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2021 Fantasy Draft Results For An All-Expert, 12-Team Best Ball League: Round-By-Round Picks

2021 Fantasy Draft Results For An All-Expert, 12-Team Best Ball League: Round-By-Round Picks article feature image

The fantasy football community is at its best when it rallies around charitable causes. So, following the lead of Fantasy Cares creator Scott Fish and others, we rallied 12 analysts representing various sites across the industry for our first annual Action Charity Best Ball League.

Action will donate $1,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice at season’s end, so before we dive into their draft results, let’s first meet our participants and which charities they’ve nominated (listed in alphabetical order by first name, which you can click to skip ahead to their individual draft results):

AnalystSiteCharity Nomination
Chris RaybonActionNo Kid Hungry
Cynthia FrelundNFL NetworkDonors Choose
Evan SilvaEstablish the RunSecond Harvest Food Bank
Jamey EisenbergCBSAmerican Cancer Society
Jennifer Eakins4for4Migraine Research Foundation
Jeff RatcliffeFTNPlay Like A Girl
Mike ClayESPNJimmy V Foundation
Pat FitzmauriceThe Football GirlMichael J. Fox Foundation
Samantha PreviteActionNARAL
Scott Fish#SFB11American Heart Association
Sean KoernerActionColon Cancer Coalition

Alright, now for the results!

You’ll find all 264 picks for their 12-team, half-PPR best ball draft below. You can search and sort the first table, which features round-by-round results, or skip ahead to each analysts’ roster and to read (most of) their self grades.

Since this is a best ball league — meaning there are no waivers, no trades, no lineup setting each week — this draft was all about upside. We also started this slow draft over email on Aug. 17, so injuries and other developments impacted how well some of these picks have aged (see: J.K. Dobbins for example).

Best Ball Draft Results

Note: We drafted 22-man rosters, though only eight starters — the highest-scoring players in these positions: 1QB/2RB/3WR/1TE/1FLEX — will count toward an analyst’s point total for a given week.

1. Scott Fish, #SFB11

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1.01Christian McCaffrey, RB, CAR
2.12Justin Jefferson, WR, MIN
3.01A.J. Brown, WR, TEN
4.12T.J. Hockenson, TE, DET
5.01Mark Andrews, TE, BAL
6.12Myles Gaskin, RB, MIA
7.01Chase Edmonds, RB, ARI
8.12Ryan Tannehill, QB, TEN
9.01Justin Fields, QB, CHI
10.12Terrace Marshall, WR, CAR
11.01Ronald Jones, RB, TBB
12.12Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, DET
13.01Trey Lance, QB, SFO
14.12Dyami Brown, WR, WAS
15.01Rashod Bateman, WR, BAL
16.12Boston Scott, RB, PHI
17.01Nico Collins, WR, HOU
18.12Donald Parham, TE, LAC
19.01Byron Pringle, WR, KCC
20.12Wayne Gallman, RB, ATL
21.01Pat Freiermuth, TE, PIT
22.12Tylan Wallace, WR, BAL

Having an early pick this year has advantages, especially with the top pick. In drafting McCaffrey first, I was able to grab two great receivers after in A.J. Brown and Justin Jefferson on the next corner and worry less about my running backs for a few rounds.

I decided to turn the draft on it’s head on the 4.12/5.01 corner, taking the final two of the clear cut top-six tight ends (Andrews and Hockenson) and forced everyone else to figure it out while I had that position set for the rest of the draft.

This strategy left me strong with high upside at three positions, but unfortunately my wide receivers paid the price for that bold move. I have Brown and Jefferson and a whole lot of question marks and rookies behind them. If none of those pan out, or one of my top guys go down, I’m toast.

That glaring weakness alone makes this a C draft.

2. Ian Hartitz, PFF

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1.02Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN
2.11Keenan Allen, WR, LAC
3.02George Kittle, TE, SFO
4.11Cooper Kupp, WR, LAR
5.02Odell Beckham, WR, CLE
6.11DeVonta Smith, WR, PHI
7.02Jaylen Waddle, WR, MIA
8.11Raheem Mostert, RB, SFO
9.02Jalen Hurts, QB, PHI
10.11Henry Ruggs, WR, LVR
11.02Rondale Moore, WR, ARI
12.11Alexander Mattison, RB, MIN
13.02Nyheim Hines, RB, IND
14.11Rashaad Penny, RB, SEA
15.02James White, RB, NEP
16.11Cole Kmet, TE, CHI
17.02Zach Wilson, QB, NYJ
18.11Chuba Hubbard, RB, CAR
19.02Justin Jackson, RB, LAC
20.11Mark Ingram, RB, HOU
21.02Tutu Atwell, WR, LAR
22.11Brevin Jordan, TE, HOU

No self grade.

