There are so many ways to enjoy fantasy football. Eight years ago, I jumped into my first Best Ball Draft and fell in love with the format. Draft over the summer and relax until December to examine the final standings.
While I like redraft leagues with waiver wire moves and starting lineup decisions, it can be a burden managing over 10 leagues. One year I learned the lesson the hard way by managing over 20 fantasy teams. With a family and full-time work, the weekly grind took a toll, and I now limit myself to 8-10 teams, which is fun and doable each season.
Yet, I still love to draft a fantasy team. How do I scratch the itch? I have a yearly Best Ball budget and jump into drafts every week in July and August during the summer. It is the perfect way to enjoy my favorite pastime. You can do the same right in the Fantrax Best Ball Game Lobby. Colin McTamany also has your back with his 2023 Best Ball Rankings!
About Our Best Ball Mock Draft
In order to assist Fantrax readers, I asked five Fantrax writers and six fantasy fanatics to partake in a draft. My Fantrax teammates also provided analysis afterward. Each writer provided answers to three questions, and the draft board is provided at the bottom of this article to identify values and sleepers in drafts.
Fantrax Best Ball Team:
Bill Brennan, @WPeeB
David L. Funnell, @sportz_nutt51
Noah Green, @Noah_FF_Green
Joe Goodwin, @JGoody77
Ronnie Allen Evans, @RonnieAEvans
Ryan Kirksey, @CableBoxScore
Brandon Lepper, @Lepp_o
John Laub, @GridironSchol91
Colin McTamany, @Colin_McT
Cliff Williams, @CliffWilliams_
Best Ball Scoring:
Starting Lineup: 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE and 1 Flex
6-points passing, rushing and receiving TDs
1-pt PPR scoring
Best Ball Draft Results
You can move through the 20 rounds of this best ball draft by using the NEXT and PREVIOUS links at the bottom of the table. Also, make sure to check out the analysis following the results for more ideas on Best Ball Draft Strategy.
|1||2||2||Ja'Marr Chase||WR||CIN||Gridiron Scholars|
|1||4||4||Travis Kelce||TE||KC||Worst Ball|
|2||2||14||Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR||DET||Tootsiepop6|
