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Best Ball Draft Plan

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Best Ball Draft Plan

Note: As we launched this new site, our first partnership of note is with the people over at BestBall10s.com and the NFFC, whom I’ve known and have worked with for over 20 years. If you’re into trying out a draft after reading this article, check these guys out.

I’ve never written up a draft plan for Best Ball, but in these times, I’m champing at the bit to get a handle on my plan of action for 2020, and before we (hopefully) get to season-long draft season, we first navigate Best Ball draft season. I haven’t drafted a ton of Best Ball teams in my life, but I did participate in five of them last year while on the air on SiriusXM, and I wound up winning three of them … I’m told that’s a very good percentage. Best Ball is more about upside than any other fantasy format, and I’ve been about upside my entire career, so that probably explains my success in 2019.

I have spent a lot of time examining the Best Ball landscape by following the excellent ADP data from our partners over a BestBall10s.com, and I have participated in three drafts there since late-March, so I had a good feel for how I want to proceed leading up to the NFL draft. But with the draft now in the books, I’ve gone back to update this plan.

We here at Fantasy Points default to consensus rankings for keeper, season, and weekly rankings; but with this article, I’m on my own. I’m sure the rest of the staff agrees with 85-90% of my picks, but this here below is my plan, not exactly the site’s plan.

Let’s get to it.

The Quarterback Plan

It’s been a while since I’ve endorsed drafting a QB early in any type of fantasy football format, and for a couple of weeks there in March and April, I saw an opening to actually draft a QB early, but that ship has already sailed with Patrick Mahomes now commanding a 2nd-round pick in a 12-team BB draft, per BestBall10s.com’s latest ADP. I had written in April that I would not take Mahomes unless he slips to the third round, and as of 5/5/20, that appears to be a pipe dream.

Mahomes does stand out to me as a league-winner, as Lamar Jackson was last year, but since he was being drafted in early May, on average, ahead of high-impact RBs like Miles Sanders and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, I can no longer endorse Mahomes. It was a fun few weeks, at least, when he was available in the 3rd round (and for the record, the rest of the staff didn’t love my Mahomes plan even in the 3rd round).

So I probably won’t take Mahomes, but a new and viable option has emerged in the first 50-60 picks of best ball drafts, and it’s Dak Prescott (53 ADP as of 5/5). Considering his embarrassment of riches at receiver after the drafting of CeeDee Lamb at 17 overall, I will consider Dak - as long as the RB talent has dried up, which is possible. Like, if Todd Gurley is the best available back, the RB talent in my mind “has dried up.”

Otherwise, I’m probably going to fade all other QBs going off the board in the top 100 overall. I’m not exactly feeling guys like Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray and Josh Allen, who all have ADPs in the double-digits. Yes, those guys all run and are good fantasy producers, but other than maybe Murray, I don’t necessarily view them as brilliant options. I may warm up to Wilson, but he’s still a little too streaky to love at his price. Watson lost his stud WR and is rolling with two major injury risks at WR in Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks. And Allen hasn’t progressed enough as a passer, so I’m not excited about those guys at their cost.

I’m more excited about some strong options who are more affordable, so if I don’t draft Mahomes, I’ll be targeting one of these guys 100-150 picks into a Best Ball draft:

  • Carson Wentz (Phi, 115 ADP) — He wasn’t a great fantasy guy last year, but he played well overall, and his WR corps can’t get any worse than it was in 2019. I’m not worried much about Jalen Hurts vulturing some TDs here and there.

  • Daniel Jones (NYG, 123 ADP) — He’s clearly capable of putting up big fantasy numbers at least occasionally, in part because he runs, and so I see no reason to believe he won’t continue to improve and ascend after a promising rookie campaign. I loved how they used their #1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft on an O-lineman.

  • Tom Brady (NE, 123 ADP) — I’m not making it a point to get Brady, but I’ll take him. I have Brady projected for 4400 yards passing and 30 total TDs, so he’s squarely inside my top-12 at the position.

  • Baker Mayfield (Cle, 131 ADP) — I’m not giving up on Baker, and in fact I’m fully behind him in 2020. His upside isn’t through the roof because he doesn’t run a lot, but 30 total TDs are within reach with so many elements crucial to his success improving in 2020, especially his OL with two new (and good) bookend tackles.