3. Evan Silva, Establish the Run

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1.03Tyreek Hill, WR, KCC
2.10Joe Mixon, RB, CIN
3.03Patrick Mahomes, QB, KCC
4.10Darrell Henderson, RB, LAR
5.03Adam Thielen, WR, MIN
6.10Tyler Boyd, WR, CIN
7.03Robert Tonyan, TE, GBP
8.10D.J. Chark, WR, JAC
9.03AJ Dillon, RB, GBP
10.10Tony Pollard, RB, DAL
11.03DeVante Parker, WR, MIA
12.10Emmanuel Sanders, WR, BUF
13.03Gerald Everett, TE, SEA
14.10Josh Palmer, WR, LAC
15.03Kirk Cousins, QB, MIN
16.10KJ Hamler, WR, DEN
17.03Austin Hooper, TE, CLE
18.10Quez Watkins, WR, PHI
19.03Ty Johnson, RB, NYJ
20.10Mo Alie-Cox, TE, IND
21.03Elijah Mitchell, RB, SFO
22.10Hunter Long, TE, MIA

No self grade.

4. Mike Clay, ESPN

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1.04Saquon Barkley, RB, NYG
2.09Najee Harris, RB, PIT
3.04CeeDee Lamb, WR, DAL
4.09Miles Sanders, RB, PHI
5.04Brandon Aiyuk, WR, SFO
6.09Logan Thomas, TE, WAS
7.04Laviska Shenault, WR, JAC
8.09Justin Herbert, QB, LAC
9.04Marquise Brown, WR, BAL
10.09Michael Pittman, WR, IND
11.04Dallas Goedert, TE, PHI
12.09Joe Burrow, QB, CIN
13.04David Johnson, RB, HOU
14.09Phillip Lindsay, RB, HOU
15.04Tyrell Williams, WR, DET
16.09Jamison Crowder, WR, NYJ
17.04Parris Campbell, WR, IND
18.09Deshaun Watson, QB, HOU
19.04Eric Ebron, TE, PIT
20.09Kadarius Toney, WR, NYG
21.04Jaret Patterson, RB, WAS
22.09Anthony Miller, WR, HOU

Some won’t like my first-round pick of Barkley, but I feel he’s worth the risk because of his massive upside. I went heavy on running back early — Barkley, Harris, Sanders — which then allowed me to focus on adding a ton of young, quality WR depth led by Lamb, Aiyuk and Shenault. I also really like my QB (Herbert/Burrow) and TE (Thomas/Goedert) situations.

My biggest weakness is RB depth, but that shouldn’t be a major issue if my top guys stay healthy. All in all, I think this squad can contend for a title.

5. Sean Koerner, Action

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1.05Alvin Kamara, RB, NOS
2.08Darren Waller, TE, LVR
3.05Allen Robinson, WR, CHI
4.08Chris Carson, RB, SEA
5.05Ja’Marr Chase, WR, CIN
6.08Dak Prescott, QB, DAL
7.05Kareem Hunt, RB, CLE
8.08Michael Gallup, WR, DAL
9.05Jarvis Landry, WR, CLE
10.08Zack Moss, RB, BUF
11.05Elijah Moore, WR, NYJ
12.08T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
13.05Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
14.08Anthony Firkser, TE, TEN
15.05Christian Kirk, WR, ARI
16.08Carlos Hyde, RB, JAC
17.05Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, WAS
18.08Van Jefferson, WR, LAR
19.05Hayden Hurst, TE, ATL
20.08James Washington, WR, PIT
21.05Chris Evans, RB, CIN
22.08Demarcus Robinson, WR, KCC

I’d give my draft a B. I was pleased to land Kamara fifth overall, Carson in Round 4, Elijah Moore in Round 11, and Fitzpatrick in Round 17. In hindsight, Chase might have been a reach in Round 5 and T.Y. Hilton suffered a significant injury after I selected him. But overall, I thought I ended up with a pretty solid team considering it was an expert draft.

6. Jeff Ratcliffe, FTN

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1.06Derrick Henry, RB, TEN
2.07DK Metcalf, WR, SEA
3.06Mike Evans, WR, TBB
4.07Kyle Pitts, TE, ATL
5.06Jerry Jeudy, WR, DEN
6.07Kenny Golladay, WR, NYG
7.06Damien Harris, RB, NEP
8.07Will Fuller, WR, MIA
9.06Tom Brady, QB, TBB
10.07Leonard Fournette, RB, TBB
11.06Gus Edwards, RB, BAL
12.07Jalen Reagor, WR, PHI
13.06Hunter Henry, TE, NEP
14.07Jameis Winston, QB, NOS
15.06Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, NEP
16.07Sammy Watkins, WR, BAL
17.06Justice Hill, RB, BAL
18.07Quintez Cephus, WR, DET
19.06Mac Jones, QB, NEP
20.07D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, SEA
21.06Royce Freeman, RB, CAR
22.07Breshad Perriman, WR, CHI

I’d give my draft a solid B. It’s always tough to nail a draft with so many sharp minds, but I was happy to get out aggressively at wide receiver while also landing upside at tight end in Pitts.

