Steve’s Top 10 Must Have Best Ball Players
Here is a look at the top 10 guys I’m trying to get in drafts this year in Best Ball, ranked according to their Underdog ADP:
1 . RB Tony Pollard –
Pollard finished as RB7 last year despite basically not playing the final two games of the season. In addition, the Cowboys let Elliott go this offseason, and didn’t bring in anyone to replace him. The Cowboys will use a committee of backs behind Pollard, but it’s unlikely that they combine for Elliott’s market share of usage, leaving Pollard the ability to inherit a decent amount of extra work. If Pollard stays healthy he has the upside to finish as RB1 or 2 this year, and you are getting him in the early 2nd round. That is a steal in .5ppr scoring that favors running backs.
2. WR Keenan Allen–
Allen is going as WR19 despite being attached to Justin Herbert and a Chargers passing offense that should be top 3 in the league in passing attempts, and top 10 in scoring. Yes, he’s coming off an injury-filled season and is on the wrong side of 30, but he is still likely the top option in this offense. Allen could end up being one of the top target leaders in the league, and you can get him in the 3rd round.
3. RB Joe Mixon –
Mixon is going as RB13 right now, after finishing last season as RB12 with missing essentially 3 games (including the suspended Bills game), and losing some work to Samaje Perine. That is with Mixon being pretty inefficient over the course of the season in what was a down year. With Perine in Denver, Mixon could see even more of a workload from his 210 carries and 75 targets from a season ago. With bell-cow usage likely, and having both a sizable red zone and target workload, I think Mixon is a smash play from one of the top offenses in the league. He can finish as a top 6 RB pretty easily.
4. WR George Pickens–
The Steelers offense could have a breakout year, and if so I want a lot of exposure to Pickens. We’ve seen the highlight catches, but he’s also working on being a more complete receiver. He had over 800 yards as a rookie, despite not starting 5 games last season. The Steelers finished 24th in passing yards a year ago, and should bump that up this season. Pickens deep ball ability and size should make him a good TD option as well, and it’s likely the Steelers improve on their league-worst 12 passing TDs from last season. Even with him rising in recent weeks, Pickens is still going as WR32, he can easily be a top 20 WR this year with an improved Steelers offense.
5. TE Dallas Goedert–
There might not be any TE who can really challenge Travis Kelce this year for TE1 overall, but Goedert should be in the mix for TE2 or TE3 overall. He was on pace for 1,000 yard season a year ago, and was unlucky with his TD production. With the Eagles likely having to throw more this season, Goedert has an excellent shot at 1,000+ yards, and could easily see 7-10 TDs if Philadelphia needs to rely on the pass more to score this season.
6. RB James Conner-
Conner is on an awful Cardinals team, but so were the Cardinals last year down the stretch, when Conner was a top 5 RB the 2nd half of the season. You are getting him as RB26, and if he’s healthy he’s massively outperforming that as the Cardinals bell-cow running back. Yes the QB play will be bad this year, but Conner has had good success the past two years in games without Kyler Murray.
7. QB Dak Prescott–
Prescott is going as QB12, but is more likely to end the season in the QB 7-10 range, giving you some nice value here. Last season he missed 5 games due to a thumb injury, but still managed 6 QB 1 weeks. In 2021 dealing with a calf injury and missing a game he had 10 QB1 weeks. Dallas this year added weapons to their passing attack, and if Prescott can stay healthy he is going to be a guy consistently giving you QB1 outcomes. Whether you take him as your top QB or as a great number 2 option, he’s adding some clear value to your line-up, in what should be one of the highest scoring offenses.
8. WR Van Jefferson–
Jefferson is pretty clearly the WR2 on a Rams offense that will need to throw the ball a lot this season. Operating as the Rams WR3 in 2021, Jefferson had over 800 yards. Though Kupp is the clear WR1, Jefferson will get plenty of favorable match-ups as teams try to scheme to slow down Kupp. He also adds big-time spike week potential with his deep-threat ability. Jefferson is going as WR63, something he should easily outplay even if the Rams passing offense is just average. He can pretty easily be a top 36 receiver this year (was 35th in 2021), and brings so much upside. He can routinely be in the mix for your 3rd WR or Flex, and you are probably getting him as your 6th or 7th WR.
9. TE Luke Musgrave-
Rookie TEs carry a bad stigma in the fantasy community, but look for that to change this season with a number of rookie TEs set for prime roles. Musgrave is going still in the 160’s, despite clearly having an every-down role in the Packers offense. He can stretch the field and be a weapon in the Red zone, giving him the ability to have some big spike weeks.
10. QB Matt Stafford–
Stafford is going as QB 24 based on his awful season a year ago, but this is an offense that shined in 2021. Stafford had 10 QB1 weeks that season, including 9 games of 20 or more fantasy points. Even if he hits only half that amount of time this year that is an incredible value this late in drafts. He carries some injury risk, but this is a team that will throw 600+ times and you can easily stack him with Kupp, Jefferson or Higbee in what should be a very concentrated offense. The injury risk will probably mean I will still look to take him on 3 QB teams, but the upside this late in the draft is hard to find.