Below are our 10 Core Picks for SuperFlex Fantasy Football and Best Ball tournaments, particularly the Big Board: SuperFlex on Underdog Fantasy and other upcoming SuperFlex Best Ball tournaments on platforms such as FFPC.
These picks are chosen based on a combination of ADP value derived from our Spike Week rankings, as well as macro level strategies centered around roster construction, playoff upside and more. Core Picks are being released prior to the end of free agency and the NFL Draft, so the players listed may change after the draft and free agency as circumstances change for players and NFL teams.
ADP shown below is from Underdog Fantasy SuperFlex drafts.
Core Picks for SuperFlex Fantasy Football & Best Ball Drafts
Anthony Richardson, QB, Rookie
Richardson has become a major player of debate amongst both the prospect and fantasy communities. But the fact there is just enough skepticism on his potential as an NFL QB, as well as whether he may start the season as the backup, gives us a ton of opportunity to get a player with immense upside at the QB position for far cheaper than the rest of the pool of QBs.
We use the word “generational” far, far too much with prospects, but AR15 is much closer to generational QB athlete than many who receive that tag. At 6’4 244 pounds, he recorded a 99th percentile 40 and burst score and grades out as the number one overall in athleticism score amongst all QB prospects via PlayerProfiler. His breakout age of 19.3 is also in the 84th percentile.
Clearly Richardson will need to continue to develop his QB play, like decision making and accuracy, but he showed plenty of flashes of high level play even in the SEC to give us a glimpse into real fantasy upside even as a rookie. He also projects as the type of player who is ascending as we approach the fantasy playoffs, which we know is the point in the season where all the money is won in best ball tournaments.
Sam Howell, QB, Washington Commanders
In my novice opinion, Howell was criminally under-drafted in last year’s NFL Draft, and the Washington Commanders obsession with rolling out bad veterans like Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinecke have given us some nice value in drafts. Howell is not some perfect prospect, but he had 2 excellent seasons at North Carolina as a true freshman and sophomore. He followed those up with what seemed to be an underwhelming junior year, but this is where he really developed his dual threat ability.
UNC lost a boatload of NFL players before Howell’s junior year and his supporting cast was very poor, which led to a lesser passing season than desired. But Howell put the team on his back, often through rushing, as he ran for 828 yards and 11 TDs in his final collegiate season. He’s probably a better passer than the field gives him credit for, and his Josh Allen-esque rushing style creates a huge ceiling. We saw how impactful that could be in his one start last year, where he produced nearly 20 fantasy points on just 19 pass attempts thanks to 35 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
The fact that Washington won’t give us a firm stamp of approval on Howell as the team’s 2023 starter is keeping his ADP at a super advantageous level. Jacoby Brissett is just a veteran backup, and Howell has a really strong cast of weaponry with Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson and Curtis Samuel to go along with a talented backfield.
Garnder Minshew, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Minshew landing on this list is the greatest example of how crazy the QB position is in these SuperFlex drafts. The market has driven up every relevant QB to truly insane ADPs, so we often have to look to find some diamonds in the rough for cheaper. Clearly Minshew is not a super sexy option, but he has shown to be at least a reasonably competent QB in his stretches as an NFL starter, and even if the Colts draft a QB, they are fairly likely to have that player sit behind Minshew for some time.
Getting a QB who can be a starter for a good chunk, if not all of the season, this far down the draft board with how the market is handling QB ADP is something we can’t ignore. The Colts also happen to play in one of, if not the worst division in the NFL, so if Minshew can win some games early, we could see him hold the job for longer than anyone is currently expecting.
We aren’t THAT far removed from Minshew starting 12 games as a rookie for the Jaguars and posting 3,200 passing yards with 21 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions and 344 rushing yards to boot.
Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
Akers had one of the most peculiar seasons I can remember for fantasy football last year, but in particular for Best Ball tournaments. For much of the year, he was a massive bust as a 3rd round pick, and the Rams season was an epic disaster. However, despite a terrible record and the loss of Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp, Akers emerged as an elite fantasy back down the stretch.
He posted 4 straight games of at least 100 total yards to close out the season as he regained the Rams workhorse role. Darrell Henderson is now long gone, and the Rams have just Kyren Williams behind him and limited money or draft capital to make any major upgrades at the position. They should be back to full health with Stafford and Kupp on offense, and Akers appears entrenched as the lead back again on a potential bounce back offense led by Sean McVay.
And yet, despite making Akers a 3rd round pick in last year’s best ball drafts and seeing him emerge as exactly what drafters hoped down the stretch in a Baker Mayfield and Ben Skowronek (lol) led offense, he’s going off the board as just the RB25 and nearly outside the top 100 in SuperFlex drafts. He makes for an excellent Zero RB target in these SuperFlex drafts at this cost.
