Footballguys Staff vs Non-Staff: Best Ball Draft 1 (DRAFT format)

The Footballguys staff, along with six writers in the industry got together and completed a 12-team best-ball draft using DRAFT format. 

On July 13th, six members of the Footballguys staff, along with six highly regarded writers in the fantasy football community, got together to complete a 12-team, 18 round, best-ball draft using DRAFT 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 after the draft based on the decisions they made. To top it off, Footballguys' Chad Parsons 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
  • 18 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)

LEAGUE SCORING

  • Offensive Players Only
    • 4 points - Passing Touchdown
    • 6 points - Rushing/Receiving Touchdown
    • 0.04 points - Passing Yard
    • 0.1 points - Rushing/Receiving Yard
    • 0.5 point - Reception
    • -1 - Interception Thrown
    • -2 - Fumble Lost
    • 2 - Two-Point Conversion

Draft participants

  1. Mike Tagliere, FantasyPros
  2. Jim Day, FFChamps.com
  3. Graham Barfield, NFL.com
  4. Dan Hindery, Footballguys
  5. Dwain McFarland, Footballguys
  6. Maurile Tremblay, Footballguys
  7. Will Grant, Footballguys
  8. Michael Stepney, The Fantasy Authority
  9. Leo Paciga, DynastyLeagueFootball
  10. Phil Alexander, Footballguys
  11. Michael Rathburn, Rotowire
  12. Devin Knotts, Footballguys

DRAFT GRID

Completed Rosters

DRAFT SLOT 1

Mike Tagliere, FantasyPros
Mike is a featured writer for FantasyPros. His signature in-season piece, "The Primer," is a massive 30,000-word weekly article that gives readers a full paragraph on every fantasy-relevant player from every game. He has twice finished inside the top-six in FantasyPros' accuracy competition. He also co-hosts the FantasyPros Football Podcast.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
I've never been a strategy-based drafter, as I prefer to take the draft as it comes to me. With that being said, I'm sitting here with the No. 1 overall pick, which means I almost have to have some sort of strategy, as I won't be able to identify trends. Ideally, I'll get at least one of my top-10 receivers and one of my top-10 running backs (I will at No. 1 with Ezekiel Elliott). I'm not opposed to taking a tight end early, so long as one of the top-three is there at the turn.

2. Discuss drafting from the 1-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
Honestly, drafting from the No. 1 spot changes everything, as I'm forced to reach for my players rather than letting the draft come to me. I've always preferred the middle of the draft, as it's the best way to identify trends before they get out of hand, but it's much harder from the turn.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
I'll likely have my first quarterback by the seventh-round, as Aaron Rodgers has been falling there in most of my drafts.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
If there's an elite tight end available at the 24/25 pick turn, I'll take one there, but outside of them, likely the 5-7 round range to ensure I'm not stuck with someone like Kyle Rudolph.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?
Ezekiel Elliott in the first round, A.J. Green in the third round, O.J. Howard in the fifth round, and Aaron Rodgers in the seventh round.

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
Not necessarily, outside of the top-three tight ends at the 2/3 turn.

7. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?
It all depends on the injuries they suffered, as I'm not so worried about ACL's as I used to be. Achilles on the other hand, those are typically career-enders. As for rookies, I attack running backs, lower wide receivers, and avoid tight ends. Suspended players typically go much higher than I'm willing to spend, so I rarely wind up with them.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18
Jamison Crowder, David Moore, John Ross, Travis Benjamin, and Jamaal Williams.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.01
1
RB
DAL
2.12
24
WR
CIN
3.01
25
RB
GBP
4.12
48
WR
LAR
5.01
49
RB
NEP
6.12
72
QB
GBP
7.01
73
WR
CHI
8.12
96
TE
CLE
9.01
97
RB
Ronald Jones
TBB
10.12
120
QB
NOS
11.01
121
RB
SFO
12.12
144
WR
CHI
13.01
145
WR
MIA
14.12
168
TE
CIN
15.01
169
RB
CLE
16.12
192
WR
CIN
17.01
193
WR
PHI
18.12
216
TE
JAC

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You mentioned you would target an elite tight end at the 2-3 turn, but you picked A.J. Green and Aaron Jones with George Kittle still on the board. What made you change your stance on taking an elite tight end?

I've been doing a lot of research lately on running backs and what team-scoring has meant to them. Because of that, I've been sliding Jones up my board quite a bit. It came down to him or Kittle at that spot but knowing it was best-ball, I chose the running back. As for A.J. Green, he was a target all along and I refused to walk away without a top-12 wide receiver in my first three picks, as it was a long wait until the 4/5 turn.

2. You were able to draft a few players that you had your eye on in Ezekiel Elliott, A.J. Green, Aaron Rodgers, and John Ross. Talk about why you are high on these players.

Ezekiel Elliott has now played 40 regular-season games in the NFL. He's posted RB2 or better numbers in 92.5 percent of them. Only Saquon Barkley (93.8 percent) has a higher mark for his career. Not only is Barkley's percentage a small sample size, but losing Odell Beckham Jr surely isn't going to help. Green is almost always a top-10 receiver. This decade, there are just four wide receivers who have posted WR2 or better numbers in a higher percentage of games than Green. Those players are Odell Beckham Jr Jr., Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, and Michael Thomas. Last year was the first year Rodgers played more than 10 games and didn't finish as the No. 1 or No. 2 fantasy quarterback. He threw just 25 touchdowns while playing through a leg injury and still finished top-six. The community is severely underrating him. As for Ross, he's not someone I need to have, but rather someone who can benefit from a change in the offense. With Zac Taylor taking over and using the Rams playbook as a blueprint, he could be used as the Brandin Cooks of the offense. In the best-ball format, he should have some big weeks.

3. You drafted Jerick McKinnon with pick 11.01. Matt Breida was selected four rounds later at pick 15.11 by Michael Rathburn. Share your thoughts on why you like McKinnon to return good value this year, particularly ahead of Breida.

I've heard people say that Breida is going to be the best running back on that team this year, but I'm not buying it. I've heard, "Just wait, Coleman or McKinnon will get hurt and he'll dominate." My response is that we've already seen that, in 2018. McKinnon was hurt and Coleman wasn't there. We still didn't know which 49ers running back to start every week. Kyle Shanahan has watched Breida for years now and still felt the need to go out and sign Coleman. Not just that, but they had the chance to cut McKinnon by April to save his $4 million salary, but they didn't. He's the primary pass-catcher with a chance to be more. Breida is the clear-cut No. 3 on this team.

Chad Parsons' EVALUATION

Strengths

Tagliere took a balanced approach, addressing all lineup positions by Round 8. However, his greatest strength is quarterback, finding Aaron Rodgers as QB4 in Round 6 and Drew Brees as an unreal QB19 in Round 10. Quarterbacks notoriously fall in industry drafts and this one was no different but saving a roster spot in best-ball (some teams took three quarterbacks) at the position with two cornerstone performers gives Tagliere a weekly and season-long advantage.

Weaknesses

Despite spending four picks in the first nine rounds on running back, this roster’s rotation is tenuous after Ezekiel Elliott at 1.01. Aaron Jones at 3.01 (RB14) is a rich investment for a back with a minimal track record as a lead option and Day 3 pedigree. James White in Round 5 is more for full PPR than this 0.5 PPR format and Ronald Jones, Jerick McKinnon, and Duke Johnson Jr were later round shots who are all sub-optimal size to expect feature work or turn into dependable RB2 types on this roster.

How He’ll Win It All

Tagliere will need health from A.J. Green as his cornerstone WR1 and Aaron Jones panning out as the clear Green Bay starter who be a huge shot in the arm. The critical players to supply quality starts for Tagliere will be Allen Robinson, David Njoku, and Tyler Eifert. If at least one or two of the trio turn in a string of impact starts in this best-ball format, Tagliere will be one of the stronger teams in the league.

DRAFT SLOT 2

Jim Day, FFChamps.com
Jim has written for many sites since he first started in 2001, including Fantasy Pros 911, Bleacher Report, XpertSports, GoAheadScore, Sports Outlaw, Scout Fantasy and several others. He was the Technical Editor for the Fantasy Football for Dummies book and is currently the Co-Director of FFChamps.com and the Co-Host of the Fantasy Football Frenzy podcast on the FNTSY Sports Network, the WTF! Fantasy Football Podcast and the FFChamps After Dark Podcasts.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
It’s hard to talk about advanced strategies when drafting against a group of sharks like this. My only real strategy is being able to move with the draft and make changes to my thought process on the fly. The basic strategies will be the same for most in this draft; draft QBs and TEs late. Outside of that, this is the type of draft where you have to go after the players you want and throw ADP out the window. If you decide to wait on a player thinking you can get him in the next round in a draft full of sharks, most likely that player will be gone.

The one basic tenet of bestball leagues is that at each position the stronger your starters are the fewer players you need at that position. For example, if you have three stud running backs, then you can use some extra spots to solidify another position that has more need.

2. Discuss drafting from the 2-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
The only real big thing with any of the first four spots is being able to get one of the top tiers of RBs, which most would define as Saquan Barkley, Zeke Elliot, Alvin Kamara, and Christian McCaffrey. In this scoring, it would be hard to make a case against taking one of these four. My initial thoughts on the 2-3 turn would be to look hard at WRs with both picks because I like some of the RBs that I expect will be available in the 4th and 5th rounds.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
I won’t be surprised if I am one of the last to take a QB. This year there are a lot of good options with upside that can be drafted late. Based on my yearly projections, using 4 points per passing TD scoring, there is a less than 2 points-per-game difference between the 10th and 20th ranked QBs. With this being Bestball, I have no problem grabbing 3 late QBs because they will score enough each week to allow me to stock up on RBs and WRs early.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
Unless one of the big three, Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and George Kittle, fall to me in the 4th round, then I will wait until much later. There is a lot of good talent coming back into the pool this year with Hunter Henry, Delanie Walker and Jason Witten back in the mix. Plus there are some very good rookies like TJ Hockenson, Noah Fant and others that should have a decent floor even as rookies.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?

