Draft Strategy

Early 2019 Best-Ball Draft Tiers

By Matt Schauf 11:01pm EST 1/10/19

“Way-too-early rankings”? Nah.

That phrase is obsolete. PlayDraft just opened its football lobby for best-ball drafting this week. So it’s not too early to make rankings available. It’s just the right time.

Of course, it’s still way too early to produce definitive rankings or projections. The NFL Draft remains a little more than 3 months away. We’re 2 months from free agency. We still have a pair of coaching vacancies. As of this writing, the playoffs aren’t even halfway done.

So I’m not actually offering you rankings just yet. That’s not the way to be drafting right now anyway.

When we get to our main redraft leagues, we need to make decisions between specific players. But we’re not drafting “a team” in these best-ball affairs. We’re building portfolios that include shares of various players.

You don’t want to go too heavy on certain guys -- especially at this point -- because it’s a boom-bust approach. Spread it around a bit more, and you increase your chances of profiting overall.

So you’ll find positional tiers below. You’ll want to address RB early, generally grabbing at least 2 of them by the end of Round 3. That position gets dicey fairly quickly. A WR, by comparison, can be cobbled together at various points throughout your draft. TE looks short on reliable options, starting with a trio of studs. QB, as always, remains a position you should wait on.

Defenses aren’t included on PlayDraft. Of course, even if you start drafting in contests that include D/ST, you should be waiting until late and then grabbing 3.


Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

That ridiculous starting debut puts him alone to begin 2019.

Deshaun Watson, Texans
Andrew Luck, Colts
Cam Newton, Panthers
Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
Carson Wentz, Eagles

I wouldn’t be shocked to see any of these guys finish 2nd in 2019 QB scoring. I’d bet on Winston and Wentz lasting longest in early drafting.

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