Jerome Ford, RB, Cleveland Browns
It can be tricky to put too much faith in running back depth charts at this time of year, but there’s too much to ignore about Ford at such a cheap price. The Browns drafted Ford in the 5th round last year, and he sat behind Kareem Hunt (with D’Ernest Johnson also still on the team) as a backup to Nick Chubb. However, he did carve out a role on the game day squad as a special teamer, and now both Hunt and Johnson have not been brought back to Cleveland.
It is certainly possible the Browns add a running back, but they have very limited draft capital in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft, and this team is clearly in win now mode. They have a little bit of cap space, but with the investment in Deshaun Watson it would be wise to invest their money into more impactful positions than running back. All of that is to say that despite the uncertainty, Ford has a fairly clear path to be the handcuff to Nick Chubb in 2023.
That handcuff role is arguably one of the most valuable in all of fantasy football. The Browns are an elite running team not just because of Chubb, and this should be a super high upside offense with Watson, Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore and David Njoku. As Rich Hribar told us, the Browns look likely to move to more 10 personnel after the addition of Moore, and Chubb averaged an insane 7.1 YPC out of 10 personnel. If something were to happen to Chubb, Ford would step into one of the best roles for a running back in all of fantasy. Plus, we know that Nick Chubb has never played a true workhorse role. Even if his role is elevated this year, there’s still some standalone value to be had here, as we saw with Kareem Hunt for the last few years.
Jameson Williams, WR, Detroit Lions
You will often see fantasy footballers scoff at the young, unproven player who is priced in the early to middle rounds, and Jamo certainly fits that mold. But it’s important to understand what we are looking for the players we select, particularly in Best Ball. These types of players are the perfect picks because even if they “fail” by conventional fantasy football standards (total points over the season, finishing positional rank, etc.), they will still provide value and big games to our best ball lineups. Those big games are extremely important because the big games are not only how you accumulate a ton of points in your lineup for the year, but they’re how you take home the big money in those ever important playoff weeks, particularly week 17.
Using our very own “Nuclear Weeks” statistic (think of it as multiple standard deviations above the average starting score for that position), there are a couple of players who stick out that we can use as a frame of reference in this regard. Gabe Davis did not provide a big overall season, but just being that type of big play weapon on a good offense, Gabe came through with 2 nuclear weeks last season, which was the same as CeeDee Lamb, Deebo Samuel, and DeVonta Smith. Mike Evans was a 2nd round pick that many in the industry laughed at, and by traditional standards that ended up being an accurate assessment. He was massively outperformed by other 2nd round WRs. However, Evans also came through with 2 Nuclear Weeks, including a 43 fantasy point game in the Week 17 championship round which won some people quite a few sheckles.
It’s important to define this in relation to Jamo because he offers both that type of nuclear week upside in any given game, but he is also an elite WR prospect that offers monster breakout potential on a great offense. The Lions have limited target competition for he and Amon-Ra St. Brown, and he was the 12th overall pick in the NFL Draft despite having a torn ACL that would limit him for most of the 2022 season. This is an elite prospect who produced 1,572 yards and 15 TDs in the SEC prior to tearing his ACL, with a boatload of long TDs and big plays thanks to his game breaking speed. His best comp on PlayerProfiler is Will Fuller, which is ironically a pretty good comp for his stylistic archetype for Best Ball purposes, except for the fact that Jamo is far better with the ball in his hands.
That prospect profile (combined with the Lions situation) also give him more than just the high floor of big weekly upside. It’s certainly within the range of outcome for a player like this to simply become a star. Not just making big plays, but drawing significant volume and being a driving force for an NFL offense, a la Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs.
That talent, that archetype, that offense, those game environments and what we care about best ball add up to the epitome of a small loss, huge win player that we want in Best Ball.
Marquise Brown, WR, Arizona Cardinals
The down year for the Cardinals and Kyler Murray injury are keeping Hollywood’s cost way down, but that is just fine for us. This is another example of the archetype of player that we want to target in Best Ball.
What appeared to be a disappointing year for Brown in 2022 at face value gets a lot more exciting when you look under the hood. He finished as just the WR47 in total points and WR32 in points per game. However, he was the WR24 overall in target share and the WR10 in share of team air yards. He played just 12 games, but he provided 3 spike weeks, 1 nuclear week and just 1 dud week.
It’s certainly possible he starts a little slow in 2023, as his big games came early in the season last year when Kyler Murray was playing and DeAndre Hopkins was out. Luckily for us, it appears Hopkins is on his way out of Arizona, and the Cardinals expect Kyler to return before midseason. This means we are set to get that elite profile from the beginning of the season at the most important time for Best Ball, late in the year. Through the first 6 weeks of 2022, Brown was the WR6 overall, behind only Stefon Diggs, Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill and Ja’Marr Chase.
