Fantasy football best-ball drafts are a blast. My preferred league platforms for these drafts are RTSports.com and SportsHub’s “Best-Ball 10s” services. Neither company sponsored this article … I just like what they do in the space. Check ’em out, or look around the web to find competitors.
Let’s dive right into my four favorite gambles for this upcoming week’s drafting action:
QB Drew Lock, Denver Broncos: Yes, he lost his starting right tackle to the opt-out, but that’s not as significant as it may seem. Lock still has an emerging WR1 in Courtland Sutton and one of the most polished rookies to come out in recent memory in Jerry Jeudy. While recommending rookies is usually a crapshoot, it is only amplified during the pandemic. Yet, slot receiver KJ Hamler also warrants a mention. His game-breaking speed creates mismatches vs. almost any NFL defender. It’s not hard to tell a rookie to “go” when we’re looking at a guy with world-class speed to burn. An improved backfield and a blossoming TE in Noah Fant make Lock a strong bet for a payoff as QB25 in the ADP charts.
RB Antonio Gibson, Washington Football Team: The rookie has arguably the easiest positional transition from college to the NFL, and the release of Derrius Guice blows the door wide open for Gibson to have a massive role in the backfield. He’s a wide receiver turned running back, much like Ty Montgomery, so catching passes is likely to be the primary means of utilization as he finds his way through the early portion of the season. Adrian Peterson is poised to once again claim the obvious rushing action, although Gibson won’t go down without a fight. Plus, Peterson is ancient no stranger to injuries. Going in the middle of Round 9 for PPR drafters, the Memphis product is an intriguing risk-reward wager.
TE Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans: Tight end Delanie Walker is no longer a concern for the first time in Smith’s pro career. The Titans’ system is friendly to the position, and offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is a former tight ends coach as recently as 2018. It’s fair to say we’ve seen enough of wide receiver Corey Davis to trust he won’t suddenly emerge as a legitimate weapon, and Adam Humphries has exactly one season of productivity to his name, which came in an entirely different offense. The fourth-year Smith is poised to burst onto the season as the No. 2 target for Ryan Tannehill, and gamers are snoozing on Smith as a 14th-round fantasy draft pick. Don’t expect huge volume; rely on Smith’s explosive nature after the catch.
TE Blake Jarwin, Dallas Cowboys: Last year, coming out of retirement, a 400-year-old Jason Witten saw 83 targets in this offense. The ‘Boys feature one of the game’s best running backs and a pair of explosive receivers, but this offense is counting on a rookie in CeeDee Lamb to pick up the slack as the No. 3. In 2020, with the pandemic derailing all semblance of a conventional offseason program, how much do you really trust rookie wideouts, even the best of them? Jarwin is built for best-ball action. There probably won’t be 80 passes coming his way, yet it’s totally conceivable he pops off for a couple of multi-touchdown games or has at least one dynamite effort. He’s the 16th tight end drafted, on average, and that’s pure gravy for a TE2 target in an offense in which defenders can focus on only so many studs.