NFL Best Ball Expert Survey: Picks Edition
Want to know who STLCards is targeting in the first round? Wondering which studs JSURab will be avoiding? You’re in luck. Our Best Ball analysts will answer a handful of questions to help you make crucial lineup building decisions for your drafts.
Best Ball Expert Survey: Picks Edition
Which draft slot do you prefer, and who are you targeting first there?
STLCards: 4th – Whichever elite RB is left at that spot
Beermakersfan: 5th – David Johnson (upside to finish as the RB1)
Chris Gimino: 5th – David Johnson
JSURab: 5th – David Johnson
JoshADHD: 3rd – Prefer the choice between Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott & David Johnson to open
Which teams are you looking to stack in tournaments?
STLCards: ARI, TB
Beermakersfan: ARI, PHI, SF, TB
Chris Gimino: ARI, TB, BUF (in DBBC)
JSURab: ARI, HOU, LAC,
JoshADHD: BAL, DAL, LAR, PHI, PIT, TEN
Who is your favorite late round target at each position?
Which players are being overdrafted?
Which players are being underdrafted?
Which big name will you be underweight on?
Which big name will you be overweight on?
Which early round pick has the biggest bust potential?
Which rookie are you highest on?
What backfield situation(s) are you avoiding?
STLCards: Los Angeles Rams
Chris Gimino: Jacksonville
JSURab: Los Angeles Rams
What is your preferred roster construction?
STLCards: 2 QB (late), 4-5 RB (5-6 if you don’t get a top 4 pick), 8-9 WR, 2-3 TE
Beermakersfan: 2-3 QB, 5-6 RB (4-5 if get top 5 stud), 8-10 WR, 2-3 TE
Chris Gimino: 2 QB (late), 4-5 RB (early), 8-10 WR, 2-3 TE
JSURab: 2 QB (late), 4-5 RB (3 early) if not 5-6, 8-9 WR, 2-3 TE
JoshADHD: 2-3 QB, 5-7 RB, 6-8 WR, 2-3 TE
Is Tyreek Hill a First-Round Pick?
Chris Gimino: I am not planning on taking him in round one, but I can honesty understand the sentiment of anyone who wants to envision the upside to take him there in this format. I don’t suspect it will be available for me often, but I’d rather be selecting him in round two.
STLCards: He’s just outside of that for me. There’s obviously still a small element of risk involved with him, and I’d side with three or four of the other top WRs over him. When you throw in all the top running backs, it puts Hill right on the edge of round one. You probably wouldn’t find me taking him there unless the chips fell in that spot and I had a pick at the 1/2 turn.
JSURab: Hill was a top five WR in fantasy last year, so I do consider him at the end of the first round. I’d obviously rather have him in round two. He has a ton of upside and should be considered right with Julio Jones and Michael Thomas.
Who is your favorite handcuff to own?
STLCards: D’Onta Foreman is the choice once again for me. Even if Lamar Miller is healthy all year, Foreman could have big games on 8-10 touches per contest. Plus, the upside is enormous if he ends up with the lead job.
Beermakersfan: I’ve been getting Matt Breida way too late in drafts. I like grabbing Tevin Coleman in the middle rounds as I’m a big believer in the San Francisco offense, then handcuffing him late with Breida. I realize most are higher on Jerick McKinnon, but I’m ecstatic to get a guy who has shown he can be a big time playmaker in the double-digit rounds. If Coleman were to get hurt, I believe Breida would be the more utilized back for the Niners.
Chris Gimino: I wrote Malcolm Brown at first because he’s so cheap (and cheaper than Darrell Henderson), but then I reconsidered what I’m actually doing in drafts and I’m getting Chase Edmonds at a low price as well. I don’t have any reason to think he’ll be a game changer without injury, but any absence of David Johnson would propel him to fantasy super stardom.
JoshADHD: Chase Edmonds is my favorite by a long shot. I believe he will have a role in the Arizona offense to begin with, but should anything happen with David Johnson, Edmonds slides into a huge volume opportunity.
Which Atlanta backup running back is worth a late-round pick?
