2021's Best Ball Lessons Learned


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2021's Best Ball Lessons Learned

I’ve already covered all the lessons I learned playing traditional fantasy football in 2021, and most, if not all, of those lessons can apply to best ball drafts. But I wanted to get better at best ball, so I took some time to review my BB drafts from this past year to see what I could have done differently.

I actually did only four drafts, and as usual I was also either drafting while live on the radio or hosting a livestream, so I expected to see some mistakes and inefficiency with my drafts. My goal is to reduce those mistakes in 2022 by devising a better plan of action. My finishes in those four drafts were merely OK: 2nd, 4th, 10th, and 3rd.

Let’s review them all in chronological order:

Draft #1: February 2021

This draft was early in the off-season process, so everyone was in the dark in terms of where the pending free agents would ultimately sign and which teams would draft which rookies and when. From the eight spot, here’s my draft:

Round 18.Davante Adams
Round 25. (17)D'Andre Swift
Round 38. (32)Joe Mixon
Round 45. (41)Terry McLaurin
Round 58. (56)Mark Andrews
Round 65. (65)Chase Edmonds
Round 78. (80)Russell Wilson
Round 85. (89)Michael Pittman
Round 98. (104)Jalen Hurts
Round 105. (113)Rashaad Penny
Round 118. (128)Jaylen Waddle
Round 125. (137)Tyler Higbee
Round 138. (152)Henry Ruggs
Round 145. (161)Michael Carter
Round 158. (176)Rondale Moore
Round 165. (185)Justin Fields
Round 178. (200)Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 185. (209)Jermar Jefferson
Round 198. (224)Minnesota Vikings
Round 205. (233)Demetric Felton


Pick 1.8 — For my first pick in the eight spot, and I opted for Davante Adams. The pick should have been Austin Ekeler, but I wasn’t a believer in Ekeler as a top-10 overall pick. That was a bad take, but that doesn’t make this a bad pick. I just played it safe, and Adams was the WR2 on the season.

Pick 2.5 — I then came back and surprisingly drafted D’Andre Swift at 17 overall, which turned out to be way earlier that he would eventually be going off the board in 2021, which was around 35-40 overall. I was very high on Swift coming out of the 2020 season, and, of course, I took Swift before Jamaal Williams signed as a free agent in Detroit. It was a poor value, but it was also a good example of why you should bet on talent and roll with youth because, despite the presence of Williams, Swift was the RB5 on the season through Week 11. He died in the end, but he was outstanding for three months. Ironically, since I passed on Eckler in the first, Swift’s 2021 season was reminiscent of Eckler before 2021.

Pick 3.8 — I’m surprised I didn’t take Antonio Gibson next, which would have been an okay pick. But in the third round, I passed on Gibson for Joe Mixon, which turned out to be a very good pick. I was probably thinking Mixon’s huge and stable role in the Bengals backfield was ideal, since I used my first pick on a WR and was playing a little bit of catch-up at RB. Or, maybe I felt the Washington backfield situation would be altered after free agency or the draft, whereas I didn’t think Mixon’s role would change in Cincy, which it didn’t.

Pick 4.4 — I’m big on balance, so I targeted a WR with my next pick. I went with Terry McLaurin, so I opted for the go-to guy for his team over guys like CeeDee Lamb, Chris Godwin, DJ Moore, and Robert Woods, who aren’t the clear primary receivers for their teams. In retrospect, both McLaurin and Diontae had huge roles and both had some QB concerns, but I should have opted for Diontae, who I think is a better overall player than McLaurin, and whose QB situation was slightly better. We all love McLaurin’s moxie and all that, but I think us fantasy players have been overrating him a little.

Pick 5.8 — In Round 5, with two RBs and two WRs already in the fold, I had some flexibility to go BPA, and I thought at the time the best player available was Mark Andrews. I took him over the eventual QB1 on the season, but the TE1 is usually more valuable than the QB1 due to the lack of quality TEs, so my Andrews pick was a major win considering the guy drafted as the TE1, Travis Kelce, was taken at six overall. I got Andrews at 56 overall.