  • Ben Roethlisberger (Pit, 140 ADP) — I love Big Ben’s chances to go down as a great value this year, and anything they can get out of WR Chase Claypool, their 2nd-round pick, is a bonus.

  • Joe Burrow (Cin, 148 ADP) — I’m a major Burrow believer, and because he will add to his fantasy totals with his legs, I view him as a very solid QB2. More often than not, quality rookie QBs who run RPOs have immediate success for fantasy, in part because there’s no NFL tape on them.

  • Jimmy Garoppolo (SF, 150 ADP) — Based on his solid play last year and his affordable price, I’m high on Jimmy as a nice pick in 2020. I also talked one-on-one with HC Kyle Shanahan at the combine and came away very encouraged about Jimmy G, Deebo, and even slot receiver Trent Taylor (who Shanahan told me was their best player in camp last year).

It may not be easy for me to get two of these guys listed above, but I’m also willing to take some other players if the value is solid, like Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, and Jared Goff. The sweet spot is about 100-150, and if you can get two of the options I’ve listed, I think you’re looking good.

The other question about my QB plan for Best Ball is do I draft two or three of them? I do worry about being devastated at the position with multiple injuries, which can ruin a Best Ball team, so assuming we’re going 20 rounds, I’d prefer to take three QBs. Options I’ll be looking at 150+ picks into a draft include Sam Darnold (169), Drew Lock (168), Gardner Minshew (190), and Derek Carr (200). I also actually drafted Nick Foles (230) in the 20th round of a BB draft done on 4/4/20.

The Running Back Plan

Since fantasy players have continued to kick it old school by adding RBs early and often in drafts, my 2020 RB plan will continue to be to acquire as many strong options as possible. I usually default to getting one stud at RB and WR to open a draft, but since RBs are so valuable and tend to fly off the board (62.5% of the top-24 overall in BB were RBs as of 5/5/20, up from 58.5 before the NFL draft), and since WR is so deep, I’m perfectly willing to open a draft going RB-RB. In fact, I hope I have no choice but to.

Excluding all the top guys and consensus RB1s, here’s a short list of RBs I’ll be actively targeting for my RB2 spot from roughly 20-50 picks into a draft.

  • Miles Sanders (Phi, 15 ADP) — Uh, oh. Since I first published this article 4/20, Sanders’ ADP is up five spots and is approaching a Round 1 pick. I don’t think you’ll greatly regret taking him that early, but he’s way more appealing in Round 2. The last two BB drafts I did in early April, I got the 7th and 8th picks, which forced me to go WR because I didn’t love the RB options (took Michael Thomas and Davante Adams). Both times, I grabbed Sanders in Round 2 as my RB1. He’s also a little dangerous going off the board this early, since he plays for a coach who rarely commits to one guy, but he’s also supremely talented and commands the ball. From Weeks 9-16, Sanders averaged a healthy 19.8 opportunities a game.

  • Kenyan Drake (Ari, 18 ADP) — He’s a little risky this early, but I actually drafted him more often than not in my BB drafts last year, and while it was slow going early, he likely won me a league or two because of his explosive output once he got to Arizona. That same upside obviously exists this year, big time.

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC, 21 ADP) — I’m all-in on CEH, even at this high ADP.

  • Jonathan Taylor (Ind, 25 ADP) — He may not remain a 3rd-rounder for long, but I’ll still take him in the 2nd, shortly after CEH is off the board, and especially if I went WR in the 1st.

  • Melvin Gordon (Den, 29 ADP) — He’s a lock for 15-20 touches per week because they are apparently down on Phillip Lindsay and really down on Royce Freeman, which is why they signed Melvin. Denver’s suddenly an interesting offense with several intriguing young skill players.

  • Mark Ingram (Bal, 46 ADP) — I can’t call Ingram a must-have, especially with JK Dobbins in town, but I’ll take him. It doesn’t hurt that he thinks he can play at a high level another few years, which I wouldn’t rule out given his small-ish workload (he’s never had more than 230 carries). His ADP is down six spots since Dobbins was added, and I honestly do not like the other RBs going off the board around Ingram (D’Andre Swift, James Conner, Dobbins).

