DRAFT Best Ball Mock Draft (2019 Fantasy Football)
Season-long drafts are months away, but it’s never too early to get back into fantasy football. The best way to do that is to play Best Ball. For those not familiar, Best Ball leagues draft 18 players and allow no in-season moves. The highest scores for each week are added up toward a season total. The owner with the highest season tally wins. It’s simple. It’s fun. And it does have a little bit of strategy involved. For an ideal roster construction, click here.
I recently completed a Best Ball mock draft, and my lineup is full of high-upside plays and home-run hitters. Let’s take a look at the breakdown by position and reasoning behind these picks. For some Best Ball players to target, click here. Click here for some players to avoid.
DRAFT best ball league, 12 teams, half-PPR scoring: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, flex
(1.12) Tyreek Hill (KC)
I went chalk with this first pick, but it made sense. Hill, currently the 12th-ranked Best Ball player heading into 2019, is the NFL’s ultimate big-play threat. His nine TDs of 50+ yards over the last two seasons comfortably leads the league. Expect another monster year from him.
(4.01) Adam Thielen (MIN)
It was a tough call here between Thielen and Derrick Henry, but I decided to go with Thielen because this is half-PPR scoring, and Henry isn’t a great pass-catching back. Thielen dominated the NFL through the first eight weeks of the season, during which he was the top-ranked WR thanks to eight straight 100-yard receiving games. He had one such game over the final half of the season, taking a backseat to teammate Stefon Diggs. Because of the disappointing finish, Thielen comes at a huge discount here with big-play upside in spades.
(5.12) Tyler Lockett (SEA)
None of Jordan Howard, Kenyan Drake, or Lamar Miller thrilled me in this range, so I opted to load up on more pass-catchers. Lockett had a breakout 2018 campaign, filled with huge gains and long TDs. He racked up a 57-965-10 line, averaging an impressive 16.9 yards per reception. I don’t think he’ll replicate that production to the same degree in 2019, but he’s still a threat for huge games, making him a nice pick here.
(8.01) Christian Kirk (ARI)
Kirk should be far more involved in the Cardinals’ offense in his sophomore season with Kliff Kingsbury calling the shots. Kirk showed last season that he can get behind defenses well, and the air-raid Cardinals offense should afford him some quality opportunities, especially in Larry Fitzgerald‘s final season.
(12.01) Robert Foster (BUF)
Foster, a former undrafted free agent from Alabama, blew up for two 100-yard receiving outings in the final four games of the season. The Bills’ speedster will see less coverage thrown his way with new additions to their receiving corps in Cole Beasley and John Brown. I love the Bills stack of Foster and Josh Allen for my team.
(13.12) Devante Parker (MIA)
Parker in season-long formats? No thanks. Parker toward the end of a Best Ball draft? Yes, please. He just inked a new two-year deal with the Dolphins, meaning that the new coaching staff has a plan for him. He won’t have much competition for targets, and his QB (possibly Teddy Bridgewater) should be an improvement over Ryan Tannehill.
(16.01) James Washington (PIT)
He likely won’t go this late in season-long or Best Ball for much longer, but I’ll happily snag Washington here. With Antonio Brown out of the picture, Washington will operate in a lucrative fantasy role as Pittsburgh’s number-two receiver behind JuJu Smith-Schuster.
(18.01) Tyrell Williams (OAK)
Surprisingly still available to close the draft, Williams’ ADP will be far higher by the time standard draft season rolls around. He was never given enough opportunity to showcase his skills in San Diego/Los Angeles, so I expect him to take on a larger role with his new team, the Oakland Raiders. A premier deep-threat option will make a nice addition to my squad with my final pick, especially since I won’t have to guess which games will be big ones for Williams.
(3.12) Devonta Freeman (ATL)
With Tevin Coleman taking his services to the Bay Area, Freeman is a free man (get it?) in the Falcons’ backfield. With Coleman in the mix, Freeman still averaged 1,000 rushing yards, 1,452 scrimmage yards, and 12 total TDs per season from 2015-2017. His 2018 season was cut short after only two games due to foot and groin injuries, but he should be healthy and ready to roll in 2019. I love his upside for Best Ball leagues.
(7.12) Mark Ingram (BAL)
Ingram in Baltimore is a perfect fit. He should immediately become Baltimore’s three-down back, giving the Ravens a true workhorse rather than employing an RBBC as they have done in recent years. They want to run the ball early and often, so Ingram will be in line for 300+ touches. His skill set features excellent pass-catching, and he’ll be a half-PPR stud in that regard.
(11.12) T.J. Yeldon (FA)
Yeldon will be off to greener pastures this offseason, and I like his prospects – even as a third-down option or backup. He is a talented pass-catcher out of the backfield, which gives him a high floor in half-PPR scoring. Since coming into the league in 2015, Yeldon has accumulated 171 receptions, good for 42.8 per season. His ability to make defenders miss in space and pile up yards after the catch means he’ll have some big games.
(14.01) Austin Ekeler (LAC)
Ekeler had some standalone value in 2018 as a very solid flex option, even behind Melvin Gordon. Big games came on just a handful of plays, but that’s all you’re looking for in Best Ball — occasional big games from high-upside players.
(15.12) Carlos Hyde (KC)
Hyde signed with the Chiefs within 48 hours of being released by the Jaguars, and that’s likely because the only two other backs on the team are Damien Williams and Darrel Williams. Hyde isn’t a lock to start, but he could get a fair share of work, especially in the event the Chiefs decide to use an RBBC approach. Chiefs RBs, from Jamaal Charles to Kareem Hunt, have historically fared well, and while Hyde won’t be used to the same extent as either, he’s still playing on the best offense in football.
(9.12) Josh Allen (BUF)
Allen’s ability to run the football makes him a perfect target here. He’s not the world’s greatest thrower, but he’s certainly capable. His strengths lie in his running ability and his cannon arm. Buffalo signing Brown and Beasley gives Allen some reliable targets in the short game as well as an explosive outside duo of Brown and Foster.
(10.01) Carson Wentz (PHI)
What a discount. Yes, he’s been injured often, but Wentz was the 2017 MVP frontrunner before getting hurt with three games to go. I’ll gladly take his upside this late.
(17.12) Derek Carr (OAK)
Carr is coming off of a down year, which is why I was able to get him so late in the draft. The Raiders are rebuilding this offseason, and the offense will be much improved in 2019. With upgrades on the offensive line and the addition of one of league’s best WR in Antonio Brown and a quality deep-threat in Williams, Carr is a steal this late.
(2.01) Travis Kelce (KC)
As mentioned in my roster construction article, I’m a big fan of taking a TE early in Best Ball drafts. In a world of such volatile options at the position, taking a standout gives you a huge advantage over the competition, and Kelce puts up WR-level numbers. I may have reached a little bit for him, but he wouldn’t have been available when my next pick came around, and I really wanted my guy.
(6.01) Eric Ebron (IND)
I’m done with TEs now, and I’m happy to have two with so much upside on my team. This is a position battle I’m sure to win against my league mates, and I’ll be miles ahead of the competition by the end of the season. Ebron scored 13 TDs last season, catching passes from Andrew Luck as the QB’s favorite red-zone target. He’ll primarily be my backup, but Ebron could also make his way into the flex conversation with some multi-score outings.