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Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Underdog Best Ball Picks (2024)

Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Underdog Best Ball Picks (2024)

Drafting this time of year is difficult for several reasons. There’s much left to be determined with rosters and draft picks, and we don’t know the schedule yet. While we can’t optimize towards week 17 without the schedule, it’s important to stack offenses together. T

Still, there are benefits to drafting early, like targeting players with upside who could jump in value prior to the start of the season. The best way to build a super team is to find players in the mid-to-late rounds who will be drafted much higher at the start of the season.

That, along with being flexible with the value on the board, is the key to drafting early in the offseason.

Let’s take a look at how my latest best ball mock played out, with a focus on Underdog Fantasy settings.

Best Ball Mock Draft: Underdog Fantasy Settings (2024)

1.06: Breece Hall (RB – NYJ)

After an up-and-down season, Breece Hall looks primed to soar at new heights in the Jets’ offense. Coming off a torn ACL, Hall finished last season with 994 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns, chipping in 591 receiving yards and four receiving scores. He was one of the more efficient running backs throughout last season, and his 37 carries in Week 18 proved he’s more than ready to handle a heavy workload. He finished the season as the RB4 in half-point PPR scoring and did so in a dismal Jets offense without Aaron Rodgers.

Hall has proven he’s one of the better receiving backs in the game and the exit of Michael Carter and Dalvin Cook clear the path for a full workload. I like trying to secure elite wide receivers at the top of the draft, but if the Jets’ offense hits the runway and gets up to full speed this season, Hall has RB1 overall upside. That’s too good to pass up with the top four wide receivers off the board.

2.07: Garrett Wilson (WR – NYJ)

There’s an argument to be made that stacking running backs and wide receivers on the same team isn’t the best way to go, and I get it. However, the strategy offers tons of weekly upside if it’s a good offense. Plus, it’s rare to find a receiver like Garrett Wilson lurking at pick 19. Last season, Wilson finished the offseason with a best ball ADP of 12 overall. Obviously, he did not pay off at that price, but he showed how talented he is with a collection of struggling quarterbacks and finally gets to play with Rodgers this season.

After missing out on the top wide receivers in round one and going with a running back, Wilson is exactly the type of receiver I’m looking for in round two. The next receivers to go off the board were Mike Evans, followed by D.J. Moore and Deebo Samuel. I prefer Wilson by a wide margin. Would anybody be surprised if he’s a surefire first-round pick in 2025 drafts?

3.06: Jalen Hurts (QB – PHI)

In the golden era of fantasy football quarterbacks – yeah, I said it – the importance of rostering an elite option at the top of your lineup is more important than ever. It might seem like you can get by in best ball without one and rely on a rotation, but that’s counterintuitive. Streaming the position is a better option in redraft, where you can play the matchups. Having an elite quarterback gives you a weekly floor that others may not possess.

The Eagles’ offense took a step back last season but Hurts still finished as fantasy football’s QB2 overall. He tallied 14 QB1 weeks and finished as a top-five quarterback in nine games. I’m optimistic that Kellen Moore can help turn the tide back in favor of Philadelphia’s offense. However, as long as the “tush push” sticks around, Hurts will be a top quarterback either way. The other benefit of Hurts is that there are additional stacking options beyond A.J. Brown, who went off the board in the second round.

4.07: Stefon Diggs (WR – BUF)

According to Matthew Berry, the Bills remain confident in Stefon Diggs as a true No. 1 wide receiver. I mostly agree, although there are some questions. Regardless, grabbing Diggs as the WR21 here was a no-brainer. Even in a down season, Diggs finished as the WR10 last year in half-point PPR. It was a slow end to the season, but as long as the Bills believe in Diggs, he will continue to dominate the target share coming from Josh Allen‘s talented arm.

After all, he was sixth in targets last season and ninth in target share while posting the eighth-most unrealized air yards. There’s bound to be some positive regression coming his way. Finishing 11th in best ball points added, I’m thrilled to grab Diggs here, especially after passing on wide receiver in the first round.

5.06: DeVonta Smith (WR – PHI)

After grabbing Hurts in the third round, I’m stacking him here with DeVonta Smith. With Brown going off the board so early as the Eagles WR1, it’s a benefit of drafting Hurts to have a 1B type of receiver like Smith available later in the draft. Smith finished his third NFL season as fantasy football’s WR20. His 3,178 yards and 19 touchdowns thus far have shut down all questions about his weight, as the slim reaper has missed just one game through three seasons. Getting him as the WR26 off the board to pair with Hurts and step in as my WR3 is an ideal scenario.

6.07: Najee Harris (RB – PIT)

You can read more about my thoughts on Najee Harris as a best ball player to target here, but I like Harris as an RB2 this year with the arrival of Arthur Smith. The Steelers will pound the rock this season, and even after what can be considered a down year, Harris finished as the RB20.

