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Footballguys Mock Draft 2 - 12-man MFL10 format

The Footballguys staff, along with four writers in the industry got together and completed a 12-team draft using MFL10 settings. 

On July 18th, eight members of the Footballguys staff, along with four highly-regarded writers in the fantasy football community, got together to complete a 12-team, 20-round, Best Ball draft using MFL10 settings and format. Before the draft, each of the participants answered questions regarding strategies, players they coveted and how they plan to attack the draft. Additional questions were asked at the conclusion of the draft based on the decisions they made. To top it off, Footballguys' Alex Miglio will provide an evaluation of each team's roster strengths and weaknesses, chronicling the strategies and decisions that were made by each participant.

The goal of this article is to give you a look into the minds of fantasy experts throughout the entire draft process. This includes preparation, decision-making, execution, and follow-up. What was their plan? Did they follow it? Why did they make the decisions they made? Some drafters had similar strategies and players of interest, but how they executed their plan and built their roster, varied from person to person.

We hope you will uncover or discover a strategy that might work for you in your draft(s) this year. Learn what players the experts are targeting and why. At Footballguys, when you win, we win! If we can help give you the tools and know-how to build a winning team, we've done our job.

LEAGUE PARAMETERS

Best Ball format - Each week, your top scoring players on your roster automatically start and will count toward your season total. The team with the most points at the end of the season wins. Top scores from the starting positions will count for your weekly score.

  • 12 teams
  • 20 roster spots
  • Starting Lineup
    • 1 quarterback
    • 2 running backs
    • 3 wide receivers
    • 1 tight end
    • 1 flex (either a running back, wide receiver, or tight end)
    • 1 Defense/Special Teams Unit

LEAGUE SCORING

  • Offensive scoring
    • 4 points - Passing Touchdown
    • 6 points - Rushing/Receiving Touchdown
    • 0.05 points - Passing Yard
    • 0.1 points - Rushing/Receiving Yard
    • 1.0 point - Reception
    • -1 - Interception Thrown
    • 1 - two-point Conversion (pass)
    • 1 - two-point conversion (receiving)
    • 2 - two-point conversion (rush)
  • Defense scoring
    • 2 - fumble recovery
    • 2 - interception
    • 1 - sack
    • 2 - safety
    • 10 - zero (0) points allowed
    • 7 - 1-6 points allowed
    • 3 - 7-14 points allowed
    • 0 - 15-20 points allowed
    • -3 - 21+ points allowed
    • 6 defensive or special teams touchdown

DRAFT GRID

DRAFT SLOT 1

Jake Ciely
Jake Ciely is an award-winning Senior Writer/Talent and Fantasy analyst, who also hosts the FSTA Fantasy Sports Radio Show of the Year, On Target. You won't find someone more accurate, as Jake has finished No. 1 in back-to-back Fantasy Baseball seasons and carries a Top 5 average finish in Fantasy Football with a No. 1 finish in 2017. Get the Fantasy deal in seasonal, DFS and more from Jake @allinkid.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

Since it's Best Ball, after having at least two quarterbacks, two tight ends and two defenses, the mix of the other 14 spots will depend on value. Ideally, I'll own at least six running backs, but don't hold me to that.

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I love to wait as much as the next guy, but with only 20 roster spots, I'll be a bit more aggressive. I'll aim for two quarterbacks with different byes and little-to-no concerns so I can stock up elsewhere.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Get a bell cow running back in the first two rounds has been my career mantra. The third running back will completely depend on the board's value. Not to harp the "value" part, but I never lock myself into pre-set, position-based draft plans.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

I'll have my first receiver at the 2/3 turn since I'm picking first. As for the third receiver, it depends on where the value lies on the board at the 4/5 turn.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I will wait, wait, and wait some more. I will never own Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce or the other elite options due to draft cost. I'd much rather grab two potential breakouts or a mix of upside/risk in a Jordan Reed type with a "boring" floor type like Charles Clay.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I'll probably take two defenses, but not til much later in the draft, perhaps in the last three rounds.

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 1 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

Since I'm the first to pick, it's Le'Veon Bell for me. He's playing a full season and is the best option in my opinion.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I love rookie values at this time of year. Remember last year when Kareem Hunt and Dalvin Cook were going in the fifth round? Granted, Hunt saw a boost because of the Spencer Ware injury, but as with Derrius Guice, Rashaad Penny, etc. this year, I was all in on the talent winning out.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

Ideally, I'd like to have one quarterback, one tight end and four each of running back and wide receiver.

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

Hopefully, I'll have found my second quarterback and tight end, plus a nice sleeper at running back.

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

Darren Sproles, Chris Godwin, Christian Kirk, Paul Richardson Jr, Zay Jones.

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

Martavis Bryant, especially because I can see him outscoring the ghost of Jordy Nelson past.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.01
1
RB
Le'Veon Bell
PIT
2.12
24
WR
CIN
3.01
25
WR
MIN
4.12
48
WR
Allen Robinson
CHI
5.01
49
RB
Ronald Jones
TBB
6.12
72
WR
Chris Hogan
NEP
7.01
73
QB
HOU
8.12
96
RB
Theo Riddick
DET
9.01
97
TE
CHI
10.12
120
RB
Devontae Booker
DEN
11.01
121
WR
Mike Williams
LAC
12.12
144
TE
David Njoku
CLE
13.01
145
RB
Austin Ekeler
LAC
14.12
168
WR
OAK
15.01
169
QB
CLE
16.12
192
Def
Denver Broncos
DEN
17.01
193
Def
New England Patriots
NEP
18.12
216
RB
Elijah McGuire
NYJ
19.01
217
QB
Baker Mayfield
CLE
20.12
240
WR
BUF

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Your pre-draft plan hoped wide receiver Zay Jones would be available late and you selected him in the 20th round. Why is he on your deep sleeper list?

That was before the less encouraging news of Jones being on the active/NFI list. Assuming he's ready for the start of the season, Jones is the second-best receiver for the Bills. I wasn't a big fan of his coming out of college given the spread offense and regular use of five wide sets. However, despite Jones never being able to replicate his college numbers, he still has the skills to be the sure-handed, middle of the field option in the passing attack. Sure, whichever quarterback starting for the Bills is going to be a poor one, but targets are targets, and even if he only sees just 74 again, Jones is bound to catch more than 36 percent of them... maybe 40?

2. You tagged wide receiver Martavis Bryant as a guy you would love to get in the middle rounds What can we expect from him in 2018?

Obviously, this is contingent on that rumored suspension staying in the dark ever since the news broke. If Bryant avoids a suspension, I see a path to his outscoring Jordy Nelson. If you watched Nelson last year, you saw a receiver that seemingly fell off a cliff, hit every rock on the way down, then burst into a mushroom cloud of fire and misery. Nelson's first four games were great, only because of the touchdowns. He never reached 80 yards in any of them, and then he never topped 35 yards after, including Aaron Rodgers' one-game return. Bryant is inconsistent, but as with DeSean Jackson in his better years, best ball is made for these types because you don't have to guess which 6-8 games will be Top 25 value. The format picks them for you.

Alex Miglio's EVALUATION

STRENGTHS

This team wound up being rather top heavy, and it is spread out positionally. Le'Veon Bell is a consensus top-two pick, and Ciely followed that up with a nice duo at wide receiver with A.J. Green and Adam Thielen. If Deshaun Watson returns to form and stays healthy – not a guarantee, especially with touchdown regression looming – he will be one of the best fantasy scorers at the quarterback position. No position really suffered at the top on this Studs-and-Duds squad, giving Ciely a nice weekly floor if his top players all perform close to expectation.

WEAKNESSES

There is a downside to Ciely’s drafting strategy, of course, and that is filling out your team so that the role players provide adequate scoring. Drafting the right guys is key, and Ciely didn’t impress in that regard. The running back position in particular, is a mish-mash of dart throws and prayers behind Bell. Ronald Jones is not likely going to be as a consistent option to fill the RB2 slot, and the rest of the backs behind him may not combine to put up double-digit fantasy points on a weekly basis in this format. Without a waiver wire to rely on, Ciely had to hit on several low-EV picks.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Watson picks up where he left off and continues to light the league on fire. Ciely’s tight ends fulfill their potential and put up weekly double-digit fantasy points for a majority of the season. Bell bucks last season’s slow start and puts up a free-agent season for the ages while the rest of the running backs dodge bullets like Neo in the Matrix.

DRAFT SLOT 2

Phil Alexander
Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

3 QB, 2 defense, 2 TE, 7 RB, 6 WR, but that's pretty fluid. I tend to let the draft come to me rather than stick with a rigid plan no matter what unfolds.

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

Quarterback is deeper than ever, so waiting is the play, especially in an industry league where more teams will likely fade the position. I'm fine waiting until 12-15 quarterbacks are off the board before taking my first one. I should be able to get three viable starters (maybe I'll only need two depending on how far the top tier falls) no matter how long I wait.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Running backs are going to fly off the board. I'll have at least two in the first three rounds and maybe three depending on how things shake out.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Wide receiver is deep and it's possible to cobble together a group of six or seven who each bring something valuable to the table without overpaying. I'm aiming for a mix of high-floor chain mover-types, big-play threats, and at least one swing for the fences. I'll most likely have my third by the eighth or ninth round.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I'm not getting Rob Gronkowski so I'm waiting - probably until the eighth or ninth round, with guys like Jordan Reed and George Kittle my top targets.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

It's the most volatile and matchup dependent position so it's nice to have two or three starting possibilities every week. If the player pool looks gross, I wouldn't mind being the first to draft a defense after the Jaguars and Rams go too early. Somewhere around the 15th.

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 2 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

Pretty sure my pick will be David Johnson from the No. 2 hole unless Gurley slips to me. From there, I'm not going to be afraid to reach for my players ahead of ADP because after I pick near the turn it's unlikely they'll be making it all the way back to me. I'm also sandwiched between non-Footballguys, so not being familiar with their tendencies puts me at a potential disadvantage.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I wouldn't draft all of Jameis Winston, Julian Edelman, and Mark Ingram II because they're likely to fall but I have no problem taking one, with Ingram, in particular, looking like a nice value at the moment. Rookies are fine as long as they're running backs. Later round slot guys like Anthony Miller and Christian Kirk are on my board also. Injured players are a hard no. Never take a guy who is already injured. Playing football every Sunday is a bad way to heal injuries.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • 4 running backs
  • 4 wide receivers
  • 1 tight end
  • 1 quarterback.

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • 6 running backs
  • 5 wide receivers
  • 2 tight ends
  • 2 quarterback

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

I like both C.J. Anderson and Robby Anderson.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.02
2
RB
LAR
2.11
23
RB
CHI
3.02
26
WR
SEA
4.11
47
RB
HOU
5.02
50
WR
LAR
6.11
71
RB
OAK
7.02
74
QB
CAR
8.11
95
RB
CAR
9.02
98
TE
WAS
10.11
119
WR
WAS
11.02
122
RB
GBP
12.11
143
QB
TBB
13.02
146
RB
SFO
14.11
167
WR
JAC
15.02
170
QB
OAK
16.11
191
WR
Geronimo Allison
GBP
17.02
194
TE
DET
18.11
215
WR
Taywan Taylor
TEN
19.02
218
Def
Seattle Seahawks
SEA
20.11
239
Def
Oakland Raiders
OAK

post-draft questions

1. Your pre-draft plan hoped tight end Luke Wilson would be available late and you selected him in the 17th round. What do you expect from him in 2018?