Pick 6.5 —In Round six, feeling a little light at RB, I took Chase Edmonds. This was before they signed James Conner, and it was a decent pick with Edmunds producing RB28 totals in terms of FPG. But this would have been a good time to dip into the unknown with a rookie, and Javonte Williams was taken in the next round about 10 picks later. He was the pick, or a QB like Aaron Rodgers.

Pick 7.8 — In round seven, with seven QBs already off the board, I grabbed Russell Wilson just to ensure I had a potential top-10 guy, but I should have taken Justin Herbert. So I’ve already hurt myself a few times by NOT being aggressive with a young player. By the way, I would have taken Ja’Marr Chase in this round but he went two picks in front of me.

Pick 8.5 — In the eight round, I went with upside at WR with Michael Pittman at 89 overall. That’s about when he was drafted in the summer, and he was quite decent as the WR17 in scoring. I got him as the WR41 in this draft. So once again, my inclination to go young is good. Of course, since I was doing this draft while hosting a broadcast, I’m 100% sure I didn’t notice that my guy DEEBO SAMUEL was on the board!

Pick 9.8 — In Round Nine, Tom Brady was still available, and I passed on him, which seems dumb and was actually kinda of dumb, but I went for the upside of Jalen Hurts, and through Week 15 Hurts was a top-5 QB in FPG. Of course, Brady was top-3. I wasn’t big on Wilson last year, so I was wise to grab another QB with top-10 potential.

Pick 10.5 — One of my goals in 2021 was to avoid taking too many RBs in the middle rounds with unclear roles, and most RBs drafted in the middle rounds have unclear roles. I did a decent job, taking only three RBs with my first nine picks. I took Rashaad Penny over some complementary RBs like James White and Nyheim Hines, which I think is fine, but probably too aggressive. I got a little lucky because Chris Carson was a free agent at the time and he ended up re-signing with Seattle. Penny was worthless for almost three months, but despite a poor output of over 6.5 points in Week 15, Penny was the RB1 the final five weeks of the season (Weeks 14-18). This is why I like to go for upside 100+ picks in, but I probably could have gotten Penny at least one round later.

Pick 11.8 — In Round 11, while others in this draft are making terrible picks like TE Evan Engram, WR Jamison Crowder, and Chubba Hubbard (who isn’t any good), I grabbed the eventual WR12 in scoring as the WR54 in Jaylen Waddle. I had no idea Waddle would outproduce guys like DK Metcalf, CeeDee Lamb, and AJ Brown to name a few, but I did know he was a stud talent who fell too far. Once again, going young paid off.

Pick 12.5 — At this point I had only one TE, and you need to draft 2-3 of them more often than not, so I took Tyler Higbee. I had Higbee with 61/670/5.5 or 161 points and 10 FPG in 16 projected games. He played in 15 games and put up 61/560/5, so my projections were very close. Higbee was the TE14 on the season and TE13 in FPG with 9.8, so I missed his season projection by only .2 points per game, or by only three fantasy points. That said, while Higbee had some tangible upside heading into the season, the pick should have been rookie Kyle Pitts, who surprisingly lasted until this round. I may not have noticed him available, honestly.

Pick 13.8 — I actually have only four WRs through 12 rounds, which most would say is too few, but I grabbed another one here with Henry Ruggs, which was a pretty good pick considering he was the WR31 through seven weeks and I got him as the WR63, and he was out producing a lot of WRs with higher ADPs. Obviously, Mr. Ruggs was worthless after Week 7.

Pick 14.5 — Now this was a good pick. While others were drafting worthless players in this round like Todd Gurley, Preston Williams, and Damien Williams, I grabbed Michael Carter, who was the RB14 with 17.1 FPG Weeks 4-10 before landing on IR. I got him as the RB54 off the board. Yet again, there’s a major buying opportunity on the rookies if you scout them out well. Ironically, I interviewed Carter via zoom a couple of weeks later and he mentioned Gurley as one of his favorite players. I was happy to inform Carter that I had already drafted him over Gurley for 2021, even though it was only March.