Some of my favorite early picks are Zeke Elliot, Todd Gurley, Robert Woods, Julian Edelman, and Devonta Freeman. To get Elliot of course I would have to take him at 2 overall. Then if Gurley falls to me at 2.11, I would grab him, if not then Edelman and Woods would be my next options. Freeman just makes a great backup plan if any of those are not available.

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
Basically, my trigger points are my tiers. I prefer tiers over rankings because by grouping players together that I expect to have the same opportunity and outcomes it allows me to easily see when I am about to bottom out on a tier.

7. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?
Just like any other player we need to decide how much opportunity is there for them and at what point in the draft do they represent value. Almost every player is draftable, trying to figure out when to draft them is the hard part.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18
Mike Davis, Mohamed Sanu, Jalen Richard, David Moore, and Trey Quinn

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.02
2
RB
NYG
2.11
23
WR
OAK
3.02
26
WR
MIN
4.11
47
RB
CHI
5.02
50
WR
LAR
6.11
71
RB
LAR
7.02
74
WR
CIN
8.11
95
RB
PHI
9.02
98
TE
ATL
10.11
119
QB
NEP
11.02
122
QB
BUF
12.11
143
QB
TEN
13.02
146
TE
OAK
14.11
167
TE
DET
15.02
170
WR
BUF
16.11
191
RB
CLE
17.02
194
RB
LAC
18.11
215
WR
CHI

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You selected David Montgomery with pick 4.11 (RB23), ahead of fellow running backs James White and Mark Ingram II. Share why you like Montgomery as an RB2 this year.
Montgomery moves into a solid situation in Chicago, as they ran more often than they passed in 2018 and most likely will follow that same game plan this year. With a top defense, they won’t often need to play catch up. Montgomery can do everything and while Cohen will still get his, Montgomery could easily see 200+ touches as a rookie and that should allow him to fall right into RB 2 territory.
I am just not as high on White as most are. He is a good back but it took a lot of missed time by other players to enable him to be used as much as he was. With the additions of Damien Harris, N’Keal Harry, and even Brandon Bolden, I expect White to lose a decent amount of opportunity.
With Ingram, I am a little concerned that his game doesn’t quite fit the Lamar Jackson-led offense. Then you have to worry that Jackson will steal a lot of opportunities from Ingram. Jackson along averaged 17 rushing attempts a game in 2018 and did rush for five touchdowns. You have to take this off the top of Ingram’s numbers and that alone had me passing on him.

2. You were hoping for Julian Edelman at the end of round two but instead selected Antonio Brown. What are your expectations for Brown this season with Oakland?
I was looking for Edelman at the end of the second, but I didn’t expect Brown to be there at that spot. I still expect Brown to see a very high number of targets and I expect his yardage and reception numbers to be among the best in the league, but I am thinking his touchdown numbers take a little hit. I did mess up in round 3 when I took Thielen over Edelman and I’m not sure why. I have Edelman ranked higher than Thielen, so this was a mistake on my part.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

Even by waiting until the last team in the draft to take a quarterback, Jim Day emerged with a powerful mid-round trio between Tom Brady, Josh Allen, and Marcus Mariota. Allen and Mariota are best-ball specials with their rushing ability but also streaky passing profiles. Also getting Saquon Barkley anywhere but 1.01 is also an immediate strength for a team to kick off their draft. Considering their draft position as WR9 and WR11, older veterans Antonio Brown and Adam Thielen were quality selections at the Round 2/3 turn.

Weaknesses

After Saquon Barkley represents a major question mark for Day’s best-ball roster. David Montgomery (RB23), Darrell Henderson (RB29), and Jordan Howard (RB37) are all shaky bets to be starters for much of the season, if at all, without an injury on their respective depth charts, however, they were all within the opening eight rounds of cost in this draft. On the plus side, Justin Jackson in Round 17 was one of the savvier selections of the draft with Melvin Gordon III’s holdout status at the time of drafting and publication. Jackson could return more value than any of Day’s non-Barkley earlier running back selections if things turn ominous with Gordon.

How He’ll Win It All

If Day gets the right depth chart break or two at running back, along with his tight end committee of steady Austin Hooper and upside shots Darren Waller and T.J. Hockenson, he will be a solid contender late in the season. Day’s wide receivers will need to weather the storm at WR3 and the flex position until, hopefully, his running backs emerge to the surface.

DRAFT SLOT 3

Graham Barfield, NFL.com
Graham is the managing editor of fantasy football at NFL.com. One-third of the NFL Fantasy Live podcast. Author of Yards Created.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.

Not very "advanced" but late-round quarterback is the only way to go this year since the quarterback position is so loaded. The opportunity cost of taking a quarterback well before ADP has never been higher.

2. Discuss drafting from the 3-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

Top-4 picks have a huge advantage this season. I know I'll get a workhorse running back and have a shot at players that I love at the 2/3 turn.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?

I won't be targeting a quarterback until later in the draft.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?

This depends on the board. I do love the options available in the fifth and sixth round. Most notably O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, and Hunter Henry.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?

There are two running backs whose names rhyme with "Smelliot" and "Camaro". I hope to have one of them at 1.03.

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)

Yes! When Geronimo Allison, Curtis Samuel, Keke Coutee are gone in the 8th/9th rounds I'm always looking for Dede Westbrook or Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

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

For me, it all comes down to cost. Saying "no" to Miles Sanders in the 8th round is hard.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18

I'll be looking to target players such as Matt Breida, Duke Johnson Jr, Demarcus Robinson, Albert Wilson, and David Moore.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.03
3
RB
NOS
2.10
22
WR
IND
3.03
27
WR
LAC
4.10
46
RB
MIA
5.03
51
RB
BAL
6.10
70
WR
HOU
7.03
75
RB
SFO
8.10
94
WR
GBP
9.03
99
QB
ATL
10.10
118
QB
DAL
11.03
123
TE
CHI
12.10
142
RB
PIT
13.03
147
WR
DEN
14.10
166
TE
GBP
15.03
171
WR
DAL
16.10
190
TE
MIA
17.03
195
RB
MIA
18.10
214
WR
CLE

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You wanted to wait before drafting your first quarterback and you succeed by taking Matt Ryan at 9.03 and Dak Prescott at 10.10. Ryan was the 9th quarterback off the board and Prescott was the 17th, despite him being your pick only one round later. Explain your strategy of knowing when to draft your quarterback so you don't miss out on a player you covet.

I went RB/WR in my first eight picks and felt it was a perfect time to take Matt Ryan at 9.03 (QB9). Wentz, Murray, Mayfield, and Wilson all went before him. An unpredictable run of 9 quarterbacks in 10 picks broke loose in the 10th-11th rounds and it resulted in what I consider more great value in Dak Prescott (at QB17). Trubisky and Garoppolo went before Prescott, Brees, and Goff — which is something that doesn’t happen all the time.

2. Share your strategy on targeting specific players in best ball that you wouldn't necessarily pull the trigger on in a league with in-season management.

Best ball scoring should change your strategy in these leagues. Will Fuller V is a great example of a WR I want to draft in the 6/7 rounds of my best-ball teams because of his week-winning upside, but I tend to shy away from players with his profile in weekly redraft leagues.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

Barfield was one of the few teams to secure three clear Week 1 starting running backs in the early rounds. Alvin Kamara is one of the stock top selections in the draft, but Kenyan Drake and Mark Ingram II in the RB20-25 range were sturdy values with known roles and a track record. Another strength was getting best-ball special and high upside Will Fuller V outside the top-30 receivers and in his WR3 spot behind T.Y. Hilton and Keenan Allen.

Weaknesses

On paper, Barfield’s tight end group lacks much pop to be one of the better units in the league. Trey Burton has Adam Shaheen returning to the depth chart this season and Burton relied on several manufactured red zone plays for his fantasy value last season. Jimmy Graham has slowed considerably in recent years and Mike Gesicki showed little in his lost rookie season.

How He’ll Win It All

A healthy Will Fuller V for most of the season will go a long way towards a strong finish for Barfield. Also, Kenyan Drake and Tevin Coleman being true lead backs for the first extended periods in their NFL careers would be beneficial. Geronimo Allison being the unchallenged WR2 for the Packers insulates Barfield from any missed time by Fuller. Finally, Michael Gallup is a bestball special with his deep threat role in Dallas to provide a few start-worthy outings.

DRAFT SLOT 4

Dan Hindery, Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
Considering there are only 12 teams and no playoffs, I will play it more conservatively than I would if I was drafting for one of the large tournaments with thousands of entries. Even playing it relatively safe, there is still merit to the strategy of stacking. Drafting a top pass catcher and quarterback from the same team is a correlated play that increases your chances of finishing first or last instead of the middle of the pack. Some of my favorite teams to stack this season are Carolina (Cam Newton with D.J. Moore or Curtis Samuel) and Arizona (Kyler Murray with Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, or Andy Isabella).

2. Discuss drafting from the 4-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
The 4th slot is the easiest position to draft from in 2019. There is a clear top tier of four (Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, and Alvin Kamara). You simply grab the one of the four who is still available at 1.04.

