WR efficiency and Best Ball tournaments
When it comes to Best Ball Tournaments, there are plenty of ways to draft your team. Best Ball obviously differs from the more standard leagues. Instead of having to set your lineup every week, Best Ball automatically counts the highest scoring players on your roster to fill your lineup.
This also means that the approach to Best Ball tournaments should be somewhat different from your “normal” leagues.
In your Best Ball drafts, you can take a lot more shots on players who have a very low floor but very high ceiling. These players often come in the form of big-play wide receivers, who can score a bomb-touchdown and get you 60 yards and a TD in a single play. Quite often, these big-play wide receivers have low volume, meaning that they end up going in the late rounds of drafts, but they could have tremendous, week-winning upside.
This makes them perfect sleepers or dart-throws for Best Ball tournaments because you can draft them very late and whenever they blow up for a single game or two during the season, you can reap the benefits without having to guess, which week it will happen.
In this article, I will be going through a few of the most efficient sleepers I like to grab late in Best Ball drafts.
What does WR efficiency mean in this article?
Before we can dive into the sleepers though, we must understand what WR efficiency means.
WR efficiency is a very wide concept, that can be understood in many ways, as there are a ton of stats that can all point towards a wide receiver being efficient. Catch rate and yards per catch are just a couple of examples, of stats that can be indicators of efficiency at the WR position.
For the purpose of this article, and fantasy in general, I like to look at fantasy points per touch as the best indicator for WR efficiency. Of course, touchdowns are going to inflate those numbers a bit, but when you look at points per touch over several seasons, the touchdowns should average out a lot better.
Instead of looking at the career average points per touch, I am looking at it from a season-to-season approach. This is because few wide receivers really get a chance to produce early on in their careers. Yes, we have seen the likes of Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson go off early in their careers, but this hasn’t been the case for a lot of wide receivers.
Looking season-by-season gives us a lot better indication of who can produce well in Best Ball tournaments, even when working with limited touches, because most of the players have had time to develop in the league, and as such have sustained some type of efficiency over the last few seasons.
I have been collecting a ton of data for a deep dive on WR efficiency and how it translates from college to the NFL. I will be making an article on that in the future, however, the tendency that I saw, was that the threshold for high efficiency should be set at 3 fantasy points per touch.
Efficient WRs I’m targeting late in Best Ball drafts
Marvin Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars
This is probably my favorite late-round target to go for in Best Ball drafts. Marvin Jones has shown time and time again, that he can outscore his ADP. And in Best Ball, you don’t even have to put him in your lineup over bigger name players.
Jones has been very efficient for much of his career, averaging above 3 fantasy points per touch in 5 of 9 seasons. Add one season where he was just below the threshold at 2.99 points per touch.
Last season, Jones was not nearly as efficient as the four seasons prior, however, I attribute that to the overall suckiness that was the Jacksonville Jaguars. A new coaching staff, with an actual NFL pedigree, should help turn that around. If you believe in Trevor Lawrence (you should), then Jones is a great late sleeper in the 15th round.
If you wrote the article that Cody Woodman and I did on our Favorite Best Ball Stacks, then you know we want you to target a stack with Lawrence and his pass catchers. Marvin Jones makes for an ideal free, late-round addition to that stack.
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers
Yep. You read that right. Robby Anderson. Anderson has never really been given a situation good enough to really succeed over a long period of time in the NFL, but he has incredible speed. This speed has allowed him to be very efficient, which means despite his lack of overall production, he can get you some big production in a single play.
In 3 single seasons of his six seasons in the NFL, Robby Anderson has averaged more than 3 fantasy points per touch. That is VERY GOOD, albeit all 3 seasons were with the Jets. The lack of continuity has hampered Anderson’s efficiency in Carolina, but a return to an above-average NFL QB could help Anderson’s efficiency this season.
The allure of Robby Anderson is that he is basically free to take a swing at, in Best Ball tournaments. He is player 149 off the board in Best Ball ADP, meaning the 13th round.
Alec Pierce, Indianapolis Colts
This rookie seems to be flying under the radar for a lot of fantasy managers because his ADP is currently at 178 on Underdog. That’s round 15 in a 12-team league.
Granted, Alec Pierce is a rookie, but he could very well end up being the #2 target in the Colts’ passing game, if not to begin the season, then at some point during the season.
In the three seasons he played at Cincinnati (he redshirted his freshman season), Pierce had over 3 fantasy points per touch in each of those seasons, with his best seasons coming in at 3.91 points per touch. Now, college efficiency doesn’t always transfer to NFL efficiency, but at this ADP I am willing to take the shot that it does for Pierce, who could also end up seeing good volume down the line this season. So even if Pierce can’t convert his college efficiency to the NFL, he might be worth the pick-up for your Best Ball tournaments based on volume alone.
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams
I know Van Jefferson might miss a game or two to begin the season, but in 2021, he was very efficient, especially catching the deep ball from QB Matthew Stafford.
Going in the 15th round according to Underdog ADP, Jefferson produced 3.23 fantasy points per touch in 2021. That is some great value at cost.
Obviously, there is a chance that Odell Beckham Jr. gets signed by the Rams sometime during the season, but he appears to be out for at least the first half of the season. Even so, he will not impact Jefferson early on, and Jefferson could still see some good deep targets in the Rams’ offense even if they bring in OBJ.
And if there is one thing, we know about the Rams’ offense it is that their scheme creates a lot of good deep looks. Jefferson is going to benefit and so could your Best Ball team.
Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions
I saved the best for last. Williams won’t play to start the season, however, in college he showed absurd efficiency, which means Jameson Williams could come back in the second half of the 2022 season and be a league winner in Best Ball tournaments, much like Amon-Ra St. Brown was last season.
Williams played just three seasons in college, but he was by far the most efficient college wide receiver to come out of the NFL Draft this year. Even for the two seasons where Jameson struggled to get playing time at Ohio State University, he produced 3.87 and 4.04 fantasy points per touch in those two seasons at OSU. That’s crazy efficiency. He showed at Alabama that those highly efficient numbers weren’t just a fluke, posting a season as the #1 target in the Crimson Tide’s passing offense of 4.01 fantasy points per touch. That is absolutely elite efficiency.
Right now, Underdog ADP has Jameson Williams going at 158, so in the 14th round. That is a pick you HAVE TO MAKE because Williams could win you a ton of money when he comes back healthy. I would even reach a couple of rounds on Jameson, just to make sure I get him.
These are the wide receivers you should try to target late in Best Ball tournaments, because very few players, this late in drafts, are going to get a lot of volume (touches). That is why targeting the most efficient players, who make the most out of those limited touches is the way to go.
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