Davis Mattek’s Favorite Picks in DRAFT NFL Best Ball Fantasy Football: Rounds 1-10
It is no secret that here at RotoExperts, we have been doing DRAFT NFL Best Ball Fantasy Football drafts since the Super Bowl ended. Now that ADP has started to take real shape, I thought that an interesting way to add value to those of you who are drafting in Best Ball fantasy football drafts now would be to check our projections and rankings against DRAFT Average Draft Position to find the most valuable selections for each round.
First Round: Melvin Gordon, 6.1 ADP
In our projections that are down from team level, Melvin Gordon is the fourth-highest projected scorer for the 2019 season. We have him projected over Todd Gurley (knee concerns), Christian McCaffrey (Cam Newton health questions), and Deandre Hopkins. Gordon is coming off a season where he played only 12 games but had his most receptions per game and scored 14 times. Melvin Gordon being used as a true workhorse makes him more valuable than the market is considering.
Second Round: JuJu Smith-Shuster, 19.3 ADP
Our projection system (and my own personal rankings) are incredibly high on JuJu Smith-Shuster. He will be adding volume to a profile that has historic comps to Randy Moss and Josh Gordon. By the age of 22, there have been very few NFL players who have been able to do what Smith-Shuster has. Even docking his efficiency a bit in our team-level projections, we have Smith-Shuster as the top wide receiver in fantasy football.
Third Round: Aaron Jones, 33.8 ADP
If Aaron Jones retains his backfield split from the final part of the 2018 season, he will be an insane steal in the third round. It seems more likely than not that Jones ends up with a second-round Average Draft Position in NFL Best Ball fantasy football leagues by the start of the season. Even with a projection for under 60 targets, Jones comes out as a top-14 running back for us at RotoExperts due to the potential of being the lead back in one of the NFL’s best offenses.
Fourth Round: Chris Godwin, 48.8 ADP
Chris Godwin’s Best Ball fantasy football ADP has been skyrocketing for the last two months. DeSean Jackson left Tampa Bay for Philadelphia and the Buccaneers hired another vertical passing coach in Bruce Arians. It is easy to draw a corollary between Godwin and John Brown who had the best success of his career with Bruce Arians. There are also Godwin’s drastically improved target numbers in the games that Desean Jackson missed last season. Of all the picks in this list, Godwin is the one I am most on board with. Our rankings have him as WR15, just behind Amari Cooper who goes on average a whole round ahead of Godwin.
Fifth Round: Latavius Murray, 60.7 ADP
This is where we start to get into an area of Best Ball fantasy football drafts where things start to look different draft-by-draft. One player going two rounds earlier than their average draft position can skew the whole draft. Looking at the composite of what Mark Ingram did in New Orleans does make Latavius look very attractive here. Despite being projected for a shade under what Ingram averaged as a time-share back in New Orleans, Muarry is still our 33rd ranked running back and I could argue that we are under projecting him.
Sixth Round: Sammy Watkins, 63.1 ADP
So let’s be clear: you are not always able to get Watkins here. Average Draft Position has a good bit of variability here and Watkins could go as early as the 4th or as late as the seventh. However, anytime that Watkins is able to be selected in the sixth round, you should be taking him. He has the upside of 1) playing with the best quarterback in football 2) Tyreek Hill facing a possible suspension and 3) building off the volume he had while healthy last season. Even with a tame projection, Watkins is our 18th ranked wide receiver and a core part of my Best Ball fantasy football portfolio.
Seventh Round: Will Fuller, 82.1 ADP
Fuller is the ideal best ball fantasy football wide receiver. You never have any headaches over deciding to start him or not and he offers some of the best spiked-week potential that you will find in the NFL. He has three career multi-TD games and eight career games where he averaged 20 yards per reception or more. Fuller is on the borderline of the sixth/seventh round but I find him to be an extreme value when available in the seventh. Our projections have him at 96 targets but if he reaches even 115, he could be a league-winner.
Eighth Round: Golden Tate, 94.1 ADP
I hate that Golden Tate is a value but it is almost obvious that he is. As Anthony Amico detailed in his article on Tate signing with the Giants, there is very little chance that Tate doesn’t have one of the best volume projections of his career. We have Tate conservatively projected for 118 targets but if the Giants show any signs of life on offense, his total could end up closer to 140. He is the sort of safe-floor player that is important to include in your Best Ball fantasy football portfolio.
Ninth Round: Dede Westbrook, 115.5 ADP
The former Biletnikoff winner had competition for targets last year in Jacksonville with Keelan Cole and Donte Moncrief. The Jaguars added low volume Chris Conley to fill in Moncrief’s role and Cole was relegated to a bench player last season. D.J Chark should be expected to see more playing time this year but Westbrook is the top target in an offense that should have more upside with Nick Foles under center instead of Blake Bortles. Our rankings have him appropriately valued here but his involvement upside makes him a great ninth-round pick.
Tenth Round: Nyheim Hines, 122
Despite no-showing in the playoffs for the Colts last year, we have Hines projected for the 18th-most targets at the running back position in 2019. He is not a mortal lock to be materially more involved in the Colts offense as they added Devin Funchess and will likely draft at least one wide receiver. However, it is clear to me that Frank Reich does want to rotate running backs during the regular season and Hines has a clearly defined role which gives him value to Zero-RB drafters.