I also got a bit lucky scooping Gus Edwards on the cheap before J.K. Dobbins’ unfortunate injury.

7. Pat Fitzmaurice, The Football Girl

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1.07Davante Adams, WR, GBP
2.06Antonio Gibson, RB, WAS
3.07Terry McLaurin, WR, WAS
4.06Amari Cooper, WR, DAL
5.07Josh Jacobs, RB, LVR
6.06Lamar Jackson, QB, BAL
7.07Deebo Samuel, WR, SFO
8.06Mike Williams, WR, LAC
9.07Marvin Jones, WR, JAC
10.06Jamaal Williams, RB, DET
11.07Tyler Higbee, TE, LAR
12.06Evan Engram, TE, NYG
13.07Malcolm Brown, RB, MIA
14.06Randall Cobb, WR, GBP
15.07Baker Mayfield, QB, CLE
16.06Tevin Coleman, RB, NYJ
17.07Darrynton Evans, RB, TEN
18.06Jared Goff, QB, DET
19.07Dalton Schultz, TE, DAL
20.06Jerick McKinnon, RB, KCC
21.07Kylin Hill, RB, GBP
22.06Keelan Cole, WR, NYJ

It’s pretty much impossible to have an “A” draft against a field as good as this one, so I’ll give myself a B-.

My WR group is strong (as it should be when you start off by bucking the RB paradigm and drafting Davante Adams at 1.07). I was pleased to get Lamar Jackson as my quarterback in the sixth round. But I’m one RB injury away from disaster, and I visited a thrift shop to pick up my tight ends.

It’s not going to be easy to win a league this tough, but I think I have at least a puncher’s chance.

8. Jennifer Eakins, 4for4

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1.08Travis Kelce, TE, KCC
2.05Calvin Ridley, WR, ATL
3.08Robert Woods, WR, LAR
4.05Diontae Johnson, WR, PIT
5.08Mike Davis, RB, ATL
6.05Javonte Williams, RB, DEN
7.08Brandin Cooks, WR, HOU
8.05Trey Sermon, RB, SFO
9.08Darnell Mooney, WR, CHI
10.05Matthew Stafford, QB, LAR
11.08Giovani Bernard, RB, TBB
12.05Tua Tagovailoa, QB, MIA
13.08Bryan Edwards, WR, LVR
14.05Damien Williams, RB, CHI
15.08Zach Ertz, TE, PHI
16.05Albert Wilson, WR, MIA
17.08Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, CLE
18.05Carson Wentz, QB, IND
19.08Qadree Ollison, RB, FA
20.05Cameron Brate, TE, TBB
21.08Mike Strachan, WR, IND
22.05Anthony McFarland, RB, PIT

I’m actually pretty excited about this squad, considering who I am up against. I secured the top tight end in the league with my first pick, then followed it up with three straight wide receivers who have the potential to be among the 15 best for fantasy purposes.

I do need a few things to break my way in the running back department since I am banking on two rookies to take over their respective backfields, but feel like this squad is decently balanced and has the potential to emerge victoriously.

9. Cynthia Frelund, NFL Network

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1.09Austin Ekeler, RB, LAC
2.04Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KCC
3.09Josh Allen, QB, BUF
4.04D.J. Moore, WR, CAR
5.09Mike Gesicki, TE, MIA
6.04JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, PIT
7.09Corey Davis, WR, NYJ
8.04James Robinson, RB, JAC
9.09Cole Beasley, WR, BUF
10.04A.J. Green, WR, ARI
11.09Gabriel Davis, WR, BUF
12.04Nelson Agholor, WR, NEP
13.09J.D. McKissic, RB, WAS
14.04Jared Cook, TE, LAC
15.09Derek Carr, QB, LVR
16.04Adam Trautman, TE, NOS
17.09Sam Darnold, QB, CAR
18.04Dawson Knox, TE, BUF
19.09Amari Rodgers, WR, GBP
20.04Anthony Schwartz, WR, CLE
21.09Teddy Bridgewater, QB, DEN
22.04Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, SFO

I’d grade my draft at maybe a 5.9/10 (have to stay on brand using a decimal), in large part because the field is so strong and also because my WRs are deep, but not strong at the top (okay it’s a mess).

I also have a lot of exposure to the Bills, which is funny because I spent the preseason as their sideline reporter doing real-time analytics, which might seem like bias, but it’s where their value netted out … so hopefully this works out.

