Koerner’s Best Ball Draft Picks & Strategy From Action’s Industry Mock
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ezekiel Elliott
Sean Koerner takes a deeper look at his picks from the 12-team, full-PPR best ball mock draft Action hosted with analysts from across the fantasy football industry.
Here’s a quick look at the overall draft followed by Koerner’s in-depth analysis of his 18 picks.
Koerner’s Best Ball Draft Picks
Overall, I was delighted with how my draft went.
I was able to target what I consider to be each position’s “sweet spot” this year. That resulted in locking up two workhorse running backs early, loading up at wide receivers in Rounds 3-6, grabbing two tight ends in Rounds 9-10, and taking both quarterbacks when they were the best player available.
The icing on the cake was managing to get two solid QB/WR stacks in Russell Wilson/Tyler Lockett and Jared Goff/Cooper Kupp.
It’s that type of roster construction that can raise a team’s ceiling, which should be our primary goal for best ball.
Now let’s take a closer look at each pick.
1.04 (4th overall): Ezekiel Elliot, RB, Cowboys
I was not looking forward to deciding between Alvin Kamara, Dalvin Cook and Michael Thomas here. However, Zeke falling to me at No. 4 was a dream scenario.
The Cowboys ran out of 11 personnel 67% of the time last season and were third in Expected Points Added (EPA) running the ball out of that formation. It’s a figure that I expect to go up this season given how loaded they are at wide receiver and how thin they are at tight end.
Dallas’ offense should also continue to provide Zeke with plenty of goal-line touches. He comes with a high floor, high ceiling when it comes to touchdowns. It wouldn’t take much luck to match his 14 TDs from a year ago.
2.09 (21): Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
I usually don’t head into PPR drafts looking to grab Jacobs, but when he fell to the end of the second round, I couldn’t help myself.
The top-two TEs were off the board, it’s too early to draft a QB, and I know a Tier 3 WR would make it back to me in Round 3.
I’m well aware of the limited upside for Jacobs in Year 2 if the Raiders continue to pull him off the field in passing situations. Even if you don’t believe the Raiders when they say they plan on using him more in the passing game, he should be viewed as a low-end RB1. Last year he averaged 5.0 Best Ball Points Added (BBPA) per game, which ranked 11th at RB.
It’s fair to consider his rookie season as his floor, and any additional boost in receiving numbers will be his ceiling.
3.04 (28): Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions
If I would have gone with a WR in Round 2, it would have been a toss-up between Golladay, Evans and Moore. I figured one of them would make it back to me in Round 3 and that a handful of RBs would come off the board between my picks, so I went with Jacobs in Round 2. Sure enough, four RBs were taken over the next six picks, and all three WRs I was considering were still there by the time I was on the clock again.
Golladay was my second-highest owned player in best ball last year (Latavius Murray was No. 1), and it paid off nicely. It doesn’t feel like a “steal” having to use a third-round pick on him this year, but it was a prudent play. I figured I would be selecting a WR with my next three to four picks.
It’s worth noting that Golladay ranked eighth at WR in BBPA last year. That was with Jeff Driskel (three starts) and David Blough (five starts) under center for the Lions. Golladay’s upside is much higher if Matthew Stafford can stay healthy for all 16 games.
4.09 (45): Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
I was a bit surprised that Kupp managed to make it back to me. There was a run at the position right before this with six of the preceding seven picks being WRs, which was not a surprise — Rounds 3-6 are the sweet spot for WR this year.
At this point in the draft, I figured I’d be able to snag two Tier 4 WRs and have two RBs and three WRs.
Kupp ranked seventh at WR in BBPA last season and should continue to see spiked weeks again this year.
5.04 (52): Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
After taking Kupp, I figured I would take a WR in Round 5. However, if either David Johnson, David Montgomery or Mark Ingram made it back to me, I would have considered taking another RB. But all three were selected in front of me, which made my decision easy here.
Lockett was a practical pick. Not every pick needs to be a “steal” where the last player in a Tier falls to you. Sometimes you are in a position where you select a player from a position about to go on a run. That’s what happened here as 12 more WRs were selected before my next pick.
Lockett is an ideal WR for best ball as he provides plenty of spiked weeks, and his occasional duds won’t hurt you. He ranked ninth last season in BBPA.
6.09 (69): A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
I consider this point of the draft to be when skill comes into play — your draft position has less of an impact on which players you have access to and roster construction becomes critical.
Green is the ideal pick here to prove that point.
I get the injury concern with Green as he has now missed 24 consecutive games dating back to 2018. However, head coach Zac Taylor claims that Green is fully healthy heading into 2020, so I’m more than willing to roll the dice on him. Not only is he my WR4, but this is a best ball format. Both factors allow Green to miss a few games this year and still return value for me.
Green has WR1 upside if he can stay healthy.
7.04 (76): James White, RB, Patriots
In best ball, we want to shoot for the moon in terms of roster construction and target high ceiling players. However, it’s good to have a few safety nets set in place.
I took White as my RB3 because I felt that was an area I needed a bit of a safety net. He carries a high weekly floor and put up between 8-15 (half PPR) points in 12 of his 15 games last year.
Losing Tom Brady could hurt White’s value a bit, but the Patriots are likely to lean on their RBs and defense even more this year. And while I would usually be worried about a mobile quarterback like Cam Newton hurting the value of a pass-catching back like White, Newton has never been shy about dumping it off to his RB — just ask Christian McCaffrey.