I don’t see a ton of RBs I’m into in the 50-100 range, which is a reminder why it’s important to grab as many quality backs as possible early in the draft, but there are some options I find appealing:

  • Cam Akers (LAR, 50 ADP) — I did have Darrell Henderson here on 4/20 with a palatable 70 ADP, but Henderson’s stock took a huge hit when they used their first pick (2nd round) on Akers, who is immediately the favorite to lead this team in RB touches. It could be an ugly committee, but I’d bet the cream (Akers) rises to the top and that the rookie has solid value.

  • David Montgomery (Chi, 55 ADP) — I’m usually into more exciting options, but with 17.3 opportunities a game last year and no real competition in the backfield for early-down work, Montgomery has a real chance to produce well at this cost. The Bears offense has to be better this year because it can’t get much worse than what we saw in 2019.

  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn (TB, 82 ADP since the draft) — He’s more of a workmanlike grinder than a dynamic creator, but he has good vision and untapped potential in the passing game, and he obviously landed in an ideal spot with only Ronald Jones to beat out for a huge role.

  • Kareem Hunt (Cle, 80 ADP) — He’s sketchy for sure given his off-field issues, but I’ll take my chances for a guy as talented as Hunt, even if he’s just an RB2 for his team. It’s a new staff, but he was tremendous off the bench last year from the first series he played on.

Once I’m 100 picks into a draft, I generally want four quality RBs on my team, and for my depth I’m mainly looking for some promising rookies whose ADPs could rise if they’re drafted by an ideal team. Plus, I’m looking for any viable longshots and handcuffs. The pickings are slim, but here are the players I’m highlighting outside the top 100 (per recent BB ADP in April):

  • Tarik Cohen (Chi, 116 ADP) — He’s still a good player, and David Montgomery was underwhelming last year. It seems a lot of people didn’t notice that Cohen was 3rd in RB targets and 4th in catches last year - and the offense should improve.

  • Duke Johnson (Hou, 140 ADP) — When I did Houston’s RB projections last week, Johnson really stood out to me as a great selection this late. He’s actually never run as well as he ran last year, and the only way he doesn’t deliver nicely at this ADP is if David Johnson has a revival and handles 300+ touches. That’s possible, but betting against a 28-year old (29 in December) back coming off three straight disappointing seasons is a good move, considering Duke’s low price tag.

  • Boston Scott (Phi, 137 ADP) — He averaged 5.75 catches a game the final four games of the 2019 season, and he caught 23 of 25 targets. I’ll also draft Scott Boston if he falls far enough just because.

  • Anthony McFarland (Pit, 173 ADP) — Some analysts are higher on him than others, but he has big-play ability and receiving potential, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him lead this backfield in touches, or at least to see him get 10+ opportunities a game.

  • Ryquell Armstead (Jac, 184 ADP) — I like him a lot as a good stash-and-hope option. The Jags are very high on him and he can catch the ball well and pass protect. I’ve been out on Leonard Fournette all off-season, even though he’s in a contract year, and the Jags would love to be out as well, only they’re stuck for 2020.

  • Joshua Kelley (LAC, 185 ADP) — He’s a no-nonsense north-south runner, but that projects well alongside Austin Ekeler, so if he can beat out Justin Jackson, who has availability issues, Kelley is in line for 150+ touches, making him a very sneaky late selection. HC Anthony Lynn loves him and specifically wanted him for their revised running game, which will feature more zone concepts.

  • AJ Dillon (GB, 150 ADP) — He could have zero value if he’s buried on the depth chart, but then again if Aaron Jones misses time, Dillon could easily be looking at 15+ touches, and he could play over Jamaal Williams right away with Jones picking up Williams’ work in the passing game.

  • Giovani Bernard (Cin, 286 ADP) — Unusually small role last year, but in six starts from 2017-2018, Gio was highly impactful for fantasy. And since he’s a Clyde Edwards-Helaire clone, he could very well get more love than expected with Joe Burrow locked in as the starting QB.

  • Darrynton Evans (Ten, 210 ADP) — A long-shot, but he has a lot of juice along with legit receiving ability, and he might have a decent role behind Derrick Henry, since he’s a different type of back and more versatile.

