“Best-Ball” is a fantasy football format that has been surging in popularity. In this format, the draft is EVERYTHING because that’s all you need to do. After the draft, you just sit back and watch the points roll in. There is no trading, no free agency and no need to worry about that guy in your league who doesn’t do jack all season long. It’s the easiest form of fantasy football there is! The Best-Ball draft is a bit longer – usually 22-24 rounds – to accommodate for injuries, suspensions, etc. Each week, the results of the top performing player(s) from each of your positions are calculated into your score. For example: if you have Zach Ertz and Tyler Eifert at tight end, most people would start Ertz 9-out-of-10 times. Let’s say Ertz gets 10 fantasy points but Eifert gets 14. Instead of being bummed that you didn’t start Eifert – no worries – you get the 14 points from Eifert added to your weekly total. Pretty cool, huh? You get your optimal lineup every week of the season and there is no season long maintenance to worry about.
Now that we know the rules of Best-Ball, we need to know the best way to succeed at it. In the first few rounds, it’s all about taking the best of the best. Grab a couple receivers and a couple backs, maybe that top tier signal-caller you really want or even a couple of the elite level tight ends – just to monopolize the position. As always, the choice is yours! Now, how do you navigate the rest of the draft? I have found the best way to go is get a mix of players who have high-floor potential (very consistent, rarely explosive) and high-ceiling potential (not consistent but prone to huge weeks) with an emphasis on the high-ceiling players. After all, a home run usually helps more than a base hit. (oops, wrong sport.)
Outside of those first four rounds of selections, I’m giving you six players to target in your best-ball leagues and when to scoop them up on your way to victory.
Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
The former No. 7 overall NFL draft pick had a breakout season in 2018 scoring 11 total touchdowns, ten of which came via the pass on only 43 receptions. That’s a touchdown every 4.3 catches – which led the league among players with at least 65 targets – which is an insane number and likely not repeatable. The offense is almost the same as last year with the exception of Tyrell Williams and his 65 targets in 2018 leaving for Oakland. With most of those targets going to Mike Williams, it’s not impossible for him to see 100 targets this season. If we take Mike Williams’ 2018 receiving numbers and extrapolate them out to a full season of 100 targets, he would have ended the season with 1,003 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Any player who could average a touchdown a game is definitely someone to target. His current Best-Ball average draft position is middle of Round 5 and a great explosive addition to any team.
Will Fuller, WR, Houston
The big knock on Fuller is that he has never played a full season. In 2018, he played in only seven games before another season-ending injury. Fortunately, in Best-Ball, we need not worry as much about that since there are no transactions and plenty more wide receivers on your team. What’s great about Fuller is that over his 31 NFL games he has scored 13 times on 107 receptions. Extrapolating those numbers out to a single, healthy 16-game season and he would have 55.2 receptions for 6.7 touchdowns – that’s a touchdown for every 8.23 catches. For perspective, if Michael Thomas had the same touchdown rate over his league-leading 125 catches, he would have scored 18 times. Another notable stat for Fuller is his early season surge. Of his 13 career touchdowns, 12 of them have been scored within his first four games of every season (this is a useful stat for redraft leagues as well, because you can use his hot start as a bit of trade bait). While you may not get a lot of use from him, Fuller, when healthy, can get you a ton of points in a short period of time and makes him well worth his early seventh round average draft position.
Marvin Jones Jr., WR, Detroit
Many of us remember what Jones did for us in 2017. He led fantasy teams to championships with his 61 catches for 1,101 yards and nine touchdowns after being drafted at the end of the ninth round in 12-team redraft formats. In 2018, he was on pace for 110 targets for 62 receptions, 903 yards and almost nine touchdowns – very reminiscent of the previous year. His career 16-game pace numbers are as follows: 93.8 targets, 54.9 catches, 822 yards, 6.4 touchdowns. These number show how solid and consistent Jones can be over the course of a full season. With the emergence of Kenny Golladay and the departure of Golden Tate to New York, Marvin is more the WR1-B in Detroit to Golladay as the WR1-A. These two might have very good and similar, but not amazing numbers come season’s end, but Jones has the much better draft value. If you are looking for that steady stream of five catches and 75 yards per game, look no further than Jones and his end of the eighth round average draft position.