DOMINICK PETRILLO @ENVISIONFF
With most of the Scott Fishbowl drafts in the rearview, it is time to get back to a little best ball talk. While the Scott Fishbowl is the unofficial start to the redraft season, I really hope you are not drafting in your regular leagues yet.
With this in mind let us go to some best ball targets to look for in later rounds on your Play Draft or MFL 10 teams. Some degenerates have hundreds or thousands of best ball drafts completed by now. Because of this, we have a good idea of who people are liking and where. This means we know when to reach a round for a player or who might fall a bit.
So now we take a look at a player from each position who could help you win a best ball league with some of those boom weeks. Thanking whomever you believe in that you don’t have to live through their bust weeks.
Kirk Cousins| Minnesota Vikings| QB 17 Overall 109: 2018 was a terrible first season for Kirk Cousins in Minnesota. It was so bad in fact, he only finished as the QB 13 for fantasy. After finishing the previous three seasons no worse than QB 10, this is not a significant decline.
With a new head coach and surrounding players, sometimes it takes a minute to adjust. 2019 will be the adjustment. 4,298 yards with 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions is a great season. The disappointment comes from the Vikings missing the playoffs with a record of 8-7-1. For fans, this may not be good, but for the fantasy owner, this matters far less.
If Minnesota is bad, they will throw more. If they are winning by passing the ball, Like the first half of the season? Well, then they will fire their offensive coordinator. But let’s not talk about that right now. Cousins completed over 70% of his 606 pass attempts last season to a duo of the best receivers in the NFL in Stefan Diggs and Adam Thielen. As he gets more comfortable and in turn, they get more comfortable with him the production level should rise in the great white north.
With Both Diggs and Thielen vying for a top 15 fantasy finish and Dalvin Cook finally healthy catching passes from the backfield, monster numbers could be in store for Kirk Cousins.
His attempts may go down, but his efficiency should go up from his 7.1 yards per attempt. With this increase, he will also increase his yardage numbers and in turn, his touchdown passes. Getting Kirk Cousins as quarterback 17 is a steal in best-ball drafts. You don’t have to worry about figuring out the weeks he will be great. Much like the Ron Popeil rotisserie all you need to do is, set it and forget it. In this case, just draft him and forget it.
Peyton Barber| Tampa Bay Buccaneers| RB 50 Overall 136: Peyton Barber is not good. Let’s make this clear from the jump. But he is on a high-flying offense with a coach who knows how to use running backs who can catch.
David Johnson, he is not. But with 20 receptions on 29 targets last season, he is far better than Ronald Jones Jr. Jones was a bad draft pick last season and it will become even more evident this season as Barber, not Jones takes the reigns under Bruce Arians.
In 16 games last season, Barber ran 234 times for 871 yards. The 3.7 yards per attempt average is not good but with a faster-paced offense and a more confident Jameis Winston behind center, this number could get close to 4.0 this season.
The Buccaneers are going to struggle to win games in the NFC South and this means a lot of pass work. This means Barber will be the back on the field, not Ronald Jones. He will have the opportunity to succeed it is just going to be a matter of if he can do so or not. I am betting on yes. But at RB 50, it is a bet you can be willing to lose as he will be your fourth or fifth running back, to begin with.
Just like in other formats winning in best-ball is a lot about luck. Finding that diamond in the rough. Unlike other formats, you cannot go out and find them during the season. Instead, you need to look at the opportunity and take a chance in your draft. Peyton Barber is for sure a chance. But if he pans out, he can also be a very valuable diamond in the rough.
David Moore| Seattle Seahawks| WR 83 Overall 219: D.K. Metcalf does one thing very well. He can run in a straight line. So could Forrest Gump. The question lies in if he has to change direction. If this is the case, he takes longer to turn than an oil tanker in the open ocean.
Tyler Lockett is going to be the number one in Seattle. With Doug Baldwin gone, it is his time to shine fully. But this leaves the number two slot open. And this should belong to David Moore. He already has a rapport with Russell Wilson, and he knows the offense. As the WR 83, you can also get him in close to the last round of your drafts as the ultimate flier pick.
Not even breaking the 50% threshold for receiving rate is a little concerning. 26 receptions on 53 targets are not good. But it is still more work with Wilson than Metcalf has. His 17.1 yards per catch average and five touchdowns on those catches also show the big-play potential he brings to the field while playing alongside another good receiver in Lockett. Just like with Lockett his touchdown efficient is going to fall. 20% is not realistic. But also, like Lockett, his targets and receptions will go up exponentially. His 53 targets should get into the range of 80 and If he is able to get his catch rate to even 65%, this means over 50 receptions.
This would be incredible production from a player going after pick 200 in best-ball drafts. The Seahawks offense should be at least slightly more pass-heavy this season. They couldn’t go much in the other direction. Russell Wilson got paid. They are going to show the league why. As the number two receiver, David Moore is going to be a major reason why.
Ian Thomas| Carolina Panthers| TE 27 Overall 202: Cam Newton loves to use his tight end. Coming off a surgery this offseason, he will need to more so in 2019. Whether it is to minimize his running and avoid further injury or if he matures to get rid of the ball quicker, the tight end will be crucial to his success.
Greg Olsen is getting older and his injuries are piling up. He is, at this point playing pretty much on one foot. If he finally retires before the season or if he fades away during the season, Ian Thomas will be there to pick up the pieces. Much like David Moore in Seattle, Thomas is a player, likely taken in your final round which could pay dividends this season.
At 6’3 and 260 pounds, Thomas is a huge target. So big even Newton should be able to hit him downfield. D.J. Moore is going to be great and Curtis Samuel should have a good season also but the real key to the passing game will be the tight end position. In 2018, with Greg Olsen still a part of the game plan, Thomas still compiled 36 receptions for 333 yards. If he can do this as a part-time player, the ceiling for him as the starter could be much higher. Can you say, George Kittle?
Maybe not this season but he could get close. Since coming into the league, Newton has counted on it to produce and allow him to find his receivers based off the openness of the tight end. Instead of being a third or fourth option, newton looks first to the tight end before making his progressions. This opens a lot of targets and thereby a lot of value in the position.
If Ian Thomas was the tight end from day one, he would be a top 10 draft pick at the position. Being that we don’t know when he will take over his TE 27 value is remarkable. It also means you can pair him up with an elite tight end or two and have him as the true lottery ticket to win. In Dynasty leagues he is an immediate buy. In best-ball leagues? He is going to win you a week this season. Which one? Who knows? But draft him and find out.
Of course, all of these players may not hit. Like with life you need a little luck as well. But these players provide a ton of upside potential at a minimal price. For players who will be taken as backups for your team all of them could provide season winning weeks. And whether they be the sexiest of names or not. Isn’t winning why we are all here? Sexy or not.