Pick 15.8 — I wasn’t big on Rondale Moore this year, but I took him in this spot as my WR6. He had one big game in Week 2, but that was about it. Worth a shot, though, as a guy like John Brown was drafted in this round.

Pick 16.5 — You probably need to draft at least three QBs in a 20-round BB draft, and my pick of Justin Fields was a good one at the time. Fields was very underwhelming in 2021, thanks at least in part to their terrible head coach, but he was the QB14 in his eight starts, excluding one start where he got hurt early in the game and his first nightmarish start against Cleveland, when the offense was completely overwhelmed by the defense. In his final four healthy starts (Weeks 8, 9, 14, and 15), Fields was actually the QB3 behind only Josh Allen and Justin Herbert, so that’s a good pick 180+ picks into a draft. It didn’t really work out, but still a good pick.

Pick 17.8 — By this pick, six defenses had been taken over the last 2-3 rounds, and some bad picks, actually, so I snagged the Tampa Bay DST. We did have them as our #1 DST, but they were only #9. Before I could take our #2 defense in the next round (Miami), the Dolphins were taken in front of me. Miami was in fact the DT2 on the season.

Pick 18.5 — I didn’t like any of the defenses left, so I took a shot with Jermar Jefferson as a handcuff for Swift and Jefferson did have 2 TDs on five carries over a two-week span, including a 28-yard TD run. Injuries ultimately derailed his rookie season.

Pick 19.8 — I got my DST2 in this round, and I actually got the DST3 on the season in the Minnesota DST. Not too shabby.

Pick 20.5 — I took RB Demetric Felton, which was a dumb pick. I’m sure I wasn’t paying enough attention and looking back, Donovan Peoples-Jones was taken, so I was clearly not paying attention because I liked Jones in 2021.

Looking at the scoring breakdown, here’s how it went:

Passing production - Average to below average in passing yards and TDs.

Rushing production - Top production for rushing yards and TDs, probably the top team.

Receiving production - Top production for receiving yards and TDs, top-3 in the league.

Defensive production - Probably a top-5 DST in the league

Final thoughts: I ended up finishing in second place and missed the championship by 65 points, which is noteworthy because the team in third place was 409 points behind me, so this was a strong showing for yours truly. I didn’t win the league because I screwed up at QB.

Draft #2: March 2021

Let’s take a quicker look at a draft I did a month after the first one.

Draft Results
Round 12.Dalvin Cook
Round 211. (23)Antonio Gibson
Round 32. (26)Justin Jefferson
Round 411. (47)Patrick Mahomes
Round 52. (50)CeeDee Lamb
Round 611. (71)William Fuller
Round 72. (74)Jamaal Williams
Round 811. (95)Jarvis Landry
Round 92. (98)Jeff Wilson
Round 1011. (119)Alexander Mattison
Round 112. (122)Tyler Higbee
Round 1211. (143)Antonio Brown
Round 132. (146)Jamison Crowder
Round 1411. (167)Sterling Shepard
Round 152. (170)Mecole Hardman
Round 1611. (191)Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 172. (194)Jared Cook
Round 1811. (215)Marlon Mack
Round 192. (218)Jakobi Meyers
Round 2011. (239)Jermar Jefferson

A quick scan of this draft and I can see my execution was not good. The participants are all listeners to my SXM radio show, so I can only assume we did this draft on the air. Yes, a built-in excuse, but a good excuse nevertheless. Let’s see what went wrong. It couldn’t have been that bad because this team finished fourth out of twelve.

Pick 1.2Dalvin Cook. I wish it was Jonthan Taylor.

Pick 2.11Antonio Gibson. A complete no-brainer considering how high I was on him this year.

Pick 3.2Justin Jefferson. And I still got my stud WR1 in Jefferson, the WR4 on the season. So far, so good.

Pick 4.11Patrick Mahomes. Well, I’m surprised I did this, but it’s hard to say it was a bad pick. Mahomes did have 9-10 big games and 4-5 blowup games. The next pick in the draft was Julio Jones.