|2||9||21||Garrett Wilson||WR||NYJ||Worst Ball|
|2||11||23||Nick Chubb||RB||CLE||Gridiron Scholars|
|3||2||26||Rhamondre Stevenson||RB||NE||Gridiron Scholars|
|3||4||28||Breece Hall||RB||NYJ||Worst Ball|
|3||11||35||Kenneth Walker III||RB||SEA||Tootsiepop6|
|4||9||45||T.J. Hockenson||TE||MIN||Worst Ball|
|4||11||47||Dak Prescott||QB||DAL||Gridiron Scholars|
|5||2||50||Kyle Pitts||TE||ATL||Gridiron Scholars|
|5||4||52||Calvin Ridley||WR||JAX||Worst Ball|
|6||9||69||Isiah Pacheco||RB||KC||Worst Ball|
|6||11||71||Rachaad White||RB||TB||Gridiron Scholars|
|7||2||74||Christian Watson||WR||GB||Gridiron Scholars|
|7||4||76||Brandon Aiyuk||WR||SF||Worst Ball|
|8||9||93||Khalil Herbert||RB||CHI||Worst Ball|
|8||11||95||Jared Goff||QB||DET||Gridiron Scholars|
|9||2||98||Gabriel Davis||WR||BUF||Gridiron Scholars|
|9||4||100||Aaron Rodgers||QB||NYJ||Worst Ball|
|10||9||117||Jameson Williams||WR||DET||Worst Ball|
|10||10||118||Brian Robinson Jr.||RB||WAS||Davey_Lou|
|10||11||119||Antonio Gibson||RB||WAS||Gridiron Scholars|
|11||2||122||Devon Achane||RB||MIA||Gridiron Scholars|
|11||4||124||Kyler Murray||QB||ARI||Worst Ball|
|12||9||141||Odell Beckham||WR||BAL||Worst Ball|
|12||11||143||Rashid Shaheed||WR||NO||Gridiron Scholars|
|13||2||146||Isaiah Hodgins||WR||NYG||Gridiron Scholars|
|13||4||148||Elijah Moore||WR||CLE||Worst Ball|
|14||9||165||Skyy Moore||WR||KC||Worst Ball|
|14||11||167||Roschon Johnson||RB||CHI||Gridiron Scholars|
|15||2||170||Michael Gallup||WR||DAL||Gridiron Scholars|
|15||4||172||Tyjae Spears||RB||TEN||Worst Ball|
|16||9||189||Ryan Tannehill||QB||TEN||Worst Ball|
|16||11||191||Irv Smith||TE||CIN||Gridiron Scholars|
|17||2||194||Jelani Woods||TE||IND||Gridiron Scholars|
|17||4||196||Josh Downs||WR||IND||Worst Ball|
|18||9||213||Marvin Mims||WR||DEN||Worst Ball|
|18||11||215||Chase Brown||RB||CIN||Gridiron Scholars|
|19||2||218||Terrace Marshall||WR||CAR||Gridiron Scholars|
|19||4||220||Ty Chandler||RB||MIN||Worst Ball|
|19||9||225||John Metchie III||WR||HOU||stl_cliff|
|20||7||235||Pierre Strong Jr.||RB||NE||NoahFFGreen|
|20||9||237||Taysom Hill||QB||NO||Worst Ball|
|20||11||239||Eric Gray||RB||NYG||Gridiron Scholars|
Best Ball Analysis
1. Who is your favorite Best Ball Sleeper after the 10th round?
David L. Funnell – WR Michael Thomas, Saints
He is a big-name athlete who has produced in the past. Unfortunately for him, the injuries have derailed his career, causing the Saints’ receiver to miss more games than he’s played since the end of the 2019 season. If he can remain healthy, Thomas has a chance to get back to form alongside Chris Olave. Furthermore, he was my WR No. 4 at the time, so the risk isn’t as big as the potential reward.
Joe Goodwin – WR, Zay Flowers, Ravens
In looking at our draft board, a few sleepers really stood out to me. Trey Lance in the thirteenth, Elijah Moore in the thirteenth, and Chase Claypool in the fifteenth, were all great value. However, the one sleeper that really caught my eye after the tenth round was Zay Flowers in the eleventh.
All signs point to Flowers being a huge contributor in year one for the Ravens. Lamar Jackson and Flowers will need to develop a repertoire, but it is not ridiculous to think that Flowers can post a 75-catch, 900-yard, and six-touchdown season. With those numbers, Flowers will score over 200 fantasy points and average 12 points a game. In the eleventh round, a double-digit scorer is great to have on a roster.
Ryan Kirksey – WR Jalin Hyatt, Giants
The Tennessee speedster went at the beginning of the sixteenth round in our draft and is someone I waited one round too long to try and stack him with Daniel Jones. Coming to the New York Giants, Hyatt enters a team that is begging for someone to step up as an alpha wide receiver, and the blazing rookie may be that man.
Once future NFL receivers Josh Palmer and Velus Jones weren’t on the team to block his way on the depth chart, Hyatt exploded onto the scene with 67 receptions for 1,267 receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns in just 12 games. He consistently torched some of the best defensive competition in the country and caught almost 74% of his balls in his junior year.
All of Isaiah Hodgins, Darius Slayton, and Richie James had their moments in 2022. But in the end, those are just secondary guys. Hyatt has the speed, the extension, and the nose for the end zone that could turn him into a star at some point in 2023.
John Laub – RB Devon Achane, Dolphins
Before the NFL Draft, I did not wax poetically in regard to Achane’s fantasy potential. Nevertheless, I am always willing to change my opinion when the facts presented highlight a different conclusion. I cannot ignore the landing spot, offensive scheme, and depth chart in Miami.
The former Texas A&M product is better than all of the ball carriers in a Dolphins’ uniform. Despite not surpassing the 200-pound threshold and having a small frame, I will make the bet that Achane succeeds with limited touches and high efficiency in a Best Ball draft.
Colin McTamany – RB Damien Harris, Bills
In this draft specifically, I was thrilled to land Damien Harris in the tenth round. After waiting to draft running backs, and Alvin Kamara with a looming suspension being one of them, Harris could pay off in a big way.
Just two seasons ago, the former Patriot tied for second in the league with 15 rushing touchdowns. Of those, 13 of them were from within 20 yards out, 11 from within 10 yards, and nine within five yards of the goal line.
Josh Allen led all Buffalo Bills in red zone rush attempts last season. He’s also tied for ninth in the league with rush attempts inside the five-yard line last year, as well. Damien Harris is coming to Buffalo to take the majority of that role away from Allen to better protect him. If so, Harris has potential to be a top-20 back making him a great upside on a high-scoring offense.