Willson has a chance to outproduce any tight end currently being drafted outside the Top 10 at the position. The Lions pulled the plug on Eric Ebron and lost run-blocking tight end Darren Fells to free agency. Levine Toilolo was signed to play Fells' role, which leaves just Willson, who came over on a one-year deal from Seattle, and last year’s fourth-round pick, Michael Roberts, to compete for the role of the pass-catching tight end. Willson has a decisive experience edge on Roberts, and coming out of Rice in 2013, he had the athletic edge on him too. At his Pro Day, Willson -- at 6-foot-5 and 251 pounds. -- ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds. He had a 38-inch vertical jump, 10’2” broad jump, 7.04 seconds three-cone drill, and did 23 reps on the bench -- all top-tier measurables for a tight end. Stuck behind Jimmy Graham for most of the last three seasons in Seattle, Willson’s career stats won’t blow you away, but he’s caught 65% of his career targets for a solid 8.24 yards per target and managed 4 touchdowns last year on just 22 targets. There is some Rob Housler athletic bust potential here, but in the 17th round, I've been happy to take Willson late in the majority of my Best Ball drafts.

2. running back C.J. Anderson is a player you targeted in the middle rounds. What role do you expect from him this year?

Carolina beat writers are speculating Christian McCaffrey may not see the uptick in carries many are expecting. C.J. Anderson --unlike the dried-out husk of Jonathan Stewart -- is still an above-average running back. If we can pencil him into Stewart's 2017 role (~200 carries with 15 of those coming at the goal line), he grades out as mid-RB2, even in PPR leagues. We also have to consider Anderson's upside as an all-purpose back in one of the league's better offenses if McCaffrey were to get hurt. The Panthers ranked 11th in points per game last year and the arrow is pointing up with the healthy return of Greg Olsen and addition of first-round talent D.J. Moore. Anderson should give me a handful of startable weeks when he finds the end zone and could be the reason I win the league if anything were to happen to McCaffrey.

3. You selected tight end Jordan Reed in the ninth and only one other tight end (Luke Wilson) late. Is that enough coverage in this format with an often injured Reed?

As much as I love taking Willson late, it wasn't part of the plan to make him my TE2. In retrospect, I should have passed on a QB3 in the 15th round (Derek Carr) and grabbed any of Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Austin Hooper, Vance McDonald, Jared Cook, or Ricky Seals-Jones instead. When I saw all those names still on the board, I figured I would be able to grab at least one of them in the 16th round, but I ended up missing out on a position run. I prioritized Carr at that point because I had taken Jameis Winston as my QB2 earlier and wanted to guard against his three-game suspension -- not exactly an optimal decision when I already had Cam Newton (a certified iron man) as my QB1. If Reed finally manages something close to a full season, I'll be fine, but tight end is without question my team's Achilles heel.

alex miglio's evaluation

STRENGTHS

Successfully navigating the running back position may be the single biggest path to success in fantasy football. Doing it in best-ball formats has a higher degree of difficulty because there are no waivers. Alexander did a fabulous job seeing through the fog of draft war to field the deepest and likely most profitable stable of running backs in the league. Todd Gurley and Jordan Howard made for a good start followed by potential bargains in Lamar Miller and Marshawn Lynch. C.J. Anderson and Ty Montgomery could wind up being gold in this format, especially with recent rumblings that Anderson will be the starter and command the most carries in Carolina. Alexander also nabbed a nice trio of quarterbacks that will provide consistent scoring and upside.

WEAKNESSES

A strong running back stable tends to mean serious weakness elsewhere. For Alexander, wide receiver and tight end suffered as a result of his strategy. Injury machine Jordan Reed is backed only by Luke Willson, a man with little more than potential at this point. Doug Baldwin is Alexander’s only consistently reliable receiver. Alexander picked some nice sleepers to fill out those positions, but guys like Paul Richardson Jr, Donte Moncrief, and Willson are going to have to deliver consistently.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Alexander’s tight end gambit pays off as Reed stays healthy and Willson takes advantage of his new starting gig. Richardson explodes in Washington and Robert Woods proves that he isn’t a one-year wonder in Los Angeles. The running backs and quarterbacks on this squad do their thing.

DRAFT SLOT 3

Matt Schauf
Matt Schauf is a senior analyst with DraftSharks.com. He has been covering fantasy football since 2002, producing content for outlets such as Sporting News, Rotoworld, Athlon and Football Diehards before landing with DraftSharks. Draft Sharks has been online since 1999 and is a four-time winner in the FSTA's annual fantasy football projections accuracy contests.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

I plan to select the following:

  • 2 quarterbacks
  • 3 tight ends
  • 3 defenses
  • 5 running backs
  • 7 wide receivers

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I’ll likely take my 1st quarterback in the Round 10-11 range, though that could climb to Round 8 depending on who lingers and what’s available at the other positions. Cam Newton and Drew Brees are key targets who could move my quarterback plan up a couple of rounds.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Perhaps more than any other, this depends on how my league mates draft. I won’t reach to get in on early running backs — especially in a best-ball format. I could take my third as early as Round 3 but am also comfortable with not getting that player until Round 8 or so, if that’s how my board falls.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

My wide receiver strategy complements what I do at RB. I think there are dependable top talents worth early-round slots if my league mates are hitting running back hard. And I also think there’s more than enough value in the mid-to-late rounds to fill the wide receiver pool there if I go running back early. I’ll likely get my 3rd wide receiver in the Round 6-7 range.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I will take Rob Gronkowski anywhere from about 15th overall on. If I don’t draft Gronk, I’m likely not going tight end until at least Greg Olsen in the fifth or sixth. And if I don’t take either of them, then I’m probably looking to the Round 9-10 range — potentially weighing the tight end vs. quarterback options for my first at either spot.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

Wait, wait, wait, and then grab three. My colleague Jason Phelps pioneered the research several years ago that pointed to the value of drafting that third defense, which at least contributed to an overall shift in how regular drafters treated the position. I’ll probably take my first somewhere in the final five rounds.

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 3 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

Drafting third means I’ll take an running back. The few relatively safe bets to get true workhorse duty to populate the top of the board and the return of running back domination in Round 1 has meant I can get something closer to Antonio Brown at my Round 2 or 3 pick than I could the past couple of years.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

It differs by player and situation, but I’m not afraid to take rookies in good situations or suspended players I believe I can count on once they’re back. Injured players and guys who have yet to return to the field following surgeries (at the time I draft) make me queasier. They’ll often need to drop vs. ADP for me to jump — especially in a best-ball format where I won’t have in-season roster control.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

After 10 rounds, I expect to have three running backs, four wide receivers, one quarterback, and one tight end — with the 10th player depending on what gets to me at the non-quarterback positions. That guy will most likely be an running back or wide receiver but could be a 10th-round TE2.

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

After 15 rounds, I’ll almost certainly have both quarterbacks, two tight ends, five running backs, and six wide receivers.

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

Darren Sproles would lead this group, but I can’t imagine leaving him on the board through the 15th round. I predict he’ll be my fifth RB. So to fill those WR7 and TE3 slots, I’d love to choose among:

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

I’ll highlight Sproles, who figures to be frustrating in lineup-setting leagues as long as Jay Ajayi stays healthy. But HC Doug Pederson has said Sproles will have an “extensive” offensive role. Sproles opened 2017 leading the Eagles’ backfield in snaps and ranked fourth among 2016 Eagles (Pederson’s 1st season) with 71 targets. Unless he struggles this summer in his return from an ACL tear, Sproles will provide big plays as a runner and receiver. He even packs more red-zone punch than his frame might suggest. Gimme all the best-ball shares so that I can reap the rewards of those big plays and games without deciding when I have to start him and cross my fingers through his 8-10 touches.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.03
3
RB
DAL
2.10
22
RB
CIN
3.03
27
RB
SFO
4.10
46
WR
DEN
5.03
51
WR
DET
6.10
70
WR
NEP
7.03
75
QB
NEP
8.10
94
WR
DEN
9.03
99
TE
IND
10.10
118
WR
TEN
11.03
123
TE
CIN
12.10
142
RB
BAL
13.03
147
WR
DAL
14.10
166
RB
PHI
15.03
171
Def
Los Angeles Chargers
LAC
16.10
190
QB
JAC
17.03
195
TE
LAC
18.10
214
WR
JAC
19.03
219
Def
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
TBB
20.10
238
Def
Washington Redskins
WAS

post-draft questions

1. You were the only drafter to start with three running backs. Explain why you think this can be a winning best-ball strategy.

I think differing from your league’s trends can help in any format because it allows you to control your process rather than chasing the same thing as everyone else. Specifically, starting a best-ball roster with three running backs allows me to stock 3 players headed for dominant workloads, and thus likely more dependable weekly fantasy production and more high-end weeks.

2. You had a pre-draft to wait until late and then grab 3 defenses. You then execute it to a tee by getting the Chargers in the 15th and the Buccaneers and Redskins to close out the draft. Why is this your preferred method of attack at this position in best-ball leagues?

Team defenses are wildly inconsistent. Even the best tend to post eight or nine starter weeks a season. That’s why so many fantasy owners look to stream them at this point. Adding an extra defense instead of a sixth running back, third quarterback, or eighth wide receiver is the closest I can get to streaming in a best-ball draft. That third defense is more likely to give me starter weeks than the reserve I passed on at another position.

alex miglio's evaluation

STRENGTHS

Schauf had an eye-popping start at running back. Not only did he take a requisite horse with the third pick – you are practically required to take one in the top four this year given the drop-off from the top tier to the rest – but he managed to get two guys with serious top-10 potential with his next two picks. Jerrick McKinnon is a personal favorite, a breakout candidate capable of catching 70 passes in his new Kyle Shanahan offense. Landing him in the third round to go along with Ezekiel Elliott and Joe Mixon gave Schauf a terrifying trio at the position.

WEAKNESSES

This was a solid draft all around, but taking three consecutive running backs to start meant sacrificing at another position. That position was tight end, where Schauf pinned his hopes on Jack Doyle and Tyler Eifert. Doyle was a surprise last season, but new teammate Eric Ebron is probably going to outscore him in 2018. And we all know Tyler Eifert will be lucky to play half the season given his injury history. Virgil Green had better have some sort of breakout season if Schauf is going to put up a decent number from the tight end spot on a weekly basis. Wide receiver could also be an issue at the beginning of the season with Edelman suspended and two wideouts from the same team vying for fantasy points.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

McKinnon goes supernova as many of us are predicting and posts a top-five fantasy season alongside Zeke Elliot’s top performer finish. Doyle brushes off Ebron’s challenge for playing time and puts up TE1 numbers for 10-plus weeks. Golden Tate renders Edelman moot, and Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders alternate big weeks throughout the year. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady.

DRAFT SLOT 4

Jason Wood
Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

Generally, in this format, I opt for one of two setups:

  • 3 quarterbacks
  • 6 running backs
  • 7 wide receivers
  • 2 tight ends
  • 2 defenses

OR

  • 2 quarterbacks
  • 6 running backs
  • 7 wide receivers
  • 3 tight ends
  • 2 defenses

The constants are running back, wide receiver, and defense. Ultimately, to win a Best Ball league you need luck (injuries need to not go against you) and an elite team. You either win 1st or you go home. In that vein, I don't worry about overindexing quarterback and defense. If my top guys aren't healthy and big-time performers, I'm not winning the league even if I have a third-tier option at No. 3.

