Download the App Image

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):

Analyst Site Charity Nomination
Chris Raybon Action No Kid Hungry
Cynthia Frelund NFL Network Donors Choose
Evan Silva Establish the Run Second Harvest Food Bank
Ian Hartitz PFF ASPCA
Jamey Eisenberg CBS American Cancer Society
Jennifer Eakins 4for4 Migraine Research Foundation
Jeff Ratcliffe FTN Play Like A Girl
Mike Clay ESPN Jimmy V Foundation
Pat Fitzmaurice The Football Girl Michael J. Fox Foundation
Samantha Previte Action NARAL
Scott Fish #SFB11 American Heart Association
Sean Koerner Action Colon 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

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

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

No self grade.

3. Evan Silva, Establish the Run

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

No self grade.

4. Mike Clay, ESPN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No self grade.

12. Samantha Previte, Action

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

How would you rate this article?