Cliff Williams – WR Jaylen Reed, Packers
The Packers have Christian Watson and then it gets iffy. I selected a starting wide receiver in the thirteenth round. As far as Best Ball sleepers go, I think there will be a few weeks he has a shot at being my WR No. 3.
2. Preferred Stack in a Best Ball Draft (QB/WR/WR/TE)
David L. Funnell – Gridiron Scholars
I really like the first five rounds here. Ja’Marr Chase as the first pick gives elite stability at the WR position. Back-to-back picks of Nick Chubb and Rhamondre Stevenson give a fantastic 1-2 punch for running back production with stable playing time. Dak Prescott always puts up great numbers due to his surroundings in Dallas, and Kyle Pitts has the potential to break out, regardless of who is at QB in Atlanta. Fantastic start to a draft.
Joe Goodwin – QB Jalen Hurts, WR AJ Brown and TE Dallas Goedert, Eagles
The Eagles’ offense was a juggernaut last year. They were #1 in touchdowns per game (3.6); #2 in the NFL in points per game (29.1); #3 in yards per game (385.8); and #3 in Red Zone Conversion (47.6%). Simply put, the Eagles know how to move the ball and score touchdowns. That is a recipe for fantasy football gold.
The statistics don’t lie:
- Hurts was a Top 5 quarterback in 10 of 15 games played and only missed the Top 12 twice.
- Brown was a Top 12 wide receiver in 6 of 17 games played and Top 24 in 11 of 17 games.
- Goedert was a Top 12 tight end in 7 of 12 weeks he played in the regular season.
The trio of Hurts, Brown, and Goedert is an amazing one in just about any fantasy format, but especially in a Best Ball Draft. They are a Best Ball stack every manager should try to roster for the best chance at winning.
Ryan Kirksey – QB Justin Fields, WR D.J. Moore, and TE Cole Kmet, Bears
When thinking about the top stacks in a Best Ball format, it’s easy to think, “Well, the Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert stack is the best. Or the Mahomes-Kelce-Toney stacks will reach the summit–the jury’s still out on Toney. Chances are, fantasy diehards aren’t getting Hurts and Brown or Mahomes and Kelce on the same team. Football diehards must think about what stack is attainable based on ADP.
One of my favorite attainable stacks is the one I just missed in this draft. After grabbing Justin Fields, I just missed on D.J. Moore who went six picks before I drafted again. I pivoted to Darnell Mooney in the eleventh and nabbed Cole Kmet in the tenth.
The Fields-Moore-Kmet trio is the one fantasy mavericks truly want. The Bears trio has the potential to be absolutely explosive this year if Fields takes a step or two forward as a passer. Best Ball players get all of Fields’ rushing ability plus the production from his two top targets in the passing game, without the headache of deciphering the Chicago’ running backs.
Another stack I find myself gravitating toward is Jared Goff, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Sam Le Porta from the Detroit Lions. That stack is very affordable in drafts with St. Brown the only player going in the top eight rounds. For slightly more draft capital, the Deshaun Watson, Amari Cooper, and David Njoku stack should be quite enticing this year assuming Watson remembers that he used to be one of the best quarterbacks alive.
John Laub – QB Geno Smith, WR D.J. Metcalf, and WR Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
I will kickoff every Best Ball draft this year hoping to secure the Seahawks’ dynamic trio. Seattle plays in the NFC West and the Rams and Cardinals are no longer a threat: The Seahawks should be favored in all four divisional matchups.
Metcalf is the first player to target with a third-round ADP and his pass-catching teammate, Lockett, is available in the eighth and ninth rounds of drafts. Of course, Smith is still wildly underrated with an ADP in double-digit rounds. Also, it is easy to acquire ancillary pieces with either WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba and TE Noah Fant in the passing game.
Colin McTamany – QB Deshaun Watson and WR Amari Cooper, Browns
If @Leppy171 was able to land Tua Tagovailoa, after drafting Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, then this league could’ve had a major problem on our hands. He falls just one pick shy of doing so in the fourth round.
There aren’t a ton of stacks amongst this league’s 12 drafted teams, but Brandon Lepper’s (@Lepp_o) combination of Deshaun Watson and Amari Cooper sticks out. With a heavy financial investment into Watson and a full off-season of him taking snaps as the starter, I expect a pass-heavy approach from the 2023 offense.
Last season, Cooper commanded a 26% target share in the Browns’ passing game. Assuming there are more pass attempts this season, Cooper has a shot to maintain that value or even see an uptick. The team did bring in Elijah Moore via trade and draft Cedric Tillman. However, waiving Cooper next off-season saves the Browns $20 million, so I think he sees a ton of volume in his (likely) last season with the team. This team gets to benefit from a frequent and fantastic connection between Cooper and Waton.
