Best Ball Players to Avoid (2019 Fantasy Football)
With the Super Bowl now in the rearview, 2018 fantasy football is finished. So, what can you do to scratch that fantasy itch now? The answer – Best Ball. If you want to get started, you can try DRAFT or MFL10s for the best experience.
If you’re not familiar with best ball, it’s a very simple form of fantasy football that starts and ends with the fantasy draft. Pretty easy, right? Players are drafted to fill a roster, but there are no in-season moves at all. That means no trades or add/drops – even in the event of injury. Each week, the players with the best scores at each position are automatically added to your starting lineup, and whoever finishes the season with the most points wins. Best Ball roster construction is made up of 18 – 20 players and weekly lineups are 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1 WR/RB/TE flex (MFL10s also has a D/ST spot).
Because there are no in-season moves, there is some strategy involved in the players you select. An appropriate strategy is to draft players with high upsides. Because you don’t have to make lineup decisions week-to-week, guys with low floors and high ceilings make for perfect pickups after you get past the usual studs. These players may have many peaks and valleys, but they only make your starting lineup when they have a huge game. Players with low ceilings, however, usually make for less-than-ideal adds, even if they have a consistent floor because the big games are very infrequent. Based on that set of criteria, here are some players to avoid in best ball leagues in 2019.
Allen Robinson (WR – CHI)
Once a fantasy darling and target monster in Jacksonville, Robinson is now a cog in Chicago’s offensive machine with low upside. The Bears employed a run-first approach in 2018, utilizing the duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. Mitchell Trubisky had a breakout season, but he spread the ball around too much to make Robinson a solid best ball play. Chicago’s 512 passing attempts last season ranked 24th in the NFL, and three Bears had at least 90 targets and 50 receptions. Robinson topped 100 receiving yards just once in the regular season and finished with only four TD receptions all year. His upside is limited in this offense.
Robert Woods (WR – LAR)
Woods in season-long fantasy leagues? Yes, please. Robert Woods in Best Ball? No, thanks. Woods was one of the most consistent producers at the wideout position last year, especially in PPR formats. From Weeks 2 – 16, his floor was four receptions and 61 receiving yards – not bad. But the big games just weren’t there. Woods only had two 100-yard games and one multi-TD outing all season. With Cooper Kupp set to return next season, Woods’ production could be even further handicapped in 2019. He is an excellent season-long play with a very safe floor, but he’s not recommended for Best Ball leagues.
Lamar Miller (RB – HOU)
Miller finished the season with six games of at least 100 scrimmage yards. The rest of his games were mostly duds. He finished with six games of at least 10 carries and only 56 rush yards. His stretch of games from Weeks 8 -13 included five of his 100-yard scrimmage games and four 100-yard rushing efforts. Actually, sounds like Miller should be a good Best Ball play in 2019, right? Not exactly. Miller’s yards from scrimmage have declined in each of the last three years, and his total touches have declined in each of the last two years. In 2017, his highest single-game rushing total was 75 yards, and he topped 100 scrimmage yards just once. He’s on the final year of his deal with Houston. With D’Onta Foreman finally recovered from his Achilles and KeKe Coutee set to step up as a compliment to DeAndre Hopkins, Miller is unlikely to replicate his string of big games from 2018.
Jay Ajayi (RB – PHI)
Ajayi shouldn’t be taken in Best Ball drafts because of his extremely low floor. He plays on a team that employs a variety of options out of the backfield, featuring a rotation of Wendell Smallwood, Corey Clement, Josh Adams and ageless wonder Darren Sproles. Before his season-ending ACL injury, Ajayi averaged the most rushing attempts per game of any of the Eagles’ running backs at a modest 11.3. With Sproles fully healthy, Ajay returning from his injury and the Eagles getting some good production from their other backs, Ajayi’s opportunities should be pretty limited in 2019, meaning big games will not be in the cards.
Gus Edwards (RB – BAL)
Edwards came on in the second half of the season, averaging 17.4 carries and 93.4 rushing yards per game from Weeks 11 – 17. He only scored twice, limiting his big-game upside. Edwards was not involved in the passing game, as he caught only one pass in those seven weeks. Baltimore’s 2019 backfield remains murky at the moment, with Alex Collins and Kenneth Dixon still on the roster to potentially steal work from Edwards. Even if he ends up as the lead dog, Edwards is a north-and-south runner lacking explosiveness who needs 15+ touches to make a mark on the game. His floor is steady, but his ceiling is pretty low, making him a less-than-ideal Best Ball play.
Kenyan Drake (RB – MIA)
Drake did pop off for several big games last season, but one of those would have been a wash if not for a last-second lucky pitch-and-catch taken for a game-winning TD against the Patriots. Don’t count on that again. Drake’s upside was capped by Frank Gore last season, and even if Gore isn’t back in 2019, the emergence of Kalen Ballage at the end of the season may have given the coaching staff a reason to give Ballage more run. Drake should be avoided in Best Ball.
Drew Brees (QB – NO)
Brees had an MVP-caliber 2018 season, totaling 3,992 passing yards, and a 32-5 TD-INT ratio. He broke his own completion percentage record, and he completed an insane 74.4 percent of his passes. Brees was the model of consistency in season-long leagues, finishing as the QB8. His big games were just not there, though. Brees averaged 266.1 yards per game, his fewest in 13 seasons, and he attempted only 489 passes, his fewest since joining the Saints. The Saints haven’t needed Brees’ heroics in two seasons, choosing instead to rely on a steady run game, great defense and efficient production the QB. His attempts should continue to drop next season as the Saints follow the same formula, and Brees’ declining ceiling makes him a player to avoid in Best Ball.