Pick 5.2CeeDee Lamb. This pick made the Mahomes pick look better because he should not have been here for me in the fifth round. However, I should have gone to Lamb and then Josh Allen in Rounds 4-5.

Pick 6.11Will Fuller. Okay, I think this was an auto-pick. Ja’Marr Chase was on the damn board (this is pre NFL Draft). I wanted nothing to do with Fuller all year and summer so I don’t know what the hell happened.

Pick 7.2Jamaal Williams. Still apparently asleep, this was another terrible pick, also taken over Chase. Classic overpay for a guy who just signed a new free agent deal with a lot of hype. In my defense, I went back and looked and my projections for Williams were pretty close and I had him at 9.5 FPG and he was at 9.2.

Pick 8.11Jarvis Landry. Just another brutal pick, I have no idea what happened to me in this draft but this is not Gurrific!

Pick 9.2Jeff Wilson. Wow, another bad pick. WTF. I’m literally doing the opposite of what I preach. Meanwhile, I’m passing on players who ended up being Gurrrific like Logan Thomas and DeVonta Smith.

Pick 10.11 — At least this one wasn’t brutal and got me 3-4 big games with Alexander Mattison. He was a must-have as a Dalvin Cook owner.

Pick 11.2 — Not that I passed on anyone of note in this round, but here we go again with Tyler Higbee. He was fine, but I should have gotten my TE1 4-5 rounds earlier.

Pick 12.11Antonio Brown. Okay, that was a good pick. Finally. Of course, we know how it ended.

Pick 13.2Jamison Crowder. This was before the NFL draft, so I guess I didn’t expect them to draft Elijah Moore so early.

Pick 14.11Sterling Shepard. This was another solid pick. I got three big games from him. But this draft was all over the place. Darrell Henderson went with the next pick, so why the heck didn’t I take him this late? We’ll never know.

Pick 15.2Mecole Hardman. Another meh pick, but at least he hit for a few solid games. But I should have taken a younger player like Kadarius Toney.

Pick 16.11Tampa Bay DST. Another underwhelming pick of the Bucs, but they were a decent #9 on the season.

Pick 17.2Jared Cook. Yet another boring pick of an old guy. What the hell is going on here? I may have been possessed on this day.

Pick 18.11Marlon Mack. I’m not even going to comment further. This pick was so bad it speaks for itself.

Pick 19.2Jakobi Meyers. Okay this was a homerun pick this late.

Pick 20.11Jermar Jefferson.

Looking at the scoring breakdown, here’s how it went:

Passing production - Above-average

Rushing production - Average.

Receiving production - Above-average

Defensive production - Below average

Final thoughts: This was an absolutely awful draft and is not representative of 90% of my other drafts at any given time. I’m appalled that this team came in fourth place and I’d rather come in last while drafting young sleepers than JAGs like Landry, Williams, Crowder, Cook, etc. Never again (I hope).

Draft #3: May 2021

Finally, here’s one I did after the 2021 NFL Draft. This was the Fantasy Points 2021 Livestream Best Ball Draft along with staffers Joe Dolan, Tom Brolley, Wes Huber, Scott Barrett, Justin Varnes, Jules McLean, some FPMG people, and one fan.

Here's my draft from the 12 spot with analysis below.

Draft Results
Round 112.Davante Adams
Round 21. (13)Antonio Gibson
Round 312. (36)Amari Cooper
Round 41. (37)Javonte Williams
Round 512. (60)Mark Andrews
Round 61. (61)Kareem Hunt
Round 712. (84)Michael Pittman
Round 81. (85)Russell Wilson
Round 912. (108)Zack Moss
Round 101. (109)Curtis Samuel
Round 1112. (132)Jakobi Meyers
Round 121. (133)Justin Fields
Round 1312. (156)Rob Gronkowski
Round 141. (157)Kadarius Toney
Round 1512. (180)Amari Rodgers
Round 161. (181)Damien Williams
Round 1712. (204)Jared Cook
Round 181. (205)Denver Broncos
Round 1912. (228)Philadelphia Eagles
Round 201. (229)Van Jefferson

Pick 1.12 — The pick here was Austin Eckler, but I was an Eckler hater in 2021, which was a bad position to take. Still, Davante Adams was damn good.