I prefer the wide receiver options available near the 4/5 turn over the running backs likely to be on the board, so I want to make sure I draft my RB2 either in the second or third round so I don’t feel forced to gamble on a running back I’m not completely sold on in the fourth or fifth round.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
The 9th to 11th round feels like the sweet spot for a quarterback this year. I expect to take my first at 9.05 and will probably take my backup soon after. I always try to keep an open mind and adjust to the board and would consider a quarterback a little bit earlier if one slides well past ADP, though.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
The earliest I plan on considering a tight end is O.J. Howard if he makes it to 5.04. If not Howard, then it probably won’t be until the 10th or 11th round. Zach Ertz and George Kittle are popular options near the 2/3 turn but I prefer targeting other positions that early in the draft.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?
Alvin Kamara is almost always the 1.04 and I will happily my team around him. Cam Newton is my favorite quarterback this year. I will reach for him by a round or so to grab him in the 9th round. I have a hard time passing on A.J. Green midway through the third round, even though his ADP is half a round later and there is a decent chance he will find his way onto my roster.

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
I always want to select at least one wide receiver in the first three rounds. The early draft spot guarantees running back will be the pick in the first round and there are also plenty of solid running back options in the late-2nd and early-3rd round. If I take a running back at 2.09, I will take a wide receiver at 3.04 (probably A.J. Green or T.Y. Hilton).

7. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?
In tournaments, I am always looking to try to take any discount I can get on injured or suspended players given how much more important the playoff weeks are. In a normal 12-team draft like this, I try not to take too many risks on guys like that. I am also slightly less likely to roll the dice on a rookie, especially in the early rounds. Week 1 production is every bit as valuable as Week 16 production and I want to get off to as fast a start as possible.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18
With bye weeks and the inevitable injuries that occur at running back, it is really helpful to get at least one late-round running back who can at least provide you some decent RB2 weeks without needing an injury ahead of him on the depth chart. Players like Giovani Bernard, Duke Johnson Jr, and Mike Davis should get at least a handful of touches in every game. I also like the being able to grab at least one late-round wide receiver and will target guys like Deebo Samuel, Ted Ginn Jr Jr., and Quincy Enunwa as my WR7 or WR8.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.04
4
RB
CAR
2.09
21
RB
KCC
3.04
28
TE
SFO
4.09
45
WR
DET
5.04
52
WR
LAC
6.09
69
WR
NYJ
7.04
76
RB
LAC
8.09
93
RB
PHI
9.04
100
QB
CAR
10.09
117
QB
LAR
11.04
124
WR
OAK
12.09
141
WR
N\'Keal Harry
NEP
13.04
148
RB
KCC
14.09
165
TE
WAS
15.04
172
WR
ARI
16.09
189
WR
KCC
17.04
196
WR
SFO
18.09
213
RB
GBP

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You indicated an interest in targeting Cam Newton and you were able to draft him with pick 9.04 as the 10th quarterback off the board. Explain your high level of interest in Newton this season.

Newton looks to be in a great position to put up a top-5 fantasy season. We know Newton is capable of top fantasy numbers. He has finished as a top-4 quarterback four times in his career, including a QB1 finish in his MVP season of 2015. Newton was on also on pace for yet another top-4 quarterback finish last year (QB4 heading into Week 14) before his injured shoulder became too much for him to deal with.

In addition to Newton’s elite physical ability and proven fantasy upside, he also might boast his best supporting cast ever. The speed and well-rounded skill sets of Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Curtis Samuel are going to be a nightmare for opposing defenses. The offensive line also looks to be stronger than any time in the last decade.

Newton’s production is tailor-made for best ball. He has some huge spike weeks, which often come when he scores at least one rushing touchdown. He will also have more low-scoring weeks than other top passers but we should be able to cover those weeks with our backups in this format.

2. You selected Austin Ekeler and Miles Sanders with your seventh and eighth-round picks. The two were selected as your RB3 and RB4. Explain why you pulled the trigger on both backs and why you like them to give you a decent return this season.

The more I look at the Melvin Gordon III contract impasse with the Chargers, the more I feel like it is in the best interests of both sides to hold firm to their current positions. If Gordon doesn’t get paid now, he should prioritize making it to free agency with as little wear and tear on his body as possible and do what he can to decrease the odds of a career-altering injury. That would mean waiting until Week 11 to show up. From the Chargers perspective, they have a lot of money tied up paying players at premium positions like Philip Rivers ($23M), Melvin Ingram III ($20M), Russell Okung ($16M), Keenan Allen ($12M), Casey Hayward ($10M), and Mike Pouncey ($9M). Plus, Joey Bosa, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry will be due big contract extensions soon. They can’t keep all of those guys while also paying a running back at the top of the market. Add it all up and there is a solid chance that Austin Ekeler is the Chargers starting running back for much of the season. There is real upside here. The risk is also relatively small. Ekeler finished as a top-24 running back last season despite spending most of the year backing up Gordon, so he will have value either way.

In the 8th round, I would have preferred a wide receiver like Curtis Samuel and would have taken Vance McDonald as BPA but those guys went off the board just before my pick. Given the options available, it felt like there would be a bigger drop off if I waited at running back than if I waited at wide receiver. Sanders has a real chance to emerge as the top back for what should be a high-scoring Eagles offense. The Eagles spending 2nd-round draft capital on a running back was out of character for the organization and speaks loudly to how impactful they expect Sanders to be.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

Quarterback and tight end stand out as impact positions for Hindery, despite only spending one selection combined on them in the first eight rounds. George Kittle was a round and a half after Travis Kelce and Cam Newton and Jared Goff in Round 9/10 form one of the better tandems in the league. Pairing up Damien Williams (RB13) with Carlos Hyde (RB49) was a savvy move by Hindery to secure the Chiefs backfield rotation and a likely top-12 performer in some combination at season’s end.

Weaknesses

Drafting George Kittle shifted an early pick away from wide receiver, a move which could be costly by Hindery. Kenny Golladay, Mike Williams, and Robby Anderson were the only receiver picks for the team before Round 11. Golladay and Anderson could be No.1 receivers but Williams is stuck behind Keenan Allen outside of injury. Rolling a hearty wide receiver committee works better in best ball than head-to-head formats, but Hindery is running close to the line for his receiver group.

How He’ll Win It All

Getting the right big weeks from a combination of receivers will be key for Hindery, including a few big games from the late-round collection of rookies (N’Keal Harry, Andy Isabella, Mecole Hardman). Also, George Kittle repeating his monster (historic) season to justify the TE2 price in this draft. We can also root for a healthy stretch for Jordan Reed every season and Hindery would benefit from a few flex-worthy showings for Reed considering the committee approach to wide receiver.

DRAFT SLOT 5

Dwain McFarland, Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
Each fantasy season I have a list of players I feel good about in rounds five through ten. How big this list is and how confident I am in it allows me to determine my strategy for the early rounds. This year, I love the wide receivers in rounds seven through ten. I also love tight end Vance McDonald in the seventh to eight rounds. This format demands three starting wide receivers, so I don’t want to ignore them early completely, but if the value is right, I am willing to go with two running backs to start. If JuJu Smith-Schuster falls back to me in the second, he will be hard to pass since I do like several running backs in the third.

2. Discuss drafting from the 5-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
I love drafting from the middle position. When in this spot, my primary focus is picking off the values that are slipping past folks drafting out of fear on the end positions. It doesn’t happen as often with industry experts because they are more comfortable with their draft boards than the average joe. From this position, I always count the remaining players in my tier versus the needs of teams before my next pick. Utilizing this strategy creates better chances of maximizing every pick.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
From this position, I will simply be reading my competition. I won’t be one of the first drafters to wade into the quarterback waters, but I won’t get left out. Depending on who I draft first will determine how I prioritize my second and possibly third quarterback. In best ball format, I don’t wait as long as in season-long where I typically only roster one quarterback and then stream.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
I will likely wait until Ebron and Henry go and then will snap up Vance McDonald unless that occurs too early and better values remain. My goal is McDonald in the sixth or seventh.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?
Vance McDonald is one per comments above. At receiver D.J. Moore, Dante Pettis, Corey Davis, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, KeKe Coutee, and Christina Kirk are all in play for me in the mid-rounds. If one of the runners from the 3-4 turn falls into the mid-fourth, I will likely pounce unless I already have three. My receiver tier is pretty flat in that range, but runners drop off substantially.

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
I will deploy this strategy at tight end as mentioned above. My draft approach relies on tiers and players I don’t want are removed from my board already. That means everyone on my board is draftable, so I am doing this sort of thing based on the tier. One good example is if Dante Pettis and Christian Kirk are gone, I don’t mind reaching ahead of ADP for Marquez Vales-Scantling. My goal is to secure a young receiver in a solid offense – all three of the players meet those qualifications.

7. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?
Roster construction is the key. Taking a Darrell Henderson or Tyreek Hill can theoretically win you a league but only if you balance those picks with a disciplined approach in later rounds. When other drafters are going for their upside in the eighth and ninth rounds, I may throttle back a bit and take a higher floor player like DeDe Westbrook who can provide some relief early in the season.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18
Dexter Williams, Malcolm Brown, Chase Edmonds, Albert Wilson, Trey Quinn

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.05
5
RB
ARI
2.08
20
RB
MIN
3.05
29
RB
ATL
4.08
44
WR
TBB
5.05
53
WR
CAR
6.08
68
WR
SFO
7.05
77
QB
PHI
8.08
92
TE
PIT
9.05
101
WR
HOU
10.08
116
QB
SFO
11.05
125
TE
PHI
12.08
140
QB
OAK
13.05
149
RB
MIN
14.08
164
WR
IND
15.05
173
WR
SFO
16.08
188
RB
BAL
17.05
197
RB
JAC
18.08
212
WR
BAL

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You selected three running backs followed by three wide receivers in the first six rounds. Explain this strategy and how it relates to the #5 pick.

