Best Ball Fantasy Football: Why Confidence Rankings Are Better

If you have been into fantasy football as long as I have, you’ll know that fantasy rankings started when we had way less info than we do now.

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, we all showed up for our fantasy drafts with magazines that had rankings in the back. They were our go-to guides, but they haven’t really changed much since then.

They used to work fine when most folks did just a few drafts a year, but now with best ball formats, where some of us do hundreds of drafts annually, they don’t quite cut it.

Yet most of the fantasy industry still pumps out rankings like it is 2005. These are not bad per se, but they don’t give you the texture of understanding that I try to draft with.

So, when I was asked about creating Best Ball Rankings for the Sharp Football Draft Kit, I didn’t want to stick with the old-school rankings.

That’s why I came up with these Confidence Rankings, which are designed to give you the nuance and know-how needed to ace your best ball drafts by identifying which players to target at their current ADP (average draft position).

Click here for Tod’s updated Best Ball Confidence Rankings as part of the Sharp Football Draft Kit

Don’t miss out on the best fantasy football coverage in the business

Like the NFL, fantasy football never sleeps.

Best ball season is in full swing, and Dynasty rookie drafts will be here soon.

Sharp Football has everything you need to get ready for both in our Fantasy Football Draft Kit, powered by premier fantasy football analyst Rich Hribar.

Save more by bundling the Draft Kit with our in-season fantasy package that features Rich’s comprehensive “Worksheet” preview of every game, every week of the NFL season.

Click here for more information about our fantasy coverage!

How to Use Best Ball Confidence Rankings

In these rankings, you’ll see that a lot of the spaces have no color (neutral). That means you can stick with ADP or go slightly ahead or behind, depending on your draft strategy and what players you are eyeing.

Early in drafts, stick mostly to ADP for neutral players. As the draft goes on, feel free to move these players up or down as your strategy and personal likes dictate.

Most players are neutral at any given time. Another way to consider neutral is like the old-school rankings. Now keep in mind these are not my rankings but the current ADP that we cull from Underdog Fantasy each week.

This is where you are likely going to be able to draft these players, and there is no harm in taking these players or passing on them for another neutral player when you are on the clock.

Just like at a traffic light, think “go” when you see green (target). In our confidence rankings, green means you can confidently pick that player ahead of their ADP.

That might be three or four picks earlier in the early rounds. For example, Bijan Robinson in early drafting was a green pick at No. 9 overall. However, now he is at No. 5, so at that price he is a neutral pick.

Later in the draft, green players are probably undervalued by a couple of rounds. If you are trying to ramp up this player’s roster percentage, you can take him early or see if he falls to ADP.

A perfect example of this earlier this draft season was Marshawn Lloyd. I built up almost 50% roster percentage on him in my first 20 drafts but, as I will point out below, targets likely will not stay targets for long.

My current roster percentage for Lloyd through 44 drafts is down to 35% as the “field” has caught up with my early evaluation for this player.

I typically try to limit my roster percentage on players in the first and second rounds to 15% and later players to 25%, but if a player is likely to move up ADP, it is ok to build beyond those numbers through July and naturally let exposure decrease in August.

So to summarize,  I am trying to build up my roster percentage on green players while I can. Historically if you are right on your green players as I was with Robinson and Lloyd, the discount narrows as other smart analysts and players come to the same conclusion.

Blue in the rankings represents value.

A value is a guy who I like a bit more than neutral. They are someone I will often take when he is available at ADP, but I don’t feel the need to reach for that player.

For blue, I am also willing to reach slightly to get them in a stack since the value you give up in ADP is repaid through the value of the stack.

Yellow is like a caution sign. It means you might want to wait a bit before picking that player.  I am only taking yellow players when they fall a tier.

That doesn’t mean I necessarily like them a tier lower, but time and history have shown me that I am often wrong on players, so taking them at a discount is how I want to end up with 3-5% of this kind of player.

Another way I will take a yellow player is if they complete a stack. A perfect example of that kind of player for me right now is Dalton Kincaid. If I have Josh Allen, I will take him as long as there isn’t a blue or green player close enough.

