Steven Mullen here doing another Best Ball Blog for BDGE. Today were are going to take a look back at the 2018 Best Ball Championship, the MVPs from last year and see if we can project this years Best Ball Championship MVPs. For 2018 MVPs I've included the range of rounds I found them drafted on Best Ball Championship teams instead of ADP. I will give some honorable mentions to other players with MVP upsides if you miss the MVP targets.
2018 MVP Quarterback
Patrick Mahomes KC 37.88% owned (8th-10th) Rounds
Mahomes finished 63 points ahead of #2 QB Matt Ryan, 76 points ahead of #3 Ben Roethlisberger. Unsurprisingly the greatest statistical QB season of all time not only lead him to the NFL MVP but it also lead him the being the Best Ball Championship MVP at QB. Mahomes stacks with Hill, Kelce, Hill and Kelce were prevalent on the 60 teams that played the final round of the best ball championship. With questions about Tyreek Hill's suspension, Travis Kelce coming off an ankle surgery that could cause issues and an ADP spike into rounds 4-5 it's unlikely Mahomes can dominate to this level again in 2019. So who is our pick for 2019 Best Ball Championship MVP?
2019 MVP Deshaun Watson Hou (70.5) ADP
In 2017 Watson burst onto the scene and immediately started producing stud weeks(Top 2 QB). He had 4 stud weeks in 7 weeks as a starter in 2017. Though both players have small sample sizes so far Watson(33%) has a higher stud % then even Mahomes(25%). His 16 games pace would have put him 38 points ahead of the top QB in 2017 Russ Wilson, and 100 points ahead of the #3 QB Cam Newton. While Watson would have had a smaller gap then 2018 Mahomes did compared to his #2 scoring QB he would have been even more dominant vs the rest of the field. So should I reach for Watson in round 5 he's your pick for MVP? Answer NO to win the Best Ball Championship you are going to have to find value and get super lucky. Watson will often fall to round 7 as QB's fluctuate more in ADP from draft to draft. Wait until you can grab him at round 6-7 value. At that value he is my 2019 Best Ball Championship MVP at QB.
Honorable mention Kyler Murray
2018 MVP Running Back
Christian McCaffery Car 37.88% owned (2nd-3rd) Rounds
McCaffery finished the year as the 3rd highest scoring RB in Best Ball in 2018. He was able to do this with an ADP that creeped up to early round 2 but began in early round 3. McCaffery was a 3rd round pick on a few of the best performing teams in the Best Ball Championship. What we gain from this knowledge is that waiting for injuries to settle before drafting a Best Ball Championship team doesn't necessarily give you an advantage. Early drafted team can give added ADP value as we saw with McCaffery. He was a work horse he caught passes, ran on the goal line and performed at an elite level. Can any RB match this resume in 2019?
2019 MVP Dalvin Cook Min (17.7) ADP
Cook has been able to produce at a high level when healthy. His running mate Latavius Murray is now in New Orleans and has been replaced by rookie Alexander Mattison who will have to earn the coaches trust. Cook could get a significant boost in work load if Mattison isn't able to perform. McCaffery got a larger work load then planned when Carolina coaches lost faith in CJ Anderson. Cook has shown he can produce at the goal line, between the 20's and in the passing game. If he is healthy he could emerge as a Top 5 fantasy RB. People that doubt him bring up a lot of the same arguments used against McCaffery last season. Look to get him late round 2 or if incredibly lucky at the 2-3 turn to maximize value. If you can pair him with one of the big 4(Barkley, Zeke, McCaffery, Kamara) you could have 2 top 5 rbs. I believe at that value paired with one of the top 4 he can help deliver you a Best Ball Championship and be 2019 Best Ball MVP at RB.
Honorable mention Nick Chubb
2018 MVP Wide Receiver
Juju Smith-Schuster Pit 23.48% owned (4th-5th) rounds
The real answer is there was no clear MVP at WR. Juju gets the nod here but was actually tied in ownership% with Mike Williams and Amari Cooper. The 3 WR were only 4% more owned then the next grouping of 3 WR. JuJu saw his reception count jump from 58 to 111! His yards went from 917 to 1426 while TD's remained at 7. In half PPR Juju finished tied for the 8th best WR with Mike Evans. Juju was clearly the best performer of players drafted in rounds 4-6 which proved to be extremely difficult rounds to pull high end performers out of(future blog on this). Is there a player available in rounds 4-6 that can make the kind of impact Juju did?
2019 MVP Mike Williams LAC (53.1) ADP
Mike Williams is a player poised to take a similar jump this season to Juju last season. If you remember in 2017 Martavis Bryant was still in Pittsburgh and for a time was splitting snaps with Juju in 2 WR sets. Mike Williams split 2 WR set snaps with Tyrell Williams to start last season. No one will forget Mike Williams coming out party when he destroyed the Chiefs winning that week 15 game nearly by himself. Mike Williams target share will rise this season I project he will catch 70+ balls. I would expect 10-12 TD's which is something you can say of few players. Right now you are still getting a discount on that production in round 5 and can you imagine if Keenan Allen were to get hurt? I believe Williams would be a lock to win leagues in that scenario. Look to get him early to mid round 5. Occasionally I have grabbed him round 6 but I don't think you want to take that gamble on my choice for 2019 Best Ball MVP at WR.
Honorable mention Calvin Ridley
2018 MVP Tight End
Travis Kelce KC 32.58% owned (2nd-3rd) rounds
Travis Kelce was 13% more owned then any other TE on the teams in the Best Ball championship finals. Kelce boasted a line of 103-1336-10. It was Kelce's 3rd season in a row with 80+ catches and 1000+ yards. Kelce has clearly replaced Gronk as king of the tight ends. Kelce did only finish the season 21 points ahead of Ertz in .5 PPR but was 4 times more owned in teams that made the Best Ball championships. I took a look at the rosters and it was clear the reason for the ownership % was that most of the Kelce rosters also had Mahomes. Stacking is good people! Can anyone dethrone Travis Kelce in 2019?
2019 MVP Travis Kelce KC (9.4) ADP
No, his main competition Kittle and Ertz both look like they could take small steps back in target share. Kittle has Deebo Samuel coming in along with Dante Pettis stepping up in year 2, and a RB group the will command a larger portion of the offense then last year. Ertz has Dallas Goedart pushing for more targets, Desean Jackson back in town, JJ Arcega-Whiteside poised to make an impact in the red zone. I believe Kelce will be MORE dominant at the position in 2019. Tyreek Hill will likely be suspended 4-8 games making Kelce the #1 target for Mahomes for that time frame. While Hill should be replaced by Mecole Hardman, Hardman is a rookie and only caught 60 passes in his college career he's not going to jump into Hill's target share. Kelce also won't have Kareem Hunt around I think Damien Williams will be fine but also won't command quite as big a role as the man he replaces. Look to grab the 2019 Best Ball MVP at TE around pick 9.
Honorable mention George Kittle
Grab some MVPs and good luck!