I considered Amari Cooper in the third round but went with the higher upside in this format since I can flex Devonta Freeman. Freeman also protects against injury risk with my top two backs. Getting my flex here allowed me to concentrate on wide receiver value in the mid-rounds versus forcing a pick on timeshare backs like Philip Lindsay, Tarik Cohen, and Chris Carson. I love the mid-round wide receiver value this season.

2. You wanted Vance McDonald and you were able to get him in the eighth round, one round after you thought he'd go. Explain your high level of interest in McDonald in this format and/or in general.

It is all about the available targets and the unsettled nature of the Steelers receiving corps. The Steelers are a Top 5 passing offense consistently each year. Even though regression is likely coming versus last year, they will pass a lot. If McDonald keeps his role and only adds those left by Jesse James he will be a Top 10 tight end on a points-per-game basis. If he gains more trust from Roethlisberger and picks up a few of Brown's looks he could knock on the door of the top tight end tier. Yes, he has injury issues, but as Adam Harstad says, injuries are not discrete. Every player has an "X" percent chance of getting hurt - the difference between McDonald and other tight ends is being overblown. Especially when you can get him three rounds after Hunter Henry, Evan Engram, and O.J. Howard (who have all had their own injury issues). Maybe he is not as talented, but his volume ceiling is higher than any of those players.

3. Chris Godwin, Dante Pettis, and D.J. Moore are your WR1, WR2, and WR3. Neither one finished higher than WR25 in 2018. Share why you are comfortable starting this trio every week.

D.J. Moore is my top-rated player from this group, but to pair him with Godwin I knew I had to take Godwin first. Moore has the most potential upside of young wide receiver group taken in the mid-rounds. Unlike Godwin, Mike Williams, and Calvin Ridley, he doesn't have an alpha to deal with. Those guys have Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, and Julio Jones. Moore could be outperformed by Curtis Samuel, but he has a better chance of out targeting him than the other guys. Moore has a range of outcomes that includes 25% plus target share in this offense.

Godwin is a young ascending receiver who lands in a great spot with Bruce Arians. Arians' big slot receiver has led his offenses in targets often so volume shouldn't be an issue. I doubt he overtakes Evans as the lead target, but the two will end up closer than some expect.

Pettis is an amazing route runner and creates tremendous separation. He is one of the top six to eight route runners in the league. According to Next Gen Stats, he was among the top few receivers in separation yards as a rookie. When you filter out receivers that ran 50% or more of their routes from the slot (better protection from tight coverage) he was the number one receiver in separation yards. Let that sink in. Pettis likely wins the number two job in runaway fashion in this offense because he is always open. I won't be surprised if he equals or eclipses George Kittle's target share depending on how defenses adapt to the San Francisco pass attack this season.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

Stacking three straight running backs to open the draft should create strength on your roster and McFarland did exactly that with David Johnson, Dalvin Cook, and Devonta Freeman. Cook and Freeman share some durability risk, but they are clear starters when healthy and offer McFarland a trio few teams can match when all are active.

Weaknesses

McFarland’s wide receiver group inspires little confidence with risk all around. Chris Godwin is his own team’s WR2 yet drafted as McFarland’s WR1 here and Dante Pettis is a wildcard as a potential WR1/2 for San Francisco. D.J. Moore was sandwiched between as the lone WR1 option post-draft for this team’s depth chart. Ideally, McFarland gets three starters from his running back group weekly early in the season to soften the uncertainty at receiver.

How He’ll Win It All

The new-look Tampa Bay offense fueling a top-15 season out of Chris Godwin would be a big plus as well as Vance McDonald being a top-10 play with the cleared-out targets in Pittsburgh. A healthy Marquise Goodwin and Marquise Brown would be welcome best-ball sights in McFarland’s rotation to put for a 2019 crown.

DRAFT SLOT 6

Maurile Tremblay, Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
I will try to account for the various ways that this format differs from more traditional formats.

Because the payout is top-heavy (only the top three spots are in the money), I am willing to increase the variance of my range of outcomes. One way to do this is to be willing to take risky players with high upside -- players like Todd Gurley -- higher than they would go in leagues with flatter payouts. Another way to do it is to select multiple fantasy players from the same NFL team under the theory that an unexpectedly strong season from a particular offense will benefit each of its players together. (This is especially true when it comes to pairing quarterbacks with receivers from the same team, known as "stacking.")

Also, the fact that standings are based on total points rather than weekly wins and losses means that it's more important in this format to avoid having players at the same position share their bye weeks. (This cuts a bit against the strategy mentioned above, hoarding players from the same NFL team, but not when it comes to players at different positions, like quarterback and wide receiver.)

Finally, players who will predictably miss games (e.g., due to suspension) should be discounted more in this format than in traditional leagues.

2. Discuss drafting from the 6-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?

I hate drafting sixth this year. There are four running backs and one wide receiver who are clearly ahead of the rest of the pack, and then a big drop-off to fantasy prospects with significant shortcomings. In a league that offers premium scoring to tight ends, I would happily select Travis Kelce sixth; but in this format, I would not draft a tight end that high.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?

I will probably take three quarterbacks in a row, back-to-back-to-back, starting either in the tenth round or as soon as 16 quarterbacks are off the board, whichever occurs first. The idea is that quarterbacks are a bit deemphasized in this league (4 pts per passing TD, 1 pt per 25 yards passing), occupy only one starting spot compared to 7 RB-WR-TEs), and have pretty high weekly variance. The combination of those characteristics leads me to want to roster three quarterbacks instead of two (because of the weekly variance), but not to invest high draft picks in any of them (quantity will compensate for quality).

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?

If Travis Kelce is available in the middle of the second round, there's a good chance I'll take him there. If George Kittle is available in the third (I don't foresee Ertz falling that far), I'll consider him. Otherwise, Evan Engram or O.J. Howard would be considerations in the fifth, or Hunter Henry in the sixth, or Jared Cook in the seventh, but there's a decent chance that I won't dip into the tight end pool until after I draft my quarterbacks, in which case I'd be looking for two of Jimmy Graham, Chris Herndon, Delanie Walker, Jack Doyle, Jordan Reed, and Jason Witten in the 13th through 15th rounds, maybe adding a third tight end if Greg Olsen is available in the 18th.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?

I know I won't get any of the top four running backs with the sixth pick. I am hoping to land DeAndre Hopkins there but might have to settle for Davante Adams. In the second round, I would love for Todd Gurley to fall to me. Otherwise, I would welcome Travis Kelce there. Barring that, I'll just start taking the best RB-WR-TE available until the late-middle rounds when I'll focus on quarterbacks. I like Lamar Jackson in this format so I'll be trying to land him in round 10.

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)

This situation is most likely to come up at tight end. If Kelce is gone by my second-round pick, I might take Kittle in the third. If Kittle is gone in the third, I would take Engram or Howard or Henry in the fifth or sixth. If I land any of those guys, I will grab another tight end late and stand pat with two. If I don't get any of the tight ends I've just mentioned, I will wait until the later rounds and possibly grab three.

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

These players are less valuable in the DRAFT format than they would be in standard leagues. For one thing, there are no playoffs in this format, so players who come on at the end of the season don't have special value. For another thing, it's easy to avoid the mistake of starting a suspended or injured player in traditional leagues, so missed games from such players aren't nearly as bad as unexpected duds. In the DRAFT format, on the other hand, predictable zeros are every bit as bad as unexpected duds. That said, I'd be happy to take a chance on Tyreek Hill in the fourth round. I believe he's currently undervalued in every format.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18

In round 16, maybe Marquise Brown to stack with Lamar Jackson (if I land him earlier). In round 17, I'd be thrilled to nab Andy Isabella or Adam Humphries. In round 18, I'm hoping for Frank Gore or Justin Jackson, but I'd also consider Greg Olsen (if available) as a third tight end if I waited on my first two.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.06
6
WR
HOU
2.07
19
RB
LAR
3.06
30
RB
TEN
4.07
43
WR
LAR
5.06
54
RB
DEN
6.07
67
WR
TEN
7.06
78
WR
DET
8.07
91
TE
IND
9.06
102
WR
PIT
10.07
115
QB
CHI
11.06
126
QB
MIN
12.07
139
QB
NYJ
13.06
150
RB
BUF
14.07
163
WR
D.K. Metcalf
SEA
15.06
174
WR
JAC
16.07
187
TE
DAL
17.06
198
RB
DET
18.07
211
TE
LAR

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Todd Gurley was your pick at 2.07, just as you predicted. You indicated he represents homerun ability in a league with no playoffs. Where do you see Gurley in 2019 productivity in relation to 2018? How does his best ball value differ from in-season management?

Concern about Todd Gurley's knee is the reason he is not a consensus top-five pick. The concern is legitimate. He limped over the finish line last year, a non-factor in both the fantasy playoffs and the NFL playoffs, and the Rams spent a third-round pick on RB Darrell Henderson in the offseason. There's a chance that Gurley's knee will still significantly hamper him in 2019. There's also a chance -- a much stronger chance, in my opinion -- that even if Gurley's knee is back to normal in 2019, his workload will be significantly reduced throughout the season in order to avoid a repeat of 2018, when his extremely high usage rate over the first three-fourths of the season may have contributed to his collapse down the stretch.

In the middle of the second round, that first risk is one I'm willing to take, and the second is one I'll happily live with even if we stipulate it to be a certainty. Todd Gurley at his normal efficiency does not need a monstrous workload to score significant fantasy points. While he may lose carries to Henderson between the twenties, I'd expect Gurley to retain the lion's share of the goal-line opportunities. He had a freakish 64 carries in the red zone last season, 13 more than the next back. During the four years he's been in the NFL, Gurley has 44% more rushing TDs and 33% more total TDs than any other running back in the league. He has a lot of room to decline while still remaining a solid fantasy starter.

