For going on 20 years now, we've been running a pair of Experts Leagues in our preseason magazine. Experts Draft and Experts Auction leagues. They were best-ball leagues before there were best-ball leagues. This year's champions are Fantasy Sharks' Tony Holm and Rotowire's Jerry Donabedian.

Draft and Auction results for those leagues can be seen in our print magazine, or at these links: Experts Draft, and Experts Auction. Final standings for each league can also be seen.

In each league, to minimize scheduling luck, every team plays every other team each week. Highest score for the week goes 11-0, 2nd-highest goes 10-1, etc. Best-ball lineups, with each team getting the best starters from their 22-player rosters to fill a lineup of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 PK and 1 Team D/ST. PPR scoring, 4-point TD passes. Obviously, drafting for depth -- and good luck with injuries -- is critical; a couple of bad breaks (say, if you drafted Joe Burrow and Anthony Richardson) and you'd be playing without a quarterback for a good chunk of the season. There are no transactions after the Draft and Auction are completed.

We conclude this season after Week 17, like most fantasy leagues, and see which teams have the best season-long records.


Holm dominated the Draft League, finishing with the highest score of the week seven times. (No one else had the highest score more than three times.). His record of 157-26-4 was 47.5 games better than the 2nd-place finisher. That runner-up was Mike Nazarek of Fantasy Football Mastermind, at 110-74-3. Jason Wood of Footballguys finished 3rd, at 105-80-2.

Holm didn't miss with many of his top 10 picks. Davante Adams, CeeDee Lamb, George Kittle, Jalen Hurts, Calvin Ridley, Mike Evans, James Conner, Alvin Kamara, D'Onta Foreman and Raheem Mostert.

Nazarek hit on a couple of mid-round receivers, including Courtland Sutton and Dalton Kincaid, He selected two quarterbacks in the second half of the draft who helped him win that position a lot of weeks: Matthew Stafford and Brock Purdy. Rachaad White was a key pick at running back.

Wood had choice picks scattered throughout the draft, both early (Amon-Ra St. Brown, Travis Etienne) and late (Trey McBride).


In the Auction League, Donabedian had the week's highest score five times, including each of the last three weeks. His balanced roster included three productive quarterbacks (Fields, Love, Howell), a strong group at running back (Barkley, Gibbs, Etienne) and depth at wide receiver (Olave, Flowers, Waddle and two strong rookies -- Rashee Rice and Jayden Reed). His record of 132-55 won the league by 21.5 games.

Steve Klitzner, a reader who won his way into the competition through our Fantasy Index Blackout League, came in 2nd. Klitzner also had a balanced group: Josh Allen at quarterback, Bijan Robinson and DeVon Achane at running back, and DeAndre Hopkins, Tee Higgin and mercurial Gabe Davis -- a nice best-ball option -- at wide receiver. And a $1 tight end who worked out pretty well, Sam LaPorta.

Our own Ian Allan came in 3rd, led by David Montgomery and Rachaad White at running back, Keenan Allen and Brandon Aiyuk at wide receiver, and another strong rookie, Dalton Kincaid, carrying the day at tight end. Ravens Defense also worked out nicely.

Congrats to the winners!

--Andy Richardson