You know that feeling when you finish a draft and can’t find any mistakes? Everything just falls perfectly in line with your plan and you wouldn’t change anything. Today we’ll be taking a look at one such perfect draft in the DRAFT Best Ball format.
The “Perfect” Draft From Pick No. 9 in DRAFT Best Ball
Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
My favorite roster construction that has proven to dominate best ball drafts is the 1-Elite RB approach (often referred to as Modified Zero RB).
DRAFT Win Rates: RB1 < Round 3, RB2 > Round 6
I just drafted Chubb with the 14th pick in my seasonal Superflex league and would’ve taken him as early as the ninth pick, as I am here.
It’s concerning that 75.9% of Chubb’s fantasy points came on the ground compared to just 24.1% through the air. However, he still had 5.8 receiving fantasy points over expectation (reFPOE), along with his 34.9 rushing fantasy points over expectation (ruFPOE). Blair Andrews has shown that RBs with positive rookie year efficiency leads to more opportunity and fantasy scoring in the following year, and that the efficiency also persists.
Matt Jones’ projections show Chubb can be the RB5. The RotoViz Projection Machine projects Chubb to score 10 rushing touchdowns, which is tied for first with two RBs consistently being drafted in the top-three picks.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
After drafting our anchor RB in Round 1, the Perfect Draft will then load up on early-round WRs.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is Dave Caban’s WR1 and Shawn Siegele’s most undervalued early-round player.
Using the RotoViz Screener, here is the list of players 22-years-or-younger with the highest Half-PPR-per-game average since 2000.
It’s easy to see Smith-Schuster finishing as the WR1. In fact, RotoViz Projections already have him as the WR1, with a gaping 28 point lead on the WR2 in half-PPR.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Everyone remembers Adam Thielen’s overall WR1 run during the first half of 2018. However, Diggs had the more impressive second-half of the season (Weeks 8-16) when he was the Half-PPR WR12, whereas Thielen stumbled to WR21. Shawn Siegele boldly claims Diggs is undervalued by more than a round.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams
Drafting your RB2 in Rounds 3 or 4 has been a team-killer the past two seasons. RBs in this range don’t have the high-ceiling, high-floor combination like the elite backs. Higher Week 1 volume projections convince drafters to sink early-round draft capital into them, but we see that hasn’t been a wise investment.
|RB2 Draft Round||Win Rate|
Cooks enters his prime at age 26 coming off finishes as the WR10 (2016), WR12 (2017), and WR16 (2018) despite playing on a different team in each of those years.
Cooks is primed to score more touchdowns in 2019, which would help him smash his ADP.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Ridley broke out as a rookie after being a first-round pick, which puts him into an encouraging cohort of WRs. Many expect Ridley to regress after his efficient rookies season. However, Blair Andrews uses evidence-based research to show that we can expect WRs who have positive efficiency in their rookie season to maintain that positive efficiency for at least the next two years. Ridley is a WR who excels at scoring touchdowns and nothing will slow him down.
Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
Depending on how your draft unfolds, this may feel like a dead zone of value at all positions. Many best ballers will get antsy with just one RB on their roster through six rounds. However, RotoVizers know the Perfect Draft will be patient with that second spot.
With already four slam-dunk WRs on my Perfect Roster, Robinson adds spike week potential for the flex spot. The Range of Outcomes App shows that eight of Robinson’s top-20 most similar historical player comparisons averaged 14-plus half-PPR points per game.
Robinson’s 2015 season of 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns is one of the best WR seasons of the decade when you adjust for the QB play of Blake Bortles. 2019 could mark the second coming of Allen Robinson.
Rashaad Penny, RB, Seattle Seahawks
The ADP gap has widened between Chris Carson and Penny, as preseason news suggests Carson has a stronger hold on this backfield.
Siegele does an in-depth breakdown of why Penny is his No. 4 Zero RB candidate.
Royce Freeman, RB, Denver Broncos
Charlie Kleinheksel’s gap methodology finds that we want to be drafting “small gap” (S2) RBs. These are the cheaper backs in a committee. Cort Smith identifies both Penny and Freeman as S2 targets. Freeman is also a Zero RB candidate.
Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers
Despite battling numerous injuries in 2018 and alongside Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard, Breida was one of 20 RBs to have a positive ruFPOE per Attempt and reFPOE per Attempt.1 With negative news surrounding Jerick McKinnon’s health, the backfield snaps condense from three to two. Preseason usage suggests Coleman has the edge in the committee, but I’m not convinced he is definitely the 1A to Breida’s 1B. Unsurprisingly, Breida is another S2 RB and Zero-RB candidate.
Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
While everyone is drafting the Bucs’ pass-catchers in the early rounds — Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard — you can simply get exposure to all of them through Winston. The Bucs ranked first in pass attempts and second in air yards last season, helping the “Tampa Bay QB” score the second-most fantasy points per game.
Team QB stats (2018) using the RotoViz Screener.
In best ball, we care more about ceiling, and Winston’s offensive environment will help him contend for the most 30-point games.
Justice Hill, RB, Baltimore Ravens
Hill is the most explosive RB in the 2019 draft class, and will immediately have a role in the Ravens offense as a complementary role to Mark Ingram. The public is underestimating Hill’s chances of becoming the Ravens’ primary RB by October.
Breida and Hill are two RBS I want to leave every draft with.
Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Per the RotoViz Game Splits App, Prescott averaged four more points per game with Amari Cooper in the lineup last year.
Prescott has Konami code upside, as he’s averaged 63 rushing attempts and six rushing touchdowns per year.
Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
After passing on the elite TES in the early rounds, it is wise to avoid the compromise choices in the middle rounds and grab three options from the low-end starters and sleeper tier.
Allocating five roster spots to the Onesie positions is a roster construction you can use in every draft. With two QBs who should finish in the top-16 but zero TEs, we are now looking at a 2QB-3TE roster construction.
While Goedert isn’t even the TE1 on his own team, he was extremely efficient when given the opportunity, scoring 2.15 fantasy points per target (third).
The Eagles ran the second-most plays from 12 Personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs), and could increase that rate more in Goedert’s second season. Goedert is a fantastic best ball option, as he could easily pay off the 13th round ADP under current circumstances, and immediately becomes a top-five TE (which may be an understatement) if Zach Ertz were to miss time.
Since we’re going to allocate three roster spots to TEs, I’d like at least one of them to have spike-week upside.
Chase Edmonds, RB, Arizona Cardinals
S2 “small gap” RBs are the better targets and we typically want to fade the RBs on the wrong end of the “big gap” (B2), but Edmonds is the exception to this rule.
While some are shying away from the Cardinals offense after a few disappointing preseason snaps, I’m happily eating any added discount and soaking up the Kliff Kingsbury fast-paced high-volume offense. Ryan Collinsowrth notes that Edmonds’ nearly 50-50 rushing/receiving split in percentage of fantasy points puts him on the shortlist of players who could inherit huge opportunity if DJ were to miss time.
Darren Waller, TE, Oakland Raiders
While the Raiders aren’t going to be the environment that reliably harvests offensive production, we saw Derek Carr lean on his TE last year when Oakland ranked top-five in receiving expected points (reEP) to TEs.
Antonio Brown has been in the news for the wrong reasons this offseason, but when on the field he will undoubtedly soak up a lot of targets. However, Waller could explode if AB were to miss time. He is a key piece of Shawn Siegele and Curtis Patrick’s tactics when Reverse Engineering their FFPC Main Event draft.
Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo Bills
Matt Jones found that Jones’ targets and fantasy points per game increased once Josh Allen returning from injury in Week 11. Jones fits some of the criteria we like to see in Year-3 breakout WRs.
Gerald Everett, TE, Los Angeles Rams
Entering Year 3, the former second-round NFL draft pick is largely forgotten in fantasy football drafts. Yet, Blair Andrews found unlike RB and WR, TEs are most likely to break out in Year 3, rather than Year 2.
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Like Goedert, Arcega-Whiteside is an Eagles pass-catcher stuck in the depth chart behind veterans. But also like Goedert, Arcega-Whiteside should pay off his current ADP in his current situation attached to an efficient offense, and will smash his ADP if given the opportunity. Devin Mcintyre looked at Arcega-Whiteside’s third preseason game and saw a player who should fight for snaps as early as Week 1 and against whom defenders will struggle.
The DRAFT Perfect Draft from pick No. 9 ends with 2 QBs, 6 RBs, 7 WRs, and 3 TEs. We properly allocated five roster spots to the onesie positions, used a modified Zero RB approach, and hammered WRS in the early rounds.
Just for fun, the super-small sample size of teams with this specific roster construction has dominated leagues to an 18% win rate.
Image Credit: Christopher Mast/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Rashaad Penny.
- Minimum 100 rushing attempts and 20 targets (back)