I'm currently projecting Gurley to receive about 74% of the total touches he got in 2018, with his overall fantasy production in this scoring system being significantly below the top four running backs, but right in that next tier with David Johnson, Melvin Gordon III (assuming 16 games), and James Conner. And if his knee affects his production in unpredictable ways from week to week, the best-ball format protects me against picking the wrong weeks to start or sit him.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

Despite waiting on WR2 and beyond, Tremblay built a rock-solid receiver corps after all-world DeAndre Hopkins in Round 1. Brandin Cooks, Corey Davis, and Marvin Jones Jr have stable roles within their team’s hierarchy and even WR5 on this team, James Washington, offers some best-ball pop potential. Tremblay was one of the teams to wait the longest on quarterback but still found three solid mid-round options in Mitch Trubisky, Kirk Cousins, and Sam Darnold in the QB14-25 range.

Weaknesses

Tremblay went lean and mean at running back with five drafted options. However, Todd Gurley and Philip Lindsay, two of the riskier options in the first four or five rounds, are two critical pieces for this depth chart. Derrick Henry mixed in as the RB2 adds to the risk as Henry has yet to put together a complete season at 25 years old. LeSean McCoy and Theo Riddick are decent floor options in the later rounds but lack the big upside potential of even some of the high-end primary backups who can benefit from injury.

How He’ll Win It All

Tremblay can win the league if Todd Gurley and Philip Lindsay are close to their early-2018 versions and Eric Ebron produces even 80% of what he did last year when the Colts passing game was cleared out. Tremblay’s wide receiver group and quarterback trio should be plenty to get Tremblay close to the title if the running backs and Eric Ebron prevail.

DRAFT SLOT 7

Will Grant, Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
For starters – I’ve been doing a lot of mocks using best ball format. Understanding the flow of a best ball draft is critical to know when you can reach and when you can lay off a player for a bit. I plan to go running back heavy to start, since the 1st two rounds have been doing that now. The 7th spot is rough, and if a running back run happens early, I might consider going wide receiver if the top six guys are off the board (worst case scenario).

2. Discuss drafting from the 7th hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
From 7, you’re not going to get the top tier running backs. The top 5 are pretty locked in with Barkley, Elliott, Kamara, McCaffery, and Johnson – not necessarily in that order. At 7, if I want to get a running back, I’m going to have to reach a little for Joe Mixon or James Conner. The other option would be to go wide receiver with DeAndre Hopkins or DeVante Adams. I’m going to pencil in Mixon and see what happens.
After that, it’s going to be the best player available. Without drafting near the turn, you have to assume that any specific player you target per round will be gone – there’s just too much space between you and the start. You won’t be shut out of any quarterback or tight end runs, but you probably won’t get the top guys either unless you reach.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
I’ve been playing with both options and I feel comfortable going with either taking a good one early or waiting a bit and using a quarterback by committee approach. Given my lousy draft spot, I may target the 7th and 8th rounds to get two quarterbacks. I won’t get Mahomes or Watson, but I should end up with two guys like Russell Wilson or Cam Newton. If everyone fades quarterback, I might even end up with Aaron Rodgers.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
This is another interesting one having to daft out of 7. I don’t like Kelce enough to reach for him in the 1st round (maybe if I were at 12), but I might look at Zach Ertz or George Kittle with my 3rd round pick. If all 3 are gone by then, I’ll probably look at the 9th or 10th round for my first and then take my second shortly after. It will really depend on the flow of the draft.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?
Joe Mixon lands on a lot of my teams and if I can get him with my first pick, I think I’ll be OK. In the second round in a season-long draft, I’d target Nick Chubb but I expect he’ll be gone here. A heavy running back 1st round will have me considering Mike Evans or Odell Beckham Jr in the 2nd. I do like Julian Edelman this year and would target him in the 4th. Allen Robinson is good value right now and I can probably target him in the 6th. If I miss out on the top tight ends, I’ll look for Eric Ebron in the 9th or so. Hunter Henry is on the rise and I might consider him at that spot as well.

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
In a bestball format, you don’t need to have this type of approach. The key you want is value – always value. I do however keep an eye on quarterback and tight end because you do need to have 2 or 3 decent people for each of those positions. I try to have at least 3 of each in normal drafts but I might consider going with only 2 at one or the other given the expected talent level of this draft.

7. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?
Rookies are a very small consideration. I have taken Josh Jacobs in a couple of leagues, but normally people reach for him and I’m happy to see him gone. I may take a flyer on a wide receiver like D.K. Metcalf or N'Keal Harry in the 15th round or later – but again, those guys are typically gone. Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson are guys who are seriously overdrafted this year – I doubt that either is worth anything more than a 3rd tight end on your DRAFT roster.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18

  1. Mike Davis RB Chicago – Most are bypassing him because of the rookie, but Mike Davis has value and could be a hidden gem that late in the draft.
  2. Kalen Ballage RB Miami – Miami is a crapshoot this year, but in a best-ball format, Ballage could emerge as the top back for Miami and be worth big value this late.
  3. Jack Doyle TE Indianapolis (depending on what my tight ends look like) – His injury has destroyed his value, but Andrew Luck and Doyle have history and the Colts love their tight ends. I don’t know if I’d handcuff him with Ebron, but Doyle is an interesting pick in best ball.
  4. Alexander Mattison RB MinnesotaDalvin Cook hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since coming back from injury. He might split time with Mattison and if Cook gets hurt again, Mattison could be the feature back in a decent offense.
  5. Mark Andrews TE Baltimore – Late round tight end value. Baltimore is going to run a lot, but Andrews will be a nice safety blanket if Lamar Jackson needs to dump the ball off into the flat.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.07
7
RB
CIN
2.06
18
WR
PIT
3.07
31
TE
PHI
4.06
42
RB
OAK
5.07
55
RB
CHI
6.06
66
WR
CLE
7.07
79
WR
DEN
8.06
90
QB
SEA
9.07
103
TE
MIN
10.06
114
QB
PIT
11.07
127
TE
IND
12.06
138
QB
CIN
13.07
151
RB
WAS
14.06
162
RB
CHI
15.07
175
WR
NYJ
16.06
186
WR
WAS
17.07
199
WR
TEN
18.06
210
WR
SEA

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You drafted Jarvis Landry with pick 6.06 as your WR2, passing over guys like Corey Davis, Dante Pettis, and Robby Anderson. Explain why you are high on Landry in 2019.

I feel like with all the attention on Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr Jr. this summer, Landry is undervalued right now. Cleveland’s offense should take a big jump forward and Beckham is going to draw most of the defensive attention. That’s going to mean Landry is going to see single coverage for the first time in his career. If Mayfield can go through his progressions properly, Landry is going to have a good season. He’ll certainly have some big games when defenses refuse to uncover Beckham. I have Landry in a lot of best-ball formats this year.

2. The fourth-round running back is a popular pick and you selected Josh Jacobs at 4.06. Of the six running backs taken in the fourth round (Kerryon Johnson, Leonard Fournette, Sony Michel, Josh Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, and David Montgomery) which ones would you select over Jacobs?

I like Sony Michel this year and had him targeted at my pick, but he went just before me. The first running back taken in the fourth round, Kerryon Johnson from Detroit, is another guy who I would have taken over Jacobs at that spot. The Miami offense scares the heck of out me this year and I’m fading Drake in best ball unless he falls to the mid-5th round which he usually never does. I’d rather take a flyer on Kallen Ballage at the end of the draft than spend up for Drake this year.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

Grant secured record-setter Zach Ertz nearly two rounds after Travis Kelce as the TE3 in Round 3. Also, Grant was another drafter to benefit from the collective waiting game at quarterback with Russell Wilson (Round 8) and Ben Roethlisberger (Round 10) as cornerstone investments. While Grant could have some questions at WR2/3, he peppered the position with four selections to close the draft and potential WR1/2 NFL roles like Quincy Enunwa, Paul Richardson Jr, A.J. Brown, and David Moore.

Weaknesses

Grant took some big swings at running back between Joe Mixon at 1.07, Josh Jacobs as his RB2, and Tarik Cohen as his only other back of import in the first 12 rounds. Mixon has minimal profit baked in as RB6 and Cohen will be in a committee at best with David Montgomery and Mike Davis added for Chicago.

How He’ll Win It All

Josh Jacobs avoiding a slow rookie start will be key as will Mixon producing a true breakout season for Grant’s squad. Courtland Sutton is a pivotal player who could benefit from a recovering Emmanuel Sanders from an Achilles injury and (ideally) improved quarterback play in Denver with Joe Flacco added. Like Mixon, JuJu Smith-Schuster has little wiggle room in his WR7 status in this draft for Grant to be an unquestioned WR1 for the depth chart.

DRAFT SLOT 8

Michael Stepney, The Fantasy Authority
QB & DST Streaming Options writer for The Fantasy Authority. Co-host of Fantasy Football Geekly with Dennis Farrell. SFB7, SFB8, SFB9 participant. Been playing fantasy football since 2002. Made guest appearances on The Open Bar podcast & Fighting Chance Fantasy podcast.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
Since I haven't participated in any best ball drafts, I won't have an advanced strategy. Will glean some tips from articles/podcasts beforehand & let the draft come to me.