8.09 (93): Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
By taking White in Round 7, I took a gamble that either Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson would make it back to me in Round 8. I was set on taking a QB with this pick and would be okay with any of those three.
I was happy to see Wilson did make it back to me, allowing me to have an excellent QB/WR stack with Lockett. Getting spiked weeks from a QB/WR stack is key to raising your team’s ceiling in best ball.
Pete Carroll insists on having a balanced offense despite having one of the best QBs in the game. I don’t expect that to change this year, but Wilson does possess hidden upside in the event Carroll does allow his offense to become more pass-heavy. Wilson posted the third-most BBPA among QBs last year despite leading a run-heavy attack.
9.04 (100): Jared Cook, TE, Saints
Rounds 9-11 are the sweet spot to target TE this year, so I was looking to address the position with my next two picks. Cook is a great pick here for best ball considering we don’t need to guess when he’ll have his spiked weeks, but we’ll benefit when he does. He ranked seventh last year in BBPA among TEs.
Adam Trautman is pretty raw for a rookie, and his development is likely to be slowed by the lack of a traditional offseason this year. I see him potentially overtaking Josh Hill this season, but not Cook. I view Trautman as Cook’s potential replacement 2021 and beyond, but doesn’t pose a considerable threat to Cook this year.
10.09 (117): Dallas Goedert, TE, Eagles
I can’t tell you how excited I was to see Goedert make it back to me in Round 10. Even if Zach Ertz plays all 16 games, Goedert is likely to pay off his TE15 price tag.
The hidden upside with Goedert is that he will become a top-five TE in the event Ertz misses any time. No other TE possesses that sort of high-floor, high -ceiling combo.
11.04 (124): Sony Michel, RB, Patriots
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have both White and Michel. Michel will have spiked weeks when the Patriots use him heavily and he finds the end zone. All other weeks, it will be White posting a useful score.
As I mentioned earlier, the market seems to be discounting both backs due to Brady’s departure. However, the Patriots should be a very run-heavy, defensive-minded team this year.
12.09 (141): Anthony Miller, WR, Bears
Miller had a slow start to his 2018 season due to an ankle injury. He didn’t appear to be 100% until after their Week 6 bye. From Weeks 7-16, Miller was the WR33 in PPR. He should continue to eat up targets as the clear No. 2 WR in this offense.
We can also expect some positive TD regression from Miller this year. After scoring seven TDs as a rookie on 33 receptions, Miller managed to find the end zone only twice last season on 52 grabs. I’m projecting him to be somewhere in the middle with 4.1 TDs (with 59 receptions).
He’s a steal at his current ADP of WR55.
13.04 (148): Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Colts
I consider Miller to be more of a reliable high-floor pick, while Pittman is a high-upside flier in Round 13. The lack of a real offseason could hurt rookies like Pittman, and this pick will look like a reach come December. However, Pittman has the size, speed to be a true No. 2 weapon in this offense and potentially even become Philip Rivers’ favorite red-zone target.
Pittman is worth the gamble here, and given this was a draft full of experts, I knew he wouldn’t make it back to me.
14.09 (165): Jared Goff, QB, Rams
Goff is hard to trust as a QB1 in re-draft leagues, but he’ll have his fair share of spiked weeks and complete duds, and the beauty of Best Ball format is we don’t need to predict when those spiked weeks will occur.
I was also able to pair him with Kupp, which is an excellent QB/WR stack to have.
15.04 (172): Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles
Jeffery is currently rehabbing from his Linsfranc injury, and may not be ready by Week 1. There’s a chance he opens the year on the PUP and misses the first six games, so it’s understandable that he’s way down on everyone’s draft list. However, given that Jeffery is my WR7, he only needs to provide me a few weeks of production to hit value.
Getting him this late offers some sneaky value.
16.09 (189): Adrian Peterson, RB, Redskins
Derrius Guice is likely to be the lead back for Washington this year, when healthy. However, AP should be able to carve out a role that involves the occasional short-yardage TD and provide a useful score at times.
Like all RBs in this range, Peterson will likely need the starting RB to miss time to put up consistent RB2/Flex numbers. Given Guice has played in only five of 32 games as a pro, I can’t imagine any RB in this range more likely to have spot starts than AP.
17.04 (196): Jerick McKinnon, RB, 49ers
McKinnon missed the 2018 season due to a torn ACL then lost the 2019 season due to setbacks in rehab. It would be easy to give up on McKinnon, but there’s a chance he’s able to play this year and replace the “Matt Breida role” in this offense.
The 49ers’ run scheme under Kyle Shanahan is what we are drafting here, and I’m a big believer in targeting the cheapest RB as a flier every year. Let’s not forget that Raheem Mostert went undrafted in most leagues last year.
The other 49ers RB to take a flier on would be JaMycal Hasty — he’s worth keeping an eye on if McKinnon’s knee isn’t healthy enough to return this season.
18.09 (213): Will Dissly, TE, Seahawks
Dissly is another flier who could pay off if he’s able to stay healthy. He suffered a season-ending injury in Week 4 of 2018 and Week 6 of 2019, but it’s worth noting that he was a top-six TE in fantasy in each season before going down.
He’s only 24 years old and yet to enter his prime. Greg Olsen is a huge roadblock to begin the season, but I think there’s a shot we see Dissly’s role grow over the second half. It’s why I think he makes sense as a TE3 flier here.