Last season, I wrote about Harris as a running back to avoid, as he was being drafted as an RB1. I instead rommended readers to target Jaylen Warren in the later rounds. Getting Harris at RB23 this season, however, is a much more affordable price and it comes with a new offensive coordinator that will perfectly fit his style.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

7.06: Drake London (WR – ATL)

The addition of Kirk Cousins at quarterback and the turnover on the coaching staff are both big positives for Drake London. Despite falling short of 1,000 yards and being limited to two touchdowns in 2023, London posted the 25th-highest PFF receiving grade at 78.9. Considering how the offense was run, it’s extremely difficult to judge London based on his stats and metrics, but the film shows a quality receiver. Ultimately, I’m looking for players who can take a big leap forward and return great value. London has a good chance to do so.

8.07: Chuba Hubbard (RB – CAR)

The Carolina Panthers handed Miles Sanders a four-year deal last offseason worth $25.4 million, but Chuba Hubbard looked like the one who was more deserving of the payday. Hubbard posted the 15th-best PFF rushing grade and finished as RB26, while Sanders was fantasy’s RB54 and finished with the 56th PFF rushing grade. Hubbard should be in line to be the starter in Carolina this season, and it’s good value to snag him in the eighth round as my team’s RB3.

9.06: Diontae Johnson (WR – PIT)

Diontae Johnson posted 717 yards last year, the fewest since his rookie season, but he also missed four games. With a potential quarterback upgrade in Russell Wilson and a new offensive coordinator, it feels like that season was the bottom for Johnson rather than the new normal. It also gives me another piece of the Steelers’ offense. Without knowing the Week 17 schedule, it’s important to stack offenses and hope for the best.

10.07: Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR – SEA)

Jaxon Smith-Njigba failed to live up to the hype in his rookie season, but he’s got a chance to make some noise in year two, and I’ll take a shot at his upside here. Tyler Lockett appeared to take a major step back last season and isn’t getting any younger. Despite the lowly numbers, Smith-Njigba showed flashes of what he can be and he will have an opportunity to surpass Lockett in the pecking order this season.

11.06: Jaleel McLaughlin (RB – DEN)

Jaleel McLaughlin was one of the most efficient running backs in the NFL last season as a rookie, and although he’s unlikely ever to establish himself as an every-down player, he has plenty of upside in his role. With a full offseason of Sean Payton knowing what he’s capable of, I could see a bigger role for McLaughlin, who is as quick and tough as they come.

12.07: Dallas Goedert (TE – PHI)

If you cannot get one of the elite tight ends, it’s best to wait and take one later in the draft. We know Dallas Goedert is capable of posting big numbers, and it gives me a double stack with Hurts and Smith.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

13.06: Khalil Shakir (WR – BUF)

It was a breakout season of sorts for Khalil Shakir, who posted 611 yards and two touchdowns, plus 75 yards and two scores in the playoffs. If the Bills don’t draft a receiver early, Shakir may take over the WR2 role with Gabe Davis heading to Jacksonville. Regardless, he should continue to improve with more experience in the Bills offense.

14.07: Jake Ferguson (TE – DAL)

After waiting so long to take a tight end, I grabbed a few in this range to ensure the position is covered. Jake Ferguson may not be special in his own right, but he proved that he’s certainly good enough to thrive in the Cowboys’ offense.

15.06: Jamaal Williams (RB – NO)

Jamaal Williams isn’t somebody I’m specifically targeting, but as my RB5, he will do. He might have a similar season as he did last year, or he might fall into the endzone 10 times.

16.07: Michael Gallup (WR – DAL)

Michael Gallup might give me another piece of the Cowboys offense, or he might see a bump in his upside if the Cowboys move on from him, as is rumored. He’s more talented than what we’ve seen the past few seasons, thanks to injuries and depth among Cowboys pass-catchers. Yet, if he lands elsewhere with a bigger opportunity, he could be a bargain here.

17.06: Aaron Rodgers (QB – NYJ)

After grabbing Wilson in round two, I was eyeing Rodgers here to stack the duo together. Taking an elite quarterback like Hurts means I don’t need much of an investment later in the draft, so it’s ideal to have that stack built out if needed.

18.07: Luke Musgrave (TE – GB)

Generally, I like going three deep at either tight end or quarterback, the two single positions, depending on how much talent you have at each position. Obviously, I need more depth at tight end here than I do at quarterback, and Luke Musgrave is already being slept on. He was a trendy rookie pick last year, and although he dealt with injuries, he looked the part when he was on the field.

19.06: A.T. Perry (WR – NO) | 20.07 Chris Rodriguez Jr. (RB – WAS)

I finished the draft off with two players that I like as sleepers. A.T. Perry flashed as a rookie and could see more of an opportunity with Michael Thomas out the door. Chris Rodriguez is an underrated player who could see a bump in value if the Commanders don’t replace Antonio Gibson. He’s the type of running back that could pop with a double-digit touchdown type of season.

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