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

If I have one overarching rule in Best Ball, it's to stick to my roster construction. I put next to no energy in targeting positions at specific rounds. I let the draft come to me and take the best player available. Based on the prior best ball drafts I've done so far this year, I tend to end up with an elite quarterback because most others are hellbent on waiting. If Tom Brady or Russell Wilson are there in the late fourth round or anytime in the fifth, they're likely targets because I tend to not like the value at running back, wide receiver, and tght end in that range. If I pass on those players (or they're already gone), I'll wait until the last QB1s in my tier start coming off the board and then prioritize grabbing at least one of them. I also want to come away with another quarterback (QB2) I think has a better than average shot at finishing in the Top 10. That typically means I'm taking two quarterbacks from the consensus top 15-16 rankings.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

As I already said, I don't target positions in given rounds. I could have three running backs in the first three rounds (although that's unlikely) or I could wait until the 10th round for my third running back depending on how the draft unfolds. Typically, I'll have my third running back by the sixth or seventh round. Since it's Best Ball, I will be more apt to target hyper-talented runners in committees. Whereas I have concerns in typical redraft leagues about the likes of Sony Michel or Rex Burkhead or Derrick Henry or Dion Lewis, in Best Ball they're easier to build around because you are likely to get some monster games from them. As I'm rounding out my roster, I tend to target high-risk boom/bust players because, again, this format is "win or go home."

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Best ball makes wide receiver a position easy to wait on. You can assemble three or four boom/bust players that would kill you in redraft leagues but are dominant in this format. Players like Paul Richardson Jr, Cooper Kupp, Devante Parker, Sammy Watkins, Tyrell Williams are going to be maddening if you have to choose what weeks to start them. But in Best Ball? Three or four 100-yard, 2-touchdown games a season from each and you're in good shape to contend for the league title. My plan this year tends to focus on grabbing two elite (Top 20) receivers with large target shares, and then wait and fill out the roster with five boom/bust guys from great offenses.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

Tight end is the position I'm willing to punt this year, if I don't take Rob Gronkowski early. Most of the non-Gronkowski Top 10 are going earlier than I think they're worth in this format, and usually there are values at other positions I like more. If I do take Gronkowski, I'm waiting until the last two or three rounds for my second. If I pass on Gronkowski, I'm probably taking three tight ends outside the consensus Top 10, but well within my Top 20.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I'm quite likely going to be one of the first people to draft a defense. There are six or seven defenses I feel are bulletproof, and I want one of them. Basically, as soon as I see one or two elite defenses come off the board, it becomes a priority for me in the next round or two. I wait until 18th or 19th rounds for my second defense usually.

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 4 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot.

I'm fortunate to draft fourth, which is an ideal spot this year. Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, and David Johnson are the consensus top-4 picks in nearly every Best Ball draft, and I'll simply take whoever falls to me happily. It also gives me the first shot at receiver in the second round of the four owners who land that quartet of runners in the 1st round. If all goes according to plan, I'll either go RB/Gronkowski/WR in first, second, and third or RB/WR/BPA (WR/RB) depending. In the fourth I will look for either Tom Brady or Russell Wilson, and if both are on the board, I'll take BPA in the fourth and hopefully get one of them on the way back in the fifth.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

Injuries are the death knell in Best Ball leagues, and I won't take chances. Quarterbacks Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson, and Andrew Luck are all supposedly in line to return for the regular season, but they also won't see much (if any) action in the preseason. I won't draft them unless they fall precipitously, which is unlikely. I also tend to downgrade injury-prone players in as much as that label is predictable. If someone has missed multiple games in multiple seasons, they're not going to be on my roster. Dion Lewis, Jordan Reed, Tyler Eifert, Alshon Jeffery are a few who come to mind. Hard passes all.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

I'll absolutely have at least one quarterback, three running backs, and three wide receivers. The rest is totally dependent on how the draft unfolds. Ideally, I'll come away with one quarterback, four running backs, four wide receivers, and one tight end.

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

With five rounds left, I'll have two quarterbacks, four running backs, four wide receivers, one tight end, and one defense for sure. The other three spots will most likely be wide receivers and running backs but will depend on the way the draft plays out.

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

That's supremely difficult to say because I'm rigorously disciplined about sticking to my projections and rankings.

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

Marquise Goodwin. I own him in 100% of MFL10 drafts so far.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.04
4
RB
ARI
2.09
21
WR
GBP
3.04
28
WR
TBB
4.09
45
QB
GBP
5.04
52
RB
NOS
6.09
69
RB
NEP
7.04
76
WR
Michael Crabtree
BAL
8.09
93
WR
NYJ
9.04
100
RB
Carlos Hyde
CLE
10.09
117
WR
CAR
11.04
124
RB
CIN
12.09
141
QB
ATL
13.04
148
Def
Minnesota Vikings
MIN
14.09
165
WR
TBB
15.04
172
TE
JAC
16.09
189
Def
New Orleans Saints
NOS
17.04
196
TE
DEN
18.09
213
TE
FA
19.04
220
RB
LeGarrette Blount
DET
20.09
237
WR
HOU

post-draft questions

1. You passed on the tight end position until late and then grabbed players in the 15, 17th and 18th rounds. Explain why you think this approach can work in best-ball leagues.

As I noted in my pre-draft plans, it's essentially Rob Gronkowski or bust for me this year. The weekly differential between most fantasy tight ends is minimal, and it becomes a game of hoping your tight end finds the end zone to gain relevance beyond a handful of top targets. While I like Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz, my propensity to take a quarterback early precludes me from drafting those guys. As expected, I missed out on Gronkowski and committed to waiting on tight end from that point forward. Since I'm drafting sleepers at the position, I have to draft three instead of two. In many cases, I'll only draft two tight ends if I take Gronkowski early or another top-10 option. But when you're digging in the crates, you need to give yourself coverage. In regular leagues, this would be a sorry trio of tight ends. In this format, I just need one of these guys to find the end zone or work into the offense's game script each week. Not having to pick one for my lineup makes all the difference in the world.

In terms of the specific players, Jake Butt can be had at the end of nearly every draft yet I think he could genuinely vie for low-end TE1 production this year. He was a Jason Witten clone coming out of Michigan but tore his ACL at the end of the season, which prompted him to fall in drafts and then redshirt last season. He's 100% healthy, has been praised by his position coaches and head coach, and has little competition for a major role. Antonio Gates will look dumb if he doesn't come out of retirement, but I think it's just a matter of time before he reunites with Philip Rivers. And Seferian-Jenkins is a perennial tease who landed in a spot that should produce red zone scores.

2. You stated you would likely grab a top quarterback and secured the first one with Aaron Rodgers in the 4th round. You added just one other quarterback in Matt Ryan in the 12th which allowed you more roster spots for the RB/WR/TE positions. Tell us why you think this is the correct approach in this format.

I've been playing best-ball leagues, mainly MFL10s, for quite a few years now and have done reasonably well. One of the keys is having the right positional distribution, and I've found having two quarterbacks is the most likely format to win. That's exacerbated when you draft a quarterback early, as I did. Rodgers is either going to be one of the best and the position, and stay healthy, or I'm not winning this league. In best ball you're drafting to win. There's no pyrrhic victory for 2nd place. Matt Ryan was the NFL MVP two seasons ago and is due for positive regression. He's a perfect complement to my heavy investment in Rodgers.

3. You were able to grab wide receiver Keke Coutee in the 20th round as a deep sleeper. What kind of impact can he make in his rookie year?

20th round picks are lottery tickets, particularly in best ball formats. The odds say this pick will be worthless. My goal with Coutee was to draft someone who had at least a reasonable shot at being a difference maker. Does he have a 50% chance of fantasy relevance? No. But he has a 20% chance of becoming the Texans No. 2 receiver and, in turn, putting up WR3/WR4 numbers. Coutee is one of the more polished rookie receivers, and a favorite of Matt Waldman -- my go-to rookie draft expert. Will Fuller V is a one-dimensional deep threat being overvalued because of his freakish string of deep touchdowns last year. He won't come close to matching those numbers this year and, in turn, Coutee -- a more complete player -- could push for starter snaps as the season progresses.

alex miglio's evlauation

STRENGTHS

Though Aaron Rodgers is the consensus top quarterback heading into the 2018 season, Wood made a bad bet taking him in the fourth round. As industry drafts tend to play out, quarterbacks were not a priority in the first several rounds. Indeed, just one other quarterback was taken in the next two rounds. Still, Wood got himself the best in class at the position, and he was able to surround Rodgers with quality wideouts. That includes his quarterback’s receiver, Davante Adams, who is poised to become a perennial top-10 fantasy wideout like his predecessor. He and Mike Evans will buoy positional scoring for most of the season on Wood’s squad.

WEAKNESSES

One season not too long ago, I witnessed an FFPC Pros vs. Joes best-ball team win our division with a single tight end on the roster. Armed with only a past-his-prime Antonio Gates at a premium position in that format, that team defied logic and smoked us all thanks to the strengths it built elsewhere and some serious injury luck. That sort of outcome is what Wood is going to need here at the tight end position. Even though he wound up with three tight ends, Wood obviously hated the position given he took a defense before his first. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Jake Butt, and Gates could collectively eke out a respectable score on a weekly basis, but they would be more likely to give Wood an ulcer if this wasn’t a mock draft.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Rodgers dominates the league and stays on the field for the entire season, turning Adams into a top-five fantasy receiver in the process. Bill Belichick chooses to feature Rex Burkhead for the first few weeks of the season, allowing Wood to weather Mark Ingram II’s absence until Burkhead inexplicably gets tossed aside for Jeremy Hill and Sony Michel in New England. The Vikings defense scores 12 touchdowns, justifying the draft capital spent on them. Antonio Gates finds the Fountain of Youth.

DRAFT SLOT 5

Devin Knotts
Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

My current plan is entirely dependent on if I go with an early quarterback or tight end. I will go with one of the two, just so I don’t have to go with three at each position. My current plan is to take an early tight end and go with 3 QB, 6 RB, 7 WR, 2 TE, 2 DEF

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

If Aaron Rodgers falls to the fifth, I will be a very happy person. If not, I will wait until round 10 or so where I will take Matt Ryan, Phillip Rivers, and Eli Manning late.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Running back is get guys who have talent. I typically am aggressive when it comes to running backs as I don’t like to take the safe guy. I will try to take running backs who I believe have a chance to pay off as a top 10 running back and if they don’t have that ability I will not take them. My third running back will likely be taken in round 6.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Wide receiver it is guys who have guaranteed targets. I don’t typically like guys who need to win a battle in training camp or need to have a projected breakout season. I am generally conservative with this position and will take my third guy in the about the eighth round.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I generally like to draft a tight end somewhat early, although this year I don’t like either Travis Kelce or Gronkowski so the earliest target I have on my list is Zach Ertz. If I am unable to get Zach Ertz, I will take Jordan Reed who I think could be in line for a monster year this season. I also only take athletic guys late with high upside.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I’m a guy who likes to take top defenses as I don’t see a lot of value in the late rounds and think far too often people just wait on defenses in Best Ball leagues which is a mistake. I’ll be targeting one of the first three defenses off the board which should be around round 16 I would suspect.

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 5 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot.

The 5th slot is my favorite position to draft from. It is essentially waiting to see which player falls to you whether it is Gurley, Johnson, Elliott, Bell or Brown and then adjust accordingly. If I get Brown, it is extremely likely that I will be taking a running in the second and third rounds.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

Rookies tend to get over-drafted which means that I’m typically out on them, while injuries and suspensions are often under-drafted in the Best Ball format. Best Ball leagues are typically won in the bye weeks, and for me to guarantee that a player or several players will be back healthy from suspension it provides a nice floor if you can get a discount on that player.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

I expect that I will have one quarterback, four running backs, four wide receivers and a tight end.

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

After 15 rounds, I expect I will have two quarterbacks, six running backs, five wide receivers and two tight ends

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

Dede Westbrook, T.J. Yeldon, Jordan Wilkins, John Ross, and DeSean Jackson

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format?

