Yahoo Fantasy Football Draft: What we learned from experts and our favorite early Best Ball values


The Yahoo Fantasy Football analysts gathered virtually on Monday to compete in a 10-team Best Ball draft (watch the replay above).  It was an exercise to see where they stood on players early in the draft season, engage with fantasy gamers all looking for a temporary distraction and, of course, to have some fun! Our experts reveal what they learned and their favorite draft values, along with complete rosters for all involved.

One thing you learned from the draft

Liz Loza: Tight end is wildly deep this year. Of course we expect Travis Kelce and George Kittle to go in the second round. And it makes sense that Mark Andrews and Zach Ertz would fly off the board by the fifth. But I wasn’t expecting to see five more TEs selected before the close of the 10th round (spoiler: Rob Gronkowski wasn’t one of them). Interestingly, next-gen stars like Jonnu Smith (who is the Yahoo consensus ranked TE14), Blake Jarwin, and Ian Thomas were available well into the double-digit rounds (14-17).

Scott Pianowski: I hate my running back depth with the intensity of 1,000 suns (After Dalvin Cook, I have Mark Ingram, Justin Jackson, Royce Freeman, Jalen Richard and Dare Ogunbowale). I'm still trying to figure out who the reliable but cheaper RB2/3 types are; think James White back in the Tom Brady days.

Dalton Del Don: It wasn't easy also giving commentary with a quick 30-second clock and a 10-team format, but this was a good exercise to start draft season. One lesson learned was not to get too greedy waiting on my guy (in this case, Jimmy G, who went in the 14th round).

[Join a Best Ball league. No waivers or trades: Start drafting in minutes!]

Andy Behrens: One of the best reasons to do an early best ball draft is simply to learn how deep you need to scroll for your pet players. A few favorite rookies (notably CeeDee Lamb — more on him later) were buried under a pile of uninteresting players. I also learned that you can give me multiple chances to draft Le'Veon Bell beyond his ADP, and I will still veer to another position. 

Matt Harmon: It might be a product of how early we were drafting and the general ambiguity surrounding this offseason, but it sure felt like there were several tier cliffs in this draft. As early as Round 5 I found myself thinking, "I don't want any of these players here."

You favorite draft value

Scott Pianowski: I wish Hayden Hurst had a regular offseason to settle in with the Falcons, but I still think he steps into a meaty role, perhaps 70-80 percent of what Austin Hooper did. A steal as my TE3 in Round 12.

Andy Behrens: As mentioned during the live stream, I really liked the price on Zack Moss (Round 16, pick 151 overall). He went so late that I'd already maxed out on allowable running backs. I think he steps into a role in which he should see 170 touches at a minimum, with plenty of goal-line opportunities.

Matt Harmon: Stefon Diggs. I get that we're not in love with his trade destination but I don't think the switch to Buffalo is much worse than a lateral move for fantasy. Getting a player as good as Diggs this late in the draft (pick 59 overall) who has the potential for massive weeks is a big win. 

Dalton Del Don: Devin Funchess jumped out as a late-round steal (going 189 overall to Liz), as he could easily emerge as Green Bay's No. 2 option in a passing offense almost assuredly to produce more than last year. He's a legit sleeper who was undervalued here.

Liz Loza:
I loved Dalton’s Darius Slayton pick in the ninth round. Coming off of a surprising rookie effort, the Auburn product — who excels in contested situations — scored 8 TDs in 9 starts. That’s not bad for a WR4.

<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/ny-giants/" data-ylk="slk:New York Giants">New York Giants</a> wide receiver Darius Slayton has sleeper appeal at his current fantasy draft price tag. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton has sleeper appeal at his current fantasy draft price tag. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Your most “The-Clock-Was-Running-Out” pick

Scott Pianowski: I really didn't want Rob Gronkowski in Round 11, but he can probably catch 4-6 touchdowns in his sleep, and at least he knows Tom Brady's game like the back of his hand. The obvious risk: Tampa likely needs his blocking more than his receiving.

Dalton Del Don: I was foiled late in the draft when Antonio Gibson became the first player ever to see his fantasy value hurt by being multi-eligible (I had reached my RB max), so I went with Miles Boykin in Round 20 at the last second instead (at least keeping with my youngster theme).

Liz Loza: Kenny Stills in the final round. He doesn’t have the upside of Will Fuller or Brandin Cooks but he DOES have experience with Houston’s offense in a season where familiarity matters. DeAndre Hopkins’ departure frees up 150 targets, and if Stills can beat out a 30-year-old Randall Cobb then he has a chance to be this receiving corps’ most consistent contributor. No, it’s not likely, but in the second to last round of the draft, the potential reward far outweighs the minimal risk.

Matt Harmon: Jared Cook in Round 8 at pick 79. It was clear to me that I didn't have a plan at the tight end spot past the obvious early picks. That was a problem.

