, RB, Cowboys

Notes: I was thrilled that one of my favorite late-round RB targets, Zack Moss, was still available here at 10.4. Moss will very easily take the Frank Gore role, which yielded 11 touches per game and 11 carries from inside the 5-yard line last year. It’s also in the range for Moss to steal some of Devin Singletary’s share as the talent gap is not overly wide. … This later-round range of RBs is easier to swallow than some of the reaches in the middle rounds due to opportunity cost. We’re not missing as much by passing on Brandon Aiyuk or Jared Cook or Darius Slayton. Pat Kerrane discussed Zero RB strategy in this article and on our podcast here.

 

ROUND 11
11.1 — Christian Kirk, WR, Cardinals
11.2 — Baltimore Ravens Defense
11.3 — Rob Gronkowski, TE, Buccaneers
11.4 — San Francisco 49ers Defense
11.5 — Darius Slayton, WR, Giants
11.6 — James White, RB, Patriots
11.7 — Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
11.8 — CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
11.9 — Latavius Murray, RB, Saints
11.10 — Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles

Notes: I finally take my first QB at 11.7. As I’ve already said repeatedly, when you can get Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz and Matthew Stafford in the 11th round, taking any QB in the 3rd round is going to be thin. … I also wouldn’t take a D/ST this early as the spike weeks we need in Best Ball will come from tough-to-project touchdowns. Year-to-year D/ST scoring is not particularly sticky.

 

ROUND 12
12.1 — Marlon Mack, RB, Colts
12.2 — Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs
12.3 — Darrell Henderson Jr, RB, Rams
12.4 — Henry Ruggs III, WR, Raiders
12.5 — Hayden Hurst, TE, Falcons
12.6 — Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
12.7 — Tevin Coleman, RB, 49ers
12.8 — Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos
12.9 — Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
12.10 — Austin Hooper, TE, Browns

Notes: Ideally, our later-round fliers will be at WR and QB. That’s historically where value is found relative to RB. So by “only” taking five WRs through the first 11 rounds, I set myself up to get 2-3 more and still be within the optimal positional allocation. Fantasy drafters seem to have completely ignored Henry Ruggs’ elite draft capital as he enters the season as his team’s WR1.

 

ROUND 13
13.1 — Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions
13.2 — Buffalo Bills Defense
13.3 — Boston Scott, RB, Eagles
13.4 — Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals
13.5 — Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos
13.6 — Giovani Benard, RB, Bengals
13.7 — Mike Gesicki, TE, Dolphins
13.8 — Jonnu Smith, TE, Titans
13.9 — Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns
13.10 — T.J. Hockenson, TE, Lions

Notes: Since I spent an eighth-round pick at tight end, I didn’t feel the need to spend again here. But I didn’t want to leave the draft without Mike Gesicki, particularly at this price point. An elite athlete with an elite slot/wide role and a YOLO quarterback, Gesicki drips with Darren Waller-esque upside. … The fact that you can get Matthew Stafford and Joe Burrow this late speaks to the aforementioned QB depth

 

ROUND 14
14.1 — Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Eagles
14.2 — N’Keal Harry, WR, Patriots
14.3 — Drew Brees, QB, Saints
14.4 — Alexander Mattison, RB, Vikings
14.5 — Breshad Perriman, WR, Jets
14.6 — Jared Goff, QB, Rams
14.7 — Chris Herndon, TE, Jets
14.8 — Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
14.9 — Noah Fant, TE, Broncos
14.10 — Daniel Jones, QB, Giants

Notes: If I had Dalvin Cook on my team, I likely would have passed on Alexander Mattison. I don’t want to block anyone from a qualifying score in Best Ball, as discussed here. But given Cook’s injury history, holdout threat and Mattison’s 8.4 touches per game last year, it made sense. … More very viable QBs come off the board here, particularly Ben Roethlisberger and Daniel Jones. That Steelers stack I mentioned earlier would have been easy to grab.

 

ROUND 15
15.1 — Jamison Crowder, WR, Jets
15.2 — Michael Pittman Jr., Colts
15.3 — Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
15.4 — Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
15.5 — Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs
15.6 — Mike Williams, WR, Chargers
15.7 — Cam Newton, QB, Patriots
15.8 — New England Patriots Defense
15.9 — Ryan Tannehill, QB, Titans
15.10 — Eric Ebron, TE, Steelers

Notes: With only one QB on my team so far and very little draft capital invested, I was targeting a 3-QB build. There’s certainly significant risk in Cam Newton from a health perspective, but his rushing floor is very appealing at this price point. … I don’t think I’m losing anything by passing on D/STs in this range, I’m typically spending the last two or three picks of my draft at the position.

