My Winning Best-Ball Draft Results from the 2017 Fantasy Football Season

It’s never too early to start planning on how to win your leagues, which is why I’m reviewing my drafts from 2017 to help me prepare for the 2018 Fantasy Football season.

Now, if you’ve followed along with my site in the past, you may have seen my posts about  my winning MFL10 lineups.

But this year, I sadly lived in one of the states that did not allow you to compete in an MFL10 league.

Fortunately, I was able to find a site called Draft.com that did let me play. It’s different then an MFL10, but it was still a best-ball format.

Here’s how it went down for the 2017 Fantasy Football season…

2017 Fantasy Football Best-Ball Draft Results

I entered six drafts, and for most of the year, I had three teams in the running for the money.

But like everyone else this season, I was hit by the injury bug.

Also like everyone else, Ezekiel Elliott being suspended and Kareem Hunt hitting a slump for several weeks didn’t help.

At the end, I had two of my teams finish in sixth place out of the six that I drafted.

IMG_1710.jpg Now, I actually lost about $11.

But because I had few options, I was just happy to play. Last season, I won $400 because I won four out of my 20 MFL10 drafts, which was a profit of $200.

The structure on Draft.com is can be beneficial because more spots are paid out, but there’s less money to be won compared to the $10 you’d plunk down for an MFL10.

Again, I was just happy to play.

Here’s what my two winning teams looked like…

2017 Fantasy Football Best-Ball Quarterbacks

For my first team (I’ll refer to this as team one from now on), I drafted Marcus Mariota at the end of Round 10 and Philip Rivers in Round 12.

At their spots, I thought I got a steal with Mariota and may have drafted Rivers too early.

Unfortunately, the 24-year old quarterback for the Tennessee Titans didn’t live up to my expectations. This team has a bright future, but the pieces didn’t come together for Mariota this season in terms of Fantasy production.

In five games, he wasn’t able to throw a touchdown pass.

Rivers had and up and down season, but he really came alive after Week 10. From Weeks 11-16, he averaged 17.98 Fantasy points per game.

With my second team (this will be team two), I was more successful with the quarterbacks I drafted: Cam Newton and Dak Prescott.

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Because Fantasy players were sour on Newton because of the previous season, I was able to draft him in Round 9. I then drafted Prescott in Round 10.

Now, a big reason why Newton’s Fantasy production improved so much this year was because of his rushing abilities. In 2016, he only rushed for 359 yards, the lowest rushing totals of his career.

This season, he rushed for 695 yards.

Moving forward, I’m worried that he can’t keep relying on his legs. As he gets older, the hits are going to add up.

But because of what he could do, I thought he was undervalued as a ninth-round pick.

For Prescott, I was a big fan to start the season. I thought he had no where to go but up because of his 2016 production.

And because of his production from Weeks 3-7, it looked like he was going to finish as the top quarterback in 2017 Fantasy Football leagues.

Week 3: 22.92 Fantasy points

Week 4: 22.58 Fantasy points

Week 5: 29.74 Fantasy points

Week 7: 29.96 Fantasy points

His production, though, took a dip after that. Prescott recorded six performances with 14.88 or fewer Fantasy points from Weeks 8-16.

I had two quarterbacks in the top 10 on this team, so I’m happy with the results.

For the first team, I drafted Rivers as a backup, but he ended up performing better than Mariota.

I was a little off on my picks for that team.

Quarterback Round Drafted Fantasy Points Finish
Cam Newton 9 288.38 3
Dak Prescott 10 247.9 10
Philip Rivers 12 242.42 13
Marcus Mariota 10 197.12 18

2017 Fantasy Football Best-Ball Running Backs

For team one, I did okay at the running back position:

Pick 1.3: Ezekiel Elliott

Pick 2.8: Todd Gurely

Pick 6.8: Danny Woodhead

Pick 9.3: LeGarrette Blount

Pick 13.3: Jamaal Charles

Pick 14.8: Joe Williams 

Pick 18.8: Alvin Kamara 

My first two running backs worked out perfectly from Weeks 1-9, as Gurley was the highest-scoring running back and Elliott was the third-highest scoring running back in PPR leagues.

Of course, Elliott’s suspension hurt a lot of Fantasy players.

However, there was always a possibility he’d miss time.

Looking back, my picks from Rounds 6-14 for running backs where big whiffs. I couldn’t do much about Woodhead being injured, but I probably should have just avoided Blount completely.

I warned Fantasy players this year not to expect 18 touchdowns from him in 2017, but I still thought Blount could add value on a best-ball team because of goal-line touches.

I drafted Charles to see if he could overtake C.J. Anderson for the starting job, and I drafted Joe Williams because I’ve never been a fan of Carlos Hyde.

Fortunately, I probably had the steal of the draft adding Kamara in Round 18.

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Too many Fantasy players were focusing on Adrian Peterson, and not the reports that said the New Orleans Saints drafted Kamara to become the new Reggie Bush.

This did look like a crowded backfield to start the season, but the rookie running back was at such a discount in Round 18 that I had to draft him.

For my second team, I made a big push for rookie backs.

I got a lot of great deals in this draft, but I also made some mistakes.

After drafting David Johnson in Round 1, I was able to also add Kareem Hunt in Round 13 and Kamara in Round 16.