Pick 2.1 — I wish I had taken Najee Harris, but I can live with Antonio Gibson at 13 overall. Gibson was hardly the bust that guys like DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, Darren Waller, Clyde Edwards-Helaire were in this round, plus JK Dobbins.

Pick 3.12 — If I could go back in time, I’m taking Diontae Johnson, and I can’t believe I didn’t take Johnson over Amari Cooper, but we did have Cooper ranked slightly higher. Not the greatest call, but still better than Michael Thomas, Allen Robinson, and even Terry McLaurin and AJ Brown drafted before him.

Pick 4.1 — I passed on Diontae again, but this time it was in favor of Javonte, which I can live with. Javonte Williams was the RB17 on the season, but he was also the RB3 from Weeks 12-16, a critical five-game stretch. He did fade late with some bad luck and a bum knee.

Pick 5.12 — I’m big on the best player available, and at 60 overall I clearly felt that Mark Andrews was, and there were probably only 2-3 better picks available for the rest of this draft (Deebo, Kupp, Chase).

Pick 6.1 — Not a great pick here with Kareem Hunt, but I was a little light at RB. Hunt did have 4-5 really good games in his eight games, at least.

Pick 7.12 — I’m usually looking to go young and breakout in my drafts, so no surprise I took my favorite rookie from 2020 in Michael Pittman. Pittman’s season was spotty in production, but he was strong in 12-13 of his 17 games and had a strong finish as WR17 on the season.

Pick 8.12 — I was not particularly high on Russell Wilson in 2021, and if anything he was on my avoid list, but I knew a QB run was coming, so I grabbed Russ. Not a great pick and I paid for it. In fact, my lack of QB production was probably 60% of why I didn’t win this league (was in third place about 95 points from the lead).

Pick 9.2 — I’m often distracted doing these drafts and I believe I was hosting the livestream, but I did have Zack Moss on my list of later-round flyers, and that was not a good call. I took him over Jaylen Waddle, Mike Williams, and Tony Pollard as well. This is not like me, since I usually go for young, upside guys this late. And it cost me dearly because I sucked at RB.

Pick 10.11 — This was a very rough spot for me because my next pick of Curtis Samuel, also taken over Waddle, Williams, and Pollard, also really sucked. I actually did not like Samuel at all in 2021, either, so I’m not sure what happened there. I didn’t think he fit a Gurrific profile at all, but the biggest issue was his lost season due to injury.

Pick 11.2 — Next, I make up some ground with the WR29 on the season in Jakobi Meyers. This isn’t a huge win, but I got him as WR56, which is good value.

Pick 12.11 — Next, at 133 overall, I make a good pick in theory with Justin Fields. Fields needed more time than expected, and the offense sucked under a since-fired coach, so it didn’t work out. But Fields was the QB3 in his final four healthy games, so the process was fine.

Pick 13.2 — You will make some mistakes in your drafts, as I did in Rounds 9 and 10, but you can make up for those flubs, as I did in this round with Rob Gronkowski taken at 156 overall and as the TE18 drafted. He was the TE7 in total scoring and the TE3 in FPG.

Pick 14.11 — I get back on track in terms of drafting upside guys next with Kadarius Toney, who did at least have 2-3 good games, including one huge game.

Pick 15.2 — At 180 overall, I thought at the time that Packers rookie Amari Rodgers had a chance, which he did because the team didn’t add another receiver of note in free agency or the draft. He might have done something, but they ended up trading for Randall Cobb, which didn’t help.

Pick 16.11 — My two favorite late-round RB flier picks this past summer were Darrel and Damien Williams, and Darell was off the board, so I took Damien. There were actually only two other impactful RBs taken after this: Chubba Hubbard, another stash-and-hope guy, and Elijah Mitchell. Obviously, the lesson learned is you might as well go young for an upside pick.