In this format, the guy who is my favorite sleeper is Michael Gallup, I expect big things out of him this year as the Cowboys have been extremely comfortable with their wide receiving group heading into this season which is shocking considering they lost both Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. I believe a big part of this is due to they know they have a replacement to Dez in Gallup who while he is not as big as Dez is a tremendous route runner and someone who can have a tremendous season this year.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.05
5
WR
PIT
2.08
20
WR
KCC
3.05
29
TE
PHI
4.08
44
WR
CLE
5.05
53
QB
SEA
6.08
68
TE
NYG
7.05
77
RB
CLE
8.08
92
RB
WAS
9.05
101
QB
IND
10.08
116
RB
Aaron Jones
GBP
11.05
125
WR
OAK
12.08
140
Def
Jacksonville Jaguars
JAC
13.05
149
Def
Los Angeles Rams
LAR
14.08
164
RB
IND
15.05
173
RB
DAL
16.08
188
RB
KCC
17.05
197
WR
CIN
18.08
212
RB
OAK
19.05
221
WR
MIA
20.08
236
RB
NYG

post-draft questions

1. You abandoned your pre-draft strategy early on and opted for an upside-down draft plan that saw you drafting seven running backs but none before Round 8. Spell out the dynamics of such a draft plan to the viewers and why it can be successful in the best-ball format.

Once I took Antonio Brown at 1.05, I had a group of running backs that I liked that were taken all right before me in the second round. At that point in the second round, it was a choice whether to jump in at the end of a run, or just completely differentiate my team with high upside guys and go with a quantity of running backs that I felt comfortable with later in the draft. I went with a quality over quantity approach at quarterback, tight end and defense which instead of having to take three at this position, I went out and got my top two defenses early, took two of my top four tight ends, and two of my top 6 quarterbacks. This allowed for me to just load my team with running backs that have the chance to get starting jobs and if they get the starting jobs my team will win this league this year. Differentiating my team is always a part of my strategy as I hate just following the herd and hoping that it works out.

2. As part of the Upside-down drafting strategy, you were the only team that selected just two tight ends, two quarterbacks, and two defenses. You invested in quality over quantity at each of these positions which allowed for you to throw more darts at the RB/WR position. Give us a couple of guys that the fantasy world is overlooking that can be deployed with this draft strategy.

This draft strategy in best ball is one that most people do not use, but should really evaluate switching to as a draft progresses. Most defenses and tight ends are complete wastes late in the draft and by going out and getting two quality player/teams allows you to load up running backs which after the first-round running backs becomes a volatile position quickly. To do this strategy properly, you really need to take running backs who have a chance to have big games that are undervalued. Chris Thompson is perfect for this as in a best ball, you don't care about his week to week volatility all you care about are the weeks he ends up as a top-12 running back. Thompson was a top-12 running back in 40 percent of his games last season and to get him in the ninth round is a tremendous value. Another guy that I drafted was Tavon Austin, we do not know what role Austin will have in Dallas, but in the 15th round getting a player who coaches have been talking up as getting a tremendous amount of touches is encouraging as he has the speed similar to Thompson where it just takes one play and he is a top-12 running back. Loading up on rookies who have a chance to win the job but do not have the job at the moment was another target for me as I got Jordan Wilkins, and Nick Chubb both who can potentially win the job out of camp. A rookie that I wanted but didn't get was Nyheim Hines as he has the speed and big-play ability similar to Thompson and Austin. If you have seven running backs you can take these high volatility guys or guys who may not win the job but are undervalued.

alex miglio's evaluation

STRENGTHS

It’s hard to find a better-positioned team than Knotts’ is at everything but running back. He eschewed the position, and his quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends are poised to put up huge numbers as a result. Just look at the studs Knotts landed starting with Antonio Brown and Tyreek Hill, the latter of whom is much better suited for best ball formats than traditional leagues. Together with Josh Gordon, the upside at wide receiver is palpable. Knotts also nailed the quarterback and tight end positions. Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck – God save his shoulder – with Zach Ertz and Evan Engram are going to make Knotts a tough out regardless of what his running backs do.

WEAKNESSES

Employing Zero running back in best-ball format is quite the gambler’s ploy. Knotts’ weakness could be his strength in the end, but the running back position on this roster is ugly on paper. Given the premium the rest of the league gave the position, though, this may have been the most optimal route. Knotts spammed running backs in the latter half of the draft to try to put together a stew hearty enough to put up decent numbers most weeks. In the end, it may not matter if the other positions carry the load as intended. About the only other thing to complain about is depth at receiver. One serious injury or suspension to his top three could cause trouble.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Any combination of two running backs on this roster emerge as consistent scorers, and Gordon doesn’t get suspended. That’s all it will take for Knotts to win this thing if the rest of his team stays relatively healthy.

DRAFT SLOT 6

Justin Howe
Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

Assuming it all falls (mostly) the way I hope, I plan to go this direction:

  • 2 quarterbacks
  • 5 running backs
  • 8 wide receivers
  • 2 tight ends
  • 3 defenses

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

The quarterback board is so crowded and packed with value that it makes little sense to reach for any specific one. They're clustered at the top - Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are not far apart in my eyes, so paying a multi-round premium for Rodgers seems silly. And by Round 7 or 8, you're presented with 15-20 guys that project similarly, and any 4-5 of them could fall into Round 11 or 12. Unless we see a wild fall from a top name - as in, two or three rounds of draft equity - I'm hands-off until the double-digit rounds.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Top-end running back production is both absurdly valuable and precious, with relatively high bust rates at the top. That's why it's important to load up heavily on blue-chip workhorse backs early on. Return on investment from mid-round running backs is quite low, though there is a bevy of week-to-week value from wide receivers all the way through the draft. All of this, of course, assumes that draft value is there. Reaching for Kenyan Drake in Round 3 over top-tier wideouts isn't advised, though the strategy behind such a move stands. Backs need to be targeted aggressively; I'll draft my third by Round 4 or 5 at the latest.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Unless we see a major fall - say Keenan Allen is sitting there late in Round 2, or JuJu Smith-Schuster's massive upside in Round 5 - then I'll mostly wait on receivers. Taking them in the first few rounds carries a ton of opportunity cost, leaving you parsing through flawed mid-round running backs later. While guys like DeAndre Hopkins and Keenan Allen are valuable to fantasy teams, of course, drafters can mix-and-match their production by drafting a ton of receivers later on. Remember, in best ball, we don't have to anticipate big weeks to set lineups. I'll likely grab a wideout in Rounds 3, 7, 8, and 9.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I'll often target Rob Gronkowski in Round 2, but otherwise, I likely won't approach the position until taking a battery of mid- and late-round guys. There is plenty of week-to-week upside for touchdowns and splash plays available late in the draft - and the best ball format is set up perfectly for that.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I'll take 2-3 high-upside defenses at the tail end of a good draft, typically in Rounds 18-20.

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 6 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot.

Drafting sixth tells me I'll possibly be choosing between Alvin Kamara and Antonio Brown. That's a great problem to have, of course, and it will set up the first half of my draft. If it's Kamara, I'll probably pursue an RB-heavy strategy, with four of them by Round 5 or 6. Kamara doesn't quite look like that top caliber of set-it-and-forget-it anchor RB1s, so I'll want to add some reinforcements to emphatically lock down my running back spots.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I downgrade them in my rankings proportionately, then adjust throughout those late tiers for upside and draft value. For example: LeSean McCoy's situation makes him untouchable before the flier portion of a draft, so he bumps down and out of my top 50 or so running backs. But his ceiling is tremendous for that range - he could easily play 14+ games and produce as a strong RB2 - so he nudges up well past dart throws like Frank Gore and Kalen Ballage.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

I expect to have this composition by then:

  • 1 quarterback
  • 4 running backs
  • 4 wide receivers
  • 1 tight end

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

By this point, hopefully I'm here:

  • 2 quarterbacks
  • 5 running backs
  • 6 wide receivers
  • 2 tight ends

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

I'd love to compile two or three defensive units from this range, like Pittsburgh, Houston, and Atlanta.

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

There's great value to be had in Peyton Barber, who often slips into Round 14 or even 15. That's insanely cheap for a starting runner, especially one in an upside-packed offense like Barber's. Going deeper: Tavon Austin keeps coming to me in the 17th and 18th rounds, which is awfully cheap for a spark plug in an offense desperately piecing together dynamism.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.06
6
RB
NOS
2.07
19
TE
NEP
3.06
30
RB
WAS
4.07
43
RB
PHI
5.06
54
WR
DET
6.07
67
RB
DEN
7.06
78
WR
LAR
8.07
91
WR
Jamison Crowder
WAS
9.06
102
WR
SFO
10.07
115
QB
DET
11.06
126
QB
PIT
12.07
139
TE
TBB
13.06
150
RB
TBB
14.07
163
TE
IND
15.06
174
WR
TBB
16.07
187
Def
Baltimore Ravens
BAL
17.06
198
Def
Pittsburgh Steelers
PIT
18.07
211
Def
Detroit Lions
DET
19.06
222
WR
Mohamed Sanu
ATL
20.07
235
WR
Chester Rogers
IND

post-draft questions

1. You selected the first tight end off of the board when you selected Rob Gronkowski in the 2nd round. How good can he be this season?

He can be as good as we've ever seen him. There's nothing in his way; the Patriots' ever-juggling wide receiver stable should leave him as the top-targeted guy whenever he's healthy. He carries the same 1,100-yard, 14-touchdown ceiling as always. Of course, Gronkowski is always an injury risk - he plays like an angry bull and the team isn't averse to letting him heal. But in a best ball format, you don't have to juggle Questionable tags. Just ride him out, enjoy the 8-12 top-five weeks he puts up a year, and rely on one or two stable guys from the double-digit rounds as backup. One of the best things about taking Gronkowski (or Travis Kelce, to a lesser extent) is that you can skip the tight end spot for the next 9-10 rounds, at least.

2. You were patient at quarterback and got two quality starters in Matthew Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger in the 10th/11th. Is this the sweet spot for maximizing quarterback value? What are the triggers for you to know it's time to grab your first quarterback?

I've done roughly 150 drafts thus far, and there are few scenarios in which I walk away with a top-six quarterback. Aaron Rodgers' name value is too high, and Russell Wilson usually comes off the board in Round 5 or 6, when great flex options like Marvin Jones Jr and Royce Freeman remain on the board. And there are question marks behind those two, to the point that I'm not over the moon for anyone's value. Those factors, along with the stunning crowd of QB1/2 names behind them, make waiting an easy call. I'll mix in an early quarterback from time to time, for the sake of diversifying my exposures, or when one of the top names tumbles 2-3 rounds too far. But it's never, ever a goal entering a draft.

As for triggers, I don't really have any beyond my own roster construction. My general goal is to secure 4 running backs and 4 wide receivers before dipping into the pool, then in Round 9, leveraging the best available quarterbacks versus any tight end value that's slipped. Drew Brees tumbled into the ninth? I'm on it. The best quarterback left is Patrick Mahomes? I'm more likely to sit tight until the 10th and play mix-and-match with bye weeks. In any event, there's little place in my strategy for an early quarterback.

3. You stated a pre-draft desire to land running back Peyton Barber in the middle rounds and was able to get him in the 13th. What are your expectations from him this year?

Barber keeps coming up high in my projections - at least, high in relation to his ADP. I think many are expecting Ronald Jones to supplant him, but I don't think Jones is that kind of back. Regardless, Jones (to me) doesn't look ticketed for more than 150-175 rookie rushes, and that would leave close to 200 for Barber. No, Barber wouldn't set the world on fire with 200 rushes, but he'd certainly produce on a Round 9/10 level. The fact that he's available in nearly all of my Round 13s is baffling to me; any other running back in that range is a strict backup (Latavius Murray, Doug Martin) or a part-timer with tepid upside (Matt Breida, Giovani Bernard). Barber boasts close to a starter's outlook - he's a more stable addition to a shaky running back corps than most 13th-rounders - and the ultra-late ADP cooks out all of the downsides. There's little opportunity cost at this stage of the draft, where we're all taking swings at ceilings.

alex miglio's evaluation

STRENGTHS

Did this league get spooked at running back? It seems that way given how many people took backs in the first few rounds. Howe was one of those fantasy owners, and he nabbed an advantage at the position like a couple of his league-mates. Alvin Kamara is going to be PPR gold for as long as Drew Brees is throwing him the ball, and Derrius Guice and Jay Ajayi should combine forces to put up good numbers most weeks. Royce Freeman could be a nice fourth, and Peyton Barber is one of the top sleeper options out there. Howe also has one of the best tight end groups in the league. Having Rob Gronkowski helps.

