I recently participated in an NFFC Cutline Championship draft, which we Livestreamed on the site. The Cutline Championship is a 10-team, 26-round modified best-ball format with PPR scoring.
Best-ball scoring applies for the first nine weeks of the season before the league is “cut” down for the playoffs. Starting in Week 10, the best-ball format no longer applies as qualifying owners must set lineups. The field is cut down again after Week 12 before weekly cuts are applied until an overall champion is crowned and awarded $100,000 in Week 16. There are multiple ways to place and win prizes in the Cutline Championship, so take a look at the link provided for more details.
Additionally, there are three FAAB waiver runs during the regular season, contrary to typical best-ball rules. Lineups are as followed: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 R/W/T FLEX, 1 PK, 1 D/ST, and 16 bench spots.
You can view the final draft board and all future NFFC boards here.
Final roster composition: 3 QBs, 7 RBs, 8 WRs, 3 TEs, 2 Ks, 3 D/STs
Alvin Kamara (RB, NO — 1.3, third overall)
Kamara has been the third player in my own personal rankings in drafts, slightly edging out Ezekiel Elliott. I’m expecting a bounce-back campaign from Kamara, who scored just six times in 2019 after finding paydirt 31 times in his first two seasons. He never looked quite when he returned from an ankle injury he suffered in Week 6 last season, and he said he played the remainder of the season with his leg at 75%. The Saints also improved the interior of their O-line after drafting Cesar Ruiz in the first round.
Joe Mixon (RB, Cin — 2.8, 18th overall)
I was absolutely stunned when Mixon fell to me at 18th overall. I’ve yet to see him fall out of the first round in my best-ball drafts this season. My only guess is that my leaguemates are worried about a potential holdout after Dalvin Cook made some waves this week as he looks for a new deal from the Vikings. Mixon is one of the top talents at the position, and his situation is looking more promising this season with Joe Burrow in the fold and with 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams ready to give this O-line a much-needed lift. Mixon has yet to hit double-digit TDs, and he has some untapped potential in the passing game if everything comes together this season.
George Kittle (TE, SF — 3.3, 23rd overall)
I’ve yet to draft Travis Kelce or Kittle inside the top-25 picks in any of my various drafts, but this felt like the right time considering the greater urgency to find an upper-echelon TE option in a 10-team format. Kittle is an absolute beast with the ball in his hands, and he actually matched Kelce in FPG (15.9) last season. He’s got the best chances of unseating Kelce as the league’s top fantasy TE, especially if the 49ers running game and/or defense regress a bit to allow for more passing volume.
Calvin Ridley (WR, Atl — 4.8, 38th overall)
Ridley has the looks of being this year’s Chris Godwin as a talented third-year WR with an improving situation in a pass-heavy offense. Ridley has been the biggest beneficiary from the departures of Mohamed Sanu and Austin Hooper over the last year. Ridley averaged 5.7/82.2/.5 receiving per game on 8.2 targets per game in six games after the Falcons traded Sanu to New England. I’m expecting Ridley to climb into the top-36 picks by the end of the summer once the momentum starts to build for him.
D.J. Moore (WR, Car — 5.3, 43rd overall)
I have Moore rated a little below his current WR13 ADP, but I couldn’t resist scooping him after he fell a bit in our draft. I worry about Moore’s overall volume in this offense after the Panthers added Robby Anderson in the off-season, but Moore’s game is built on in-breaking routes, which suit him pretty well to Teddy Bridgewater’s conservative passing style. He scored just four touchdowns and saw only six end-zone targets last season so he’ll need to be featured more in the red-zone to unlock his full fantasy potential.
Terry McLaurin (WR, Was — 6.8, 58th overall)
I’m 2-for-2 drafting McLaurin in my Cutline Championships this summer. He came into the league in the Will Fuller category of receivers as a primary deep threat, but he showed instant acceleration after the catch on throws in the underneath and intermediate areas of the field. Unfortunately, he’s stuck in the worst pass-game environment heading into the 2020 season, playing with Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen in a run-first offense. At least he should be fed targets as the focal point of this passing attack since they don’t have a viable second receiver on their roster.
Kareem Hunt (RB, Cle — 7.3, 63rd overall)
Hunt is going to work as the change-of-pace and as the receiving back again this season, and he’s one Nick Chubb injury away from being a hammer option at the position. He brings enough standalone value to be a low-end RB2/flex most weeks, and he’s the most valuable handcuff in the league. Hunt scored 11+ FP in his first six games back from his eight-game suspension to start last year. He averaged 5.5 targets per game once he returned to the lineup last season, but his volume is likely to go down a bit with Austin Hooper in the fold and with Kevin Stefanski calling plays now.