Pick 17.2 — I opted for a TE3 in Jared Cook, who I figured would be productive enough to take this late, and he was the TE18 on the season.

Pick 18.11 — I ended up waiting on taking my DSTs and I took the Denver Broncos as my DT1. They actually stunk, ranking as only the #28 defense on the season in scoring.

Pick 19.2 — I got some DST help in the next round, as did drafted DTS2, the Philadelphia Eagles, ended up being the DST8 on the season.

Pick 20.11 — My last pick of the draft at 229 overall was Van Jefferson, who was the WR36 on the season. This is a great example of why I like to go young: I took Jefferson as the WR81.

Looking at the scoring breakdown, here’s how it went:

Passing production - One of the 3-4 worst teams.

Rushing production - Below-average, about 7th-8th best.

Receiving production - Top team BY FAR.

Defensive production - Slightly above-average.

Final thoughts: Clearly, the first lesson learned is that you can’t truly count on a rookie QB, even one who runs. Most of the time, it’ll be okay, but Justin Fields was not and I did not get a QB3, which more than anything else cost me the league title. I also opened this draft with a WR in Davante Adams, but I didn’t do enough at RB, as Kareem Hunt got hurt and my drafted RB4, Zack Moss, wasn’t good. I’m never going to get every pick right, but I definitely veered off my normal path of making mostly upside picks in a few rounds. I did make a couple of good value picks, especially Rob Gronkowski, so there’s a fine line between going for the upside of young players and finding great values among veteran players.

Some other lessons learned while reviewing my 2021 Best Ball drafts:

  • While I got some great veteran values like Rob Gronkowski in these three drafts, it’s crystal clear that I did better in terms of value when I targeted ascending players, as I got incredible value on guys like Jaylen Waddle, Michael Carter, and Michael Pittman.

  • Quite frankly, the majority of the boring picks I made after rounds 5-6 sucked. Again, I’m not usually one to make those boring picks and this is why. I’m sure I consciously made some dumb picks, but more often than not I was probably distracted while drafting, either hosting a radio show or livestream, so these drafts were not optimal.

  • I need to target QBs I actually like. I took Russell Wilson in two of my four drafts and I didn’t even like Wilson this past year. We did have him ranked at his QB6 ADP, but I took him mainly out of fear of getting pinched at QB, so I probably need to be a little more aggressive with my QB1, which would at least ensure I get a player I actually like. For example, I could go into 2022 drafts planning on taking Joe Burrow in the sixth round or I could make it a point to get Lamar Jackson at a discount in the seventh.

  • As I learned with Justin Fields and others did with Trey Lance, it’s riskier than we thought to rely on a rookie QB as your QB2. If you draft Kenny Pickett this year, for example, you should probably take three QBs.

  • In one draft, I took Patrick Mahomes in the fourth round and while there were better players to take like Cooper Kupp, it was a solid pick. The next pick off the board was Julio Jones, for example. It’s not ideal but it’s fine to be the first team to draft a QB if you’re convinced they are the best player available.

  • At RB, at least in 2021, a lot of the “optimal” best ball picks didn’t really work out with high-volume guys like Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, and Saquon Barkley not getting it done. That certainly guarantees nothing, but if I’m considering a guy like this who drops a little bit, I’ll definitely remember why they dropped. I said all summer that Barkley, despite often falling into the second round, was only in play for me if I wanted to be super-aggressive to try to win a Best Ball or high-stakes league. That’s a good approach because there’s also downside to these high-volume guys, but these guys mostly hurt fantasy players in all formats. In 2022, I’ve already drafted Javonte Williams over Dalvin Cook. Sure, Cook will get more touches if they play the same number of games, but I’m baking in 2-3 more missed games into the Cook equation as well, so it tips the scales in favor of the more reliable guy (in theory) over the high-touch guy.