And then there’s red. That’s a no-go.

If a player is red, they’re way overpriced, and I wouldn’t touch them at their ADP. They’re not likely to fall far enough for me to want to draft them.

Early rounds players are so talented that you might rarely see a red player that high, but there is one there now in Marvin Harrison Jr. I don’t care how talented he is, I am not taking a rookie not knowing his landing spot that early.

You will notice that while neutral dominates the rankings and blue and yellow are not uncommon, green and red are fairly rare. ADP tends to be pretty good overall, so that makes sense

Thanks for joining me on this journey. I hope these rankings make your drafting experience smoother.

And hey, I’m always up for a debate on Twitter. Nobody’s got all the answers, right?

Now, let’s get drafting!

2024 Best Ball Confidence Rankings: Top 36 Preview

Click here for Tod’s updated full rankings

  • Target (Green): Undervalued at ADP
  • Value (Blue): Slightly undervalued at ADP
  • Neutral (No Color): Correctly valued at ADP
  • Caution (Yellow): Slightly overvalued at ADP
  • Avoid (Red): Overvalued at ADP
Player POS Team POS ADP ADP Ranking
Christian McCaffrey RB San Francisco 49ers RB1 1.2 Neutral
CeeDee Lamb WR Dallas Cowboys WR1 2.1 Neutral
Tyreek Hill WR Miami Dolphins WR2 3.2 Neutral
Ja'Marr Chase WR Cincinnati Bengals WR3 4.1 Neutral
Justin Jefferson WR Minnesota Vikings WR4 5.3 Neutral
Amon-Ra St. Brown WR Detroit Lions WR5 6.1 Neutral
Bijan Robinson RB Atlanta Falcons RB2 6.9 Value
Breece Hall RB New York Jets RB3 7.7 Neutral
Puka Nacua WR Los Angeles Rams WR6 9.4 Caution
A.J. Brown WR Philadelphia Eagles WR7 10.2 Neutral
Garrett Wilson WR New York Jets WR8 11.2 Neutral
Jahmyr Gibbs RB Detroit Lions RB4 12.1 Neutral
Marvin Harrison Jr. WR Arizona Cardinals WR9 13.4 Neutral
Saquon Barkley RB Philadelphia Eagles RB5 15.0 Neutral
Jonathan Taylor RB Indianapolis Colts RB6 15.6 Value
Drake London WR Atlanta Falcons WR10 15.8 Caution
Brandon Aiyuk WR San Francisco 49ers WR11 17.6 Neutral
Chris Olave WR New Orleans Saints WR12 18.4 Neutral
Davante Adams WR Las Vegas Raiders WR13 19.2 Value
Kyren Williams RB Los Angeles Rams RB7 20.7 Value
Deebo Samuel WR San Francisco 49ers WR14 22.2 Neutral
De'Von Achane RB Miami Dolphins RB8 23.0 Neutral
Nico Collins WR Houston Texans WR15 23.1 Caution
Mike Evans WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR16 24.3 Value
Stefon Diggs WR Houston Texans WR17 25.9 Caution
DJ Moore WR Chicago Bears WR18 26.6 Neutral
Jaylen Waddle WR Miami Dolphins WR19 27.4 Value
Malik Nabers WR New York Giants WR20 28.7 Caution
Sam LaPorta TE Detroit Lions TE1 28.9 Neutral
Michael Pittman Jr. WR Indianapolis Colts WR21 30.3 Caution
Derrick Henry RB Baltimore Ravens RB9 31.5 Value
Josh Allen QB Buffalo Bills QB1 32.3 Neutral
DK Metcalf WR Seattle Seahawks WR22 32.7 Caution
DeVonta Smith WR Philadelphia Eagles WR23 33.2 Neutral
Cooper Kupp WR Los Angeles Rams WR24 35.0 Value
Jalen Hurts QB Philadelphia Eagles QB2 37.0 Neutral
Player POS Team Ranking