2. Discuss drafting from the 2-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
Drafting from the 8th position, if one of the top 3 TE's should fall to me, I'll take them gladly. Otherwise, I'll wait & use a late-round approach. The possibility exists that I may take two quarterbacks on back-to-back picks since I do have a long wait.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
Mid to late rounds (i.e. 8-11)

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
If one of the big three should fall to me, I'm running to hit that draft button. If not, have patience & wait into the double-digit rounds.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
No, I do not. It's a wise strategy to have multiple options ready if you're top two get selected before your turn to pick.

7. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?
They're still viable options on my board. Rookies can start slow & get better, or they produce from Game 1. Depending on the length of suspension or injury, I might lean towards making them later round picks.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18
Trey Quinn, Dawson Knox, Robert Foster, Andy Isabella, Darren Waller

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.08
8
WR
GBP
2.05
17
RB
CLE
3.08
32
WR
DAL
4.05
41
RB
NEP
5.08
56
RB
SEA
6.05
65
QB
HOU
7.08
80
WR
NYG
8.05
89
WR
CAR
9.08
104
TE
BAL
10.05
113
QB
BAL
11.08
128
RB
WAS
12.05
137
WR
MIA
13.08
152
WR
NYJ
14.05
161
TE
NYJ
15.08
176
RB
OAK
16.05
185
WR
BUF
17.08
200
QB
MIA
18.05
209
TE
BUF

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. After drafting in your first best ball draft, what advice would you give to others who are venturing into this format for the first time?
First, learn the scoring settings (whether it be half-point PPR or full PPR, 4pts or 6pts for passing TD's, you get 0.5 for rushing attempts, -0.1 or higher for interceptions). Second, create a cheatsheet/rankings based upon said scoring system so you won't be caught off-guard if something changes within the draft (btw, they always do). Third, do some mock drafts to get used to the timer (which is usually 30 seconds) & roster construction. It wouldn't also hurt to read some articles and listen to podcasts that highlight/breakdown PlayDraft best-ball leagues.

2. Which player on your team do you feel will make or break your team's success? Explain your reasoning.
Lamar Jackson-I know that Ravens owner Steve Bischotti said they wanted to decrease Jackson's rushing attempts from last season—he averaged 21 in the 7 games he started in 2017. Despite that edict, HC Jim Harbaugh & OC Greg Roman won't eliminate it from Lamar's toolbox; it's too much a part of his DNA. I'm banking on Lamar improving his passing production in Year 2 to supplement his rushing productivity—which might have a drop if the Ravens have their way.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

The wide receiver position is an overt strength for Stepney’s squad with Davante Adams and Amari Cooper two cornerstone selections in the opening three rounds. Sterling Shepard, Curtis Samuel, and even Kenny Stills and Jamison Crowder could have No.2 or better roles from outside the top-75 of the draft as well. Stepney is poised to be one of the more productive teams in the league at the position.

Weaknesses

Stepney took just five running backs, which could be an issue considering three of them are in uncertain roles (Jalen Richard, Adrian Peterson, Chris Carson) with strong talents also in their respective backfields. Sony Michel is another one of Stepney’s selections, who is dealing with his own durability issues plus New England drafting Damien Harris on Day 2.

How He’ll Win It All

Aligning big games at running back will be key for Stepney to secure the title. Blending Adrian Peterson’s viability (perhaps earlier in the season with Derrius Guice working back) with Sony Michel’s health and higher volume games are paramount at the RB2/3 spots. The young committee approach at tight end will need the same with Mark Andrews, Chris Herndon (suspension), and Dawson Knox to cobble together at least an average showing compared to the position.

DRAFT SLOT 9

Leo Paciga, Dynasty League Football
Leo is a 40% FF savant, 40% FF relic, 20% yelling at people to get off my lawn. Former senior writer & podcast host who spends time now waxing poetic at Dynasty League Football. FSWA finalist '15, playing FF since '87, always "notebooking" the competition. #BRAND

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
Since this group is made up of pretty prominent, well-known drafters, I'll apply my notebook strategy to hit each twitter account pre-draft, looking for some clues on sleepers, strategies, mid-round targets who these other 11 owners may have talked about in an article and/or on social media. I'll also likely go heavy at a particular position early on if most folks are zigging when I can zag a bit.

2. Discuss drafting from the 9-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
The 9th spot offers some flexibility since the turn flips quickly. It also allows you to double down on a particular position if your spidey sense goes off due to an impending run or you get a good read on the strategies being used by those drafting near you.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
As late as humanly possible.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
Travis Kelce will be in play at 1.09 if he's on the board, as will George Kittle at the 3-4 turn if he's still there, but I'll likely wait until we hit the Hooper, McDonald, Andrews tier.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?
Damien Williams (3rd), Tyler Lockett (7th), David Montgomery (6th), K. Stills (12th).

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
I'm constantly looking for value that's falling and trigger points can box you into a corner to some degree.

7. 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 mind swinging on rookies in a good offense/situation as long as it's in their ADP wheelhouse. As for injured/suspended players, I'm usually targeting a second-half contribution from those players and want the value to reflect accordingly....otherwise I simply won't bite.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18
I'll give you six....Jalen Richard, Gio Bernard, Tre'Quan Smith, Robert Foster, Trey Quinn, and Dallas Goedert.

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.09
9
TE
KCC
2.04
16
RB
PIT
3.09
33
WR
MIN
4.04
40
WR
SEA
5.09
57
WR
ATL
6.04
64
WR
PHI
7.09
81
RB
HOU
8.04
88
TE
NOS
9.09
105
QB
TBB
10.04
112
RB
BUF
11.09
129
QB
LAC
12.04
136
RB
IND
13.09
153
WR
MIA
14.04
160
RB
CIN
15.09
177
QB
DEN
16.04
184
WR
NEP
17.09
201
WR
WAS
18.04
208
RB
KCC

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You were able to draft Travis Kelce at pick 1.09 like you envisioned. Explain why taking the plunge with Kelce in the first round is a viable strategy for this league. Would the same strategy be in play for a league with in-season management?

I believe selecting Kelce at the back half of the 1st is a pretty viable strategy in any league that requires at least 1 starting TE and involves some type of PPR scoring. Even with this league's scoring applied (.5 across all positions) to last year, Kelce still doubled the production of every TE in the league outside of the top 5. That's a significant advantage at a position with a steep drop off almost immediately.

2. You said you wanted to wait a long time before taking your first quarterback. You selected Jameis Winston with pick 9.09 as the 11th quarterback off the board. Eight quarterbacks were selected in round 10. Explain why it's good to read trends and know when to grab your quarterback.

I would've preferred to wait even longer honestly, but you're right - I felt a major run coming on and wanted to grab a QB with a very high best-ball ceiling before the run obliterated my choices. This scoring format is also perfect for Winston since it's only - 1 point for each interception thrown unlike some leagues that penalize throwing picks with - 4 points. I often profess from my soapbox the best strategy for snake drafting is to be extremely fluid. Each draft regardless of dynasty, redraft, or best ball, gets its own identity early on. You've got to read those unique nuances, trends, characteristics and positional runs as quickly as possible....process that information....and adjust.

3. You drafted a running back in the second round in James Conner (pick 2.04) and then waited until 7.09 to take your next running back (Lamar Miller). What was your reasoning in passing on running back for so long?

Again, it's about adjusting. Waiting that long wasn't my plan especially in a best-ball format but the value presented itself - except for my reach on Lockett which I see is coming up in question #4. I was targeting Devonta Freeman (3.05) or Derrick Henry (3.06) with my pick at 3.09 and then planned on taking Kerryon or Fournette at 4.04, but both went 4.02 & 4.03 respectively. Finally, I preferred the production from Calvin Ridley and Alshon Jeffery as my WR3/WR4 in a start-4 WR best-ball format over any RBs on the board in the 5th or 6th round. I'm certainly weak at RB, but strategically my roster build flipped to WR/TE focused based on value adds and it's also the reason why I went Jared Cook in the 8th to double down on productive tight ends.

4. Tyler Lockett was your pick at 4.04 over other notable receivers like Kenny Golladay, Brandin Cooks, and Chris Godwin. Explain why you are high on Lockett this year.

This comes down to my belief Lockett takes the next step as Seattle's clear cut WR1. He made strides last season finishing the season with an 81% catch rate and a perfect passer rating when thrown to in '18. Lockett simply isn't downfield speed. He's a WR with technical savviness and an understanding of positional nuances that enable him to be successful against both man and zone defenses. If you couple Lockett's big-play ability along with an anticipated increase in snaps from the slot position, it creates an opportunity for enough production - even in a run centric offense - to produce in the same tier as Golladay and Cooks (the 70+ receptions, 1000+ yard, 8-9 TD tier) without any real competition for targets. I'd been scooping Lockett up in rounds 6th and/or 7 in some previous drafts, but based on the flow of the draft, I felt like if I wanted him in these shark-invested waters, I'd have to reach earlier than planned.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

No team in the league can match Paciga’s potential dominance at tight end (and even flex) with Travis Kelce in Round 1 and Jared Cook (TE7) part of his draft haul. Cook has top-3 upside and Kelce is locked in as the first or second (at worst) option on arguably the best offense in the NFL. Another strength is Paciga’s stack of four straight wide receivers in Rounds 3-6. There is some risk with his choices, but best ball smooths the variation at the position and especially Tyler Lockett and Calvin Ridley are quality bets to provide a handful of big games.

Weaknesses

With Paciga’s investment in wide receiver and tight end, running back to a relative backseat within the top-100 of the draft with only two selections. James Conner is a potential value boon at RB9, but Lamar Miller as his second option is a ho-hum selection as the position was already down to secondary options overall. Giovani Bernard and Devin Singletary are potential injury-away upside plays Paciga secured later in the draft, but being even middle-of-the-road at running back, will be a challenge overall for Paciga.