Cliff Williams – QB Justin Fields, WR D.J. Moore, and TE Cole Kmet, Bears
The best pure stack with QB/WR/TE on the same team would be Fields, Money and Kmet drafted by @cableboxscore. My favorite combination though is Stylinprofilin’s with Trevor Lawrence, Cooper Kupp and Mark Andrews.
Twitterverse on Fire!
In Best Ball leagues, identify your preferred under-the-radar offensive passing game stack to target (QB/WR/WR/TE) at current ADP
- Seattle Seahawks: 23%
- Chicago Bears: 15%
- Miami Dolphins: 46%
- Cleveland Browns: 16%
“Tua Tagovailoa is a gift at his current ADP. You are getting a huge discount for his injury concerns.” @DmicMedia
“Dolphins can’t be under radar after last season. So I’m going with Browns—WR Amari Cooper, WR Elijah Moore, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR Cedric Tillman and TE David Njoku plus Jerome Ford in the passing game! Browns could surprise people.” @NinoBrown_T2T
“Don’t sleep on the Browns! Deshaun Watson, Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore and David Njoku could make a mess.” @Adam_Orrico
3. Who is your favorite value pick from another team?
David L. Funnell – QB Baker Mayfield, Buccaneers
Taken in the seventeenth round, Mayfield will get a chance to start in Tampa Bay. With minimal competition and weapons like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, he has a chance to put up big numbers for the Buccaneers. All that’s needed is his health.
Ryan Kirksey – WR Marvin Mims, Broncos
Another rookie wide receiver I am high on this offseason is Marvin Mims. He was selected with the ninth pick in the eighteenth round, and there are many scenarios where he can provide a huge return on the investment at that slot. Just simple positive regression from Russell Wilson (not to mention a Sean Payton system) should improve the Broncos’ abysmal passing game from last year.
The team has also sent smoke signals (drafting Mims in the second round is one of them) that they are not high on Courtland Sutton. They can get out of his deal after this upcoming season and turn the reins over to Mims and Jerry Jeudy. In order to do that, they need to showcase Mims to see what he’s got at the NFL level.
Neither Tim Patrick nor K.J. Hamler has been the paragon of health the past couple of seasons so Mims could face little resistance from those two. In the offensive track race that is the AFC West, fantasy owners need their best horses on the field, and Mims has the ability to rise above his competition.
Joe Goodwin – QB Daniel Jones, Giants
@CableBoxScore, who in the eighth round, took Daniel Jones. Daniel Jones is an ideal Best Ball quarterback. Jones may not be a consistent fantasy producer, but that’s not necessary in Best Ball anyway. In using our scoring system applied to last year, Daniel Jones had four games over 25 points.
I love a player that puts up big numbers; even if it’s only a handful of times during the season. With the Giants adding Jalin Hyatt through the draft, signing Parris Campbell and Isaiah Hodgins through free agency, and trading for Darren Waller, the Giants passing attack should be much improved for the 2023 season. I can see Daniel Jones going over 25 fantasy points 6-to-8 times this year with his running ability and improved passing game.
John Laub – TE Chigoziem Okonkwo, Titans
In the eleventh round, I am seeking players who have performed well at times when given the opportunity with high ceilings in any week. Okonkwo fits my criteria perfectly as a No. 2 TE in Best Ball.
As a rookie last year, the Titans’ rising star corralled 32 passes for 450 yards and three touchdowns. In four games, he produced double-digit points, including a season-best 18.5 fantasy points against Jacksonville.
Amazingly, he did not record a single reception or fantasy point in four of the first six games in the 2022 season. He steadily saw more and more playing time and opportunities in the second half of the season. I had placed Okonkwo in my queue, and he was going to be my next selection but was taken off the board before I could make my pick.
Colin McTamany – WR Rashee Rice, Chiefs
Selecting a rookie wide receiver is usually a hopeful low-risk, high-reward dart throw fantasy coaches hope pay off. Getting Rashee Rice in the sixteenth round of a 12-team Best Ball draft feels more like a screaming bargain.
Rice is one of the large rookies of the 2023 draft class standing 6’1” and weighing in just over 200- pounds. He already has the size advantage over new teammates Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney. Rice also has second-round draft capital, which means he could be on the field sooner than later and in meaningful moments.