WEAKNESSES

Howe waited at wide receiver and quarterback, though he did just fine at the latter position. Matthew Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger prove you can bypass the position for quite a while and still land great options. The same cannot be said about Howe’s receivers. Marvin Jones Jr tops an uninspiring group of wideouts. Howe is going to need some luck surfing his wide receiver scores throughout the year.

HOW(E) HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Kamara continues killing it in his sophomore campaign while Ajayi and Guice put up big numbers to shore up the flex spot. Stafford and Roethlisberger don’t have any five-interception stinkers at the same time. Pierre Garcon becomes Jimmy Garoppolo’s favorite target and puts up a top-12 fantasy season. Gronk smashes.

DRAFT SLOT 7

Chad Parsons
Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

There are a few variables involved, but if things go according to plan I would project:

  • 2 quarterbacks
  • 6 running backs
  • 7 wide receivers
  • 3 tight ends
  • 2 defenses

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I am a notorious late quarterback drafter. In traditional head-to-head formats with shallow rosters, I would easily wait until the final rounds and draft only one quarterback. However, with the best ball dynamic and a few additional rounds of drafting, I will take at least two quarterbacks. I cannot foresee a scenario where I take my first quarterback before Round 10 or 11. The options I would consider in that range would be Andrew Luck or Ben Roethlisberger, but that's dependent on the value elsewhere. More likely is I wait and take Eli Manning, Dak Prescott, Marcus Mariota, or Jameis Winston types in Round 13 or beyond as my top option.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

With the No.7 draft slot, I would love to get one of the big six backs in Round 1. Those would be Todd Gurley, Le'Veon Bell, David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara, and Saquon Barkley. I would need one owner in front of me to go wide receiver. The drafts I like the most are when I have three running backs by Round 5. Ideally, someone like Lamar Miller would be there in Round 5 as my RB3, or maybe someone like Mark Ingram II.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

I am more flexible at wide receiver than the other positions. I can see not having a receiver until the fourth or fifth round depending on how the board breaks or going with two in the first three rounds if running back goes sideways on me. In most drafts, I have three receivers by Round 7-8.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

Rob Gronkowski in Round 2 is a target zone. At 2.06 I would put my odds at 30-40% I get a look at Gronkowski in this draft. If I miss on Gronkowski (and I would take him over basically any receiver who could be there), I will fade tight end until at least Jimmy Graham (Round 5-7 maybe) and Delanie Walker (if after Graham). More likely is I will wait, like quarterback, and form a committee in the double-digit rounds, especially in best ball with such a high-variance weekly position.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

The key for me is getting multiple options in the late rounds. There are so much weekly and annual turnover in the rankings, having multiple weekly options in best ball (and not duplicating bye weeks) is my biggest piece of advice. I can see getting three defenses if the sleeper pool at the skill positions is dry in the closing rounds.

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 7 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot.

At 1.07, the good news is I am never far from my next selection being in the middle of the round. I would prefer a spot or two higher in Round 1 simply because I know I can get a cornerstone running back. If I get a Dalvin Cook, Rob Gronkowski type in Round 2, then I am more okay with going stud receiver in Round 1. One thing I have thought about (but yet to execute) is in the 1.07-1.09 range and missing on the top running backs is to simply take Leonard Fournette. I could see going that direction in this draft if the first tier of running backs is gone before 1.07.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I am open to rookie running backs, but not really any of the other skill positions. I need to see a little discount on injured players without clarity on their status to begin the season (like Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz, etc). One suspended player I am highly interested in is Mark Ingram II. He is out four games, but can be an RB1 for the rest of the season. I can piece together four running back starts in the meantime. In my RB3,4,5 spots I am perfectly fine mixing in one or two rookies or developing options (like Nick Chubb) who can rise in the second half of the season.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • 0 quarterbacks
  • 5 running backs
  • 4 wide receivers
  • 1 tight end

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • 2 quarterbacks
  • 5 running backs
  • 5 wide receivers
  • 2 tight ends
  • 1 defense

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

I included seven players because I love the late rounds so much. Vance McDonald and Luke Willson do not need any injury assistance to vault up their value. Both can be Week 1 starters for their teams. The rest of the list can be huge producers if one thing (an injury) happens in front of them. Chris Ivory does not even need an injury as LeSean McCoy could be out for off-field reasons. James Conner and Matt Breida are my favorite backup running backs in this range. Kenneth Dixon is a wildcard in the Baltimore backfield returning from injury.

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

Tyler Lockett stands out as a high-variance weekly play, but a receiver to supply big plays and a few long touchdowns. Seattle should be in catch-up mode and higher scoring games this year with a rebuilding defense. Lockett moves up the food chain with Paul Richardson Jr gone.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.07
7
RB
NYG
2.06
18
RB
CAR
3.07
31
TE
KCC
4.06
42
RB
TEN
5.07
55
WR
HOU
6.06
66
WR
MIA
7.07
79
RB
Jamaal Williams
GBP
8.06
90
WR
CAR
9.07
103
WR
DAL
10.06
114
WR
WAS
11.07
127
WR
BUF
12.06
138
WR
NOS
13.07
151
Def
Philadelphia Eagles
PHI
14.06
162
QB
DAL
15.07
175
QB
NYG
16.06
186
TE
NOS
17.07
199
RB
MIA
18.06
210
TE
CIN
19.07
223
Def
San Francisco 49ers
SFO
20.06
234
WR
BAL

post-draft questions

1. You waited until the 14th round to select your first quarterback and then took Dak Prescott and Eli Manning with back-to-back picks. Talk us through waiting for this late at quarterback and how this can be a winning strategy in best-ball leagues.

The value at quarterback in this draft was unreal. Going for Dak Prescott in Round 14 even felt like a little bit of a reach based on the quarterbacks still available. However, the position had a run in Round 15, so I picked the right time to jump in and get two sturdy options. Eli Manning was a pre-draft target, so I even contemplated going Manning over Prescott in Round 14 to be safe. In best ball, I prefer the committee approach with two solid options (and maybe even adding a third upside rookie or yet-to-develop quarterback) instead of splurging for a stud early. Considering how big the dropoff is at the other positions compared to viable quarterbacks readily available in the double-digit rounds, going late-round quarterback in best ball is a no-brainer on my board.

2. You took a quantity vs quality approach at wide receiver. Your first wide receiver selected is not even a WR1 on his team (Will Fuller V). You added 7 wide receivers in rounds 5 through 12. Why do you prefer quantity over quality at this position in best-ball leagues?

In best ball, I prefer the shotgun approach at wide receiver, a high variance weekly position. Securing multiple solid running backs was a greater priority (Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey in the first two rounds). In retrospect, Derrick Henry was a luxury selection in Round 4, which could have been Demaryius Thomas as my WR1 instead. In terms of player selection, my approach was simple - draft as many No.1 or potential No.1 NFL receivers as possible with the exception being No.2 options on dominant passing games. Will Fuller V was the No.2 overall fantasy receiver when he and Deshaun Watson were healthy early in 2017. Without a solid tight end or No.3 receiver, Houston's offense funnels through their two top receivers. Fuller was an exception to my No.1 receiver rule. The rest, including Devin Funchess, DeVante Parker, Allen Hurns, Josh Doctson, and Kelvin Benjamin are all realistic top targets for their depth charts. Ted Ginn Jr and John Brown as my final two receivers are best ball specials with big play ability.

alex miglio's evaluation

STRENGTHS

Landing Travis Kelce in the third round was a stroke of genius. Or was it luck? Either way, Parsons got great value at the position. This is especially true when you consider Ben Watson and Tyler Kroft to be sneaky good sleeper options. Parsons also has a sexy group of running backs headlined by PPR stud Christian McCaffrey. Saquon Barkley is a divisive first-rounder, but I fall into the camp that thinks he will be a fantasy star from Day One.

WEAKNESSES

Is that… Will Fuller V… as Parsons’ WR1? As the 25th receiver off the board? More on that after I digest that news.

If Howe proved you can wait at quarterback and still land some good players, Parsons proved there is such a thing as waiting too long. Dak Prescott and Eli Manning have fantasy potential, but they can just as easily put up mediocre numbers yet again. After losing Dez Bryant and Jason Witten in the offseason, Prescott’s best receiver is Allen Hurns. Ezekiel Elliott might run the ball 350 times. And, of course, Eli Manning is Eli Manning.

Alright, so Fuller had a torrid run last season, and he is a solid best-ball option. But taking him as your top receiver – well above his ADP, to boot – is an incredible risk. It was almost the same story with DeVante Parker. About the only thing I liked at the position here was Devin Funchess, who I think will outscore the other two guys this season.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Fuller scores 12 touchdowns on 70 targets and makes me look foolish for chiding the pick, and Parker becomes a franchise wideout in Miami. Parsons proves me wrong at quarterback as Prescott returns to his rookie form and tosses a top-10 fantasy season. The running back stable produces top-flight weekly numbers as Kelce retains his crown as the top fantasy tight end in the league.

DRAFT SLOT 8

Jody Smith

Jody finished 2012 as Fantasy Pro's Most Accurate Football Expert while writing and editing for GridironExperts. He is now a Feature Writer for FantasyPros and make contributions to USA Today's Texans Wire, Fanball, Fantasy Sharks and CBS Sportsline. Jody has also written for Bleacher Report, Pro Football Focus, and numerous magazines.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

Since It's best ball, I'll take two quarterbacks and defenses, making sure I watch the bye weeks and don't take a zero at one of those positions. That leaves 16 spots for the other positions, likely a combo of two tight ends, five running backs, and seven wide receivers, plus two other players depending on strengths and weaknesses.

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position?

There are 20+ quarterbacks that I feel confident that I can win with, so it's likely going to be a wait-and-see approach. However, with this being an expert's draft, quarterbacks are likely to slide even further than they customarily do.

When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I'd be interested in Rodgers if he's available in the fifth, but likely will hold off until the eighth round if a top-eight signal-caller is on the board and I don't necessarily like the position players that are available.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position?

You hope to land a top-five pick to secure one of the elite backs in the top half of Round 1, but it's a position that must be attacked in the first half-dozen rounds. If I end up with a pick closer to the turn, I may go WR/WR if I like the value and target pass-catching specialists like Dion Lewis, Tarik Cohen, and Duke Johnson Jr in Rounds 5-6.

When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Ideally, I'd like to have three running back no later than the sixth round.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position?

WR is very deep, so you can afford to wait. That depth also causes the elite guys to slide in the first 25 picks, so I find myself starting wide receiver-heavy quite often. Draft position plays a huge role in determining where I will start attacking wideouts.

When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

I feel like you can land a solid WR3 as late as the seventh or eighth round in most drafts.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position?

I just can't let myself spend a top-three pick on a tight end normally, so it's usually a position that I just employ an average committee in best ball, targeting values like Charles Clay, Cameron Brate, and Ben Watson. I might take a stab at Rob Gronkowski if he slides into the third round, but that's rare.

When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

Probably no earlier than Round 7.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position?

I prefer to wait. Defense is unpredictable from season-to-season and I don't see a lot of value in grabbing last year's elite unit where they normally start going off the board. I have late-round sleeper teams like Green Bay and Cleveland that are almost always available in the last round, so that's likely who I will target once again.

