This article is part of our Best Ball Strategy series.
I've done enough best ball drafts now to know my favorite targets, and with that also comes the realization of where my vulnerabilities lie. I'm going to look at my share percentages for the eight drafts I've done in Underdog's Best Ball Mania format and talk about what I should do next and what I intend to do next (not always the same thing with me, due to brain problems).
75 PERCENT EXPOSURE (6/8)
Elijah Moore, WR, NYJ (67.0 ADP Underdog)
Even though I'm very high on Moore I'll unfortunately have to tap the brakes on acquiring more shares going forward. I think he's only slightly underpriced, and a lot of my selections of Moore had something to do with not liking the other options or simply needing a wide receiver at that spot. I doubt he'll get any more expensive as the season approaches, so if I change my mind I can probably buy more at the same price later. The basic error in his pricing is that many think rookie Garrett Wilson (106.4 ADP Underdog) might be as good or better as Moore, but this is unlikely to be true. Moore was an excellent prospect out of Mississippi – easily argued as matching what Wilson was out of Ohio State this year – and Moore's rookie season was so emphatically positive that it warrants an upgrade to his prospect profile. To produce 1.78 yards per route (79th percentile) as a 21-year-old rookie playing in the 2021 Jets offense is a triumph for Moore, who will soon be understood as one of the NFL's best receivers.
62.5 PERCENT EXPOSURE (5/8)
Rashaad Penny, RB, SEA (109.3 ADP Underdog)
I've done plenty of commentary on Penny already and don't mean to drag out the very stupid arguments people have about him, but in my opinion he's badly underpriced and I plan to take on heavy exposure until the price rises.
KJ Hamler, WR, DEN (175.2 ADP Underdog)
Hamler is a uniquely explosive player who has drawn targets and especially air yardage at a rapid rate in the NFL, even as an underclassman rookie who was young for his class. Even after missing most of last year with an ACL tear Hamler will only be 23 in July, meaning he's two months younger than rookie Christian Watson. Hamler's big-play ability downfield pairs well with Russell Wilson's game, which often neglects the middle of the field in favor of downfield shots beyond the seam. Hamler and Albert Okwuegbunam are the best candidates to take those routes. The only wideouts I like in this range are Hamler and Parris Campbell, so if I hold off from Hamler in upcoming drafts it will have to be due to targeting another position entirely – James Robinson, Jamaal Williams, Noah Fant and Evan Engram are the main candidates. Unfortunately for me, I'm already heavy on Robinson and Engram.
Parris Campbell, WR, IND (183.6 ADP Underdog)
Campbell was misused as an outside, downfield receiver last year before he got hurt, but this year the Colts apparently intend to use him at his correct position in the slot. Matt Ryan is excellent at throwing to that part of the field, and almost no one can mach the threat Campbell poses after the catch. The injury risk is real but like I said with Hamler, there just aren't many pivot options for me in this range.
50 PERCENT EXPOSURE (4/8)
Dalvin Cook, RB, MIN (10.1 ADP Underdog)
Most of my draft slots have been late in the first round, so I keep ending up with Cook when I don't pick a receiver first. Cook is an elite talent in an offense that should be good, so he's a top five player overall for me. The injury risk that applies to him also applies to every alternative aside from maybe Joe Mixon, who's a significant talent downgrade. Still, I might have to start making some Mixon selections if I keep getting stuck with late slots.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, KC (57.3 ADP Underdog)
Smith-Schuster was thrown almost nothing but hospital balls the past two years, so it's not surprising that he got hurt a lot. Patrick Mahomes will get Smith-Schuster back on the schedule he had in his first two seasons. I'm going to keep buying.
Trey Lance, QB, SF (86.7 ADP Underdog)
Lance is such an exceptional runner that he should be a top-notch fantasy quarterback even if he's a bad passer. There's not much reason to think he'll do poorly as a passer, though, since Kyle Shanahan's scheme does a lot to make a quarterback look good. Jimmy Garoppolo rarely played well but you can't convince some people of that because the system afforded numbers that look good at a glance.
Christian Kirk, WR, JAC (88.0 ADP Underdog)
Kirk was an exceptional slot receiver in college so it was unsurprising that he broke out after the Cardinals finally moved him into the slot in 2021. There's no DeAndre Hopkins around to hog targets now, so Kirk's target volume will spike upward in Jacksonville. Trevor Lawrence is going to look better in 2022 and Kirk will be his lead target. I'll keep buying, because he's going too late.
Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, DEN (146.6 ADP Underdog)
Go back as far as you want, you won't find an athlete quite like Okwuegbunam at tight end. We can say that someone like Vernon Davis or Jimmy Graham were more athletic than Okwuegbunam but (A) they're the only ones you can say that about and (B) Okwuegbunam is still a different type of athlete than either of them. Other than Okwuegbunam the only combine participants to ever run a sub-4.5 at more than 258 pounds were first-round pick defensive ends Dwight Freeney, Montez Sweat and Bryan Thomas. Not just that, but Okwuegbunam has been highly productive in his limited NFL playing time, drawing 55 targets and catching 44 for 451 yards and three touchdowns on 486 snaps.
James Robinson, RB, JAC (172.4 ADP Underdog)
Robinson isn't guaranteed to miss all of the first six weeks, but even if he does he's still going too late. Other than Michael Carter (143.5 ADP Underdog) none of the running backs after the 140.0 mark on Underdog are worth selecting ahead of Robinson.
Evan Engram, TE, JAC (179.9 ADP Underdog)
Engram and his 4.42 speed will work in the Trevor Lawrence offense, especially at this price. I think I should deny myself additional servings until I diversify my exposure a bit in his range of the ADP, but more likely I'll continue looking for excuses to draft Engram at this price, which I expect to rise.
37.5 PERCENT EXPOSURE (3/8)
Saquon Barkley, RB, NYG (20.1 ADP Underdog)
Durability remains the biggest concern for Barkley and it makes sense to cap his exposure levels at a certain point, but for me that time hasn't arrived yet. That's mainly because I'm concerned Barkley's price will rise into the first round, so if I can get him later than that now I don't mind going a little heavy on him. I'll just hold off when the price goes up.
Kyle Pitts, TE, ATL (32.0 ADP Underdog)
Pitts in the late third round is one of my favorite picks to make right now. I'll jump on any excuse to get more Pitts exposure – there's no reason he should be priced lower than Mark Andrews (17.8 ADP Underdog), in my opinion.
Elijah Mitchell, RB, SF (67.1 ADP Underdog)
Mitchell is one of my favorite running back targets right now and I'll continue pursuing more shares at this price. I talked about why in this previous post about the best running back values, but the basic deal is a lot of people think Mitchell's job security is in question even though it is not. He's the best running back on one of the best running teams – there's no way his projection should be lower than someone like Cam Akers (44.8 ADP Underdog)
Chase Claypool, WR, PIT (103.7 ADP Underdog)
Mitchell Trubisky is not a downgrade from Ben Roethlisberger. The pass attempt volume will drop if only because Trubisky will run more than Roethlisberger, but Claypool's ADP acts as if he'll suffer for Roethlisberger's departure. He won't, so I'll remain curious at this price.
Corey Davis, WR, NYJ (155.2 ADP Underdog)
Davis' per-snap numbers from last year are tantalizing, and I imagine his low ADP is explained partially by hype for Garrett Wilson, which I don't subscribe to. Davis seems incredibly brittle and for that reason I'll need to hold off a bit, but he goes later than a bunch of bums as it is. It won't be easy for me to resist.
Damien Williams, RB, ATL (215.4 ADP Underdog)
I have no aversion to Williams in the last round, but I'll still try to hold off a bit to diversify my selections there until I dilute my Williams share percentages a bit. Rookie Tyler Allgeier (153.5 ADP Underdog) is more so going too high, in my opinion.
25 PERCENT EXPOSURE (2/8)
Travis Kelce, TE, KC (12.2 ADP Underdog)
I want a standard level of exposure to Kelce this year. His function in the Chiefs offense ensures mammoth usage, and his abilities should remain good enough for him to produce as the TE3 in the worst-case healthy scenario.
Mike Evans, WR, TB (16.4 ADP Underdog)
With Rob Gronkowski gone and the Buccaneers lacking tight end talent, Evans should have a big season in store for 2022. He's a viable first-round pick to me and I'll take more if I get the chance.
Keenan Allen, WR, LAC (27.9 ADP Underdog)
Allen is as consistent as anyone and I definitely want consistent exposure to the Chargers offense, but I should probably hold off on acquiring more Allen for the time being. His spike-week potential is lacking, so there's not much reason to target Allen specifically unless the price gets cheaper. It's difficult to imagine that happening.
