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Best Ball Win Rates – Catching Up With the MFL10 of Death VI

Shawn Siegele explores the BestBall win rates for key players in the MFL10 of Death, including a breathtaking squad with Mark Andrews, Darren Waller, and D.J. Chark. He looks back at his own draft and evaluates whether the lessons from the Best Ball Workshop have allowed him to continue his winning ways.

Each week in my adventures down the rabbit hole of the Best Ball Win Rates tool, I like to choose a specific position or question for closer examination. Over the last three weeks we’ve analyzed RB, WR, and TE.

This week I wanted to look at my own roster from the MFL10 of Death and investigate how a team drafted directly from the Best Ball Workshop lessons is doing in 2019. Our draft took place in late May.

Round 1 – Alvin Kamara

In order to diverge from the Zero RB formula that had provided sterling results in this league over the past four years, it would require a special player. Kamara is that guy, and he was delivering on that promise before a Week 6 injury derailed his season.

Kamara’s lack of rushing volume lowers his ceiling out of the Christian McCaffrey range, but he has five more weeks to dig back out of the win rate hole.

Other consideration: DeAndre Hopkins 7.8%

Round 2 – Mike Evans

Kate Magdziuk argued for Evans as the overall WR1 during the offseason, and owners of the Tampa Bay superstar are happy enough not to quibble with Michael Thomas. Kate’s pick has been a slam dunk. Among players selected in the first two rounds, Evans trails only McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook in win rate.

Other considerations: George Kittle 10%, Zach Ertz 8.7%

Round 3 – T.Y. Hilton

This was a difficult decision between Hilton and Keenan Allen (13.2%). I made the wrong one, but Hilton was flying high even with Jacoby Brissett1 until injuries removed him from the equation.

Round 4 – D.J. Moore

Few players have ever gotten more offseason ink from RotoViz, and Moore has paid off in a big way over the last three weeks.

The second-year star only has a single TD in Carolina’s anemic passing offense, but he ranks sixth in both targets and receptions with a 26% target share. He set a new career high with 15 targets in Week 11.

Other consideration: I was always going to select Moore here, and the only problem with the pick is that the next three receivers selected – Kenny Golladay (10%), Tyler Lockett (16%), Chris Godwin (16.1%) – have all lit the world on fire.

Round 5 – Calvin Ridley

Ridley finally blew up in Week 11, but he’s been a source of frustration after a breakout rookie year.

When a 9.9% win rate qualifies as disappointing, you know you’re on the right track with your career.

Other consideration: Tyler Boyd (8.3%).

Round 6 – Will Fuller

Losing Fuller on the opening drive of Week 7 was the most depressing development in a season that has also seen the deterioration of David Johnson.

Houston’s vertical weapon scored 53.7 points in Week 5, “dropped” three more potential TDs in Week 6, and then endured a hamstring injury that will sideline him for over a month if he can’t go tonight. His win rate is still above 11%.

Other consideration: Christian Kirk 12.4%

Round 7 – Jared Cook

Cook had the feel of a value play with serious upside, but he’s never been above water on the season.

Cook was finally getting on track with Teddy Bridgewater when he missed Weeks 7 and 8. He’s been more of a focal point since Drew Brees‘ return and could be a weapon down the stretch.

Round 8 – Courtland Sutton

Sutton was the third member of our Second-Year Breakout Targets to land on this roster. He’s one of my most-owned players across all formats.

Even with the quarterback disaster in Denver, Sutton has four games with 19-plus points and only a solitary game in single digits. He looks like he’ll compete with Chark to be the best receiver from a wildly underrated 2018 class, but Moore, Ridley, and Kirk remain hot on their heels.

Round 9 – Royce Freeman

During the second month of the season, Freeman appeared on the verge of a major breakout as a Le’Veon Bell-lite type of player. He’s more or less disappeared since the offense moved to Brandon Allen and is once again a clear second fiddle to Phillip Lindsay.

Round 10 – Nyheim Hines

Like the Hilton selection, this pick lost some luster with the Luck retirement, but I’m surprised at the degree to which he’s been a bad fit with Brissett.

The Colts have run the ball and played defense so effectively that they rank among the bottom teams in the league with only 33 passes per 60 minutes. Hines’ value when trailing in the second half has plummeted.

Despite this, Hines has buttressed my scoring with five appearances in the optimized lineup.

Round 11 – Drew Brees

Fortunately, Brees injury hasn’t been a concern because I came back in Round 12 with . . .