We also have a new coaching staff in town with a promising group of young coaches in Arizona. Sure, this presents a certain level of uncertainty, but it also presents a level of upside as the Cardinals move away from the underwhelming “Horizontal Raid” offense from Kliff Kingsbury. Brown is being drafted barely inside the top 100, where all the uncertainty is easily accounted for and the upside is immense both from a seasonal and weekly upside perspective.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
We have reached the point where so many people are fed up with Toney in fantasy circles that we are getting huge value for his upside. You probably sense a trend here with our core of WRs, as Toney again fits the mold of the “boom bust” type player who oozes upside while providing particular usefulness with “spike weeks” in best ball even if his entire season isn’t a massive success. Yet, the uncertainty keeps his price very affordable in drafts.
Let’s play “remove the name” for a second. The Kansas City Chiefs, led by one of the best QBs of all time in his prime, traded away Tyreek Hill. They let JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman walk in free agency. The only real remaining WRs on the roster are role player Marquez Valdes-Scantling, a 2nd round pick from 2022 who only earned 33 targets in 16 games and….
… a 24 year-old, 20th overall pick from the 2021 NFL Draft who the Chiefs traded for in the middle of the previous season.
Travis Kelce remains, but he turns 34 in October. Clearly you can’t just throw out the additional important nuance about this player, and Toney is littered with peculiar question marks. But there’s no denying that he’s shown real talent and target earning ability. We could easily argue an entire offseason with the Chiefs after being traded midseason will dispel any concerns about the fact he didn’t earn a full role in 2022. And even without ever earning a full time role and playing just 7 regular season games with Kansas City, Toney provided 1 spike week (on just 28 offensive snaps). He scored 4 TDs in a bit role, so what happens when that role expands with even less target competition?
At a cost just inside the top 100 in drafts, Toney is yet another option with monster upside (both seasonally and weekly), but even if he doesn’t explode for the full season, he’s going to give you nuclear upside in any given week.
Jake Ferguson, TE, Dallas Cowboys
It takes a good bit of projection, but given an ADP in the 190s, Ferguson’s upside at a super low scoring position makes him a slam dunk. Dalton Schultz is off to the Texans, and the Cowboys haven’t brought in any additional TEs. Ferguson was a 4th round pick last year, and he appears to be the early front runner over Peyton Hendershot to step into the starting TE role vacated by Schultz. Of course nothing like that is a certainty at this point in the offseason, but that’s why the super cheap price is so important.
Ferguson didn’t have monster production in college, but that’s what happens when you play for the Wisconsin super run heavy attack with poor QB play. He still posted an 86th percentile college dominator rating, as well as an 86th percentile breakout age, via PlayerProfiler. He has a leg up on teammate Hendershot, who was an undrafted free agent, and even if the Cowboys bring in a rookie in the draft, we know that rookie TEs can take time to get up to speed, so Ferguson should have a real role regardless. It’s also clearly possible for the Cowboys to not draft a TE or take more of a late round flyer on the position. There’s more of that “small miss, big win” stuff.
(Fun fact – Travis Kelce specifically called out Ferguson as an exciting young tight end in the NFL.)
It’s clearly difficult to say exactly what Ferguson is so far as an NFL player, but there are reasons for optimism on his ability, and we just saw Dalton Schultz put up big numbers in this role. Schultz himself was a 4th round pick with unimpressive college production and non-elite athleticism. He proceeded to take the starting TE role after Jason Witten left and produce monster fantasy results. He was the TE3 overall in 2021, and then added 10 usable weeks, 4 spike weeks and 2 nuclear weeks last season, with one of those nuclear weeks coming in the Week 17 championship.
We can’t just extrapolate Schultz onto Ferguson for our baseline projection, but there are parallels between the two and the value of the TE position in this Dallas offense can be massive.
Hunter Henry, TE, New England Patriots
Henry is another player who drafters seemed to have grown tired of, but I can’t figure out why. He was the TE11 in points per game in 2021, and he posted 3 separate games of at least 16.7 half PPR points in his first year with the Patriots alongside Jonnu Smith. Last year, he disappointed as the TE31, but even in that down year he produced 2 spike weeks and 7 usable weeks. He still provided value to best ball drafters even as the Patriots offense tanked under the laughable guidance of Joe Judge and Matt Patricia.
The Patriots replaced Jakobi Meyers with Juju Smith-Schuster, and brought in Mike Gesicki while sending Jonnu Smith to Atlanta. There shouldn’t be any concerns with Gesicki lessening Henry’s role, seeing as we just saw this play out with Jonnu Smith and Gesicki is essentially a glorified receiver. He’s not going to take the inline tight end snaps from Henry because that’s just not his skillset. So that leaves Hunter Henry in the same spot he’s been in for 2 seasons with New England… one in which we know his ceiling is big and we know he still offers value in a floor outcome.
Add in the fact that we know TE scoring is extremely low across the board, as well as the impact of being able to use more of your early picks on the 3 higher scoring positions (especially in SuperFlex), and we get a massive value available to us in Henry at the end of drafts.