How He’ll Win It All

Lamar Miller, Jameis Winston, Tyler Lockett, and Calvin Ridley are the critical players for Paciga to take home the title. Miller being the unquestioned starter either through D’Onta Foreman not being his pre-Achilles self now two years removed from injury is a key factor. Winston being ‘good Jameis’ under Bruce Arians and Lockett being the WR1 for Seattle, not a spread-it-around approach vault Paciga into title consideration.

DRAFT SLOT 10

Phil Alexander, Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
My advanced draft strategy is not to have a rigid draft strategy. Each draft is unique, and if you're not willing to adjust on the fly, especially when things don't start out as planned, you'll end up missing out on value once the bullets start flying. I trust my research and know which offenses I want to invest in with my premium picks, as well as which players have the talent/opportunity profile to overcome poor team setups.

Most of all, especially in best ball leagues, I'm weighing a player's 90th percentile outcome more heavily than their median projections. If no reason exists to believe the player has a path to significantly outproduce their ADP (or live up to their ADP in the early rounds), they don't belong on my teams.

If we're talking positional strategies, my favorite builds start with three running backs, a WR1 in the Tyler Lockett/Chris Godwin/Robert Woods tier and the bulk of my wide receiver corps getting fleshed out in Rounds 6-8 -- the best value pocket in 2019 drafts -- thanks to guys like Christian Kirk, Robby Anderson, Dante Pettis, and Tyler Boyd. Quarterback and tight end can be filled in by committee unless the right opportunity presents itself to select Kyler or Murray or Hunter Henry, each of whom I have pegged for elite seasons.

2. Discuss drafting from the 10-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
Honestly, the 10-hole stinks. In a draft with a bunch of industry dudes, I see no chance David Johnson slips to 1.10. He's the last running back I'm comfortable taking with a first-round pick. I'll probably end up with a wide receiver like Davante Adams in the first and then I'll target Damien Williams near the top of the second. Williams is the only running back going outside of the first round who can safely be projected for 10-13 rush attempts and four-to-six catches per game, and he just so happens to play in the league's best offense. Reaching for Williams brings me to another point about drafting from the 10-hole. You're essentially drafting at the turn, so you can't be afraid to take guys you're targeting ahead of ADP. With 19 picks in between your selections in every other round, it's important to anticipate position runs and be the person who starts one, not the person who falls victim to one.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
When I think Kyler Murray won't make it back around to me, which is usually around the seventh-round on DRAFT. If someone beats me to Murray, I'm happy to platoon guys like Kirk Cousins and Mitchell Trubisky in the double-digit rounds.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle will be long gone before I'm ready to attack tight end. Hunter Henry, O.J. Howard, and Vance McDonald have realistic chances to finish the season in the Ertz/Kittle tier and are therefore worthy of consideration at their respective ADPs. Whether or not I pull the trigger on a tight end in Rounds 5-8 depends upon the remaining wide receivers and running backs. As I mentioned earlier, this is usually the sweet spot for under-valued, high-ceiling wide receivers. I'm more likely to wait until the double-digit rounds to patch together a committee by combining a steady veteran like Jack Doyle with upside plays like Mark Andrews, Dallas Goedert, and Mike Gesicki.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
David Johnson represents a tier drop to me at running back, so if any of the consensus top-4 running backs are off the board and I have an opportunity to take him, I will. A.J. Green is my last second-tier wide receiver. Usually, if I see T.Y. Hilton come off the board, I know it's time to take Green.

7. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?
Rookies, especially running backs, are no different than veterans for me. It comes down to touch/target projections and the strength of their respective offenses. I tend to avoid injured/suspended players in best ball. Enough can go wrong during a season with players who start the year projected to play 16 games that it usually doesn't make sense to knowingly invite a dead roster spot onto your teams during the draft. Tyreek Hill is a possible exception this year. If he ends up suspended only four games, he should still deliver enough WR1 weeks to justify his ADP. That said, I'm more likely to target Hill in a normal redraft league where I can manage my roster around those four missed games.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.10
10
WR
ATL
2.03
15
WR
CLE
3.10
34
RB
IND
4.03
39
RB
JAC
5.10
58
TE
LAC
6.03
63
WR
ARI
7.10
82
QB
ARI
8.03
87
QB
CLE
9.10
106
RB
NEP
10.03
111
WR
GBP
11.10
130
RB
D\'Onta Foreman
HOU
12.03
135
WR
IND
13.10
154
WR
PIT
14.03
159
TE
CAR
15.10
178
WR
Tre\'Quan Smith
NOS
16.03
183
RB
ARI
17.10
202
RB
DAL
18.03
207
TE
CAR

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Christian Kirk was your pick at 6.03 as your WR3 and Kyler Murray was your selection at 7.10. Explain why you are high on the young Arizona stack.
The last time I was this excited to draft a rookie quarterback was in 2011 when Cam Newton entered the league. Newton's rushing ability padded his floor to the point he essentially had a head start on every other quarterback each week. Murray won't be used at the goal line like rookie-year Newton, but his rushing ability gives him a comparable edge and he might already be a better passer than present-day Newton.

Arizona brought in Kliff Kingsbury with the sole purpose of reviving one of the worst offenses we've seen in recent history. The team's draft picks, particularly Murray and Andy Isabella, suggest Kingsbury has been given free rein to impose his will on the offense. If Kingsbury's tendencies as a college coach can be trusted, it's conceivable the Cardinals jump from 31st in the league in offensive plays per game to inside the top-5, and all those plays are going to run through Murray.

Kirk has worked with Murray before at Texas A&M, was recruited by Kingsbury at Texas Tech, and is the most versatile receiver on Arizona's roster. Before a broken foot ended his rookie season, Kirk was quietly leading the team in receiving yards ahead of Larry Fitzgerald. Now that he has a functional offense to support him and a coach who knows how to exploit mismatches, a finish inside the top-12 wide receivers is attainable.

2. Damien Harris is becoming a popular pick in the 8th, 9th or even 10th round. Explain why you like him in this format and in general?
Harris is the type of lunchpail running back who can play the LeGarrette Blount role for New England much better than Blount ever did. The player who held that job last season -- Sony Michel -- just had his second knee surgery since last summer. No one would be shocked if Harris is making starts at some point in 2019, and the early-down/goal-line role for the Patriots has historically been the catbird seat for running back fantasy production. It's tough to remember the last time investing in the cheapest piece of New England's backfield turned out a poor decision and the context is there for Harris to continue the trend.

In a worst-case scenario, Harris is part of a maddening three-way committee with Michel and James White all season. Luckily, if he's drafted where I got him at the 9/10 turn, he only needs three startable weeks to pay off, and in best ball, I don't have to figure out which weeks those are.

3. Selecting a wide receiver in the first round with slot 10 is a popular strategy. What running back would need to be there for you to pull the trigger at 1.10?
David Johnson

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

Wide receiver was a point of emphasis for Alexander, stacking Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr in the first two rounds from his late draft position. Alexander was also aggressive with Christian Kirk at WR27. Most of his later-round choices (Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Devin Funchess, Tre’Quan Smith) are ideal best-ball specials to add a few big games throughout the season on high-end offenses.

Weaknesses

Alexander built one of the more balanced rosters positionally in the draft overall. However, the most risk and downside potential are at running back. Marlon Mack and Leonard Fournette as his cornerstone options each have their own paths to disappointment. With Mack, he has yet to stay healthy (six missed games in two seasons) and has averaged less than 1.5 receptions per game for career, which is unlikely to improve much with receiving-maven Nyheim Hines on the depth chart. With Fournette the risk is all health. He has top-5 upside but has missed 11 games over his first two seasons and mixed in some partial games last year.

How He’ll Win It All

Leonard Fournette stays healthy will go a long way towards a title for Alexander. Kyler Murray or Baker Mayfield being a true quarterback impact is another key factor. Finally, mid-round shots on Damien Harris and D’Onta Foreman and a later one on Chase Edmonds turning into at least one of them having a chunk of the season as their team’s starter is how championships are won. Finally, at least one of Hunter Henry or Greg Olsen need a healthy and productive stretch during the season as the key tight ends for Alexander.

DRAFT SLOT 11

Michael Rathburn, Rotowire
Michael Rathburn is a 25 year veteran of fantasy sports and sports handicapping. He has been nominated for an FSWA award 6 times and been the recipient of 2 of them. (2014 Baseball Writer of the Year and the 2016 Baseball Article of the Year). His work has been featured in USA Today, Yahoo, ESPN, RotoExperts, and Rotowire.

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
I'm looking to select a wide receiver early, hopefully, one of the top 3. I'll be looking for running backs for 5-6 picks, then quarterback and tight end. Once I have that, I'll target wide receivers on teams where the WR1 is not determined yet (guys like Robert Foster).

2. Discuss drafting from the 11-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
I might double up on a position when I’m picking so close. Also, I will have to reach on players with my 2nd pick each time with so many spots between picks.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
I'm guessing around 8th or 10th round, especially with it being best ball and a one-quarterback league. Waiting is optimal.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
With it being a standard league, I will wait and target guys like Jared Cook, Eric Ebron, Vance McDonald around round 8-10.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?
Mike Evans (2), Nick Chubb (2-3), Amari Cooper (3), Kerryon Johnson (3), Brandin Cooks (4), Julian Edelman (5), Rashaad Penny (8), Will Fuller V (8), Vance McDonald (9), Latavius Murray (10).

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
Usually, that will happen with my 1st QB, 1st TE, and 1st/2nd WR.