  • Damien Harris (NE, 215 ADP) — There’s talk of his role increasing this year, so he may actually get more than the 4 touches he got last year. Seriously, he’s a Sony Michel injury away from having a big opportunity.

The Wide Receiver Plan

My plan here, first and foremost, is to be smart because the ridiculous depth at this position the last few years is even more outrageous due to one of the stronger rookie WR classes we’ve seen in a while. Let’s also keep in mind that, in Best Ball drafts conducted only in early May, just 25% of the picks the first two rounds (24 overall) are WRs, so loading up on wideouts doesn’t make much sense and will likely crush you at RB.

I usually want at least one high-end option to anchor my WRs corps, so I’d usually prefer to open my drafts going RB-WR or WR-RB. The order in which I add these two stud players depends on which position I think will be the better pick in the second. Ideally, If I’m getting my RB first and then I’m targeting a guy like Julio Jones, Tyreek Hill, or Chris Godwin in the second. The most recent draft I did in April, I felt like I had to take Davante Adams in the first at #8 overall, and then the best RB in the second round was Miles Sanders. I’m willing to take Sanders that early, but I’d prefer to open a draft with a top back, and I include Joe Mixon, Nick Chubb, and Aaron Jones as worthy, and then I get a really nice WR like those mentioned above plus a few other strong options like DeAndre Hopkins, Kenny Golladay, and Odell Beckham.

It’s worth noting that I don’t see as much strength as usual with the consensus top-12 WRs, aka the WR1s, though, so I’m perfectly willing to go RB-RB to open a draft if I feel the two RBs are the best picks at the time, which they very well may be. Among the top-24 picks overall right now in Best Ball, 58% of them are RBs, so they are flying off the board. Locking in two RBs to open a draft is your best way of securing a strong RB corps, which is critical.

Basically, I’m staying flexible at WR while keeping in mind the unusual depth and the myriad solid choices available after the top-50 picks overall. In a perfect world, my ideal draft through five rounds has me taking 3 RBs and 2 WRs, for example. Here are some of the WRs I’ll be targeting in rounds 2-5 (25-60 overall) as, ideally, my WR2.

  • Kenny Golladay (Det, 27 ADP) — The only concern I have with Golladay is that it will be tough to improve his insane TD percentage from last year. The dude caught a TD pass on 10.5% of his targets, which is insane. But there’s still a ton to like about Golladay, namely a healthy Matthew Stafford.

  • DJ Moore (Car, 31 ADP) — I won’t expect many TDs, but he should fit well with Teddy Bridgewater, aka Captain Checkdown.

  • Cooper Kupp (LAR, 35 ADP) — I do like Robert Woods A LOT more, but I’m also into Kupp now that Brandin Cooks is gone.

  • Odell Beckham (Cle, 34 ADP) — With his ADP down well over a full round this year, I’m willing to buy. OBJ will likely be volatile the rest of his career, but if you catch him in a good year, there is probably a good payoff, and 2020 feels like a good year.

  • Allen Robinson (Chi, 39 ADP) — He absolutely balled out last year, only you may not realize that given the poor QB play. Nick Foles helps.

  • Adam Thielen (Min, 42 ADP) — I’m not expecting a lot of passing here, but he will get some of the vacated 6.2 targets/game left by Stefon Diggs, and 10 TDs are doable for Thielen.

  • Calvin Ridley (Atl, 47 ADP) — I didn’t quite realize how good he was looking going into 2020 until I did his projections. This dude is looking at a ton of targets here this year, so I LOVE him as a 4th or 5th round pick.

  • Robert Woods (LAR, 50 ADP) — He’s very underpriced, which won’t last too much longer (he’s up five spots just the last two weeks). I’d take him 15-20 spots higher.

Obviously, the desirable options don’t stop here, but in the 60-100 overall range, I narrowed down the options I’m into, and they are:

  • Tyler Lockett (Sea, 60 ADP) — I know he slumped late last year and can be volatile, but it looks like they will throw more this year, and his price is reasonable, especially given his ability to go off a few times a year.

