Best Ball Mock Draft (2020 Fantasy Football)
There is no offseason in the NFL, where hungry fantasy football players are grinding year-round. The increasingly popular best ball format is perfectly suited to scratch the itch for anyone looking to draft a fantasy football team in the middle of February. Best ball does not require any roster maintenance — there are no start/sit decisions, free agency, or trades. The team you draft is your team for the entire season, and each roster’s highest-scoring players are automatically started every single week.
I used the FantasyPros Draft Simulator for this mock draft according to the following criteria:
- 12 teams
- Half-point PPR
- 18-man roster
- 10 bench spots
I randomized the draft order and got the fifth pick. Below is the team that I ended up with and brief thoughts on each selection.
1.05 (5th overall): Dalvin Cook (RB – MIN)
It was a tough decision here between Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook. Ultimately, I went with Cook because of his passing-down role and Mike Zimmer’s love affair with the running game. Cook finally put together a healthy season with 1,654 total yards and 13 touchdowns, en-route to the RB5 finish. If Cook had played all 16 games, there is a very good chance he would have been RB2 behind Christian McCaffrey. He has a great shot at RB2 in 2020 as a bell-cow RB in a run-heavy offense that has explosive weapons to put up a ton of points.
2.08 (20th overall): Mike Evans (WR – TB)
Wide receivers are so important in this format, and the weekly ceiling of Mike Evans in best ball is too tempting to pass up. Regardless of who is at quarterback for the Bucs, you can trust that Bruce Arians will lean heavily on the vertical passing game. For most of 2019, it felt as though Evans and Chris Godwin were mutually exclusive — one would completely smash while the other would bust — and it was impossible to predict. In best ball, we embrace players with spike week potential, which makes Mike Evans a steal here at 2.08.
3.05 (29th overall): Courtland Sutton (WR – DEN)
I really wanted D.J. Moore here, which made it extra painful to see him come off the board one spot ahead at 3.04. I like to load up on wide receiver in best ball, so I grab a player that I am crushing on in Courtland Sutton. He is an extraordinary talent and emerged in the second half of 2019 to become the alpha of the Denver passing attack. Drew Lock showed some promise and a rapport with Sutton, and I am banking on him continuing to get better. I also expect positive touchdown regression for Sutton as he only had 6 touchdowns last season, which is incredibly low for a six-foot-four beast with otherworldly ball skills. In Sutton’s last three games he had target counts of 10, 10, and eight — he will excel with this type of usage in 2020.
4.08 (44th overall): Tyler Lockett (WR – SEA)
I keep hammering wide receiver and Tyler Lockett is an easy choice here. Lockett has massive spike week potential when Pete Carroll decides to unleash Russell Wilson. Carroll’s affinity for the run game is Lockett’s biggest downside, but this negative is mitigated in best ball. Lockett has home-run boom potential every single week, and we want to chase upside in best ball.
5.05 (53rd overall): Kerryon Johnson (RB – DET)
I need another running back, and Kerryon Johnson sticks out as a player with upside who could emerge into a superstar. Johnson’s talent is obvious, and his usage is not as concerning as most believe — he had at least 14 touches in five of six games prior to his injury. I’m taking a shot on Johnson’s talent here and hoping that he puts his injury woes behind him in his third year, just like Dalvin Cook was able to do in 2019.
6.08 (68th overall): Austin Hooper (TE – ATL)
I need a tight end, and Austin Hooper is the pick for me here after his breakout season with 787 yards and six touchdowns in just 13 games. Though Hooper’s 2020 home is uncertain, he is going to command a pretty penny in free agency — either from the Falcons or some other team that needs a tight end. Regardless of where Hooper ends up, he should be one of the focal points of the offense. Any team willing to shell out big cash for Hooper is probably going to feature him heavily. This feels like a good buy low because if Hooper’s ADP will explode if he ends up in a prime spot.
7.05 (77th overall): Damien Williams (RB – KC)
Grabbing Damien Williams in the seventh round feels like a steal, particularly considering I am not relying on him to be a weekly starter. Anyone who watched the Chiefs during their Super Bowl run knows that Williams is electric — his biggest question mark is his usage. However, I’m not paying the second or third-round price tag that Williams cost during the last offseason. If I get playoff-form Damien Williams in the seventh round, the rest of the league is in trouble.