Andy Behrens: I was waffling in Round 11 on drafting CeeDee Lamb or a steadier fantasy receiver, perhaps with a higher floor. But one nice thing about best ball as a format is that you can take big swings on high-ceiling/high-variance players like Lamb without penalty. I don't have to guess right in order to benefit from his big weeks.

Experts rosters

Andy Behrens

QB: Kyler Murray, Jared Goff, Sam Darnold, Derek Carr

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon, Kareem Hunt, Tony Pollard, Tarik Cohen, Ronald Jones

WR: Kenny Golladay, Calvin Ridley, A.J. Green, Marquise Brown, CeeDee Lamb, Robby Anderson

TE: Travis Kelce, Chris Herndon

DST: Los Angeles Chargers, Cleveland Browns

Dalton Del Don

QB: Joe Burrow, Philip Rivers

RB: Alvin Kamara, Kenyan Drake, Jonathan Taylor, J.K. Dobbins, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Latavius Murray

WR: DJ Moore, Robert Woods, Terry McLaurin, Darius Slayton, Marvin Jones, DeSean Jackson, Miles Boykin

TE: Tyler Higbee, T.J. Hockenson, Dallas Goedert

DST: New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts

Liz Loza

QB: Deshaun Watson, Baker Mayfield

RB: Nick Chubb, Chris Carson, James Conner, Derrius Guice, AJ Dillon, Adrian Peterson

WR: Tyreek Hill, Odell Beckham Jr., T.Y. Hilton, Mike Williams, Jamison Crowder, Preston Williams, Devin Funchess, Kenny Stills

TE: Darren Waller, Jonnu Smith, Ian Thomas

DST: New Orleans Saints

Matt Harmon

QB: Ryan Tannehill, Daniel Jones, Drew Lock

RB: Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders, Darrell Henderson Jr., David Johnson, Jordan Howard

WR: Chris Godwin, Stefon Diggs, Tyler Lockett, Sterling Shepard, Keenan Allen, Curtis Samuel, Michael Pittman Jr., Sammy Watkins

TE: Jared Cook, Blake Jarwin

DST: Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos

Scott Pianowski

QB: Josh Allen, Matt Ryan

RB: Dalvin Cook, Mark Ingram, Justin Jackson, Royce Freeman, Jalen Richard, Dare Ogunbowale

WR: Julio Jones, A.J. Brown, Cooper Kupp, Courtland Sutton, Tyler Boyd, Anthony Miller, Hunter Renfrow

TE: Austin Hooper, Rob Gronkowski, Hayden Hurst

DST: Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys

Rosters for other five participants

Mo Castillo

QB: Dak Prescott, Drew Brees

RB: Austin Ekeler, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Todd Gurley, Matt Breida, Alexander Mattison, Chase Edmonds

WR: Michael Thomas, DeVante Parker, D.J. Chark, Christian Kirk, Brandin Cooks, Denzel Mims, Alshon Jeffery, James Washington

TE: Evan Engram, Jack Doyle

DST: Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets

Bert Chi

QB: Lamar Jackson, Carson Wentz

RB: Derrick Henry, Joe Mixon, Le’Veon Bell, Cam Akers, Marlon Mack, James White

WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Julian Edelman, Will Fuller V, Diontae Johnson, Jalen Reagor, Breshad Perriman, Dede Westbrook

TE: Mark Andrews, Mike Gesicki, Eric Ebron

DST: Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks

Evan Doherty

QB: Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Teddy Bridgewater

RB: Christian McCaffrey, Leonard Fournette, Sony Michel, Phillip Lindsay, Darrynton Evans, Nyheim Hines

WR: Mike Evans, Amari Cooper, Deebo Samuel, John Brown, Justin Jefferson, Henry Ruggs III, Brandon Aiyuk, N’Keal Harry

TE: George Kittle, Dawson Knox

DST: San Francisco 49ers

[2020 Draft Rankings: Overall | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DST | Kickers]

Dan Harris

QB: Patrick Mahomes, Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins

RB: Josh Jacobs, David Montgomery, Kerryon Johnson, Tevin Coleman, Zack Moss

WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Adam Thielen, DK Metcalf, Emmanuel Sanders, Jerry Jeudy, Golden Tate, Tee Higgins

TE: Zach Ertz, Hunter Henry, O.J. Howard

DST: Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams

Jason Klabacha

QB: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Jimmy Garoppolo

RB: Aaron Jones, Devin Singletary, Raheem Mostert, D’Andre Swift, Damien Williams, Duke Johnson

WR: Davante Adams, Allen Robinson, Michael Gallup, Jarvis Landry, Mecole Hardman, John Ross, Cole Beasley

TE: Noah Fant, Greg Olsen

DST: Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Follow Liz: @LizLoza_FF

Follow Scott: @scott_pianowski

Follow Dalton: @daltondeldon

Follow Andy: @AndyBehrens

Follow Matt: @MattHarmon_BYB