Will Fuller (WR, Hou — 8.8, 78th overall)
Fuller has been one of my favorite receivers to target in best-ball formats if I’ve already loaded up at the position, since he’s capable of carrying a team for a couple of weeks with a couple of massive performances. He’s also likely to miss at least a few games, too, so I only take him as a true luxury pick if I typically have three other WRs already. Fuller has averaged 6.1 targets per game since he broke into the league in 2016, and he could see his looks climb into the 7-8 targets per game range this season without DeAndre Hopkins.
Carson Wentz (QB, Phi — 9.3, 83rd overall)
I might be a sucker, but I’m going to continue to draft Wentz every year until he breaks through with a monster fantasy season. He plays with an aggressive, downfield approach and he now has the speed at WR that plays to his strengths. Wentz already had a potentially elite receiving back in Miles Sanders and a pair of stud TEs at his disposal. Wentz managed to finish in the top 10 in total FP (275.9) at the position despite the Eagles being down to Robert Davis and Greg Ward as their starting WRs in the Wild Card Round last season.
Tevin Coleman (RB, SF — 10.8, 98th overall)
I’ve been completely fading Raheem Mostert in the fourth/fifth round this summer and targeting Coleman in the eighth/ninth round. The 49ers figure to have one of the best rushing attacks this season, but HC Kyle Shanahan simply does not play favorites in his backfields over the years. The 49ers thinned out their backfield by trading Matt Breida during the draft and Jerick McKinnon simply can’t be trusted to stay healthy and/or effective so Shanahan must have some faith that Coleman will put together a stronger showing in 2020 after his down campaign last season.
CeeDee Lamb (WR, Dal — 11.3, 103rd overall)
Lamb is likely to be the fourth fiddle in this offense and the third option in this passing attack, but the Cowboys should be among the elite offenses in the league. HC Mike McCarthy has heavily used 11 personnel throughout his tenure in Green Bay so Lamb should play immediately out of the slot beside Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper. Both Randall Cobb and Jason Witten vacated 83 targets each from the middle of the field from last season, and Lamb should be featured right out of the gates.
T.J. Hockenson (TE, Det — 12.8, 118th overall)
Tight ends started flying off the board in this range so I grabbed an upside option to pair with Kittle. Hockenson had a quiet rookie season like most first-year TEs, but I think he could be primed to take a big leap in his second season. The Lions are looking to use more 12 personnel with Hockenson on the field as the movement TE, which will also take Danny Amendola off the field a little more. Hockenson ran a disappointing 40.1% of his routes from the slot with Matthew Stafford last season, which ticked up to a promising 55.2% after Stafford went down for the season in the final eight contests.
Zack Moss (RB, Buf — 13.3, 123rd overall)
The Bills spent a third-round pick on a back for the second straight year, selecting Moss to replace Frank Gore as the primary early-down back in this run-heavy attack. However, Moss brings more to the table than Gore does at this stage of his career. He’s adept at breaking tackles as a runner, and he can stay on the field in passing situations as a receiver and as a pass protector. Singletary should see the most work in this backfield to start the season, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Moss holds the advantage by the middle of the season if he’s excelling out of the gates.
Preston Williams (WR, Mia — 14.8, 138th overall)
Williams was shockingly leading the Dolphins in receiving before he tore his ACL eight games into last season despite being a 2019 UDFA WR out of Colorado State. He’s on track to be ready for this season, and the Dolphins have plenty of faith in him considering they didn’t use any of their league-high draft capital on a WR. The massive perimeter receiver (6’5”, 218 pounds) led the Dolphins in target share (21%) and air yards share (31%) through the first nine weeks of the season before his injury. Williams topped both DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki in target share (21%) and air yards share (31%) through the first nine weeks of the season before his injury.
Ryan Tannehill (QB, Ten — 15.3, 143rd overall)
Tannehill played at a near flawless level last season, completing 70.3% of his passes with a 7.7% TD rate and a 9.6 YPA average. He finished as the QB9 by averaging 18.7 FPG in 12 games, but his 2019 efficiency isn’t sustainable heading into 2020. Tannehill is going to need more passing volume this season and/or big leaps from A.J. Brown, Jonnu Smith, or a third player, whom I drafted later, to maintain his QB1 standing this season.
Chase Edmonds (RB, Ari — 16.8, 158 overall)
I took a gamble taking Edmonds here thinking that I could grab Giovani Bernard later in the draft. It was a total miscalculation on my part since I should’ve known Gio would get gobbled up earlier than anticipated given Mixon’s fall to me at 18th overall. Edmonds will be the top backup to Kenyan Drake this season, who has yet to put together a complete 16-game season as a true lead back. Edmonds exploded for 150 scrimmage yards and three TDs in the only start of his career against the Giants last season.