When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

Round 17

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 8 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

In 2018, the No. 8 spot is a good one for attacking the wide receiver position. You can usually secure DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham at this juncture and then take an running back like Devonta Freeman, Davin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, or Jerick McKinnon in the second round. Going WR/WR is also very appealing from this spot, as opening with Hopkins/Beckham and A.J. Green is very appealing, but thatcan lead to running back problems.

It's possible to also go with Saquon Barkley, Kareem Hunt or Leonard Fournette from 8 as well, then target elite wideouts at 17.

There's plenty of value to be found from drafting eighth, you just have to be able to adjust on the fly for how the people that are drafting from slots five through seven approach their squads.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

At least one rookie hits big every year, so they're definitely worth targeting, particularly this impressive crop of rookie rushers. Injuries need to be researched. Knowing the severity of an injury, it's recovery timetable and bounce-back ability are imperative. D'Onta Foreman is still being talked up as a potential sleeper, but he suffered a severe Achilles injury and the recovery history for running backs from that ailment isn't good. Just something to consider. Suspensions have a little more meaning to me in dynasty, as the next slip up tends to be far more severe. For our best-ball, redraft purposes, it can lead to solid value for players willing to take a gamble on those four zero's to open the year.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

I'd be happy to have 1 quarterback and TE, with 4 backs and pass-catchers being an ideal distribution.

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

My position players should more-or-less be assembled by that point, so I expect I'd have my two quarterbacks and tight ends, with five running backs and six wide receivers the likeliest breakdown.

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

This is where I'll be taking my defenses, so if I get lucky and a top-fve defense from my board is there, I'll be ecstatic.

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.08
8
WR
HOU
2.05
17
RB
ATL
3.08
32
WR
IND
4.05
41
RB
BAL
5.08
56
WR
PHI
6.05
65
TE
GBP
7.08
80
RB
Tevin Coleman
ATL
8.05
89
RB
CLE
9.08
104
QB
NOS
10.05
113
WR
FA
11.08
128
WR
Calvin Ridley
ATL
12.05
137
TE
TBB
13.08
152
RB
JAC
14.05
161
WR
PIT
15.08
176
QB
CHI
16.05
185
RB
Javorius Allen
BAL
17.08
200
Def
Carolina Panthers
CAR
18.05
209
Def
Green Bay Packers
GBP
19.08
224
WR
PHI
20.05
233
WR
MIA

post-draft questions

1. You were one of three teams that selected just two quarterbacks, two tight ends, and two defenses. Explain why you feel this leads to the best-ball rosters?

Quarterbacks usually aren't as prone to injuries, so I feel pretty comfortable grabbing two solid signal-callers. Drew Brees is about as safe an option as there is, so I anticipate he'll be my quarterback of record in most weeks. I wanted a better QB2 but feel like Mitchell Trubisky is an ideal best-ball candidate in a potentially-potent Chicago offense. With Jimmy Graham and O.J. Howard, I have two of my top-12 tight ends, so I'm very happy to load up as many late-round sleepers at running back and wide receiver as I can--positions that typically score far more points than tight ends. The year-to-year turnover at DST is hard to predict, and with it being the least important part of a lineup, I tend to place less importance on the spot, preferring again to nab an additional wide receiver or RB.

2. You invested heavy at the wide receiver position using 3 of your first 5 selection and 8 picks overall. Talk us through your thought process here and why this approach can lead to powerful scores every week.

WR's tend to be safer bets, especially in PPR-scoring formats. After starting with DeAndre Hopkins in the first, I was very happy to nab Devonta Freeman, who has top-10 PPR ability. I also feel that T.Y. Hilton is being overlooked early on and his ADP is going to rise as Andrew Luck's status becomes more clear. Hilton is an ideal WR2 and gave me a pair of top-10 wideouts, which is an excellent starting point each week.

3. You through a dart at wide receiver Danny Amendola in the last round. Why is he a deep sleeper you covet? What are your expectations this season?

It's those 161 targets abandon by Jarvis Landry's departure that has me interested in Amendola and Albert Wilson, who was nabbed in Round 19. Amendola is a reliable slot receiver who just might be able to secure a healthy portion of those looks that customarily went to Landry. He was my final pick, so if he doesn't contribute much, it won't hurt me at all. However, if he beats out Wilson for the starting slot job, Amendola is a candidate to catch 50+ passes.

alex miglio's avaluations

STRENGTHS

The strength of Smith’s squad lies in its balance. Where some fantasy owners clearly prioritized certain positions and shunned others, Smith took what he was given and wound up with quality all around as a result. If we had to highlight a particularly strong position on Smith’s roster, it would be wide receiver. DeAndre Hopkins is a target monster with a high floor while T.Y. Hilton and Alshon Jeffery are high-upside guys capable of putting up huge numbers any given week. Smith did wait a bit to start taking depth players here – starting with Dez Bryant, who currently has no team – but his starting group is among the best to come out of this draft.

WEAKNESSES

Balance can be a curse. While Smith has a strong starting group, the depth he has at every position save maybe tight end leaves a lot to be desired. If a couple of his “starters” underperform or miss time, Smith is going to have a tough time finding points from his “bench”. Of course, this is best ball, where you just need one guy to hit that week if your stud falters.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Smith’s top players all stay healthy throughout the season and put up solid numbers as expected. One of Danny Amendola, Mike Wallace or James Washington finds a role where they put up solid numbers to cover up the bad weeks from Hilton and Jeffery. Alex Collins isn’t a bust, and the Browns don’t relegate Duke Johnson Jr to third-down duty.

DRAFT SLOT 9

Ian Allan
Ian Allan co-founded Fantasy Football Index in 1987. He and fellow journalism student Bruce Taylor launched the first newsstand fantasy football magazine as a class project at the University of Washington. For more than three decades, Allan has written and edited most of the content published in the magazines, newsletters and at www.fantasyindex.com. An exhaustive researcher, he may be the only person in the country who has watched at least some of every preseason football game played since in the early 1990s. Allan is a member of the FSTA Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

I’m pretty sure I’ll select two each at quarterback, tight end, and defense. I likely will select eight wide receivers and six running backs.

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I like the top 21 quarterbacks (though just a little queasy with the final two of that group – Andy Dalton and Derek Carr). My expectation is that I’ll wait at this position and select two of these guys. With there being only 20 roster spots, I don’t want to carry three quarterbacks.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

With this being PPR scoring and there being a flex, I think wide receiver is more important than running back. After seven rounds, I expect I’ll have chosen four wide receivers, two running backs and a tight end. So most likely I’ll fit in that third running back in the 8th-10th round.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

You have to start three wide receivers, and it’s really four, given the PPR scoring. There are also byes and injuries, and with it being best-ball scoring (and no roster moves) I’ll want to have five wide receivers who I can count on. I expect my first five picks will include three wide receivers..

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

There are nine tight ends that I like. I’ll want to get one of those guys. For the second tight end, maybe the last round. I believe everyone will select two tight ends, and I believe there will be some decent ones that won’t even be chosen. If I use my last pick on a tight end (and also a late pick on a handcuff running back), that will allow me to move up two rounds in the race to select second defenses.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I definitely will select two. I spent a few hours exploring combinations, and I am confident that’s the correct number. In the best-ball format, that second defense adds value. One isn’t enough and three is too many. Jacksonville’s defense looks strong. I think there will be many games where opponents don’t score more than 17 against them. Scoring systems vary. If the format is right, I would not be opposed to being the first to select a defense. But more likely I’ll be one of the later guys to select a defense (and then one of the first to select a second defense).

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 9 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot.

Draft position will play a huge role in how the first three rounds play out. Who I pick in round No. 1 will be determined largely by which slot I’m in. Similarly, where I’m situated in the second and third rounds should play a big role in those picks. Most likely I’ll open with a running back then pick a pair of receivers.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I will be willing to select Mark Ingram II and Jameis Winston. But in general, I tend to prefer players who are clean and look likely to play a full 16. You only get to choose 20 players, and you want to have all of them contributing for as much of the season as possible. You want lots of oars in the water. I tend to stay away from the hit-or-miss gambles – I don’t want dead spots on the roster.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

Most likely this:

  • 3 running backs
  • 5 wide receivers
  • 1 quarterback
  • 1 tight end

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

Most likely this:

  • 7-8 wide receivers
  • 4-5 running backs
  • 2 quarterbacks
  • 1 tight end

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

Assuming I choose a running back in the first round, I will likely choose his handcuff in the final four rounds. James Conner I will take even if I don’t have Le'Veon Bell. Rod Smith (Ezekiel Elliott) or John Kelly (Todd Gurley) could be my 20th pick. Working backwards, a tight end could be my final selection. In a recent draft, I had the next-to-last pick and was able to choose a second tight end from Austin Hooper, Ed Dickson, and Michael Roberts.

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

I like Tyler Lockett. Seattle lost Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson Jr, and I think they’ll need to use Lockett a lot more. In the Experts Mock Draft in our magazine, Lockett went in the 13th round. I’m not promising I’ll let him last until the 10th round.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.09
9
RB
KCC
2.04
16
WR
LAC
3.09
33
WR
OAK
4.04
40
WR
PIT
5.09
57
WR
TEN
6.04
64
TE
Kyle Rudolph
MIN
7.09
81
RB
NEP
8.04
88
RB
IND
9.09
105
WR
Nelson Agholor
PHI
10.04
112
WR
SEA
11.09
129
QB
LAC
12.04
136
QB
WAS
13.09
153
RB
Corey Clement
PHI
14.04
160
RB
PIT
15.09
177
Def
Houston Texans
HOU
16.04
184
QB
CIN
17.09
201
RB
SEA
18.04
208
Def
Tennessee Titans
TEN
19.09
225
WR
IND
20.04
232
TE
SEA

post-draft questions

1. You executed your pre-draft plan to a tee. One of your goals was to grab wide receivers early and you managed that by taking four in the first five rounds. Explain to the reader why this is your preferred strategy for Best-Ball leagues?

In this league, it’s PPR scoring, with three starting wide receivers plus a flex player. So in reality, it’s four starting wide receivers — they score more than running backs (and also miss fewer games). There are byes and injuries and players having down weeks, so at a minimum, you need five good receivers. I made that position a priority, collecting six of my top 38 pass catchers with my first 10 picks.

2. You stated in your pre-draft plan that you would select wide receiver Tyler Lockett if he was still there in the tenth. What are your expectations for Lockett this season?

The Seahawks lost Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson Jr, who combined for 101 catches and 16 TDs last year. So they’ll be looking for Lockett to do a lot more. He was injured last year, which contributed to him having a down year. He’s healthy now, and he’s been around for a few years — he knows what he’s doing, and he’s had some success. He’s also in a contract year. He’s the 38th wide receiver on my board, so I’m feeling pretty good about having him as a 6th wide receiver.

3. You had tight end Ed Dickson as a deep sleeper value pick and selected him with your last selection. What is the industry missing on this player?

I was torn on how to handle the end game. I expected there would be some decent tight ends available at the end who would be higher on my board than many of the tight ends selected after the 15th round. One option was to go with Michael Roberts, who I think will start for Detroit and maybe be a goal-line guy. He outscored Kareem Hunt in their final year together at Toledo. But I’m not positive Roberts will start, and this is a no-moves league. Another option was to instead use my final two picks on the two rookie tight ends in Baltimore. I am confident that either Hayden Hurst or Mark Andrews will put up good numbers, given the way the Ravens emphasize the tight end. But going that route would have prevented me from selecting a seventh wide receiver (Ryan Grant, whom I think will start in Indianapolis and might be pretty good). So I went the safe route with Dickson, who is at least definitely starting for his team. Not a guy I’m super excited about — definitely hitting for a single there — but could get some goal-line looks. Jimmy Graham (the Seattle tight end last year) saw 16 targets inside the 5-year-ine, which I believe is an all-time NFL record. It’s the most I’ve seen by any player since I started tracking that stat about 20 years ago.

