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:
Fantasy football best-ball gambles of the week
QB Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints: While some gamers may not be inclined to potentially waste any pick, especially if Drew Brees isn’t on their team, this is one of the smartest wagers late in fantasy drafts. Brees is 41 years old, and he missed several games last year with a thumb injury, albeit kind of a fluky one. Winston has as dangerous a weapons cache as one will find in the NFL for a backup with considerable starting experience. The mistakes are part of owning Winston in fantasy, but he’s a lock for QB1 production should Brees miss action in 2020. Speculative mining is absolutely in play here, too, for gamers who don’t draft Brees.
RB Reggie Bonnafon, Carolina Panthers: Similar to the Winston recommendation, here’s an opportunity to spend a 19th- or 20th-round pick on a guy one injury away from replacing the best back in fantasy football. There will be zero utility here if Christian McCaffrey doesn’t miss time, but after registering the most touches in football over the past two seasons, what’s the harm in investing next to nothing in covering your bases, particularly if Run CMC is on your roster. This one should be an no-brainer for McCaffrey owners, although there’s only pure upside for those looking to steal a handcuff.
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WR Kenny Stills, Houston Texans: Is there a late-round receiver better suited for best-ball flier picks? Stills has the ability to uncork a defense, and he’s returning to an even friendlier situation than last year. No DeAndre Hopkins opens a significant amount of targets to be distributed, and the two primary receivers ahead of Stills in the pecking order come with serious injury concerns. Will Fuller is about as fragile as a receiver can be made, and Brandin Cooks is a concussion away from possibly before forced to sit out the year. Stills posted double-digit fantasy points in four of his final six games last season, showing chemistry with Deshaun Watson in their first year together. Enjoy the late-round return on investment!
TE Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings: In the past three years, Rudolph has 17 individual games (35 percent of appearances) with at least one touchdown, and three of those contests were two-score outings. … Not too shabby for a guy going in the 18th round of many best-ball drafts. Low investment, big pay-off potential for the cagey veteran. Sure, he’ll lose some touches to Irv Smith Jr., but Rudolph isn’t going anywhere, and the offense is more than capable of feeding both tight ends. The loss of Stefon Diggs and the familiarity with Kirk Cousins makes Rudolph a total steal in this format.