Best Ball Fantasy Football For Beginners

Best Ball Fantasy Football Fantasy Football

The Best Ball Fantasy draft style is one of the fastest-growing forms of Fantasy Sports that can allow players to have all the fun of a fantasy season, without the weekly maintenance. This guide for Best Ball drafts should serve as a primer and help you get started. We will be using Underdog Fantasy as the standard for our rules and format examples. Underdog Fantasy is the premier Best Ball site with the best tournaments and leagues. Sign-up with code FANSPEAK for up to $100 matching funds and get started today!


What is Best Ball Fantasy?

Best ball fantasy football starts with an 18-round draft to fill out your roster. After you draft, there is no more maintenance for your roster. There are no waivers, trades, or blind-bidding to pick up players. You don’t even have to select which players will be in your starting line-up. This makes the draft the most important, but also means that once your draft is over you don’t have to worry about your roster again.

From your 18-man roster, you must start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, and 1 Flex (RB, WR, TE) each week. The best part is the computer picks this for you based on the highest scoring line-up you could have. So for example, if you have both Dalton Schultz and David Njoku at TE, and Njoku outscores Schultz 15-12, you get credited with the higher points.

Not only does this prevent you from making the wrong starting decision, but it can help protect you from in-game injuries. Last season in week 13 Lamar Jackson left the game after a couple of series with only scoring 1.2 fantasy points. If you had Jackson in a normally managed league you started him and were stuck with the low point total. In a best ball league though, you will get credit for whatever the highest production was among your back-up QBs.


Kinds of Games Offered:

Generally, there are two styles of games offered on Underdog, tournaments and season-long leagues. Both have multiple price points to play at, and season-long has league sizes that range from 3-14.

The season-long format is what it sounds like as you are competing against the other teams in your league from week 1-week 17. Unlike most managed leagues, there aren’t head-to-head match-ups. You are just looking to have the roster that produces the most points each week.

Tournaments start with a 12-person draft. The first 14 weeks (or Round 1) are run just like a season-long league, with the top 2 teams in that draft advancing. If you are one of the top two teams in your league, you are guaranteed to profit. When you get to weeks 15 and 16 you are placed in another league with other teams that advanced. If you win that grouping, you will advance. In the Finals, you are competing with every remaining team for the rest of the prize money.

Season-long offers more predictability and certainty in how you should draft, but tournaments do offer the upside of winning some very big prizes.


Basic Strategies:

Positional Allocation:

With the draft as the only way you can acquire players, you need to make sure your roster has the depth and balance at every position to succeed throughout an entire season. As a baseline, I recommend drafting a minimum of 2 QBs, 4 RBs, 6 WRs, and 2 TEs. That is only 14 roster spots, which means you have some flexibility with your final four.

At Quarterback, I generally do like having a 3rd option. It’s the highest scoring position group as a whole, and though you will never start more than one, you want to make sure your floor here is as high as possible. Even the best QBs in the league will have 4-6 down games in a season. Last season Patrick Mahomes had two games with under 10 fantasy points, there is no reason you need to have those types of games in the final score. Having a 3rd QB will help make sure those scores are completely ignored. Even when your star QB has average games, having two backup options can give you two chances to improve on your QB production for the week.

Typically adding a 5th RB is enough for the year if your starting running backs are strong. If the starters are a bit weaker you might need to have a 6th or 7th back. You should look for a mix of starters, role players, and good handcuffs for your running back roster.

The number of receivers you need is somewhat correlated with how strong your running backs are. If you went running back heavy early, you will probably need an extra receiver to hunt for more big spike weeks. With having to start three WRs, and potentially a 4th with your Flex, you need to ensure you have options each week. So depending on the strength of the backs and if you will need a WR for the Flex spot, adding a 7th or even 8th WR can be the way to go.

With the tight end, a lot depends on if you land one of the big elite options like Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts, or Darren Waller. If you have one of those four guys, you probably can get away with just two TEs. If not, it does make sense to invest in a third TE to raise your floor with scoring.


Importance of Bye Weeks:

In managed leagues bye weeks can be somewhat of an after-thought, but in Best ball you need to focus on them a bit more. You absolutely don’t want to risk taking a zero any week, so you need to limit your byes per position group. For QBs and TEs you should try to have three different byes when you can. For backs and receivers, you should probably limit yourself to 2 overlapping bye weeks. Potentially three if you have say 8 WRs.

Otherwise, it can not only risk a zero on a week of an injury, but you are also lowering your floor if you don’t have back-up options in a given week.


How much to stack?:

Stacks can be very important in fantasy football, as we know that players can correlate together to raise our potential scoring potential. You should definitely try to have at least one stacking partner with your top 2 quarterbacks. If you can adding a 2nd stacking option for your primary QB, is recommended as well.

Another stack that can work is having both the QB and the running back from a high-powered offense. Even if that RB isn’t a primary pass catcher, you are capturing just extra yardage and touchdowns from a top-end offense. In a .5 PPR format, TDs are king, so the more you can get the better. If you have the chance to stack Dak Prescott with Ezekiel Elliott it might not feel correlated on paper, but it can be very beneficial in best ball.

The one thing to keep in mind is to not overstack or reach in this approach. Having one or two stacking options is great, but more than that and you start to cannibalize yourself. You typically want to draft like you are right. So if you already drafted a couple pass catchers, continuing to add on can get risky, as you know that even on a top offense it would be rare that more than 2 weapons are viable. The bigger risk though is if you are reaching in your attempt to add stacking partners. If it’s within a round worth of players that is probably fine, but when you start reaching a round and a half or two rounds worth, you are probably costing yourself. Yes, you are ensuring you get your stack, but you are likely missing out on better options for your team.


Week 17 Correlation:

In tournaments a lot is made about week 17 correlation. While there can be something to that effect as there can be some benefit to having players from both sides of a high-scoring game, it’s pretty tough to predict 17 weeks into the season. The problem with it, is it’s become too much of the focus in drafts and can lead to some interesting looking rosters.

Now it’s one thing if you are trying to add multiple pieces from a pair of good offenses and those teams play each other in week 17. Yes having multiple pieces from the Broncos and Chiefs, Rams and Chargers, or Bills and Bengals are a good thing. But they are a good thing for your roster weeks 1-16 as well as week 17. The problem is when people start having the same approach to building their roster around the Colts vs Giants or Commanders vs Browns.

Yes, all the money is in week 17 for these big tournaments, but that doesn’t mean you need to make sub-optimal selections to correlate your week 17 roster. If you drafted Jonathan Taylor or Michael Pittman Jr. early, you don’t need to create a Daniel Jones and Kadarius Toney stack later to justify it. Taylor may exactly be the RB you want in week 17, but that doesn’t mean that any Giants player will be viable. When Taylor had his 5 TD week last season, you didn’t want any players from the other team in your line-up and that was the Buffalo Bills’ offense.


Final Thoughts:

Best ball can seem very different from your typical home leagues, but it requires far less of a time commitment for just as much fun. This can allow you to have multiple best ball line-ups going and all you have to do is check on your winnings at the end of the season.


Try Best Ball here on Underdog for a chance to compete for $10 Million Dollars in Best Ball Mania 3! Use code: FANSPEAK to get a 100% matching bonus up to $100!



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