STLCards: At this moment, it’s Brian Hill. Ito Smith is not a game breaker at the position, and Qadree Ollison has a LONG way to go after a very underwhelming performance in the Hall of Fame game. While we can’t draw snap conclusions from a one-game sample with a ton of disinterest on both sides, Hill is the guy that seems to be standing out right now. He’s worth a look if you need RB depth late in your draft.
Beermakersfan: I wasn’t a huge fan of Ito Smith before the HOF game and it seems neither are the Falcons. Brian Hill has entered the discussion as a potential late-round dart throw and he would be my preferred target of the two at this moment if I HAVE to pick one, but the competition is far from over. None of the Falcons backup RBs are on my radar right now.
Chris Gimino: Brian Hill (if I was in the business of drafting late round RBs, which I am not). Smith doesn’t really have the upside even if he wins the No. 2 job, but we actually saw the upside from Hill late last season and so far in preseason/camp. Pass catching is really where Hill could explode if he was in the Tevin Coleman role, and even more so if Freeman goes down. Hill is really making the Falcons think about this, and that doesn’t say much for the overachieving Smith. I’m not making this move (because I’m on team robust RB in Best Ball), but in deep roster standard redraft Hill is the guy you can take now and just drop early in the season if he ends up not winning the job.
JSURab: I’m not really drafting any of the backup RBs for the Falcons right now. Ito Smith is not an exciting option and Brian Hill could not beat him out last season for the backup role. This situation could change depending on how the preseason goes.
JoshADHD: I’m not drafting either at this time because there are better late-round RB situations, such as BAL, ARI, and BUF. I’d rather wait two or three weeks for some clarity and use my picks elsewhere for now.
Which non-Guice Redskins RB has the best chance to contribute RB2 numbers?
STLCards: It’s the Redskins. They will use about six guys, and none of them will be consistent. Seriously, though, it has to be Adrian Peterson by default. To his credit, Peterson is saying all the right things, including that he wants to run for 2,000 yards again. Even one-third of that goal would be a positive year.
JoshADHD: I think it would either be Bryce Love (assuming he is healthy and ready to go this season) or Chris Thompson. We all expect WAS to be behind early and often, which logically leads us to Thompson as the beneficiary. If Dwayne Haskins becomes the full-time starter early in the season, Thompson is even more intriguing considering Haskins is not all that mobile.
Beermakersfan: I’m not expecting this offense to be very good and I don’t like targeting running backs from bad offenses. If the defense can be solid (which I think it will be) then Adrian Peterson can still be a workhorse and provide some usable weeks.
Chris Gimino: Adrian Peterson if you like 80 yards on 19 carries. I’d rather lose than play fantasy football this way, and I’m unlikely to go after Washington RBs.
JSURab: Adrian Peterson is for sure the next guy up. They have already talked about how they don’t want to increase Chris Thompson’s load. Peterson just makes the most sense from the standpoint that he should see all of the early-down and most of the goal-line work.
How are we drafting the Colts post-Andrew Luck?
JoshADHD: I will swoop in for the discount immediately. While Luck’s talent and ability are unquestioned, I believe the ecosystem around Jacoby Brissett will help Mack, Hilton, etc. produce at very similar levels to what we were already expecting.
Beermakersfan: I am pretty much hands off with all the Colts until I see a significant enough discount to jump in. Marlon Mack is the most likely one for me to draft, as he now likely becomes the centerpiece of that offense. But, he will also see more seven- and eight-man boxes, so I’m not going crazy to grab him unless he falls into the late fourth/fifth round.
Nathan Coleman: Every skill player should drop at least a tier if not more. Some have argued that Mack should see a boost but in reality less scoring opportunities will diminish any added volume. Expect Brissett to leapfrog guys like Marcus Mariota, Nick Foles, and Andy Dalton as a middling QB2 with a decent rushing floor.
Chris Gimino: I was really only drafting Mack anyway, with too many mouths to feed in the passing game and Hilton not fitting my draft strategy. I have downgraded Mack and my approach is to try to win without him. Nobody gets better with this news, and the expectation for the whole team is lower without the premier intellect and execution of Luck. Avoid. Let others make this bet while we make bets with equal upside and less downside.