Rice’s last season at SMU yielded a 96-catch season for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns. Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman leave behind 135 of 300 wide receiver targets from Kansas City’s 2022 offense. Rice has a massive opportunity in front of him catching passes from Patrick Mahomes in a top-tier offense with plenty of targets to go around. I thought @Leppy171 nailed this pick.
Cliff Williams – RB Samaje Perine, Denver
Getting Perine in the ninth round was a steal for Colin. With Javonte Williams still recovering from tearing his ACL, LCL, and PCL, he may not be back for Week 1. Even when he does come back I am sure his snaps will be monitored leaving Perine the No. 1 back or in a 50/50 split.
What strategy did you use in building your best ball roster?
The scoring system is very conducive to quarterbacks in this Best Ball league. There are no deductions for interceptions, passing touchdowns are six points, and the points for yardage are conducive to quarterbacks. I also wanted to make sure I had an elite backup quarterback to ensure I was maximizing my point production by the position each week. Being able to pair Joe Burrow with Justin Herbert to anchor my team was an ideal scenario.
I wanted to load up on receivers after that, but the board just didn’t provide a lot of value at the position; 15 wide receivers had been taken before I drafted in the third round. So, I shifted gears and decided to draft solid point producers at running back; locking up the Green Bay backfield (Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon) to complement my first pick, Jonathan Taylor.
At receiver, I decided to maximize my Best Ball team by taking a lot of players that have the potential to put up big points but not necessarily be consistent each week. In taking Diontae Johnson, Christian Kirk, Brandin Cooks, KJ Osborn, Robert Woods, and Tyler Boyd, I believe I can count on three to pop each week.
In finalizing my team, I took strategic rookies that could be solid point producers if given a chance. That included: Jalin Hyatt, Dalton Kincaid, Sam LaPorta, CJ Stroud, and DeWayne McBride.
In Best Ball, I don’t play to be in the top 5. I like to take big swings, and if they pan out, the team will be a leader most weeks and a league winner. If those swings end up missing, I’m ok with that. At least we stepped into the box and played the game. The Best Ball format rewards the manager that takes risks to win it all and punishes them if they are wrong. Either way, it’s fun to be creative and shoot for the stars.
In 34 years of playing fantasy football, I have come to the conclusion that there are many different avenues to success and winning a championship ring. Whenever drafting, I have a strategy to implement. Yet, I am flexible enough to change as the draft progresses.
In this Best Ball draft, I hoped to open with a WR and back-to-back RBs in my first three picks…Mission Accomplished. Afterward, I had to pivot and acquire a quarterback much earlier than I normally would like. But eight signal callers came off the board by the end of the fourth round. Dak Prescott was the only Top 8 remaining in my rankings, and I did not want to miss out on a quality starter.
At tight end, I loathe being at the end of a position run and decided to ignite one instead, selecting Kyle Pitts, who is my fourth-ranked TE in 2023. Afterward, I sought value, and it became clear to me that projected high-end pass-catchers in the backfield were falling. I grabbed Rachaad White, Antonio Gibson, and Devon Achane, who all could catch over 50 passes in 2023.
Despite drafting Ja’Marr Chase in the first round, my weakest position is wide receiver. I targeted volatile home run hitters, who have a wide range of outcomes in any given outing. Christian Watson, Gabe Davis, Rashid Shaheed, Isaiah Hodgkin, and Michael Gallup are all capable of scoring 4.5 or 20.5 fantasy points. In Best Ball, I draft players with high ceilings, and I like how my roster came together.
Typically in Best Ball drafts, quarterbacks are flying off of the board early. On average, they score the most points in fantasy football so locking down an elite option is usually a priority for me. In this draft, it took five rounds before the 10 quarterbacks were taken. I was also one of two managers to double up with two of those 10. Every league is different. There’s little to no rules managers must follow when drafting. Have a strategy, try your best to stick to it, and be flexible.
Not only is Jalen Hurts the quarterback of my favorite team, but I have him ranked as the QB No. 1 in my Best Ball rankings. Pairing him with Lamar Jackson is perfect because they both provide a ton of rushing upside and my running back selections are shaky.
I waited a bit too long to draft tight ends, but they are a crapshoot beyond the top options anyway. Prioritizing elite wide receivers and crucial running back depth is more important to this team.
I thought this was not going to be an easy draft going up against some of the best from Fantrax. I was right. Going in and picking ninth I thought I would have a chance at a Kelse/Mahomes or a Brown/Hurts mini stack but by the seventh pick, I knew there were no decent stacks to be had. I still feel pretty good about getting Mahomes and AJ Brown to start my draft with.