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Best Ball Value Targets Based on ADP - Derek Carr, Matt Ryan Underappreciated

Highlighting players who are going a little late in best ball drafts.

Fantasy football season is just around the corner, and there’s no better way to prepare than to jump into some best ball drafts!

Best ball is a great way to get a feel for where players will go in your fantasy drafts this fall. If you’ve never played best ball before, I encourage you to jump in.

The format is simple: draft the best players you can, and the software will tally the points for your top-scoring players each week of the fantasy football season! That's right- no setting lineups and start/sit decisions! You'll get the points for your ideal lineup each week.

Best ball drafts also have a low barrier of entry. Drafts are as little as $5. After the draft is complete, forget all about it and log back in at the end of the season and see what you’ve won! It’s always fun to log in and see a nice payday for the “practice” drafts you did in the summer.

Many places offer best ball drafts, including NFC and RT Sports, but I will use average draft positions (ADP) from Underdog for this article.

There is some strategy difference between your regular redraft leagues and your best ball leagues, but for the most part, these ADPs are a good guide.

So, without further ado, here are a few players that look like great values in early drafts.

QB Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
Carr passed for a career-high 4,804 yards, fifth-highest mark in the league, with 23 touchdowns in 2021. He finished as the QB13 and did all of this despite being without Darren Waller for six contests and Henry Ruggs for most of the season.

That's right—Carr passed for nearly 5,000 yards with a guy who looks like he wandered over from the accounting department, Hunter Renfrow.

And now he gets Davante Adams.

Adams, arguably the best receiver in the game and an old college teammate, should open up more red-zone opportunities for Carr, and his TD numbers should get a big bump. With the weapons of Waller, Renfrow, and Adams and plenty of shootouts vs. the Chargers, Chiefs, and Broncos in a stacked AFC West, Carr looks like a good bet to outperform his ADP.

Carr is coming off the board in early drafts as the QB14, which means he could be going undrafted in some 12-team leagues.

QB Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts
Ryan is being drafted exactly where he finished 2021, as the QB20.

Ryan is a four-time Pro Bowler and former MVP, with a career 65.5% completion rate. He's thrown for 4,000 or more yards in 10 of his 14 seasons in the league and led the Falcons to a Super Bowl appearance in 2016.

In 2021, Ryan threw for 3,968 yards and 20 TDs with a 67% completion rate for the Falcons, with no Julio Jones and only five games with Calvin Ridley.

Now Ryan gets a better offensive line, better weapons, and a Frank Reich system that uses plenty of play-action screen passes.

Oh, and he gets to play with Jonathan Taylor.

Carson Wentz had a 62.4% completion rate and over 3,500 yards in this role with the Colts last year, finishing as the QB14. I expect much more from Ryan; QB20 looks like a steal.

RB Melvin Gordon III, Denver Broncos
Gordon split carries with Javonte Williams last season, and they finished the season as RBs 18 and 17, respectively, in half-point PPR leagues, and Gordon played one fewer game.

Williams is going as early as the first round in some drafts, while Gordon is coming off the board as the RB33.

Is anything wrong with this picture?

There’s no doubt Williams is younger, extremely talented, and has more gas in the tank, but Gordon, who is pals with Russell Wilson, just signed another one-year contract with the Broncos and could be the steal of the season in what is likely an evenly split backfield.

WR Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
I don't particularly like Claypool, but as the WR49 off the board, I will learn to.

Claypool finished the WR36 last season, despite Big Ben's lack of downfield throwing ability.

Now there’s a new QB in town, and whether it’s Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett to start the season, change should be good. In addition, JuJu Smith-Schuster has left for Kansas City, opening up some target opportunities for Claypool.

Claypool played the second-most snaps after Diontae Johnson last season, and there should be some positive regression in his touchdown totals. I can’t imagine he only catches two like last year. He’s working on his versatility, and his rookie campaign was impressive when he scored eleven total touchdowns - nine receiving and two rushing.

Plus, he believes in himself. Maybe too much?

I can't argue with that kind of confidence!

Yeah, I know. You may have been burned by Claypool last season. But at this ADP, there isn’t too much to lose. He’s going after Kadarius Toney, Allen Lazard, and Chris Olave at pick 104.

TE Robert Tonyan, Green Bay Packers
With the loss of Davante Adams to the Raiders, there are now 170 targets up for grabs in Green Bay. If you don't like drafting Allen Lazard, betting on a rookie, or taking a gamble on a 31-year-old slot receiver in Randall Cobb, why not get a cheap piece of this offense with Tonyan?

Tonyan had a less-than-stellar 2021 even before he sustained his season-ending injury, but he’s only one season removed from catching 11 touchdowns from Aaron Rodgers. It’s hard to earn the reigning MVP’s trust, and we know Tonyan has been that guy before. If you’re taking a TE late and betting on red zone opportunities, Tonyan feels like a smart bet.

He’s coming off the board as TE14 at an ADP of 144.

TE Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints
Yep. I said it. I am gambling on Hill being another cheat code. This is best ball, after all! Even if he only has one or two big weeks, this could pay off significantly. My colleague Craig Ellenport made the case for Hill in an article a few months back.

Besides the fact that in an emergency Taysom Hill can fill in at QB, Hill's rushing abilities make him a versatile weapon that could be used in special packages, meaning he could go off in any single week. With Kamara likely receiving a six-game suspension, I expect the Saints could get creative with Hill at the goal line. After all, Dennis Allen did work under Sean Payton for many years.

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