STLCards: I am not taking a definitive stand here other than firmly waffling in the middle. If Hilton is going to go in the late fourth or early fifth round of 12-team drafts, I think the appropriate discount is being applied. Mack will still get similar (or more) volume, though he will be the focus of opposing defenses. Guys like Brissett, Parris Campbell, and the tight ends can be used as late round cheap stacks in best ball formats. While the expectation isn’t nearly as high here now, you can take advantage of some recency bias and pounce on some discounts.
JSURab: For the most part, the only guy I have been drafting on the Colts is Mack. If Indianapolis is trailing more in games this will hurt Mack and could lead to less opportunity, because they haven’t seemed to use him in the passing game. You will see most of these Colts just fall down the draft boards. I am probably just going to look at a late round flyer like Jack Doyle who had 80 receptions in 2017 with Brissett as the starting quarterback.
Who has been your favorite last pick?
STLCards: I have ended up with Miles Boykin in the final round a lot. Wide receiver depth is the most important to get, and he could end up as a nice value even for a team that might rank at the bottom of the league in pass attempts. Marquise Brown is nowhere near ready to go in this offense, and opportunity is there for the taking in Baltimore.
JSURab: Travis Benjamin is a guy that I have used my last pick on often. He is a big play guy who could definitely give you a couple of solid games in best ball. Since you don’t have to worry about when those games are, Benjamin is perfect to take a chance on at the end of your draft.
Nathan Coleman: A guy I’ve been smashing the draft button on is Albert Wilson. He’s is the new YAC king on a team projected to finish dead last, which means playing from behind and plenty of throwing. Wilson has little competition for slot targets and new starter Ryan Fitzpatrick has excelled at targeting the slot. Also a good idea to check your roster for bye weeks and make sure there aren’t any redundancies, such as two QBs with the same bye. The last pick can rectify any issues there.
Beermakersfan: I have a bunch of Arizona stacks in the Best Ball Championship and have been targeting KeeSean Johnson with that 18th-round pick all summer long. Word is getting out on him but he’s still a great value as you creep towards those last few rounds.
What player have you unintentionally drafted a lot of shares in?
Beermakersfan: I’ve been high on Darwin Thompson this entire offseason so was lucky to grab a bunch of shares at a much cheaper price point than what we’re paying right now. Anthony Miller is another guy that has ended up on a bunch of my teams, which I’m also excited about.
Nathan Coleman: My ownership of George Kittle is at 25% and rising. We know from the past three years that taking an elite TE early significantly boosts the win rate of teams. Sadly I also have too many shares of Doug Baldwin from my early March drafting days.
STLCards: In looking over my exposure right now, I’ve ended up with more Michael Gallup than I would care to admit. This could work out in the event that Ezekiel Elliott extends his holdout into the regular season, and I also have Gallup paired on a lot of squads with Dak Prescott as my QB2. I like the potential correlation there.
JSURab: Tevin Coleman is the guy that I have the most shares of in best ball. I was getting him in the sixth round early on. He’s now a fifth-round pick, but I still like him in this offense back with his old coach Kyle Shanahan.
Is there a relevant Miami wide receiver?
JoshADHD: Albert Wilson, if 100% healthy, is the wide receiver I’m looking for from this offense. I’m not sure anyone else will be able to get open in time for the quarterback to unload the ball.
Beermakersfan: As long as Ryan Fitzpatrick is the quarterback, there will be some value in this Dolphins pass catching group. I’m looking to grab shares of Wilson and Preston Williams. I know a lot of people are talking up DeVante Parker but that ship has sailed for me. Wilson showed he can put up some monster weeks before he got hurt last season and Williams has the pedigree to be a star in this league. Miami should be playing from behind a ton this year so they will be throwing the ball a lot, don’t be afraid to take the plunge on these wide outs late in your drafts.
STLCards: The only relevant thing about the Miami offense is streaming defenses against them in season long and DFS contests. This team is a dumpster fire. That said, there is cheap value to be had. Wilson has the most potential, but this offense is going to bust more than it booms. If you can get Wilson or Williams late in your draft, it’s perhaps worth a shot. Williams should get more playing time later in the season as the team tanks and looks to evaluate younger players.
JSURab: With Kenny Stills gone it opens up opportunity for guys like Wilson, Williams and Parker. You can take a shot on one of these guys late in best balls, but for me I don’t want anything to do with this offense. This offensive line is now the worst in football with Laremy Tunsil gone and it’s just not an offense I want to invest in.