But I also spent a fifth-round pick on Joe Mixon, and I spent a 12th-round pick on Samaje Perine.

With Hunt, I also just followed reports that he was impressing the coaching staff in training camp. Even though Spencer Ware was the favorite to lead the rushing attack at the start of the season, that didn’t mean Hunt couldn’t steal it away.

And for such a cheap price tag, why not roll the dice?

With Mixon, I thought he’d be able to beat out Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard for the starting job. Hill was just a rusher and Bernard was more of a pass-catching back, so the Cincinnati Bengals got the whole package with Mixon.

We saw, though, the coaching staff was committed to keeping this a three-headed backfield at the start of the season, even if it wasn’t working.

It took for offensive coordinator Ken Zampese to be fired for Mixon to receive more work, but things started to look up in Week 3. The Bengals gave Mixon a total of 50 carries in Weeks 3-5, and he also caught seven passes.

Before that he only had a total of 17 carries and four catches.

Even with Mixon’s talents, 2017 may have just not been the right year to draft him outside of dynasty leagues. I like his upside in 2018 with Hill as a free agent, but this team has a lot of work to do to improve the offense.

I’m okay with drafting Samaje Perine in Round 12. There was room for any back to land a starting role on this team, and it just took a few injuries for the rookie to win out.

From Weeks 11-16, he averaged 17.83 carries per game, and he had two 100-yard performances during that time.

Drafting Tevin Coleman in Round 7, I was just looking for a handful of big games.

He only really had two, one in Week 4 and one in Week 12. From where I drafted him, I would have liked to have seen at least four.

2017 Fantasy Football Best-Ball Wide Receivers

For my first team, injuries really derailed Fantasy production at the wide receiver position.

I drafted Julian Edelman in Round 5, but he was unable to play this season because he tore his ACL. I drafted Pierre Garcon in Round 8, and he was a top-20 receiver from Weeks 1-7.

But he left Week 8 with a neck injury and never returned to the lineup.

From Week 5-11, Robert Woods (drafted him in Round 5), was the fifth-highest scoring wide receiver.

But thanks to injuries, he only played in a total of 12 games.

Jamison Crowder also dealt with injuries throughout the season, so my receiving core was not very consistent.

Davante Adams was my best receiver, but he also fought off injuries.

I drafted Cole Beasley in Round 17, and I did that in just hopes of a few big games. He did haul in two touchdowns in Week 5, and he also hauled in two touchdowns in Week 9.

Wide Receiver Round Drafted Fantasy Points Finish
Davante Adams 4 222.5 11
Julian Edelman 5 0 NA
Jamison Crowder 7 154.9 33
Pierre Garcon 8 90 71
Robert Woods 15 163.3 29
Cole Beasley 17 91.4 66

For my second team, I didn’t far much better.

I did have two top-20 receivers, but I drafted them so early that I was hoping for more Fantasy production.

Amari Cooper was the biggest disappointment on this team. I was initially a fan of Derek Carr, but I started to worry before the season that he may have already peaked in his career.

Maybe we’ve already seen the best he has to offer.

To make matters worse, Cooper wasn’t helping out Carr. He tied several other players for the seventh-most drops (5) in the NFL this season.

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In terms of pleasant surprises, although it wasn’t a surprise for me, Kenny Stills exceeded my expectations as a pick from Round 15.

I think Fantasy players keep passing on Stills because he isn’t a consistent starter for regular formats, but it’s foolish not to add him in best-ball formats.

He’s been on a lot of my rosters the past two seasons because when he pops off, he pops off.

In Week 7, he posted a 6-85-2 stat line, a 7-180-1 stat line in Week 11, and a 5-98-1 stat line in Week 13.

Tyler Lockett also contributed as a late-round pick with a few good games. In Week 8, he caught six passes for 121 yards. He also posted a 4-90-1 stat line in Week 14.

Wide Receiver Round Drafted Fantasy Points Finish
Amari Cooper 2 137.9 42
Doug Baldwin 3 200.3 14
Alshon Jeffery 4 194.1 17
John Brown 8 69.9 83
Taylor Gabriel 14 81.7 74
Kenny Stills 15 168.3 26
Tyler Lockett 17 112.8 55

One of the patterns I’m starting to see over the past three seasons is a few strong running backs can compensate for your receivers in best-ball formats.

Of course, finding those strong backs is easier said than done.

2017 Fantasy Football Best-Ball Tight Ends

For tight ends, I did well. I drafted Travis Kelce in Round 3 for my first team, and I drafted Jimmy Graham in Round 6 for my second team. Kelce was the highest-scoring tight end in 2017 Fantasy Football leagues, and Graham finished sixth.

I didn’t do a great job backing up Kelce with Dwayne Allen, but luckily it worked out that Kelce was so productive.

For Graham, I backed him up by drafting Hunter Henry in Round 11.

Henry finished as the 12th-highest scoring tight end, and I’m happy with that result. I think that puts him a little under the radar in 2018, which means I can draft him at a discount.

Henry was on the field for 53.8% of the offensive snaps in 2016, and that climbed to 60.25% in 2017.

Imagine how much more playing time he will have when Antonio Gates retires.

 

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Categories: Fantasy Football

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