8.08 (92nd overall): Robby Anderson (WR – NYJ)
Anderson is a big-play wide receiver perfectly suited for best ball. He is a steal in the eighth round at this point of the offseason because I am paying the price tag of the Jets’ Robby Anderson. If he goes to a better offense, his ADP will skyrocket. And downside? It can’t get much worse than the Jets.
9.05 (101st overall): Latavius Murray (RB – NO)
Murray is a handcuff runningback with standalone value. He was being drafted in the sixth to seventh round during the last offseason, so I was pleasantly surprised to grab him in the ninth round here. The Saints demonstrated that they are willing to treat him as a bell-cow when Alvin Kamara is injured. Should catastrophe strike, Murray could be a league-winner. And he is even still useful when Kamara is healthy.
10.08 (116th overall): Hunter Henry (TE – LAC)
I fortify the tight end position with Hunter Henry and feel confident enough with the Hooper/Henry duo that I will not need to draft another the rest of the way. Henry is immensely talented and came off a torn ACL to finish as the TE8 in just 12 games. Upside is the name of the game.
11.05 (125th overall): Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB)
Waiting on quarterback is my preferred strategy in this format, and I grab my first quarterback when Aaron Rodgers slips to the 11th round. Rodgers was QB10 in 2019 despite having a down year — keep in mind that it was Rodgers’ first season with Matt LaFleur, Davante Adams missed four games, and all the other pass-catchers were major disappointments. I like Rodgers to bounce back in 2020, although that’s assuming that the Packers will get him another weapon or two on offense.
12.08 (140th overall) Breshad Perriman (WR – TB)
The emergence of Breshad Perriman must be one of the biggest shocks of the 2020 season. I have no idea if Perriman can approach the level of play he demonstrated at the end of the year with Godwin and Evans injured, but some team is going to pay him a decent chunk of change to find out the answer. I have no problem taking a 12th round shot to see if Perriman is finally tapping into the potential that made him a first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
13.05 (149th overall): Drew Brees (QB – NO)
All signs point to Drew Brees returning in 2020, and if that is the case, then he is an easy pick for me in the 13th round as my second quarterback. Because this is best ball, I get access to Brees’ ceiling for any potential shootouts in the Superdome.
14.08 (164h overall): Boston Scott (RB – PHI)
Doug Pederson loves committee backfields, and Boston Scott provides cheap access to an explosive offense. Scott demonstrated spike week potential when Miles Sanders missed time and is a solid late-round runningback selection.
15.05 (173rd overall): Allen Lazard (WR – GB)
I decided to grab Lazard here as a stack with Aaron Rodgers for that extra upside. Lazard emerged as the Packers’ WR2 in 2019, and he should be a contributor in 2020 regardless of whether the Packers bring in extra receiving help. Lazard is six-foot-five and 227 lbs, and he has the massive catch radius required to be a red-zone weapon.
16.08 (188th overall): Tre’Quan Smith (WR – NO)
I stack another wide receiver with one of my quarterbacks here with Smith. I’m chasing spike weeks at the Superdome here — Smith has big-play potential and the Saints don’t really have an established number two receiver. Perhaps that could be Tre’Quan Smith?
17.05 (197th overall): Drew Lock (QB – DEN)
I decide to grab a third quarterback after seeing how many injuries the position had in 2019. Lock showed some promise in his first NFL action, and he demonstrated a willingness to push the ball downfield. Though he only had 18 rush attempts for 72 yards in 2019, Lock has some wheels and untapped rushing upside — he ran a 4.69 40-yard dash at the combine. Lock also makes for a nice stack with Courtland Sutton, who is already on my roster.
18.08 (212th overall): K.J. Hamler (WR – FA)
I close out the draft by throwing a dart on the electric Hamler. His real value will be heavily dependent on whichever team drafts him, but in the 18th round, I might as well take a shot. Hamler is a home run threat any time he touches the football, which is just what we are looking for in best ball.
The Mock Draft Simulator graded me with a B+ as the fourth-best team. Given all the upside on my roster, I am quite pleased with how the squad turned out.
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Jarad Evans is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jarad, follow him @jarad_evans.