Travis Etienne, RB, JAC (38.3 ADP Underdog)
Etienne is a rare running back talent. Trevor Lawrence is a rare quarterback talent. As long as the foot cooperates I plan to consider Etienne regularly, though at a certain exposure point I'll need to hold off. Maybe I'll wait for the day a Jaguars beat writer says something vaguely optimistic about James Robinson (Achilles) and try to get more Etienne shares that day.
Breece Hall, RB, NYJ (47.5 ADP Underdog)
Hall falls into a pretty big group of running backs whose prices intrigue me, and I'll consider buying more if I keep seeing him in the fourth round. Comparable options in the sixth-round range are the main reason I don't have more Hall exposure already.
Gabriel Davis, WR, BUF (50.0 ADP Underdog)
Most of the discourse around Davis is incredibly stupid, truly brain-destroying nonsense. This article is better.
Antonio Gibson, RB, WAS (68.2 ADP Underdog)
If Washington thinks Brian Robinson is going to earn meaningful snaps then they're just going to be disappointed. Gibson is a real NFL running back, Robinson is Alfred Blue. Gibson is one of a few running backs I will continue taking in the late sixth round.
Allen Lazard, WR, GB (88.6 ADP Underdog)
I'm growing concerned that the Packers might sign Julio Jones in which case Lazard goes from an obvious valuable to a merely potential one, so I probably won't pursue more shares. But there is a certain level of security Lazard offers, and he's not some bum.
Isaiah Spiller, RB, LAC (139.0 ADP Underdog)
I talked about Spiller in this RB targets article. He's the sixth man in one of the league's best offenses and an obvious starter if Ekeler gets hurt. Don't need to overthink it.
Rondale Moore, WR, ARI (119.2 ADP Underdog)
I'm mostly off the Cardinals offense this year – Kliff Kingsbury is awful and the Hopkins suspension might be enough to make the wheels fall off – but Moore stands to benefit from Hopkins' absence. I'm open to acquiring more.
Justin Fields, QB, CHI (123.4 ADP Underdog)
Bad as the Bears offense appears, they do have some speed and if players like Byron Pringle and Velus Jones can clear out space underneath then Fields can hopefully break some big plays on the ground. I'm ambivalent on Fields at his current ADP but I want some level of exposure since I'm pretty sold on him as a talent.
Mecole Hardman, WR, KC (128.4 ADP Underdog)
Ronald Jones, RB, KC (129.9 ADP Underdog)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire might not lead the Chiefs in carries this year. It looks like CEH will be their go-to passing down back, in which case it wouldn't be surprising to see his carry cap around 10 per game even as a starter. Jones might not be great but he's an above average pure runner and he'll likely be an effective piece of a Chiefs offense that plans to run more. If CEH misses time then Jones is something like a second-round value. He's too cheap.
Matt Ryan, QB, IND (154.3 ADP Underdog)
Ryan isn't great at this point but he's so much better than Carson Wentz that he will look positively great by contrast. I love to get Ryan as the ostensible Steady Backup to an upside starter like Trey Lance or Justin Fields. At this price I'll take more.
Daniel Jones, QB, NYG (156.3 ADP Underdog)
Jones will have a lot more help with Brian Daboll around and he already has a history of providing high-scoring outputs despite the ugliness and inconsistency that might come with it. At this price it's easy to rationalize Jones as a best ball pick.
Jamaal Williams, RB, DET (177.9 ADP Underdog)
D'Andre Swift is one of the most injury prone running backs in the league and Williams has a sixth-man function even when Swift is healthy. I'm as big of a Williams critic as anyone but Craig Reynolds is not a threat to him. I'll be acquiring more if his price stays the same.
Julio Jones, WR, FA (198.3 ADP Underdog)
Sometimes you kind of just need to take a receiver and the top ADP alternatives are Julio, A.J. Green and Kendrick Bourne. It's not ideal – I'll have to avoid much more Julio exposure lest he be a Gronk-style surprise retirement.
Devin Duvernay, WR, BAL (198.4 ADP Underdog)
I have zero faith in Greg Roman -- he sucks! -- but if Duvernay is playing 800 snaps in a Lamar Jackson offense then at this price there's not much to think about. He's not a target but I won't hesitate to draft more Duvernay in the last couple rounds.
Marcus Mariota, QB, ATL (211.9 ADP Underdog)
Can you picture Desmond Ridder winning the Heisman while playing for Oregon? If Ridder plays in 2022 it's because it was a blowout or Mariota got hurt. Both outcomes are more than possible, but Mariota is usually free in drafts and his rare running ability makes him a target for me at this price. I'll try to acquire more.