4. The field was split on taking two or three tight ends. You selected two including the fifth off of the board (Rudolph). Best ball leagues always require making sacrifices somewhere due to limited roster spots. Why do you think two tight ends is the optimal strategy?

If Trey Burton had fallen a little more, I would have taken two of the higher-end tight ends. Once Burton was gone, I settled on using my final pick on a tight end, allowing me to move up the batting order in selecting my defense and second defense. I also burned a roster spot on a third quarterback, which I wasn’t expecting to do (but I thought Andy Dalton was a value in the 16th round). At the end of the draft, the choice was to use either one throwaway pick on a warm-body second tight end (Ed Dickson) or bypass Ryan Grant (my 19th pick) and use both of my last two picks on the two Baltimore rookie tight ends. The Ravens use the tight ends heavily. Dennis Pitta caught 86 passes for them two years ago, and last year the Ravens ranked third in the NFL in completions to tight ends. So I am confident either Hayden Hurst or Mark Andrews will dramatically outperform where they are selected, but I have no idea which of those two rookie tight ends will be better.

alex miglio's evaluation

STRENGTHS

Finally, someone loved himself some wide receivers. After taking Kareem Hunt as a solid option in the first round, Allen rattled off four wideouts in a row to give him a solid corps. Outside target hog Keenan Allen, though, his group is going to have to outperform expectations. Amari Cooper has plenty of doubters, as does Corey Davis. JuJu Schuster-Smith, meanwhile, is a great best-ball option in that Pittsburgh offense.

WEAKNESSES

Allen is another fantasy owner who did well at quarterback in spite of waiting. Still, several other teams have a stronger set than Philip Rivers and Alex Smith.

Where this team really suffers is running back. Aside from Hunt, there are a whole lot of backups or question marks on this roster. James White – who was drafted quite a bit earlier than his ADP – is going to have a few big weeks in New England, as he is wont to do. But that won’t cut it as an RB2, which is what he will have to be for this team to succeed. Marlon Mack keeps slipping for good reason, and the rest of Allen’s stable is full of backups.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Hunt reprises his rookie campaign without the second-half swoon while White changes his name to Heisenberg. Cooper and Davis prove their doubters wrong, and Allen’s receivers carry the team on a weekly basis. Rivers avoids negative regression and puts together another top-eight fantasy season. Jimmy Graham avoids injury and becomes a stud in Green Bay.

DRAFT SLOT 10

B.J. Vanderwoude
Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

I plan on taking three quarterbacks, five running backs, seven wide receivers and three tight ends. Depending on which tier my No. 1 tight end is in, I could also see taking two tight ends and six running backs.

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

My general strategy is to load up on running backs and wide receivers in the first six/seven rounds, and then try to grab at least two quarterbacks between Matthew Stafford (ADP No. 95, quarterback No. 10) and Alex Smith (ADP No. 138, quarterback No. 18)

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Picking at No. 10 allows me the option to draft Kareem Hunt, Leonard Fournette or Melvin Gordon III, respectively. Hunt is my preferred pick, but if he is not available that means Odell Beckham Jr. most likely slipped to me and I would take him over Fournette and Gordon. I am hoping to take my third running back by the sixth round, however, the wide receiver position is much deeper in the fifth and sixth round, so I will be looking to take three running backs before the sixth round.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

Wide receiver is the toughest position to project, because there are sharp drop-offs at the end of the first three tiers. I want to focus on consistency and upside with my first two wide receivers, and I would not rule out starting the draft with two wide receivers if the right players fall to me (Odell Beckham Jr./Julio Jones would be a dream start). Depending on my first two picks, I will have three wide receivers either by the end of the fifth or sixth round.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

Much like the quarterback position, I don’t plan on spending an early draft pick on the tight end position. After Gronkowski, Kelce and Ertz, the tight end position thins out pretty quickly and there is very little week to week consistency. I will most likely wait until the ninth round before I start looking for a tight end. With that said, I will probably pick two (and possibly three) tight ends between the 10 and 13th rounds.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

My strategy is to wait on the defense position. In a best ball league you can generally do very well with two defenses ranked in the middle. I don’t think picking a top defense provides a worthwhile return on investment when you can generally a skill position player that has more comparative upside.

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 10 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot.

The decision at No. 10 is made for me by the first nine managers. I think there is a big drop off after Odell Beckham Jr. and Kareem Hunt, but luckily they are the ninth and 10th players drafted on most occasions, so I should end up with one of them or a higher ranked player that slips to me (DeAndrre Hopkins or Saquon Barkley). Leonard Fournette is a consideration, but I would like my No. 1 pick to have the chance to be the No. 1 player at his position, and I don’t see that happening for Fournette. The biggest change for me at No. 10 will be what I do in the third and fourth rounds. Generally, I like to take the best player available, but I may be forced to draft one, or potentially two, running backs if I take wide receivers with my first two picks.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I am normally very cautious with taking rookies, especially at the running back position where it is very possible they hit a wall after the 10th game of the season. Injured and suspended players are all about the value proposition. What may be a bad pick in the 10th round, could become a great pick in the 13th round. Where injured and suspended players are concerned, I think it is important to estimate when you think they will be back, and prorate their projections to see how they match up with other players in their draft range.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

By the 10th round, I am looking to have four running backs, four wide receivers, one (or two) quarterbacks and one (or two) tight ends. Quarterback and tight end comes down to which players are available and when the next big drop off of talent will occur.

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

I expect to have five running backs, six wide receivers, two quarterbacks and two tight ends.

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft

Chris Godwin, James Washington, Jermaine Kearse, Peyton Barber and Blake Bortles.

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format

This format was made for a player like Paul Richardson Jr. Primarily a deep threat, he will have to adapt to Alex Smith’s limitations as a passer, but he showed last year that he can be strong at the point of attack and win contested passes. The Redskins need a dynamic threat on the outside and Richardson certainly fits the bill. The same goes for Tyrell Williams. Philip Rivers is always among the league leaders in attempted passes, and now the Chargers will have to go the entire season with Hunter Henry. Williams has proven to be a very nice compliment to Keenan Allen, especially as a downfield threat as he had two 100+ yard receiving games last season and touchdowns in four different games.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.10
10
WR
Odell Beckham
NYG
2.03
15
WR
NOS
3.10
34
RB
BUF
4.03
39
RB
MIA
5.10
58
RB
NEP
6.03
63
TE
CAR
7.10
82
RB
NYJ
8.03
87
WR
SFO
9.10
106
QB
SFO
10.03
111
WR
Marqise Lee
JAC
11.10
130
QB
MIN
12.03
135
RB
IND
13.10
154
WR
LAC
14.03
159
RB
Bilal Powell
NYJ
15.10
178
WR
JAC
16.03
183
TE
ATL
17.10
202
Def
Kansas City Chiefs
KCC
18.03
207
Def
Chicago Bears
CHI
19.10
226
RB
Justin Jackson
LAC
20.03
231
WR
CHI

post-draft questions

1. You selected running back LeSean McCoy in the third round. How concerned are you that he gets suspended or put on the commissioner's exempt list?

I have been following the LeSean McCoy case very closely, and at this point I am very concerned that he will be suspended or land on the commissioner's exempt list. With that said, I feel that the whole story is starting to trickle in, and I now believe that he will be looking at a four-game suspension, much like Ezekiel Elliot's received. It was a long reach of a pick, but it came down to a lack of faith in the other running backs around him. As I mentioned in the questions before the draft, I think you have to decide how many games you think that player will be active for, and extrapolate his stats over that many games. Our updated stats have McCoy generating 131.6 points in eight games. I believe he will play 12 games, which will bring him to 191.6 points in our league format. That would have landed him at running back No. 17 last season, and considering the lack of other options in Buffalo, I believe that our projected stats are fair, but also on the conservative side. In a best ball format, I made it a point to provide running back depth behind McCoy, or as best as I could with the options left. When he is active, he will be in my starting lineup every week, and I did not think I could say that for the other running backs left. When I was looking at the remaining running backs, I questioned whether they could be in my lineup for 12 games. Looking at my running backs now, that is probably not the case, but that was my thinking at the time of the pick. The hardest part was deciding whether or not McCoy would make it back to me in round five, and with the information coming out at the time of the draft, I did not think that he would It was definitely a reach, but it was a calculated one that I felt had big risk, but also big rewards in a best ball format.

In hindsight, I made a mistake with that pick. It was not necessarily picking McCoy, but it was not having the fortitude to stick with the strengths of my established team and continue to hammer away at wide receiver. Picking Larry Fitzgerald there would have been a monster pick for me, looking back. It is a common error when starting your draft with two receivers, or two running backs for that matter. The impulse is to try and round out your roster with other positions, but in my experience, you need to be committed to taking the player with the most value, regardless of what position they are. That is a mistake that I think a lot of readers can learn from.

2. You executed your pre-draft plan at the quarterback position to a tee and grabbed QB9 (Garoppolo) and QB13 (Cousins) at a nice discount. Is this the sweet spot at the position for those drafting just two quarterbacks? What was your trigger to know it's time to grab your first quarterback?

Yes, I believe it is the sweet spot for those who have chosen to wait on quarterbacks up until that phase of the draft. I was hoping that Drew Brees made it to me, but when he was taken I knew that I needed to take my first quarterback there. I also had the line drawn at Kirk Cousins, with respect to drafting only two quarterbacks. If I was not able to draft Cousins, I would have had to draft three quarterbacks. I knew there was going to be a quarterback run starting around the 10th round, but there ended up being nine quarterbacks taken in 15 picks between the 6th pick of the 11th round and the nine pick of the 12 round. Cousins is the drop off for a team that wants to keep only two quarterbacks, as Patrick Mahomes is a gifted player and I think he will do well this season, but there are concerns with consistency as there would be with any first year starting quarterback. There is also a rather steep decline in upside after Cousins, Mahomes and I would say Jared Goff is on the fence right there. Marcus Mariota, Alex Smith, Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott and Tyrod Taylor. They are all players that are fine as depth on a three-quarterback team, but I would not want them competing for a starting spot on a two-quarterback team.

3. You landed wide receiver Taylor Gabriel with your last selection. Why do you like him as a deep sleeper in this format?

The final pick came down to Taylor Gabriel and Danny Amendola. Amendola will have a role on the Dolphins, but I was skeptical of how many 15+ point games he could produce. I had already taken Marquise Lee as a consistent role player on weeks where my final wide receiver spot might be struggling, so I wanted to find a player that could contribute three to four big games. In 2016, Gabriel had the best season of his career and at one point scored 15+ points in six of seven games. In those six games he totaled 24 receptions for 457 yards and four touchdowns (19 yards per catch). Gabriel is capable of producing big plays as very few cornerbacks can match his speed, and he is also electric with the ball in his hands in the open field. Chicago offense will look a lot like Kansas City's offense of last year. There will be a lot of pre-snap motion and run-pass option plays. This type of movement spreads a defense out and gets offensive players in advantageous one on one situations. That is where Gabriel can excel. The Chicago offense has a lot of mouths to feed this season, but that is the beauty of taking Gabriel where I did. He does not need a heavy volume of targets to do his damage, and in a best ball league I can reap the benefits when he does go off. There was very little risk involved in drafting Gabriel, as the other wide receivers I drafted in front of him make it so I won't have to depend on him much throughout the course of the year.

alex miglio's evaluation

STRENGTHS

Drafting at the bottom of the first round can be an asset. VanderWoude did a nice job parlaying a 10th-spot draw into one of the most balanced teams in the league. His 1-2 punch of Odell Beckham and Michael Thomas is unparalleled in this draft, and he managed to nab Greg Olsen in the sixth round.