7. 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 cautious with rookies outside of some RBs. I am targeting Kyler Murray at his current ADP. I will not be drafting injured or suspended players.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18
Robert Foster, Ryquell Armstead, Ted Ginn Jr, Gio Bernard, Bryce Love

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.11
11
WR
NOS
2.02
14
WR
TBB
3.11
35
WR
NEP
4.02
38
RB
DET
5.11
59
TE
NYG
6.02
62
QB
IND
7.11
83
RB
SEA
8.02
86
RB
NOS
9.11
107
RB
DEN
10.02
110
WR
ARI
11.11
131
QB
DET
12.02
134
WR
ATL
13.11
155
QB
JAC
14.02
158
RB
TEN
15.11
179
RB
SFO
16.02
182
TE
DEN
17.11
203
WR
TBB
18.02
206
RB
WAS

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. You talked about doubling up on a position with the first and second-round turn at pick 1.11 and 2.02. You wound up drafting wide receivers Michael Thomas and Mike Evans followed by Julian Edelman and Kerryon Johnson at the 3-4 turn. What made you draft your third receiver before your first running back?

I couldn't pass up Edelman because he is rock solid and consistent. Also, no Gronk this year and a rookie wide receiver and veteran wide receiver coming off an injury around him. Devin already drafted two running backs so I knew he wasn't taking Kerryon Johnson there. I was picking right after his two picks, so I was ok taking another wide receiver there.

2. You wanted to wait at quarterback but elected to draft Andrew Luck with pick 6.02 (the 2nd quarterback off the board). What made you take the plunge and go against your strategy?

I changed up my strategy because I didn't like any of the players on the board when I took Andrew Luck. I think he is in for a huge season and will finish as the top quarterback. That opinion was enough for me to pounce on him at a spot.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

Rathburn was the only team in the league to go WR-WR-WR in the opening three rounds, securing Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, and Julian Edelman – all high-target options on projected strong offenses. Larry Fitzgerald and Mohamed Sanu were savvy depth options added in Round 10 and beyond to finish off arguably the best receiver group in the league.

Weaknesses

A minor quibble would be the downside risk of Rathburn’s overall running back group. The upside is obvious with Kerryon Johnson, Rashaad Penny, Latavius Murray, and Royce Freeman as central figures. However, all could be in committee-type situations with no one emerging as a top-15 type option overall. With four bets it is unlikely Rathburn rolls snake eyes on the entire quartet, but his mid-round-centric bets are more tenuous and projections than every other team exiting the draft.

How He’ll Win It All

Evan Engram being a featured (and healthy) element of the Giants passing game is critical considering Rathburn’s lack of depth at tight end (Noah Fant the only other drafted option). The running backs, as mentioned above, are another reason why Rathburn will win or not. Kerryon Johnson building on his flashes as a rookie with more health gives the depth chart a cornerstone player from Round 4. Latavius Murray can be a top-18 running back even with a healthy Alvin Kamara and a top-5 option if Kamara is out. Finally, Rashaad Penny and Royce Freeman evolving into lead backs for their respective teams can put Rathburn over the top for a 2019 title.

DRAFT SLOT 12

Devin Knotts, Bio

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Give us some advanced strategies you are looking to implement in this draft.
At the 12-spot it is tough to implement advanced strategies, but the one thing I will say is that drafting from the 12-spot is much like a game of poker. There are 22 picks between picks so you need to adjust to the draft and find values before the run will occur. That will be critical for me is that in order to be successful getting ahead of quarterback and tight end runs in this draft will ultimately be my success or failure.

2. Discuss drafting from the 12-hole. What will you do differently because of this draft slot?
Drafting on the turn at the 12-slot completely changes the game. You need to have an agile strategy going into the draft as you have to react as to what has happened with there being so many picks between your two picks. An underrated component to drafting from the 12-slot is predicting what is going to happen in the 22 picks after your selections.

3. When do you plan to select your first quarterback?
Each draft is different. In expert leagues, quarterbacks tend to fall further than they should. If this is the case and there is a premium quarterback available at the 5/6 turn, I’ll likely grab one such as Luck or Rodgers. If quarterbacks go where they typically do, I am comfortable waiting to the 9/10 turn.

4. When do you plan to select your first tight end?
Tight end is a position that I’m either paying up for or waiting until late. Unfortunately, the way that the draft is likely going to go, I’m unlikely to get Travis Kelce. If I could get Zach Ertz or George Kittle at the ¾ turn, I would be ecstatic. Otherwise, I will likely wait to be one of the last teams to take a tight end.

5. Name a few guys that you are looking to build your team around. What rounds do you expect to get them in?
Tyreek Hill is my number one target. I think he is being undervalued and would love him at the 3rd/4th turn. At the running back position, I’m encouraged by the value created by Derrius Guice especially in bestball as relying on him to have big upside later in the season is encouraging.

6. Do you have any trigger points (ie players A and B are gone therefore I am looking to grab player C the next time I pick)
I really don’t, I’m not a huge fan of that type of drafting. I try to get ahead of the runs and take my favorite of a certain group of players. Especially with the 12th pick, you can’t draft like that as if you wait on players then players C, D, E, and F all could be gone.

7. What's your approach to rookies, injured players, and/or suspended players that may not have a full workload to start the season?
In the best ball format, it’s a tricky balance. You have to take some of the upside players in preparation for later in the season, but at the same time, you have to keep yourself in the league by taking safe players who can perform early in the year. My take is that I like to target guys who have value. This often means passing up on the hot rookie or the trending player who people are high on in a given season. I’m a big fan of targeting players coming off an injury the previous season especially if the reports aren’t overly positive this time of year. Derrius Guice fits that mold and value is being created because of it. I don’t expect him to do much early, but fully expect him to have big upside later in the year.

8. Name five players you would love to choose in rounds 16-18

DRAFT SELECTIONS

Pick
Overall
Position
Player
Team
1.12
12
RB
LAC
2.01
13
RB
NYJ
3.12
36
QB
KCC
4.01
37
WR
KCC
5.12
60
TE
TBB
6.01
61
WR
KCC
7.12
84
RB
WAS
8.01
85
WR
JAC
9.12
108
WR
NYG
10.01
109
WR
PHI
11.12
132
RB
TBB
12.01
133
RB
ATL
13.12
156
WR
DEN
14.01
157
TE
TEN
15.12
180
WR
BUF
16.01
181
RB
DET
17.12
204
QB
WAS
18.01
205
QB
NYG

POST-DRAFT QUESTIONS

1. Melvin Gordon III's draft stock has slipped since he indicated a potential holdout. What made you pick him at 1.12? What are your thoughts on Gordon and his availability this season?
Every running back at the 1.12 spot had some sort of question in my mind. Gordon is strictly a financial one and people are overblowing this due to the Le’Veon Bell situation last year. At 1.12, Gordon is a fantastic value, I fully expect him to be ready for Week 1 as the Chargers have the cap space to give him a short deal that increases his guaranteed salary for this year and next.

2. You drafted a triple-stack of Kansas City Chiefs. Talk about this strategy of drafting Patrick Mahomes II, Tyreek Hill, and Sammy Watkins, especially how it pertains to this format and the uncertainty of Hill's availability.
I didn’t intend to draft Watkins, but the value of him being available compared to who was left on the board at the time was too great to pass up. I fully expect Tyreek Hill to get four games and if he gets more than that, it was a terrible selection. Watkins is a nice second option in the best offense in football. This will also help with some of the week-to-week volatility that will be caused by Hill and Watkins in that hopefully each week one of the two has a big game.

3. You essentially have an RB3 by committee with Derrius Guice and Peyton Barber. Share your thoughts on why you like both backs this season.
This is all about upside. In the DRAFT format, you only need to start two running backs each week, and given that I have Bell and Gordon, those two will be starting most weeks. However, Guice provides a nice upside as he recovers from his ACL injury and Barber is a safe player who I believe will gain the starting role as Ronald Jones struggles.

CHAD PARSONs' EVALUATION

Strengths

Knotts’ talent acquisition in this draft was unmatched by any other teams. Knotts stacked Patrick Mahomes II with Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins, unlocking tremendous upside when the Kansas City offense is clicking. Despite drafting running backs in the first two rounds, Knotts’ selections of Derrius Guice (Round 7) and Peyton Barber (Round 11) add additional potential NFL team starters with the upside of being one of the best in this league in terms of quality depth at running back.

Weaknesses

Knotts took significant swings at variance, which can work in favor or to the detriment of a fantasy team. Melvin Gordon III is a holdout risk at the time of publication. Le'Veon Bell is coming off a year away from football (and a team change). Tyreek Hill is still up in the air regarding his status. Finally, Sammy Watkins and Derrius Guice are talents with recent track records of injury. All of these selections are within Knotts’ opening seven rounds of the draft. Also, Knotts paid handsomely for Patrick Mahomes II, more than two rounds ahead of the rest of the quarterback position. Also, Knotts is at risk with his only other quarterbacks being Case Keenum and Eli Mannings, both of whom could be on the bench by the time Mahomes’ bye (or injury) ensure the need for a non-Mahomes option in the lineup.

How He’ll Win It All

The easy path to Knotts winning the league hinges on the uncertainty of his stars. Melvin Gordon III is a mid-RB1 or better outside of his holdout or missed game risk. Le'Veon Bell was a stud in Pittsburgh but now has the year-away question mark and a new Jets offense, away from the friendly confines of Pittsburgh, which optimized his skills. A shorter suspension for Tyreek Hill would make the Chiefs speedster a bargain at WR16 in Round 4. The same goes for Sammy Watkins in Round 6 if he can be healthy for most of the season. Finally, both of Knotts’ tight ends (O.J. Howard, Delanie Walker) missed extended time in 2018, adding to the high-variance nature to this team and the upside if things go right.

View entire draft

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