  • At this point, handcuffing your RBs seems less ideal than ever. With more and more teams opting to work 2-3 RBs in their offenses, and with more specialization, murky depth charts, and lately larger practice squads, the number of strong handcuff picks is lower than ever. Looking at all 32 backfields in 2021, there are only a handful of instances where taking your RBs’ backup in the 10th round or later was a good idea. Darrel Williams for CEH in KC, Chuba Hubbard in Carolina for CMC were probably the two best examples. There were players who emerged in-season as good handcuffs, but that doesn’t help us much. D'Onta Foreman, for example, was signed by Tennessee in November. Certainly, if I take Dalvin Cook in 2022 I need to make it a point to also draft Alexander Mattison, but there are likely to be fewer than five or so instances this year where drafting a RB handcuff will be important.

  • I did very well at receiver, and I’d attribute that to several things. For one, I didn’t go in on a top TE in the first 2-3 rounds, which turned out to be a good route in 2021 and boosted my WR strength. I’m typically looking for a second-tier stud in rounds 5-7, and I took Mark Andrews in the fifth in two of my three examples. I also drafted Davante Adams in two of the three examples, so as RB-centric as I am, I still stayed disciplined and took Adams, who was both safe and loaded with upside. I did make some boring/bad picks, but that’s not what I typically do, and I also took a lot of upside-oriented guys like Jaylen Waddle, Michael Pittman, etc. By the time the summer rolled around, I was heavy into guys like Deebo Samuel, Darnell Mooney, Elijah Moore, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Ja’Marr Chase to name several, but I actually didn’t get any of them in these three drafts, which may explain why I didn’t win anything. This year, I’m focusing on these types earlier in the year, and I’m already off to a good start by drafting a ton of young guys/rookies in my first 2022 BB draft included below.

Otherwise, here’s how I’m going to get better in 2022:

  1. This is probably an exercise in futility because I’m always multitasking when I do these, but clearly, you need to pay attention in a Best Ball draft, maybe even more so than a regular draft because you can’t correct mistakes on the WW. I’d estimate my results would have been at least 15% better if I was able to focus only on the draft.
  • Ultimately, there weren’t many variations from my usual redraft Draft Plan and approach and drafting for Best Ball. One thing that I think helps is spending more time studying the upcoming rookie class for Best Ball drafts conducted before the season, which I’m doing. For example, I used my final pick on RB Demetric Felton in my first draft in February. I didn’t know enough about him at the time and thought he might play WR more and catch 25-30 balls (he did put up 18/171/2 in the passing game), but he was more of a satellite player than I thought.
  • Unless I’m extremely confident in my two QBs, I’m going to look to add a third because one injury or poor showing at QB can crush you.
  • I’m going to focus on youth and upside more than ever, especially later in the draft. I already did this with my first Best Ball draft of the year from the #8 spot. This may be a little over the top, but here’s that draft. I will review this more closely when I publish my 2022 Best Ball Draft Plan, which I will soon.

Now… for an Early 2022 Draft: February 2022

  1. Javante Williams RB1
  2. D’Andre Swift RB2
  3. Jaylen Waddle WR1
  4. Elijah Moore WR2
  5. Breece Hall (R) RB3
  6. DeVonta Smith WR3
  7. Pat Friermuth TE1
  8. Trey Lance QB1
  9. Jamison Williams (R) WR4
  10. Dameon Pierce (R) RB4
  11. Chris Olave (R) WR5
  12. Chase Edmunds RB5
  13. Kahlil Herbert RB6
  14. Daniel Jones QB2
  15. Dan Arnold TE2
  16. Miami Dolphins DST1
  17. Jimmy Garoppolo QB3
  18. John Metchie (R) WR6
  19. Washington Commanders DST2
  20. Jermar Jefferson RB7

More on this draft in the next article, but this was a great draft, but hardly perfect. My TE2 spot is weak, so I probably should have taken a third TE. I also went overboard on rookie receivers, especially with two guys coming off ACLs in Williams and Metchie.

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on ESPN.com, NFL.com, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded FantasyPoints.com.