10. Chris Raybon, Action

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1.10Ezekiel Elliott, RB, DAL
2.03DeAndre Hopkins, WR, ARI
3.10Tyler Lockett, WR, SEA
4.03Julio Jones, WR, TEN
5.10Tee Higgins, WR, CIN
6.03Travis Etienne, RB, JAC
7.10Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
8.03Michael Carter, RB, NYJ
9.10Mecole Hardman, WR, KCC
10.03James Conner, RB, ARI
11.10Kenyan Drake, RB, LVR
12.03Rob Gronkowski, TE, TBB
13.10Sony Michel, RB, LAR
14.03Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, GBP
15.10DeSean Jackson, WR, LAR
16.03Daniel Jones, QB, NYG
17.10Darius Slayton, WR, NYG
18.03Ty’Son Williams, RB, BAL
19.10Devontae Booker, RB, NYG
20.03Tyler Conklin, TE, MIN
21.10Jermar Jefferson, RB, DET
22.03Zach Pascal, WR, IND

Pros: I was able to get a top-five RB1 in Ezekiel Elliott a few picks later than he usually goes in the first round. I was also able to build a strong WR core with DeAndre Hopkins, Tyler Lockett, Julio Jones and Tee Higgins, which I believe is the key to winning these things since WR has the most spots to fill. I also liked cornering the market best-ball specialist deep threat WRs (Marques Valdez-Scantling, DeSean Jackson, Darius Slayton). And I got a stud QB (Russell Wilson) who allowed me to only draft two rather than wasting a slot on a QB3.

Cons: I took a Hero RB approach given the value on the board at WR in Rounds 2-5, which backfired when Travis Etienne was lost for the season. I also got shut out of the stud TE market and ended up settling for Gronk. Though Tyler Conklin was a value I was able to get due to being on the clock during the time when Irv Smith Jr. was announced to likely be out for the year, I decided to cut my losses and only draft two TEs, which leaves me susceptible to injury.

Grade: C+

11. Jamey Eisenberg, CBS Sports

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1.11Aaron Jones, RB, GBP
2.02Stefon Diggs, WR, BUF
3.11David Montgomery, RB, CHI
4.02D’Andre Swift, RB, DET
5.11Chase Claypool, WR, PIT
6.02Kyler Murray, QB, ARI
7.11Michael Thomas, WR, NOS
8.02Antonio Brown, WR, TBB
9.11Jakobi Meyers, WR, NEP
10.02Irv Smith Jr., TE, MIN
11.11Marquez Callaway, WR, NOS
12.02Devin Singletary, RB, BUF
13.11Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG
14.02Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
15.11Darrel Williams, RB, KCC
16.02Tony Jones, RB, NOS
17.11Kenneth Gainwell, RB, PHI
18.02Blake Jarwin, TE, DAL
19.11Chris Herndon, TE, MIN
20.02Tyler Kroft, TE, NYJ
21.11Tyrod Taylor, QB, HOU
22.02Kylen Granson, TE, IND

No self grade.

12. Samantha Previte, Action

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1.12Nick Chubb, RB, CLE
2.01Jonathan Taylor, RB, IND
3.12J.K. Dobbins, RB, BAL
4.01Chris Godwin, WR, TBB
5.12Courtland Sutton, WR, DEN
6.01Robby Anderson, WR, CAR
7.12Aaron Rodgers, QB, GBP
8.01Noah Fant, TE, DEN
9.12Curtis Samuel, WR, WAS
10.01Melvin Gordon, RB, DEN
11.12Russell Gage, WR, ATL
12.01Jonnu Smith, TE, NEP
13.12Trevor Lawrence, QB, JAC
14.01Latavius Murray, RB, NOS
15.12Tre’Quan Smith, WR, NOS
16.01John Brown, WR, FA
17.12Salvon Ahmed, RB, MIA
18.01Tim Patrick, WR, DEN
19.12Hunter Renfrow, WR, LVR
20.01Juwan Johnson, TE, NOS
21.12Marlon Mack, RB, IND
22.01Taysom Hill, QB, NOS

The 12th pick is a tough one, especially this year. I went super robust RB in this draft and initially loved my running back corps of Nick Chubb, Jonathan Taylor and J.K. Dobbins. Obviously Dobbins wasn’t the best pick in hindsight, but injuries are unavoidable.

I like the quarterbacks I ended up with in Aaron Rodgers and Trevor Lawrence. Both have really great upside. My receivers are definitely my weakness. Chris Godwin as my top receiver isn’t an issue, but having two WR3s in Courtland Sutton and Robby Anderson is concerning. I would have been much happier with a top six tight end. Noah Fant is my TE7 so pairing him with Jonnu Smith isn’t the worst outcome.

Overall, I give my draft a B-, though the team is probably a C relative to the others without Dobbins. I definitely could have done better, but drafting against sharps doesn’t exactly lend itself to sniping value — especially when drafting after Jamey Eisenberg every round.

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