The Fantasy Sharks Writers Best-Ball Analysis Draft is complete. This popular off-season league style is known by some as Best-Ball, to others Draft-Only and to some old school fantasy folks, Draft Master leagues. MyFantasyLeague launched MFL10s leagues a few years back (that are now operated by fanball) that are this same concept. For those “not in the know” the way these leagues operate are first you draft a team, then each week of the season your highest scoring players from your roster are used to fill your starting lineup automatically. The team with the most points at the end of Week 17 (usually, though some may not use the last week) is declared the winner. There is no free agency, lineup submissions, trading, or any of that. It’s just a draft; the rest takes care of itself.
We rounded up some of our Shark writers to conduct a 20-round player analysis draft that matches exactly the rules and lineup requirements of the MFL10s leagues this season. We hope you find it useful for early drafting in all styles of leagues.
2 Running Backs
3 Wide Receivers
1 Tight End
1 Flex (RB/WR/TE)
1. Jay Devineni
2. Mark Chamberlin
3. Jordan Ginger
4. Lisa London
5. Gary Davenport
6. Ryan Black
7. Will Weiler
8. Chase Crampton
9. Tony Holm
10. Michael Carline
11. David Olivarez
12. Jody Smith
1.01 Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jay Devineni: I can understand if you want to draft Todd Gurley first overall after his insane 2017 season, but Bell is still the number one pick for me. Over his five-year career, Bell’s usage and production have been unmatched. He has averaged 19.8 carries per game, 5.0 receptions per game, and 129 total yards per game during that span. Gurley’s career numbers lag behind Bell’s in all three of those categories, even if you remove his disappointing 2016 season as an outlier. Bell’s touchdown rate (0.68 TDs/game) does trail Gurley’s (0.80 TDs/game), but I expect there to be plenty of scoring opportunities for both backs this year. You can’t go wrong with either player, but Bell’s long-term consistency makes him the safer pick, while his massive upside is great for the best-ball format.
1.02 Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Mark Chamberlin: Pick #2 is easy – whomever #1 doesn’t pick among Gurley and Le’Veon Bell. Yes, Gurley far outproduced Bell last year, but he’s only done it once. There’s arguments for and against both of them #1, but at #2? It doesn’t matter.
1.03 David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Jordan Gingery: I am very torn at #3 – David Johnson or Ezekiel Elliott. I’m banking on Johnson to continue his heavy workload even with the departure of head coach Bruce Arians. Whomever is under center in Arizona will need it.
1.04 Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
Lisa London: I debated Elliot here but Brown has been consistently a beast. I am willing to gamble the 4 spot on him.
1.05 Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
Gary Davenport: There are a few possibilities here, but the “back-aholic” in me can’t resist the opportunity to draft an elite option at the position, who I know will be in for a heavy workload in 2018. So Zeke it is.
1.06 DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
Ryan Black: I really wanted Zeke here, but he was selected one pick ahead of me (Thanks, Gary!) That’s okay though, as I have DeAndre Hopkins as my #1 receiver heading into this year. During the span of DeShaun Watson’s starts, Hopkins was the #1 PPR receiver by points-per-game. I’m banking on Watson entering the season healthy, which makes this a safe pick, as well as a pick with a ceiling that is sky-high.
1.07 Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
Will Weiler: Picking at 1.07, I narrowed down my potential options to either David Johnson or Alvin Kamara; the decision became easy with Johnson long gone. Kamara was points-per-reception (PPR) gold last season, as he compiled 1,554 combined rushing/receiving yards (including 81 receptions to lead all NFL running backs) and found the end-zone 13 times, all while sharing backfield duties with Mark Ingram, who is going to be serving a four-game suspension (PED violation) to start 2018. Kamara will be afforded every opportunity to put a stranglehold on the Saints’ backfield while Ingram sits, so it’s not even a given Ingram returns to a prominent offensive role once his suspension ends, as this situation appears eerily similar to Willie Snead’s from a year ago (and we all know Saints head coach Sean Payton isn’t afraid to bury talented players on the depth chart with whom he doesn’t see eye-to-eye.) Regardless of Ingram’s status, Kamara also figures to be second-in-line for targets after wideout Michael Thomas, and gives me a starting running back on a very good offense, who is also capable of producing wideout-like stat lines some weeks due to quarterback Drew Brees’ affinity for incorporating the backfield into the passing game.
1.08 Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
Chase Crampton: Get ready to see Odell snap back to his pre-2017 form. With the Giants selecting Saquon Barkley (who I almost considered taking here) opposing defenses are going to have a nightmare trying to stop the run AND provide enough coverage to stop Eli Manning from connecting with his receivers and Odell is the prime beneficiary.
1.09 Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
Tony Holm: I would have taken Odell Beckham here but Michael Thomas was my consolation prize. In a league where three wideouts are started each week and the possibility of another as a flex, I want to be sure I have a stud at the position to build around. He is still just 25 years-old, starting his third season in the NFL. In his first two seasons he has amassed 196 receptions for 2,382 yards receiving while scoring 14 touchdowns and in his career, has played in every game but one. He will be a focal point of the Saints’ offense and will be Drew Brees‘ favorite target.
1.10 Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Michael Carline: I couldn’t have asked for more with the 10th pick in the draft. In his rookie season he was the 4th-best fantasy running back and I can only hope for things to get better. Hunt has shown a great burst and the ability to take to the house on any play. Unlike most backs he has no competition for touches and plays in a rush heavy offense. Some may be afraid the quarterback change may hurt his value but I think that Maholmes strong arm will actually force teams to play the deep ball which will pull the safeties back and give Hunt more space to run in.
1.11 Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
David Olivarez: There were so many ways to go here but I think this 1.11 slot just might bear some significant advantages. We’ve all seen and heard about Saquon every day this off-season and the Giants didn’t disappoint us on draft day taking him with the second overall selection. You’d be hard pressed to find a better landing spot as he finds himself in prime position to be a legit 3-down back – which as we all know is rare these days! Again, there were so many ways to go with this pick but what really tipped the scale for me was the fact that this is a point per reception format and Barkley reeled in 54 receptions in his final year at Penn State. I’ve watched a good bit of the Giants 2017 film and I can safely say I cannot recall a quarterback more apt to throwing quick slants and dump offs than Eli Manning, that’s Saquon’s wheel-house and his elusiveness in space is well documented.
1.12 Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Jody Smith: With all of the elite running backs off the board, I’ll gladly scoop up Julio Jones and secure his massive target share and PPR scoring prowess. Running back is so thin that I’m going to have to switch gears here to load up on the available depth at wide receiver and hope that I can target pass-catching backs in the 4-7 round range.