  • D.J. Chark (Jac, 62 ADP) — His was also a very nice second-year arrival, and even though Laviska Shenault has been added to the mix, Chark is the guy, and this price is very appealing.

  • Terry McLaurin (Was, 63 ADP) — He was absolutely incredible as a rookie, and while his QB play is a concern, it’s also baked into this surprisingly low ADP.

  • T.Y. Hilton (Ind, 66 ADP) — I’m worried about age and injuries catching up with him, but most of my concerns are alleviated by his affordable ADP. Phil Rivers can get him the ball, for sure.

  • Jarvis Landry (Cle, 72 ADP) — I didn’t like him last year, but I was wrong. At the end of the day, he’s reliable as hell … if healthy.

  • Marquise Brown (Bal, 77 ADP) — This is a little pricey, but especially if I was looking for some juice and upside, I’d pay up. Brown’s a good bet to go nuclear three or four times in Year Two.

  • Jamison Crowder (NYJ, 95 ADP) — Here’s a guy I pushed hard last year, and he did come through, and targets should be even more plentiful this year with Robby Anderson gone. I can’t say he’s a great value, but the 8th round isn’t bad for a guy who was a surprising 16th in WR targets and catches last year. Denzel Mims is a wildcard here, but Crowder’s role in the slot is secure no matter what.

Through about nine rounds, I don’t really feel the need to own more than three wideouts, but I’d expect to have three I feel good about. So in the 100-150 range, I’m mostly drafting backup types, but eventual top-40 guys can still be found this late if you focus on upside, which most in this next group have.

  • Diontae Johnson (Pit, 103 ADP) — I loved what I saw from Johnson last year, and I cannot wait to see him with a major QB upgrade this year. He’s probably my favorite WR target on the board in 2020. I’ll take him as early as the 7th round, actually.

  • Jalen Reagor (Phi, 135 ADP) — People may be unsure of his role exactly, but the bottom line is he’s going to see the field a lot and he’ll be moved all over the place and will be a threat both horizontally and vertically. I love Reagor, who we currently have projected as the #1 rookie WR for 2020.

  • CeeDee Lamb (Dal, 100 ADP) — I think he’s a little more volatile than Jerry Jeudy, but he may also have more upside on this team in terms of his ability to post two or three huge games.

  • Mecole Hardman (KC, 101 ADP) — I spoke with HC Andy Reid about Hardman at the combine, and Reid was impressed with his ability to get on the field quickly as a rookie. There are a lot of mouths to feed, but his speed can ensure two or three big games, which makes him worth it in Best Ball.

  • Breshad Perriman (NYJ, 149 ADP) — I seem to be higher on Perriman than everyone else this year, but after struggling with drops and mental lapses earlier in his career, Perriman turned it around in 2019, dropping just one pass on 69 targets. Targets won’t be a problem for Perriman with Robby Anderson and Demaryius Thomas departing and opening up 154 looks from last year (9.6 per game), and I’m not yet sold that Denzel Mims can make a big impact in year one. Perriman’s ADP is down 10+ spots since the selection of Mims.

  • Anthony Miller (Chi, 133 ADP) — Miller has definitely shown enough in two seasons to merit a flyer in the 12th round. There’s a large need for someone to step up in the passing game with Allen Robinson, and Miller is the obvious choice. Nick Foles is a lot more accurate than Mitchell Trubiskiy, and Foles usually does well targeting inside receivers.

  • Henry Ruggs (LV, 128 ADP) — It’s Best Ball, so it’s all about upside, and at this low price, I don’t care if Ruggs has a Marquise Brown-type season, with 2-3 big games and not much else.

  • Justin Jefferson (Min, 133 ADP) — He’s not elite at anything, but he’s very good at everything and, as expected, he was drafted in the first round by a WR-needy team. I don’t actually love the spot in Minnesota, but he will start right away and should get targets immediately, so I’ll buy at this affordable price.

And finally, the final six or seven rounds in Best Ball should be all about upside for the WRs, or mostly about upside. Here are the players who stand out to me as having that desirable ceiling.

  • Michael Pittman (Ind, 168 ADP) — I don’t think he’s the best receiver in this class, but he’s my favorite receiver in this class, which is exactly how I felt about Deebo Samuel last year. Part of the reason I love him is that people are sleeping on him a little like Deebo last year, as evidenced by Pittman’s pre-draft 20th round ADP. He’s moved up 60 spots, which is a lot, but I’ll still take him 10 times out of 10 in the 14th round.

