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BestBall10s Workshop No. 6 – Dominate the Early Lessons With These 8 Players

Over the first five lessons in the BestBall10s Workshop, we’ve used the Roster Construction Explorer to uncover the best historical approach to quarterback, tight end, and defense. Today we dive into the RotoViz rankings and Fanball ADP to find the best player fits at this point of the fantasy season.

Tight End

The best approach at TE is to grab two studs early, but with Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and George Kittle all cresting 1,100 yards last season – and earning unusually high win rates for TEs – that’s going to be an expensive proposition.
Kelce Ertz Kittle 2019 ADP
Landing a stud TE in Round 3 or 4 has been best ball gold, but Kittle and Ertz find themselves going at the 2/3 turn. While they often go earlier, they also frequently make their way into the beginning of Round 3, where they contribute to the large advantage already possessed by owners with early draft slots.

We also discovered that whether you play a 2-TE or 3-TE approach, you don’t want to wait for the late rounds to attack the position. A trio of middle-round values stands out when we compare ADP to our staff rankings.1

Player ADP Our Rank Earliest Latest
Evan Engram 63.9 50 41 83
Eric Ebron 64 57 37 86
O.J. Howard 67 55 51 79

At ADP, you’re drafting Evan Engram and O.J. Howard a full round below our valuation. You also gain a half-round with Eric EbronEbron Engram Howard
Engram and Howard are potential third-year breakout players with 2018 statlines deflated by missed games. Ebron finally had his breakout in 2018, catching 13 TDs from Andrew Luck five years after he was the No. 10 pick in the NFL draft. All three TEs reside in different spots within their team’s pecking order, but Howard and Ebron benefit from potentially high-powered passing offenses while Engram is cleared to be the top option in New York with Odell Beckham departing.

Quarterback

Teams generate a 10 percent win rate when they select both of their QBs in the preferred window. That gives us a wide variety of signal callers from which to choose. To locate potential values, we can compare these passers by ADP and positional rank to our staff overall and positional rankings, and to my overall rankings.

PlayerADPPos ADPOur OverallOur PosMy OverallEarliestLatest
Andrew Luck74.32562584890
Aaron Rodgers80.43634735891
Deshaun Watson85.74613796995
Baker Mayfield87.156957660104
Drew Brees99.76861010384116
Russell Wilson102.6777611583120
Matt Ryan103.887979584123
Cam Newton113.6983811495131
Jared Goff119.1108711106102138
Jameis Winston121.3111061311998143
Ben Roethlisberger122.81211117124101137
Carson Wentz124.213849125103143
Kirk Cousins134.31410714154116160
Philip Rivers135.11510916148112156
Tom Brady135.41611820117116161
Josh Allen139.1171342113896176
Lamar Jackson139.61810815128115164
Mitchell Trubisky141.5199112126119167
Jimmy Garoppolo143.12011218132100166

Seven of these QBs are undervalued by all three criteria.2BB workshop QB ADP
These seven QBs fit into two groups by ADP – the early picks in Andrew Luck, Baker Mayfield, Deshaun Watson, and Matt Ryan, and the QBs who are borderline for our roster construction approach. A quick glance at their 2018 numbers helps find the best values.BB QBs ADP 2019

  • Watson outscored Luck last season despite only attempting 31.6 passes per game. While some may avoid Watson due to the lack of volume, this offense has a ton of room to grow as their star develops, especially if Will Fuller ever stays healthy. You have to love the floor here and the Patrick Mahomes-like upside if things start clicking.
  • Ryan was the efficiency star (5.1 paFPOE), but he looks undervalued again in 2019 with elite weapons, a dome, and a shootout division in the AFC South.
  • Mayfield posted sterling numbers as a rookie and now gets a big weapons upgrade in Beckham.
  • Mitchell Trubisky’s paEP numbers came in below Watson’s, but he’s another QB with room to grow, both in volume and efficiency.
  • Once Lamar Jackson began starting in Week 11, he averaged 22.1 expected points between passing and rushing, better than the full-season stats for the rest of the group.

Defenses

We won’t go into detail on defenses, but I revealed a trick for outperforming at the position when we took a deep drive into a real league to see how DEF tactics make the difference between finishing first and second in your league. Once you’ve developed your plan, the Fanball ADP tool will help you get ready to pick from the best units available in that range.

  1. Earliest and latest refers to their selections in actual drafts.  (back)
  2. In case that’s not clear, I’ve selected the QBs who are ranked equal to or better than ADP by our overall rankings, our positional rankings, and my personal rankings.  (back)
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