Round 12 – Lamar Jackson

With only one game below 23 points, Jackson has been able to carry the QB position by himself. Brees returned to score 29 points in Week 8, filling the one hole in the lineup.

Other considerations: I planned to go with QBs back-to-back in the window, and these were the signal-callers I wanted.

Round 13 – Matt Breida

This was well before Jerick McKinnon was lost for the season, but Breida was always my preferred back in this offense. I’d risked passing on him for three rounds and jumped on him here.

I was able to get Breida around his ADP low for the offseason, but that doesn’t always pan out quite the way you hope. Although he was still hovering around 9.9% after Week 9, the most recent injury has taken its toll.

Round 14 – Jalen Richard

It may surprise you to find that Richard has spent most of the season in the black, but it’s not because he’s scoring any points.

The Raiders have been far better than I anticipated, and Josh Jacobs has been able to carry the entire rushing load. Oakland is one of only three teams averaging more than 28 seconds to snap and one of only six teams averaging 32 passes or less (per 60 mins).

Purely from a points perspective, it can be frustrating to own players like Hines and Richard who suffer from game script considerations, but their win rates attest to the relative lack of downside at these ADPs.

Other consideration: T.J. Hockenson 8.3%

Round 15 – Marqise Lee 5.3%

A terrible pick.

Round 16 – Gerald Everett

Everett was my late-round TE pick in every league, and it’s been a mixed bag.

The Rams third-year TE appeared on the way to a breakout after three games with 15-plus during a four-week stretch in October. Unfortunately, a wrist injury and team-wide collapse have put the optimism on hold.

Round 17 – Chiefs 8.3%

Round 18 – Colts 7.3%

Round 19 – Darwin Thompson 7.3%

Thompson was my second pick who looked like a fantastic value by the time Week 1 rolled around.

These types of selections offer a lesson in humility. Thompson has only been active six times and only played 5% of the snaps in those games.

Other consideration: Jamaal Williams 11%

Round 20 – Hayden Hurst 6.3%

With the injury to Cook and the inconsistency of Everett, I did need a third TE, but Hurst wasn’t the answer. This was a difficult choice between Hurst and adding either Devin Singletary (7.2%)  or a third defense. Both would have been much better choices.

The Big Picture

The dream of a third consecutive MFL10 of Death victory is likely gone. Scott Barrett has opened a huge gap with magical late-round selections, nabbing Darren Waller (16.8%) and Mark Andrews (17.5%) in the 14th and 15th. He then slammed the door on the competition by grabbing D.J. Chark (21.4%) two picks before Mr. Irrelevant.

It was obvious from the opening kickoff that Scott had absolutely nailed his picks. I sent him a message after Week 2 congratulating him on the selections and suggesting I thought he had it won. Scott then actually dropped out of first for three weeks, trailing Sigmund Bloom and then Mike Clay, but he regained the lead in Week 6 and by Week 7 had already gapped second place by almost 150 points.2

The battle for second place is just heating up.

Owner Points
Scott Barrett 1864
C.D. Carter 1688
Shawn Siegele 1664
Evan Silva 1652
Rummy 1644

Only 44 points separate Denny in second and Rummy in fifth. With Kamara back and Hilton and Fuller possibly returning tonight, I’m excited to see if my team can make a run.

Roster Construction

If you were to offer me a Mike Evans-T.Y. Hilton-D.J. Moore-Calvin Ridley-Will Fuller-Courtland Sutton roster as a Zero RB dynasty team, I’d take it in a heartbeat. To have the opportunity to add Alvin Kamara in a Single-Elite-RB formulation makes it one of my favorite 2019 teams.

I’m hoping to finish on a strong note, ideally with a second-place finish, good for five consecutive top-two finishes against the top experts in the world. Such a finish would be a strong testament to the quality of our best ball content through the years and certainly to the fantastic suite of tools Mike Beers has provided this season.

I’m constantly impressed at the depth and breadth of the information in tools built by Mike Beers, Dave Caban, and Anthony Shook. If you enjoyed some of the visualizations used in this piece, make sure to check out the NFL Stat Explorer, the NFL Pace app, the Best Ball Win Rates tool, the Game Splits app, the RotoViz Screener, Game Level Similarity Projections, the Strength of Schedule Streamer, and the Weekly Stats tool.

Image Credit: Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Courtland Sutton.

  1. We drafted well before the Andrew Luck announcement.  (back)
  2. The closest teams at that juncture collapsed, while Scott put up 180 back-to-back.  (back)

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