  • Desean Jackson (Phi, 156 ADP) — You can’t truly count on him, but he’s an ideal BB pick because of his ability to go HAM any given week. He played essentially one game last year, and scored twice.

  • Brandon Aiyuk (SF, 178 ADP) — He’s a little redundant with Deebo, but he’s a #1 pick in a great offense and they did need more help at WR. He’s a better deep threat than Deebo, too.

  • Antonio Gandy-Golden (Was, 235 ADP) — He may need some time to develop, but there’s a huge need for his services here, and he may be able to get by on physical attributes alone as a rookie. Regardless, his upside vs. his cost is very appealing.

  • Bryan Edwards (Oak, 237 ADP) — He’s a very solid prospect and should be set as their top outside receiver if Tyrell Williams has any issues, so he’s very much worth a shot this late.

  • Hunter Renfrow (LV, 160 ADP) — I love Renfrow in general, and he’s penciled into a large role as their slot guy. His upside took a hit with three offensive weapons added in the draft, including former WR Lynn Bowden, who will play RB. But Renfrow’s ADP is also down 20 spots since the draft, so he’s still viable.

  • Parris Campbell (Ind, 195 ADP) — He’s very talented and there’s a big need at the position in Indy, even with Michael Pittman added, so I will target him the final five rounds of every BB draft I do.

  • Josh Reynolds (LAR, 215 ADP) — Don’t forget about this talented guy with Brandin Cooks now gone. He may not see the field a ton, as they go with a lot of 2-TE sets, but he will be a big factor for sure, and if there’s an injury, his value could skyrocket. The addition of Van Jefferson does hurt his floor, though.

  • Russell Gage (Atl, 228 ADP) — He’s actually a bargain considering the likelihood that he sees 100+ targets. From Week 8 on last year, he averaged a robust 7.3 targets/game. Over 16 games that’s 117 targets, and at his 2019 66% catch rate, that’s 77 grabs this year. We have him projected for 62.

  • Miles Boykin (Bal, 235 ADP) — Viable breakout guy in his second season, though the Ravens did draft Devin Duvernay and James Proche.

  • KJ Hamler (Den, 236 ADP) — Great kid and he can run like DeSean Jackson, which is whom he compared himself to when I talked with him at the combine.

  • Trent Taylor (SF, 240 ADP) — We’ll see where he is this summer, but in February at the NFL Combine, his HC Kyle Shanahan told me Taylor was their best player in camp last summer before he got hurt.

The Tight End Plan

As I mentioned in my Lessons Learned article here on the site, paying up for a top TE wasn’t a bad move on the surface, since the consensus top-3 guys, Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Zach Ertz, all finished as top-5 producers. But Kelce out-scored the TE7 in PP/G (Evan Engram) by just +2.2 fantasy points per game. Compare that to the WR1 vs. the WR7 (+6.5), the QB1 vs. the QB7 (+7.3), or the RB1 vs. the RB7 (+10.7), and drafting the top TE doesn’t seem as appealing — especially since you’re going to pass on some outstanding RB options to get a Kelce, Kittle, or (to a lesser extent) Ertz.

I was not targeting any of those studs last year and preferred to focus on the second tier guys like Engram, Hunter Henry, OJ Howard, and Jared Cook. But as you likely know, their overall results were poor. Of the consensus top-12 TEs last year, all 12 ADPs were in the range of 15-100 overall. But in terms of the actual finishes in 2019, only five of the top-12 producers had an ADP of less than 100, so 58% of the top-12 producers were available 100+ picks in. I looked back at the previous 3-4 seasons, and each year 4-6 of the top-12 producers were typically available 100+ picks into a draft.

So, since I want at least 1-2 high-end WRs and as many strong RB options as possible, I’m planning on fading all the TEs with top-100 ADPs (other than maybe Henry, whose ADP is down to 88 now). I actually did that last year in my #1 league (the ACI from my SXM radio show) when I grabbed my preseason pick for breakout TE of the year, Mark Andrews, as my TE1 with the 138th pick of the draft.