Curtis Samuel (WR, Car — 17.3, 163rd overall)
Samuel’s fantasy fortunes have changed in just one year after being selected as a top-90 pick last season. The Panthers brought in Robby Anderson to take over as the shot-play receiver, but it could be for the best for Samuel. New OC Joe Brady will likely be more creative with how they use him to get him the rock in space to let him create big plays with the ball in his hands. He should also play more snaps in the slot this year — he saw a 28.1% slot share in 2019 — which should work to his advantage working with Teddy Bridgewater, who ranked last in air yards per attempt (6.1).
Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Car — 18.8, 178th overall)
I rolled the dice selecting Samuel in the 17th round hoping that I could grab Teddy in the next round to make a Panthers stack after taking Moore in the fifth round. Bridgewater and Gardner Minshew are running neck-and-neck as my favorite QB3s. Bridgewater has no QB competition, he has a potential top-10 receiving corps, he has the league’s hot new young offensive mind calling plays, and he’s going to throw it a ton because Carolina could have the league’s worst defense. Add it all up and it’s more than worth spending a free pick on Teddy.
New Orleans Saints (D/ST — 19.3, 183rd overall)
The Saints defense is absolutely loaded on all three levels, and it starts up front with Cameron Jordan, who has 12+ sacks in three straight seasons. They finished fifth overall in sacks (49) last season, and they should be playing from ahead most weeks with their third-best overall season win total (10.5).
Gerald Everett (TE, LAR — 20.8, 198th overall)
I’ve nabbed Everett as my third TE in both of my Cutline drafts so far. He possesses too much upside potential for his current TE28 ADP in NFFC drafts. Everett was leading these Rams TEs with 3.8/40.6/.2 receiving per game before a knee injury derailed the second half of his season and opened things up for Tyler Higbee. Everett was Sean McVay’s first-ever draft pick and he clearly has an affinity for him, and the Rams are set to use more 12 personnel than ever before. It’s not out of the question that both Higbee and Everett could finish as top-12 fantasy TEs this season.
Malcolm Brown (RB, LAR — 21.3, 203rd overall)
I’ve been targeting Cam Akers around 55-65 picks into drafts, but I’ve also been grabbing some Brown shares at the very end of drafts just in case Akers and Darrell Henderson aren’t ready for primetime. Adam Caplan told us during our Pow-wow series that Sean McVay’s offense isn’t the easiest to pick up for young players, and both Henderson and John Kelly have underwhelmed in consecutive seasons as rookies. At the very least, Brown could be a solid option in best-ball formats if he’s the goal-line back in this backfield after converting an impressive 5-of-8 carries inside the five-yard line for TDs last season.
Younghoe Koo (K, Atl — 22.8, 218th overall)
Koo got his career back on track kicking on the friendly turf of Mercedes-Benz Stadium over the final eight games of last season. He connected on 88.5% of his field goal attempts (23-of-26) in the final eight games of the year, which was good for a position-best 10.8 FPG. It doesn’t hurt that Koo will be kicking indoors 11 times this season.
Philadelphia Eagles (D/ST — 23.3, 223rd overall)
The Eagles desperately needed to upgrade their cornerback play this off-season, and they did it by trading for Darius Slay (Lions) and signing slot CB Nickell Robey-Coleman (Rams).If the Eagles get better secondary it could help their pass rush get back into the top-10 in sacks, and they benefit from the playing the Giants and the Redskins twice each.
Ka’imi Fairbairn (K, Hou — 24.8, 238th overall)
The Texans gave Fairbairn $9 million guaranteed this off-season so his job is relatively safe for a kicker, which is something I was looking for after taking Koo, who is a boom-or-bust option for the position. He attempted just 25 field goals last season after 42 tries the year before, but he owns a solid 83.7% conversion rate.
Corey Davis (WR, Ten — 25.3, 243rd overall)
I drafted Tannehill in the 15th round and, if he has a monster campaign, there’s a chance that Davis finally busted out. Davis has had a disappointing start to his career heading into his fourth season as a former top-five pick in 2017. He’s looking to have a break-out campaign just when everyone jumps off the bandwagon like DeVante Parker did last season, and he’s looking to raise his stock heading into free agency after the Titans declined his fifth-year option. Davis is an injury away from being the top WR once again in this offense, and opposing defenses will be giving A.J. Brown more attention this season.
Washington Redskins (K — 26.8, 258th overall)
The Redskins grabbed the league’s next premier pass rusher in this year’s draft in Chase Young, and Washington already had a defense that racked up the seventh-most sacks (46) last season. Unfortunately, the Redskins will be playing from behind most weeks with the league’s second-lowest win total (5.5), but the Redskins will play a ground-and-pound style to keep games close and low scoring.