WEAKNESSES

VanderWoude has good depth at running back, but there are a ton of question marks about his draft picks. LeSean McCoy has had serious off-field allegations levied at him that could cost him games, if not the season. Kenyan Drake may be stuck in a quagmire in Miami. Sony Michel isn’t in much better shape in New England. And Isaiah Crowell may not be the best back on one of the worst offenses in the league.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

All of the questions at running back will be answered with resounding positivity, meaning McCoy will notch another top-10 fantasy season while Drake becomes the lead back in Miami. Olsen returns to form and commands 100-plus targets in Carolina. Marqise Goodwin becomes Jimmy Garoppolo’s favorite target and pours in some huge fantasy football scores. Speaking of Garoppolo, the hype is real and he turns in a top-eight fantasy season.

DRAFT SLOT 11

James Brimacombe
Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

  • 3 quarterbacks
  • 5 running backs
  • 7 wide receivers
  • 3 tight ends
  • 2 defenses

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I like to wait until Round 10 or see if one of the top guys falls to Round 8 or 9.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

I will hammer this position early on in the draft. I don't want to be left guessing and having to draft scraps like Frank Gore late in the draft.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

In Best Ball, I want a good portion of them and they usually are a priority after I secure my running backs. I like to target lots of WR2 types on their teams for best ball.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I like to piece together three tight ends after I get my quarterbacks. This will happen around Rounds 12+

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I will draft defense at the last two rounds and look for two that have different bye weeks. I have no defense that I am targeting as of now.

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 11 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot.

I will be drafting from the 1.11 spot. Looking to see which of Hunt, Gordon, or Fournette fall to me.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I don't touch injured players in Best Ball. I do like to load up on rookie running backs and a couple of wide receivers hoping they will hit. I won't be drafting a rookie quarterback or tight end.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

1/5/5/0/0

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

2/5/6/2/0

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

I like these guys in that spot of the draft:

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

T.J. Yeldon or Tyrell Williams for me. I think they are both players that can give you points each week but also play on good offenses that can deliver a few spike weeks along the way.

draft selections

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.11
11
RB
JAC
2.02
14
RB
LAC
3.11
35
WR
Stefon Diggs
MIN
4.02
38
WR
Brandin Cooks
LAR
5.11
59
RB
TEN
6.02
62
RB
DET
7.11
83
WR
GBP
8.02
86
TE
TEN
9.11
107
WR
MIA
10.02
110
WR
DET
11.11
131
QB
Patrick Mahomes
KCC
12.02
134
QB
TEN
13.11
155
TE
BUF
14.02
158
RB
MIN
15.11
179
WR
ARI
16.02
182
TE
OAK
17.11
203
QB
Case Keenum
DEN
18.02
206
WR
NEP
19.11
227
Def
Arizona Cardinals
ARI
20.02
230
Def
Buffalo Bills
BUF

post-draft questions

1. Your pre-draft plan was to go after running backs early and you did not disappoint grabbing four from the position with your first six picks. Why do you prefer to draft this way in best-ball leagues?

I feel there is some safety going with running backs early in best-ball. The one concern I have with it though is that it leaves you pretty thin at the wide receiver position and you want to grab as many guys at that position as you can.

2. You were able to land wide receiver Jordan Matthews in the 18th round. What role do you expect him to have while Julian Edelman is suspended? Walk us through your expectations for Matthews for 2018.

I still view Jordan Matthews as a late-round flier type of guy and am not expecting an 85/997/8 stat line like he gave us back in 2015. The fact that he gets to play with Tom Brady in a pass-happy offense and will be seeing extra targets early in the season with the absent Edelman makes him a worthy late-round selection.

3. You were the only drafter to use three picks on quarterbacks and three picks on tight ends. Explain why you feel that this the optimal strategy in best-ball leagues.

It really depends on the draft and how your team is coming together if I prefer going with three quarterbacks and tight ends. With not landing a big name quarterback I felt like it made some sense to pair Keenum with Mahomes and Mariota but if I was to land a more stable quarterback I probably only take two at the position. At tight end I prefer going with three more so than the quarterback position. A combo of Walker, Clay and Cook felt like I had a good handle on the position and gives me a chance of having a top 5-10 game at the position each week.

alex miglio's evaluation

STRENGTHS

A strong start at running back with Leonard Fournette and Melvin Gordon III followed a few rounds later by some high-upside picks in Dion Lewis and Kerryon Johnson gave Brimacombe a nice collection at the position. Fournette is poised to make a leap in Year Two after a solid rookie season in spite of some leg issues. Gordon is the man in San Diego, good for a ton of touches and ensuing production. Lewis is not a personal favorite, but he is a good best-ball option in PPR formats. Johnson is the biggest wildcard among Brimacombe’s top four backs, but he has a shot at 250-plus touches in Detroit.

WEAKNESSES

Patrick Mahomes has a ton of hype heading into the 2018 season, but can we reasonably expect him to have an Alex Smith-like season? We have no idea how he will hold up as the full-time starter, and depending him as your top quarterback is quite a risk. Marcus Mariota is a good fallback, but he was a huge disappointment in 2017 whose offense did not improve much around him in the following offseason. Brimacombe’s receivers have some upside at the top, but there is a lot of volatility at the position on this roster. Aside from Diggs and Cooks being boom-or-bust players on a weekly basis, we don’t know what kind of consistent scoring we will get out of the rest of Brimacombe’s crop.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Mahomes lights up the league and turns in a top-10 fantasy season. The Titans offense explodes, making Lewis and Delanie Walker fantasy studs. Fournette and Gordon stay healthy and steady the scoring on this roster. Randall Cobb, Kenny Golladay, and Kenny Stills rotate solid numbers to slot into the WR3 spot.

DRAFT SLOT 12

Dan Hindery
Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. How many of each position do you plan to take?

I am looking to go with five combined at quarterback and tight end. The position with only two will be whichever one gets addressed with an early pick. I’d like to end up with five running backs, seven wide receivers, and three defenses.

2. What is your general strategy regarding the quarterback position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

My default plan is to wait and grab a pair of top-20 quarterbacks in rounds 11-14. However, I try to remain flexible, and if a top quarterback I like slides further than expected, I can change course and grab him in Round 7, 8 or 9.

3. What is your general strategy regarding the running back position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

I generally like to get at least one running back early and have three by the end of the sixth round. In formats like this where almost all of the money goes to first place, I like drafting rookie running backs. There is higher risk but also higher reward, which is ideal for the format.

4. What is your general strategy regarding the wide receiver position? When are you planning to draft the third at this position?

I like the depth at the position and prefer to go running back-heavy early and really stock up at wide receiver in Rounds 5-10.

5. What is your general strategy regarding the tight end position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

I’m wide open here and just looking for value. The position is deep enough that I don’t feel like I have to reach.

6. What is your general strategy regarding the defense position? When are you planning to draft the first at this position?

It is a weekly high variance position that is tough to predict. Reaching for one early doesn’t make sense, but I would like to land three of defenses. First will be in round 17 or 18

7. Discuss drafting from the No. 12 hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

Drafting at the 12/13 turn is tough because of the 22 picks in between 13 and 36. There are entire tiers of players who I realistically don’t have a shot at drafting unless I reach at 13.

With the long wait until 36, it makes the most sense to go running back and wide receiver at the 1/2 turn to keep all options open at the 3/4 turn.

8. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?

I’m all about taking a few risks on rookies (especially running backs) and players with injury concerns who are coming at a massive discount. I especially like the risk/reward of targeting injury-prone tight ends like Jordan Reed and Tyler Eifert who have the talent to massively outperform their ADP.

9. At the mid-point of the draft (10 rounds), how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • 1 quarterback
  • 4 running backs
  • 4 wide receivers
  • 1 tight end

10. After 15 rounds, how many players at each position do you expect to have?

  • 2 quarterback
  • 5 running backs
  • 6 wide receivers
  • 2 tight end

11. Name five players you would love to choose from in the final four rounds of the draft.

12. Name a sleeper (round 10 on) at running back or wide receiver that should thrive in this format.

Kenny Golladay showed big-play ability and the potential to be a force in the red zone as a rookie. He should put up some big weeks if he can stay healthy and make the second-year leap as expected.

draft selections

pick oa pos player team
1.12 12 RB Dalvin Cook MIN
2.01 13 WR Julio Jones ATL
3.12 36 WR Larry Fitzgerald ARI
4.01 37 RB Rashaad Penny SEA
5.12 60 WR Jarvis Landry CLE
6.01 61 WR Sammy Watkins KCC
7.12 84 RB Tarik Cohen CHI
8.01 85 QB Carson Wentz PHI
9.12 108 TE George Kittle SFO
10.01 109 WR Sterling Shepard NYG
11.12 132 RB D\'Onta Foreman HOU
12.01 133 QB Jared Goff LAR
13.12 156 RB Chris Ivory BUF
14.01 157 WR Cameron Meredith NOS
15.12 180 TE Vance McDonald PIT
16.01 181 TE Ricky Seals-Jones ARI
17.12 204 Def Cincinnati Bengals CIN
18.01 205 Def Atlanta Falcons ATL
19.12 228 WR Anthony Miller CHI
20.01 229 Def Cleveland Browns CLE

post-draft questions

1. Only three drafters took three defenses and those same experts also took three tight ends. Why do you feel this strategy is optimal in best-ball leagues?

I like getting three defenses because the scoring is so touchdown and turnover dependent on a week-to-week basis. Tight end is similar, especially if you don’t have an elite TE1. The hope is that with three, you have at least one tight end each week who finds the end zone and gives you a solid weekly score.

2. You were able to land running back Chris Ivory in the 13th round who has value as a backup and could be thrust into the starting role if LeSean McCoy were to be suspended. What are your expectations for Ivory in 2018?

Drafting Chris Ivory is almost entirely based upon his upside in the case of a LeSean McCoy suspension. Without going too in-depth, the reported facts indicate a high likelihood McCoy is guilty of setting up the break-in and assault. While he certainly may be able to play through the 2018 season before any NFL punishment is handed down, there is enough of a chance that McCoy is suspended for me to make Ivory a priority target as my RB5 or RB6. If McCoy is out, Ivory should be an RB2 in an offense that has ran the ball well in recent years.

alex miglio's evaluation

STRENGTHS

Hindery had an ideal start at running back and wide receiver. Nabbing Dalvin Cook and Julio Jones at the first turn and complementing them with Larry Fitzgerald and Rashaad Penny gives him a nice floor at those positions. Penny is a bit of a risk in Seattle, but he has a pretty clear path to touches unless Chris Carson becomes a stud all of a sudden. Rounding out wide receiver with Jarvis Landry and Sammy Watkins and running back with Tarik Cohen gave this roster some major upside to go with the floor. That is all not to mention a couple of sleeper favorites he nabbed in Sterling Shepard and Cameron Meredith. Being able to wait at quarterback and still take Carson Wentz was also a huge boon for Hindery.

WEAKNESSES

There is a lot of uncertainty at the tight end position beyond the first couple of tiers. If you miss out on Gronkowski, Kelce, or Ertz or decide to bypass the next tier, any number of options could pan out nicely or bust. That is the case with Hindery’s team as he relies on George Kittle, Vance McDonald, and Rick Seals-Jones. All of those guys have virtual locks on starting gigs and high potential, but they could all be extremely volatile fantasy scorers on a week-to-week basis.

HOW HE’LL WIN IT ALL

Cohen turns into the next Tyreek Hill, giving Hindery a top-10 running back drafted outside the Top 36. Cook and Penny become lead backs in Minnesota and Seattle, respectively. Jared Goff has a strong start while Wentz gets back up to speed in his return from injury. Jones actually gets to double-digit touchdowns.

View entire draft

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to haseley@footballguys.com