It’s certainly not easy to nail down a great value at TE in every draft, but you seriously increase your chances if you draft two or more strong breakout candidates in a season-long draft. In a Best Ball draft, you’d be wise to draft three, which obviously improves your chances of hitting on a great value. And I think you can withstand making three TE picks because you’re not addressing the position until you’re 100+ picks into the draft. Luckily, there are a plethora of candidates this year, which cements my 2020 TE strategy (for now, we’ll see about August).

Here are my favorite TE targets for 2020 and their Best Ball ADPs as of early May:

  • Hunter Henry (LAC, 88 ADP) — I’m concerned about his QB situation, but I can’t quit Henry, especially with him now landing as an 8th round pick as of 5/5. At that point, Henry’s upside isn’t easy to pass up.

  • Hayden Hurst (Atl, 133 ADP) — Austin Hooper was a fantasy stud in this offense before getting injured, and I actually think Hurst is a little more talented. He’s 27 years old, so he’s not exactly ascending, but he’s still in his prime and his game is improving for sure. I love Hurst as a BB pick in the 11th or 12th round.

  • Mike Gesicki (Mia, 113 ADP) — He saw a promising 7.1 targets a game from Week 9 on in 2019, and he stands out as possibly this year’s Mark Andrews.

  • T.J. Hockenson (Det, 121 ADP) - I’m still 100% convinced this guy is going to be a stud, and with a year under his belt and his starting QB returning, I’m expecting a significant jump.

  • Jack Doyle (Ind, 135 ADP) — He’s as unsexy of a pick as possible, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Doyle, who is usually Mr. Reliable. Philip Rivers will appreciate and use him often just like Andrew Luck did.

  • Blake Jarwin (Dal, 145 ADP) — He’s been intriguing since 2018, and now he’s the guy with Jason Witten gone. Granted, they added a stud WR in CeeDee Lamb, which hurts Jarwin’s PPR upside, but I would not be surprised if he scored 6 or so TDs this year, as Dak Prescott leans on him at times in the middle of the field. This is a guy who dropped 7/119/3 on 8 targets playing with Dak Week 17 of 2018.

  • Eric Ebron (Pit, 160 ADP) - He’s volatile and TD-dependent, but they have been dying for an athletic TE in Pittsburgh for years. If things click, he could easily score 7-8 TDs playing with a good QB in Big Ben.

  • Chris Herndon (NYJ, 170 ADP) -- Adam Gase may ruin him like he ruins everyone, but they are still quite high on Herndon. I actually asked Gase about him at the 2019 combine and he called him a “unicorn,” which I think is a compliment.

  • Dawson Knox (Buf, 190 ADP) - The Bills absolutely love him, which I can see because he’s very athletic and is one of the most likeable guys you’ll find in the league. We can’t expect a blowup on this team with a shaky QB and three quality wideouts, but I’ll take my chances on a talent whose team is high on him this late.

  • Jace Sternberger (GB, 191 ADP) — Of all the rookie TEs I’ve interviewed at the combine, and there have been many, my favorites are Travis Kelce, Hurst, Knox, and this guy. I saw a lot of Kelce in his game, and right now he’s poised to be the guy for the Packers. He’s my favorite TE2 with upside, for sure.

The Team Defense Plan

I don’t have much here, but I will say that I’ve already drafted the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Best Ball draft, and I think so highly of them that I didn’t even grab a backup. I loved the Steeler defense last year, actually, and I had them as the #2 DST on my board, and they were #2 in 2019. I feel the same away this year about the Baltimore Ravens.

Otherwise, I’d plan to draft two defenses in Best Ball, and my favorite cheap options to target this year include Tampa Bay Buccaneers (DST10), New Orleans Saints (DST6), Kansas City Chiefs (DST8), and Chicago Bears (DST7).

John Hansen is the majority owner of FantasyPoints.com and can be heard every weekday morning from 7-9 AM ET on SiriusXM’s Fantasy Sports Radio.

As we launch this new site, our first partnership of note is with the people over at BestBall10s.com, whom I’ve known and have worked with for over 20 years. If you’re into trying out a draft after reading this article, check these guys out.

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.

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