 

ROUND 16
16.1 — Philip Rivers, QB, Colts
16.2 — Antonio Brown, WR, FA
16.3 — Ito Smith, RB, Falcons
16.4 — Golden Tate, WR, Giants
16.5 — Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Saints
16.6 — Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles
16.7 — Robby Anderson, WR, Jets
16.8 — Anthony Miller, WR, Bears
16.9 — Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
16.10 — Preston Williams, WR, Dolphins

Notes: I knew I needed at least seven WRs. And in Round 16, there were still plenty of good ones to choose from. Golden Tate certainly isn’t sexy, but he quietly led the team in targets per game from Daniel Jones and we know about his YAC ability. Tate is 89th overall in Silva’s Top 150 and I got him at 154 overall. … If I had no concerns about Preston Williams’ knee, he would have been the pick. … Antonio Brown is an interesting Best Ball pick since we don’t have waiver-wire opportunity cost during his suspension. If we take him in re-draft with a short bench and he’s suspended six weeks, there’s a lot of early-season waiver churn we miss.

 

ROUND 17
17.1 — Ian Thomas, TE, Panthers
17.2 — Curtis Samuel, WR, Panthers
17.3 — Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers
17.4 — Denzel Mims, WR, Jets
17.5 — Jack Doyle, TE, Colts
17.6 — Allen Lazard, WR, Packers
17.7 — Blake Jarwin, TE, Cowboys
17.8 — Chicago Bears Defense
17.9 — Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings
17.10 — Kansas City Chiefs Defense

Notes: I certainly could have gone with a 2-TE build here given how strong I think Evan Engram and Mike Gesicki are. And maybe I should have used this pick to add an 8th WR or set up a 3-D/ST build. But I wasn’t prepared when Allen Lazard went one pick ahead of me. … The 17th round is where I’d start exploring D/STs – a unit like the Chiefs which doesn’t look great on paper but projects to be among the league leaders in snaps played while ahead of passing rate faced is ideal. We are looking for sacks, strip sacks and pick-sixes.

 

ROUND 18
18.1 — Carlos Hyde, RB, Seattle Seahawks
18.2 — Los Angeles Rams Defense
18.3 — Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Dolphins
18.4 — Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Panthers
18.5 — Gardner Minshew II, QB, Jaguars
18.6 — New Orleans Saints Defense
18.7 — Jace Sternberger, TE, Packers
18.8 — Denver Broncos Defense
18.9 — AJ Dillion, Packers
18.10 — Drew Lock, QB, Broncos

Notes: Easy pick for me here given the lack of draft capital I used on my first two QBs. Teddy Bridgewater’s elite weaponry and shaky defense sets him up for fantasy success, as Evan Silva explained in his Panthers Fantasy Preview. Note that if I had taken Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, Russ Wilson etc, I would have been forced into a 2-QB build. And likely would’ve missed on this Teddy value.

 

ROUND 19
19.1 — Los Angeles Chargers Defense
19.2 — Tennessee Titans Defense
19.3 — Indianapolis Colts Defense
19.4 — Greg Olsen, TE, Seahawks
19.5 — Minnesota Vikings Defense
19.6 — Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
19.7 — Philadelphia Eagles Defense
19.8 — Parris Campbell, WR, Colts
19.9 — Antonio Gibson, RB, Redskins
19.10 — Detroit Lions Defense

Notes: Win and cash rates are very similar for 2- or 3-D/ST builds. I wrapped up the draft with two D/STs who project to be in plenty of shootouts this season – which is actually good for D/ST scoring. Again, we are looking for a defense which faces as many dropbacks in known passing situations as possible.

 

ROUND 20
20.1 — Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense
20.2 — Green Bay Packers Defense
20.3 — Mohamed Sanu, WR, Patriots
20.4 — Dallas Cowboys Defense
20.5 — Seattle Seahawks Defense
20.6 — Sam Darnold, QB, Jets
20.7 — Steven Sims Jr., WR, Redskins
20.8 — Cleveland Browns Defense
20.9 — Tyrell Williams, WR, Raiders
20.10 — Houston Texans Defense